I started my internet journey in the summer of 2011. It took me about 3 months to build my first website as there was just so much to learn.
First I had to get a domain and then have it hosted. Thats when the troubles started.
I read stuff on the internet and spent days getting confused about the vocabulary being used and trying to understand what was going on behind every website.
I have always liked to understand the process behind what I am doing so that if something goes wrong then I can fix it.
And so my approach is not to start at the beginning and go forward but rather to start at the end and work backwards.
What I learnt was that topic websites were more effective than department store websites that tried to do too much.
So it came to me that I should build a hub network of sites which interlinked and supported each other. So if a person was interested in parenting would they also like to see a site about education.
The idea was that there would be one main site at the centre of the wheel with different topic sites as spokes coming from that hub.
That is when I started the InFocus set of sites…revisioninfocus, golfinfocus, youcanbeinfocus etc.
Great idea but it has not worked.
The first site was about Golf (golfinfocus.com) and after two false starts with sitebuilding software I discovered WordPress. Wonderful system which I have always used since.
As I said above it took 3 months as I learned what could and could not be done with a website. It has always frustrated me when something that should work does not work.
Take Paypal for example. I had bought stuff online using Paypal so I know that the system works. I click a button on a website and it takes me to Paypal login. I pay and then get sent back to the website to get my goods.
But how does that work?
So I learn about payment gateways and how to install them on a site.
An image is on the left if the browser is chrome but it is in the middle if seen on internet explorer…so learn how to fix that.
And the list goes on….and on….and on.
All small things but they happen and are easy to fix/do when you know how.
The next site was all about getting probate in the UK when someone dies. I was using my knowledge to show people how easy it was to do it themselves.
Had to learn about videos and how to host them and make them work on a site. Next problem was how to protect them so that only people who had paid could see them.
Had to learn about membership sites and there were some really complicated bits of software that would do that. Much easier now as the software has improved and does a lot more for you….but it still needs a payment gateway.
I was very pleased with/proud of that site but nobody came to it. So I had to learn about SEO (search Engine Optimisation) and backlinks so that the site would rank in Google.
That led me into learning about PBN’s (private blog networks) where you set up a set of blogs that look as if they are independent but are in fact owned/controlled by you.
They each send links to the “money site” thereby telling google how good the site is.
Then Google banned them by deindexing them.
They still exist and can be done but it takes an awful lot of effort and a lot of time.
I then started building mobile sites and learnt a lot more about how sites perform and render on different devices.
Of course sites then became mobile ready and so separate sites were no longer needed. Why pay twice for the same thing?
But my journey continued and each site was an experiment to see what would work. Some did but most failed as they were designed to sell a particular product about which I had no faith anyway.
They have all taught me something though as each had a set of problems peculiar to that site.
I then started to learn about Social Media and what a nightmare that is…but a nightmare we all have to live with.
Hence besocialinfocus was born and many of the articles I wrote for that site are here as well. You may even be reading this as a result of me putting this up on an infocus facebook fanpage.
The big lesson there is that you do not sell on social media (except by way of adverts)….you build relationships.
And what this journey has taught me is that I am rubbish at selling but rather good at doing.
So I can show/explain what can be done and advise which steps should be avoided.
I have also discovered that there are a lot of greedy unscrupulous people out there who will promise you the moon and the stars but are really just ripping you off.
I was shocked when I discovered that people charge “maintenance fees” for looking after a website. What a rip off!
There is nothing really to maintain so why pay 50-100 per month for nothing?
And yet people do as they do not understand what is involved.
That’s why I offer to have a chat with people so that they can understand. Why not try it?
My thanks for reading….and as always,please click the button if you like what you have read