After a break, we are finally opening up the second semester of the Creative Studio Academy! I will be talking about the platform for your website and some of the basic settings that are often overlooked. Before that, though...
At the end of last semester, I hinted at some of the changes that would be coming. If you are new to the Academy, please go back and check out the first semester sessions. From the things I mentioned before, here is what we are looking at moving forward:
Narrowing the focus for the semester. This semester, we will focus more on blogging. We will also touch on writing e-books and improving your website (especially in light of blogging). Regular blog posts. Especially since we will focus more on blogging, I will be dedicating myself to writing at least one blog post a week in addition to the podcast sessions. There may be additional posts, but nothing that I can promise now. Improved newsletter. I was thinking about going to a bi-weekly newsletter, which will include an article (not found on the website), some tips, and links to previous blog posts/podcast sessions. I will also have an e-book available that covers things that you need to get started with your website. I also hope to have another e-book that will cover how to take your website to the next level. I really want to increase the engagement that we have. I have received a few comments and several iTunes reviews, but I really want to have regular interaction. I started this site by stating that I am not the expert, but I do have experience and knowledge I can share. And so do you! Even if you don't think you have done much, there is still someone that you can help influence. I want to hear from you in the comment section, via e-mail, and now I have a voice mail number you can call right from your phone. I'd also like to schedule time to talk with you one on one.
The 2015 Winter Semester
Even though we are technically starting in 2014, most of this semester will fall in 2015. With our focus on blogging, I have created a mindmap of the topics that we will be trying to cover. We may not get to all of them, or we may not get deep into some of them. If you would like to download the PDF of this mindmap, you can do that here or click the image of it. Your Platform The platform for your website is important. Whether you are looking at a platform for a blog or a full-purpose website, my recommendation is a self-hosted WordPress site. We talked about WordPress several times last semester, and we were able to get some great information about it. I honestly have not used some of the others, like Joomla, Drupal, and Square Space, but based on many reviews I heard and read, WordPress brings both simplicity and power to the user.
Note: While WordPress can be simple, there is still a learning curve, but much of it can be grasped in a short amount of time. Dave Jackson (School of Podcasting and Weekly Web Tools host) says that if you can use Microsoft Word, you can create a post on WordPress. This is true. But to take this analogy a little further, most people that create simple documents in Word barely scratch the surface of what the software is capable of, and it takes a little bit to learn them. Same with WordPress.
When it comes to WordPress, there are two options: WordPress.com and self-hosted WordPress. While these are basically the same at the core, there are some differences. I will try to have a blog post up in the near future to show these. Settings When you get WordPress installed, you get so excited about creating the content, that there are several settings that can easily get overlooked (check out this simple tutorial if you need help installing WordPress).