Monday, June 22, 2009

The Learning Curve

"When you stop learning, you are dead."

I remember hearing this statement in my youth. I didn't put much stock in it until I go MUCH older. It seems in the last several years I have had to learn what seems like a lot more stuff than I had to when I was younger. I believe this has to do with the "information age" we are living in.

Recently, I decided to start publishing on the Internet for a source of income. I didn't think it would be very hard or time-intensive, to learn. Boy, was I wrong. I have discovered that even though I knew a good deal about HTML and about FTP and graphics tools, that this was only the tip of a very large iceberg.

Blogging for profit can be very time intensive - especially if you decide to build and manage the web site yourself. This is what I am now doing. "If you build it, they will come." Yeah, right, this may be true, but you don't get traffic to your blog or your website overnight. Maybe this is true of people that have a few books and ebooks published, but it is not a simple task building an audience. My goal in doing this is to combine two things I love, computers and teaching, to help others out and to try and make a dollar or two to pay for the bills that always seem to be attached to the "low cost startup enterprise."

There are things that I have learned, like the fact that there are a large number of search engines out there - all of which need to be submitted to so your information shows up on the search. I knew about the keywords being in pages, the need for meta data, etc. I just didn't know that the product I was using generated dynamic content to the level where the actual web pages didn't have few, if not any, hyperlinks.

Hyperlinks or links for short, are how we get around the World Wide Web. If you don't have hyperlinks on your page, and all navigation is stored in cascading style sheets and other places, you don't get fully indexed on the search engines. This means more research and more work into finding a workaround for this problem. Fortunately, I found a tool that resolved that problem. The downside is that besides learning about a web authoring tool, I was now learning about the tool that fixed the failing in the authoring tool. What a mess!!

I also learned a very hard lesson yesterday: If you are showing up on the first page of a major search engine, don't submit a new sitemap for your site. I have been waiting for HOURS for my site to be re-indexed so folks can find my site. This could be a problem since I have several videos on YouTube that send folks to the search engine to find me. If you wonder why I just don't give my URL during the video, I'll give you the link here - click on it to go see the site.

When you have an address that is that long, you DO have a problem! Most folks have trouble with entering www in front of an address, and some have made the mistake of going to a .com website instead of a .gov, .org, .info, or .biz site. Since some folks know this, there are things such as porn sites, spyware sites and the like, that acquire the .com version of certain popular sites. I can just imagine some little old lady stumbling on a porn site when she was looking for information about water sports or viewing the white house's home page. We do live in a world of predators. (Ok, now I will get off my rant on people being sneaky!)

Anyway, to make a long story short, I am learning a lot about the Web and its complexity. I will give you updates later as the story unfolds...

Have an Awesome Day, and God Bless!

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