My hobby is Photoshop. I like to take pictures, manipulate them, show them to others, compete in contests etc.. I was content to join websites dedicated to this. There is a plethora of these sites on the web.
After a while though I found a few things I would like to see on one site that was on another; or, I liked one site but elements of it were not to my taste. (Adult content, language,etc..) My solution... Build my own site.
I've worked in HTML and PHP for other people, other websites, and that part of the endeavor did not bother me. Set up the site, do a little tweak here and there, that was the easy part for me!
So I go about downloading free software I would need. There is a large volume of quality software for free out there, and having some programming knowledge goes a long way here. I purchased my domain name and paid for hosting. Set up the site, get everything looking like I want it to and I'm ready to open the doors to the world! Little did I know that the world was going by so fast I had to prop the door open, put up a giant flashing neon sign, have a guy walking around with a sandwich sign, offer up my first born, and hire an accountant to keep up with the who what when where and how of my advertising.
OK, so I exagerate a bit. But just a little bit. I don't have a sandwich sign guy...Yet!
First lesson: Getting Noticed. I start by listing the site in directories. Thats good for links to the site. Will people see them? Probable not. All the other people going to these sites are there for the same reason I'm there. But as I have found out google likes links. Quality links to your site show it's importance and will move you up in their ranking. So I focus on quality links to my site. Sites with good page rank.
Second lesson: Find the right page to list on. The page my link is on is so buried in the bottom of the link pile, on a page that has no page rank, I now have to get a shovel to see the light of day. So listing with directories takes a little more of my time to get better visibility for google and other search engines.
Third Lesson: Myspace. Millions of people. Put up a profile and watch the people come. Well, if I want Tracy, who wants me to see her naked on a webcam, and all her friends as mine, I would have a friends list as long as my arm! You almost have to set your profile to private to prevent these friend requests. That defeats the purpose! Join a myspace group. 14-18 year old kids cussing each other, talking about music groups like "Dez Mane Punkz" and "Dr. Z Roy". Yea, I fit in there like a foot in a glove. Requests in the photoshop forums range from "Can you fix this photo of me so I look like Hillary Duff" to "Make my *&#!!@ girlfriend look like a *&$$@!"
Fourth Lesson: Google doesn't like something about your page. Not enough words (google likes content), The pages look alike so they see it as duplicate content, your keywords are used by 3,505,267 other sites. Gotta change 'em and add content that matches 'em. Google doesn't like keywords not relevant to the site. Oh, and by the way, revisit lesson one again.
Fifth Lesson: Write an article. Get it published. Let others view it, comment on it, look at their articles and do the same for them. Thats ok. I can do that. I even enjoy doing that. It gives me a break from lesson one. I read 12 articles, leave a comment, mine gets read twice and the comments are "Good Info, Read my Stuff here" (with a link of course). That's OK I guess, But then you read their "Stuff" and they don't allow a link in your comments. So I head over to myspace where it's ok to say $&&*! that @$$#*& and I feel better.
Sixth Lesson: Blog. So far this has been the light in an otherwise dim www world! I can vent. I can be creative. I can post my pics that I have Photoshopped. (obligatory pic to follow)
All the while I am providing myself with links to my site, a place to vent, and of course, help with Lesson one. I have also read some very interesting things written by others.
I'm gonna end this now. Hope this has brought a smile to someones face, and besides; I still need to work on Lesson four.
If you like the images seen here there are more at ChopNCrop.com stop by for a laugh.