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Guess Who's on the Web?

Updated on March 21, 2013

Step One ... Huh?

I admit I am not exactly computer or tech-savvy when it comes to the internet. There are many more things my devices are capable of than I am aware of in general. For example, my children are forever telling me how lame I am when I do things the "hard way" rather than the tech-savvy "easy way" that exists in the internet or device ether. Just the other day I heard DaVelma laughing with her friend on a web chat and saying how she could easily write a book about all of my shortcomings. I think her working title was something like, "Things Mom Can't Figure Out about the Computer- Volume One."

I am sure I would be much more productive and useful if I took the time to learn the simplest protocol of my smart phone or used the features available. I'm sure my phone mocks me on a daily basis. Evidence of this includes the way it occasionally refuses to allow me to type in a text box or the automatic scrolling it will sometimes do when I am attempting to read on my social media app. My Samsung is in talks right now with an agent to publish its own memoir, "Watch How Mad I Can Make the Human!"

So imagine the utter torture recently when I attempted to embark on the task of launching my Author Website. Yep, hilarity ensued. It all started with the advertisements of those companies who claimed to offer an easy place to create a website with step by step instructions. Naturally curious, I typed in the web address of one such creator and attempted to navigate the slippery slope of website building. Immediately I was inundated with acronyms like SEO and RSS feeder. I still don't fully understand the vocabulary that goes into building a website, but I knew from the beginning it wasn't going to be "easy" for an old-school gal like me.

After watching the demos online, I tried reading the so called "easy, step-by-step" instructions. Let me say for the record that when they're trying to sell you on something online, they make it sound like a monkey could do it. Well, wherever they get these monkeys must be a pretty intelligent jungle. I think they're using rhesus monkey's with PhD's or orangutans with X-men capabilities because this human monkey could not figure out what the heck to do after picking a domain name. I tried on my own at first, never fully committing to the sites when I just couldn't trust that they wouldn't take my money and leave me floundering in the web like a fat fly just waiting for their evil credit-card-sucking spiders to bleed me dry. Having no success after months of attempts I gave up and called a specialist.

When in Doubt, Call a Professional

My specialist wasn't an IT specialist per se. I got the youngest, full-grown adult I knew who had sufficient technology knowledge to his credit. I'm stretching the definition even calling him a professional. He's a professional engineer, sure. But as for his professional web-building credentials, those were never really in question. I think they teach website building skills in kindergarten now. This guy knew exactly what I wanted on my "simple" web domain and set me right to the site I needed without even breaking a sweat.

After a quick conversation and a little pleading, I got my friend to use his "in-the-know" abilities to help me build the website in about eight hours. And while I still don't have a clue exactly how we did everything we did to get it up and running, I now have a website and a blog out in the web-universe where my folks, friends and fans can go check me out!

I will share the site I used for the curious: iPage is a webpage building site with domain hosting that allows you to choose what you want, pick the web features you want most and find the domain and package that fits your needs! They even have a drag-and-drop web building option that is easy enough for even an ignorant doofus like myself to build a working website!

I did run into a little trouble during the early days of use, but I can assure you from first-hand experience that the tech-support is available 24/7/265! And they work tirelessly until you are satisfied. You can reach them a number of ways, too. You can connect with them by web chat, email or on the phone. I used the email option because I tend to be wordy. Also I like to proof-read my statements before sending them in. Chat is rife with misspelling pitfalls and it's too tempting to be rash when explaining a problem that way.

Other sites for web-building may be as useful, I cannot vouch for them. But for me and my young, techno-guy this site worked like a dream. And the cost of hosting a domain for two years was comparable to all the others. The thing I liked best was the option to purchase add-ons to help improve your visibility on the web and on a mobile device! And you don't have to purchase everything to get a quality site either. I was able to get my site built and have everything I wanted for just over ten bucks a month! There are lesser packages available, but I wanted the extra security and a few other visibility assists.

Is Anybody Out There?

As soon as my website was live, searchable and available to my audience, I began my blog. On it I'm basically talking to myself on a web platform. It's surprisingly not unlike my morning commute or the long car rides when I have to take DaVelma to meet Grease for the weekend. I try to make my blog posts insightful and interesting, but really I'm just putting the information out in the ether and hoping one day my fans and followers will read the posts. I have no way of knowing who is reading it, I have yet to find a way to put a site counter on the pages to find out how many visitors I've had. My buddy and I are doing some research on that.

Despite my dispassionate start, I'm out there writing the blog and trying to connect with my audience. I'm keeping everyone informed about my coming releases and giving previews and descriptions of new projects on the horizon. There is also an author bio (a bit more extensive than my Hub Pages bio here) and even a few photos of the folks I've talked about in my articles and posts.

I am a bit of a ham. Even though I sincerely doubt anyone will see my photo and be instantly compelled to follow me, I do hope one day soon to have better head shots than those taken by my daughter with an iPad. I'd at least like to have photos where I don't look like a zombie with dark circles and bags under my eyes. I can't get rid of them, they're a hazard of a writer who is raising a family and working full-time. I never sleep! But hopefully a more professional photographer can make me look a little better than I actually do for my promos!

I've learned you have to put yourself out there if you expect anyone to take you seriously as an author. So now I'm on the web. The site is a simple one, with just four pages for now. There's a page where my books are linked for anyone wishing to purchase them. The blog is daily (except when I'm too busy to blog-- it happens when either my kids need me or my work is exceptionally demanding from time to time), and there's even a space for comments about the posts if anyone takes umbrage or just wants to say hello! Hope you'll check it out soon!

B.L.

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