Having a fabulous website is one thing, but who will fill it with words and pictures?
Writing is easy, right? Words flow like sweet milk and everything is a masterpiece. We wish! Truth is, it takes time and skill to write so that people will read it. It’s easy to fill pages with dull words to fill a web page, but if you want people to read it and forward it to friends, you’ll need to ask yourself:
- does it make sense to your readers?
- does it matter?
- is it grammatically correct? Especially tend to spelling–it makes you look bad if you don’t.
- is it fresh, relevant and interesting?
Ever seen a website with crumby pictures and wonder why they bothered? Fortunately, with all those good cameras out there photos now are pretty good, but sometimes they slow down a site so that I, as an average user, lose patience after 2.8 seconds and go to another site. Appealing photos most often need to be set up with care, fiddled with in photographic software, and saved to your website in a format that won’t choke the loading process.
People like colours and visuals and are twice as likely to read an email if teased with either. The folks at MailChimp have done a stellar job making it easy for you to create and run email campaigns small or large, keep current email lists and store newsletter archives. Oh, by the way, it’s free unless you have more than 2,000 people on your mailing list. Learning it takes just a few hours. Setting up a template can be more involved, but you might have fun doing it. Or get some help.
A template is a framework for a news letter that you use over and over. Usually it has a header with a custom image, your social media links and contact info. Then you just add new articles into that framework. If you don’t have the time or inclination to jump in to creating a template you can ask for help.
For some groups a website calendar is essential. Imagine a Theatre company that didn’t post it’s production dates? Or a community centre? Calendars are worked into a website to match the needs of the users (both those entering the information and those looking for it) and the layout of the website.
Ever wonder about those squiggly letters at the end of a contact form? It’s called captcha, but really acts more like gotcha! because it tells the program that you are a human and not a malicious machine cruising the internet for unguarded forms to dump their wretched links into. Forms can be simply asking for your name and email address, or they can give you tick-box choices and windows for entering essays.
Online surveys are an inexpensive way to poll your users. They’re simple to create and then to read the results as they come in.