Recently I wrote that I was included in a Top 30 Fabulous Mum Bloggers listing over at Vancouvermom.ca. As part of the event, there will be a reception tomorrow night when most of the Top 30 website owners will attend. It will be a wonderful opportunity to meet other women who have been publishing their own websites on a wide variety of topics.  Unfortunately I will not be able to attend due to family obligations – my husband and twin toddlers have come down with colds and other related ailments -  but I would still love to hear feedback from the other attendees.

If you are one of the Top 30 mums and have a moment, I would love to hear your thoughts on this experience. Here are some of the topics I would have discussed at the event:

What do you enjoy most about publishing a website?

Have there been any challenges?

What have you discovered about writing for, publishing and promoting your site?

What have you learned about using social media in relation to your website?

Have you monetized your site? If so, what have you done? How has that worked for you?

What kind of professional and personal connections have you made as a result of publishing your site?

Are there any challenges for you as you raise a family and develop your website?

What would you say to a woman who is thinking about starting her own site? Do you have any hot tips that will help her jump start her website?

Did you gain any insights from meeting the other women at the Top 30 event?

What is the name of your website?  Do you have a Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, YouTube or other related web address?

Thank you for visiting and have fun on Thursday night!

Let’s talk about the issues and news that is having an impact on children and families in our community. We’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to use our comment function below, or leave a comment on our Facebook page

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One Response to “Let’s Talk: About publishing a website”

  1. bcfamily says:

    Since I included a number of questions in this posting, I thought I should at least answer them all. If just a few are relevant to you, don’t feel that you need to answer every one.

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Pamela Chan
    Publisher/BCFamily.ca

    ***
    *What do you enjoy most about publishing a website?

    - I find that publishing a website is like photography. The process gives you a lens through which you can see the world. It helps to keep your mind sharp and alert. I also like having the ability to share information I have found and my own experiences and knowledge with people who live all over the province, country and world.

    *Have there been any challenges?

    - The technical side has been the biggest challenge. So far I’ve managed to crash my site once and do try to keep things simple to avoid problems. I don’t use an external company to design the site so I’m pretty much learning as I go.

    *What have you discovered about writing for, publishing and promoting your site?

    - Every time I visit another site I notice what they do. This is the best way I can find to learn more since I don’t have the opportunity – right now at least – to go to networking events.

    Regarding writing, I can see that there are so many writing styles that are possible: serious, light and comical and everything in between. Sometimes I get stuck on publishing a piece for quite a few days because I’m not happy with the content or the writing style. I’m definitely not the type of person who can write a piece a day.

    Regarding publishing, I think it’s important to respect your reader and the people, websites and businesses you mention on your website. In general I like to aim for a positive and upbeat approach. If I am going to write a critique, I will try to take the fairest approach possible. I also accept that others may not agree with my viewpoint, but at a minimum I expect that person to leave a comment on my website or Facebook page, or send me an E-mail. I did have one negative experience where a man in the UK wrote about me as “a lady” who basically doesn’t think before writing dribble. (If you dig deep into my site you’ll read what I had to say about that.) He didn’t have the courtesy to contact me or leave a comment. He just trashed my site on his own. It was a spineless way to go and to be honest, I wouldn’t expect to find that approach amongst the women who publish in Canada.

    Regarding promoting my site, I’ve learned to toot my own horn and mention my work whenever I can. It’s not an approach that comes naturally to me, but it’s a great learning opportunity and I’ve met so many people this way who I would otherwise not have met.

    * What have you learned about using social media in relation to your website?

    Social media takes your website in new directions. There are so many more platforms than the most common ones people know (Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, YouTube and Tumblr). One challenge is deciding where to invest your energy and whether a site has staying power. Also, it can take time to develop additional content on these other sites. On Twitter I enjoy the opportunity to easily get quick updates from websites and to receive content from major organizations and major players in the field of education and development. On Facebook I enjoy the opportunity to connect with individuals who aren’t necessarily connected to a website or organization. I set up a FB account related to my website ( https://www.facebook.com/bcfamilyca ) and joined a large number of pages that interest me from all over North America and other countries publishing FB content in English. It’s fascinating to see what scrolls through my homepage. I just started a Tumblr account as a place to put quick bits of information that I don’t want to feature on the website. I’m not sure if I’ll keep up with this effort.

    * Have you monetized your site? If so, what have you done? How has that worked for you?

    - I do have links on my site that could generate money for me, but to be honest you couldn’t really say that this site either generates money or really has been set up in any significant way to generate money. For example, I don’t have advertisers or sponsors. I have had companies contact me to see if I’m interested in that type of venture. I’m still thinking about what I want to do. Taking my sweet time about it, you could say. Soon. Soon…. This is an example of how networking with other women would help me to formulate my plan.

    * What kind of professional and personal connections have you made as a result of publishing your site?

    - This is a growth area for me. I want to continue to connect with people in the website publishing field (both on a large and small scale). I have found the opportunities to connect so far to be very positive. In a way I think that the process of publishing a website attracts people who are forward thinking, positive and proactive.

    * Are there any challenges for you as you raise a family and develop your website?

    - Of course time is always an issue. I have a two hour window each day when I can work on my site. Except that during that time I’m also working on other things. For example I recently wrote about how it took us over a year to sell our downtown condo and move to a house. Now we’re in the midst of setting it up. So I grab the moments when I can. Fortunately I type 95 words a minute and I like to read information from many different sources and consolidate it with what I already know.

    * What would you say to a woman who is thinking about starting her own site? Do you have any hot tips that will help her jump start her website?

    - I would say start with a WordPress site. When I first started publishing in 2004 I used Blogger, but I think WordPress provides more options. (That is unless you want something simple. In that case Blogger is fine.) Check out other people’s sites and learn how to look at their code to see how they set things up. This is how you can teach yourself how to design a site. I haven’t taken any courses, but I imagine they can help if you have the time and resources to take them. Of course if you have the money to ask someone else to design a simple and beautiful site for you, that’s great too. When you are first starting out try to publish something every day. This will help you do establish publishing roots and feel like you are on your way. Tell all your friends, and ask them to tell all their friends about your site. Connect with other people who are publishing similar sites through social media. Make sure that you are connected to some type of social media through your site. Be careful about copyright and attributions. This relates to how you use photography, for example. I’m not sure if those are “hot tips”, but these are the main ideas that come to mind.

    *Did you gain any insights from meeting the other women at the Top 30 event?

    - Unfortunately I couldn’t attend as my whole family – including my toddler twins – has come down with nasty colds/sore throats. It’s a shame. :(

    - What is the name of your website? Do you have a Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, YouTube or other related web address? BCFamily is my site and you can see the Twitter and Facebook connections on the right. I’m also on Tumblr under http://bcfamily.tumblr.com/

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