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Thread: What Would You Tell a Newbie?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    16,283

    Default What Would You Tell a Newbie?

    I'd love to know. If you were given the opportunity to mentor a new Webmaster or Blogger, what one piece of advice would you give them and explain. (Feel free to draw from personal experience as they make the best lessons)

    I may feature this thread in an upcoming blog post so make it good. Your reply may end up getting more exposure than many other threads here. (No pressure.)

    I think this could turn into a nice reference thread for people just getting started.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    SO,IL
    Posts
    86

    Default My Humble Opinion

    I am not a Webmaster by any means, or anything remotely close to being labeled as one. However,
    Being the Newbie, that I am, it's important for me to understand, what I have to do, How to do it, and in What order, in needs to be done. First you must realize, who you are, and what your capable of.
    The last thing I/you would want to do, is go out and try to create/build the next "youtube" being the Beginner that I/am, you/are.

    I found when first starting out, a few important factors, should be addressed.

    1)How Much Money Do I have?

    2)How Much Time Do I have?

    3)Why Am I Doing This?

    4)What Topics interest me?


    The last thing a Beginner would want to do, is spend alot of "Time and Money", on a specific Subject, only to find out later, is that they're sick of talking about that topic, and no longer feel like doing it.


    Forget about HTML editing software, Google Adsense, Affiliate programs, Widgets, RSS, Special effects, and all the other attributes, that are associated with Websites. These extras, will only distort, the initial
    phase, for the beginner, when just starting out, Building His or Her first Website.

    All thats important to get the Snowball rolling is a Few $$$ for your, perfect Domain name(annual fee) and a *Commited Webhost(monthlyfee.) Something you love to write about(Content), and enjoy sharing with others.
    Using your Wehost and their "Free Templates" and writing about something you enjoy, and our knowledgable about, using specific Keywords, you are now on your way, to Building a Wonderful "Website" while learning all the additional stuff as you go.

    Whadaya waiting for? Go for it!



    *Dont go with a free web-host. Paying a few bucks for one, will give you a "Thundering Edge" over your competition.
    _________________________________________________

    If I have seen "Beyond the Mountain" into the Valley, of "Shadow of Truth" it is because I have stood on the "Shoulders of Giants."
    Last edited by Xfactor; 03-21-2009 at 11:45 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Fort Collins, CO
    Posts
    269

    Default

    My advice would be:

    Slow down. (That's not a link, don't click it. )

    It's the nature of the internet to receive immediate gratification. While that may be true from the consumer's point of view it is not necessarily the case from the webmaster's stance. In fact, rushing into the website creation process, or more specifically, through it, will actually hinder the process rather than help it.

    I know everyone will get an idea and want to execute it immediately while it's still fresh it their mind. Taking your time and fully planning it out makes the idea end up a well executed and well thought out site rather than something that looks like it was thrown up overnight. There are way too many sites like that already and everyone that gives it a moment of thought can spot them.

    Take your time, learn what you need to learn to make it work the way you envision it. It will make the site better and you'll feel a great sense of accomplishment bringing an idea to life properly.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    In Motherly Bliss
    Posts
    98

    Smile

    To me it would be simple:

    write down your ideas and work on only ONE at a time, until it is moving then go on to the next, don't work them all at once.

    lol, that was hard to understand. I bubble forth full of ideas, thoughts and aspirations of all of the projects. In the end, I've had to narrow down my focus to achieve success. Instead of running to buy a domain, start research, and compile needed resources or links, I finish what I'm already working on.

    The other problem w/ doing this is that half done projects don't complete themselves, so all the work is done in parts, but not making money anywhere.

    Bottom Line: Write down idea's in a single location w/ goals for those ideas, but don't take more action, until the project you're currently working on is completed and ready to work for you. THEN move into your idea book, and move forward on the next project.
    ~Catrina~
    The Write Site The Writing Network & The best home for readers is the Readers Retreat
    Need Freelance Work Done? Maybe I can help you make the right connection.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    16,283

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Kent UK
    Posts
    590

    Default

    I've thought about this for a while and I've come to the my conclusions.

    One piece of advice for a complete newbie is HAVE FUN.

    Jump in head first with your eyes firmly closed.

    Buy a domain get some cheap (Linux) hosting (about $20 for both) find Fantatico in cpanel and install each prorgram (one at a time). Play with cpanel, find a free template, upload it to the site, change it in wordpad and upload it again.

    The worst thing that can happen is that you will have to request your host to reset your webspace.

    Now that is out of your system and you realise how easy or hard you found it to do and how cheap or expensive you think it is go and follow some more sensible advice.

    If you are doing this as a hobby or a "9-5 job" the most important thing is you must enjoy it and HAVE FUN.

    Regards

    Bob
    PHP Snippets PHP Captcha Code Resizable Html
    "A website with a thousand resources starts with a single page".
    "Don't fight the gator - clear the swamp"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    774

    Default Research First

    I would advise a newbie to do the RESEARCH FIRST on the idea. Do this on ones own and find out all that one can. Having done this, if one still has doubts or needs guidance, pose a question to the members of the WB forum.
    William Wilson

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Republic of Ireland
    Posts
    377

    Default

    Start off small, keep working at it and build up your site over a period of time. Don't expect too much too soon. However, if you do keep working hard, you will be successful. It may take a long time but never give up. If you truly want to achieve it, you will, but by hard work and toil. It's nearly impossible to achieve real success "over-night", as many online articles lead you to believe otherwise.
    It will never be easy, but if you enjoy it, it will all be worth it in the end!

    ~~SB16
    "I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams."

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Carrickfergus , Northern Ireland
    Posts
    92

    Red face I'm new to it all too .

    I'm new to it all too .

    My advice to anyone setting up a web site or taking on any challenge in life would be to read 'Tsun Tzu - The Art Of War ' .

    Read the book then attack every challenge with fire .


  10. #10

    Default

    My advice to anybody just starting out creating a website would be to Plan, Plan, Plan and then Plan some more!!

    When I started my site I was a complete newbie to the internet. I never had any intention of creating a website. I just stumbled across it one day and thought it sounded interesting.

    Although I am a very careful planner in every other aspect of my life, I was so excited to get my website up on the internet that I made the mistake that a lot of beginners make....thinking "good enough" and just building it.

    After a while I realized, I didn't really like my website template so I had to go back and rebuild that.

    I realized I hadn't researched my keywords carefully enough, so I had to go back and redo that., etc. etc.

    There were so many things that I realized I had done wrong simply because I rushed through the process that it took twice as long to get to where I am now because I had to go back and redo so many things.

    Taking the time to do each step of the process right the first time will give you results that you are far happier with and save you so much time, that it is worth waiting that extra little while before your site goes live if it means creating a site that you love the first time around!

    Be patient and Plan, Plan, Plan!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    ireland
    Posts
    224

    Default not exactly post worthy but honest

    Lisa
    Your question is something that I have thought about several times

    If I had to start all over again this is exactly what I would do:
    I would come to website babble with the idea for my site, before I did anything else and post a question describing my idea and what end result I wanted for my site. I would ask the members for their recommendations on hosting, domain names and everything else I could think of.

    I would then go and write out a new plan based on my idea and the advice I recieved and when I had it all in place I would come back and ask the members to review my plan for any obvious problems.

    Once that was done and I was sure of everything I would buy my domain name and hosting. There is nothing worse than choosing the wrong hosting provider and finding out later that the things you want to do with your site are not supported by your host.
    Follow my Make Money Blogging Experiments . Regular updates and tips to help you make money from your blog.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    ireland
    Posts
    224

    Default One last thing

    The one regret I personally have is that I didn't find website babble until after I had started my site. If I had found it first I would have saved myself a considerable amount of confusion and time and if I had never found this forum I am absolutely sure I would have given up long ago.
    Follow my Make Money Blogging Experiments . Regular updates and tips to help you make money from your blog.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    959

    Default Research...then dive in and experiment.

    Quote Originally Posted by lisa View Post
    I'd love to know. If you were given the opportunity to mentor a new Webmaster or Blogger, what one piece of advice would you give them and explain. (Feel free to draw from personal experience as they make the best lessons)

    I may feature this thread in an upcoming blog post so make it good. Your reply may end up getting more exposure than many other threads here. (No pressure.)

    I think this could turn into a nice reference thread for people just getting started.
    I got started as the result of an injury and an extensive rehab period. I was looking for something to do to occupy my down time, as well as learn something new, which always intrigued me. I had no knowledge of html, let alone website design, editors or all the rest.

    Content

    My interest really started with content. I had been recording my AF stories off and on for years, hoping to someday put together a book. A website to display and share these stories seemed like a perfect fit. In addition, I had a very short story of the USS Indianappolis told to me by an uncle when I was but 9 years old and some memories of a grandfathers time during WWI.

    It wasn't much, but enough to justify looking into this new fangled thing, called a website.

    Research

    Since I didn't have a clue as to make a website, I got online, and begun to look over various military websites. First to see how they were laid out, secondly what kind of information they contained, and how they presented it. A third area, was looking to see how many websites presented a personal point of view, not just a rehash of history.

    How to Build a Website

    Once I had some content and some idea of how to put together a website, it was then time to learn how to do it all. Back in the day, there were a host of free hosting sites, with templates and tutorials for learning. Some were Tripod, GeoCities, Lyco and Bravenet.

    I tried them all at one time or another but finally settled on Tripod. For one, because I liked the ease at which I could learn and display my new talent, and two because it was FREE to learn and host my first site. They had plenty of free tools, from counters to website statistics and all the rest.

    I can't say my first crack or even the second or third times were successful, but with each rendition, I learned invaluble lessons I put to use. One of the best tools, as Lisa has today is the Forum. There I found common solutions to common problems and a host of very nice people, that I could bounce ideas off of, or ask questions of.

    Timeline

    I am a picky son of a gun, and am hard on myself. I probably went through six renditions of my military site, before I thought it was good enough to put out to the web. I can't recall the exact amount of time, from my initial interest to my final redintion- but somewhere between 6-12 months.

    Although I had some content, I had to learn how to present it. I joined several writing clubs and gained some knowledge of how to write, although for me, it was a long learning curve, lol!

    Once satisifed with the content, I begun to experiment with layouts. The first one amounted to nor more than a basic web site layout; Home Page, About Me, Contact Me, Links, Research and from the get go, a Forum.

    Over the six years I had the site, I moved from a Free site to a paid hosting....I had my sites with such hosts as Bravenet, IX Webhosting then Startlogic. The site grew from my intial few pages to well over a 150! I had a top ranking on Google and had begun to attract some advertising...(They came to me, not me to them), and had acutally made enough to pay for my last couple of hosting years and SEO).

    In Conclusion

    My advice to anyone starting out, is to first do a bit of research. If you don't have any content, find out what you are interested in and pursue that avenue. The worst decision one can make is doing something they do not like to do! Forget the money for now!!! You need a lot of things, mainly CONTENT....Don't get in it just for the money...you will be disappointed.

    Learn, learn and learn some more...One thing my old man use to harp on us kids..."Your never too old to learn!!" Learn some html, learn some CSS, learn how others layout their sites, how they add content, how they display it, how links are used, how they market and a whole host of other things...

    It's not a get rich quick gimmick, or please give me all the answers first....Sometimes you just have to get down on all fours and do some of the hard work first! Mainly, do a bit of research, dive in and enjoy the fruits of your labor!

    You don't need to learn every nook and cranny of every little thing, but it sure is nice to know the basics. What I tend to do is look & learn something that has an immediate effect on what I am working on. If it is code. I can spend a half day researching it on the net and experimenting. If it is asking for permission to use a copyrighted image, I will send out emails, save replies and print permissions and save them for later use.

    I did experiment with marketing. From banner ads to pay per click to Cafe Press, and Commission Junction. All of them failed miserably. One thing you can overdo, is who and what you market with. They need to be realible, proven and not take up an inordinate amount of your bandwidth. As I re-consititute my military site, I will learn about Ad Sense and some of the other newer marketing tools...but not until my site is proven content wise and search engine wise...otherwise its just a waste of time...GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR NEW PROJECT!
    Last edited by sgtmac66; 03-23-2009 at 03:04 PM.

  14. #14

    Default Advice to a n00b

    My advice is not to do it unless you are doing it for a hobby. You shouldn't be serious about web creation until you've gained experience in web creation. Its that simple.

    Trust me, I've made many mistakes and I've learned that I still can't take myself serious.

    Now, make sure you choose a topic you are passionate about. If the topic doesn't play a major role in your life, its not the right topic.

    Take your time. You should not be rushing this. If you are doing it for fun, just play around with it until you have something worth presenting to people. You don't even need an html editor. Just use weebly, publisher or something easy and register a domain.

    Remember, you are a n00b, your only goal is content.

    I can't stress enough that you content is most important.
    Content is the make or break of your website; if you don't have content, you don't have anything. And mark my words "You will never be successful unless you have fun, learn, and have good content."

  15. #15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Donk View Post
    I've thought about this for a while and I've come to the my conclusions.

    One piece of advice for a complete newbie is HAVE FUN.

    Jump in head first with your eyes firmly closed.

    Buy a domain get some cheap (Linux) hosting (about $20 for both) find Fantatico in cpanel and install each prorgram (one at a time). Play with cpanel, find a free template, upload it to the site, change it in wordpad and upload it again.

    The worst thing that can happen is that you will have to request your host to reset your webspace.

    Now that is out of your system and you realise how easy or hard you found it to do and how cheap or expensive you think it is go and follow some more sensible advice.

    If you are doing this as a hobby or a "9-5 job" the most important thing is you must enjoy it and HAVE FUN.

    Regards

    Bob
    I totaly agree with this! Thats exactly what happened to me i messed around with using fantastico installing different programs and it was great fun although i have had to contact my webhost 2 times to reset my webspace.

    Well im still a newbie but from what i have learnt i would suggest take it slow and count every step forward as an acheivement.

    I get happy everytime i move somthing to the perfect place.

    Jack
    www.conceptskateboarding.com
    Concept Skateboarding is getting better every day and best of all im learning much!

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