Sunday, February 26, 2006

Starting A Website

Starting your own website is a very technology-friendly hobby. If you are thinking that there is nothing hobby-wise that interests you, then think again! You may find that you would enjoy creating your own website. If you do not know where to begin, never fear. I will help you determine a good project for your site. We will visit the how-to part of the site later. Right now, we are just focusing on the purpose and scope of your site.

Begin thinking about your site by thinking of what you do online. Think of terms you search and articles you read. Jot down a few of the topics that interest you. If there is something that you have trouble finding good information for, then write that topic down as well. You may want to try focusing on an area where you have some knowledge. If you have been a gardener for the past ten years, then perhaps that is an area you want to pursue. You have a base of knowledge that you can share with others.

Once you have a topic list, go back and narrow it down. The easiest way to determine how to mark an item off the list is to determine whether or not you are really excited about that subject. Does the thought of hosting a website on the topic sound fun? Then keep it. If you are hesitating, mark it off. Remember that this site is a hobby site, so all that matters is that you enjoy what you are doing.

Now, you should be left with a couple of topics. Look at them and then go search online. See what information you find and decide whether or not you can improve on what is already out there. Perhaps you know that you can provide information on an angle that is not covered. That will be your best bet. Keep searching until you have narrowed down a topic.

Once you have a topic, you can get to work. Farm out the topic into sub-topics. You will need to have a way to direct people who visit your site to find the information they want. Let us use 1960s history as an example. You could divide the larger topic into feminism, civil rights, anti-war, and culture. You would be giving people direction once they visit your site.

Now you need to determine how many articles you want to have to start your site. You can choose any number you would like. In fact, you can start your site with a single article if you would like. It would be more prudent, however, to start with a larger stable of articles. That will give people who visit your site a reason to stick around for a while. It also will show them that they can depend on good information at your site. If you were starting a content site to make money (which you may do eventually), then you would want to begin with at least 100 articles. For a hobby site, however, you probably should start with a slightly smaller number. Try having 10 good articles before you begin.

Creating the content for your site is the most fun part of the hobby! You will find that you have information that you cannot wait to craft into articles for others to read. Instead of just being happy with what you see, you can share your ideas and opinions with the world. Begin making it a point to work on your site everyday or every week. Set aside a time when you will create new content for your site.

You will find that you will begin to think about your site often. Someone will mention something that is similar to what you are working on, and you will think that you could create an article on the topic. Soon you will find that you will have a following of people who come to your site for good information. You will be a self-made expert on your hobby site topic, which is a great feeling. You can connect with people who share your passion for the subject, and that will make for a wonderful experience for you.

By Julia Mercer

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