My perfect clients!

My perfect clients!

It has been awhile since I’ve talked about the people who it is most fun to work with, so I have been thinking about the specific qualities of my perfect clients! There have been so many lovely people I have worked with over the years,  many of whom have...
Sharing your knowledge

Sharing your knowledge

Sharing your knowledge can feel a bit like tearing tearing off your clothes in public – it is the stuff nightmares are made of! Many of us grew up at a time when we were encouraged to ‘keep ourselves to ourselves’ and not tell the world everything...
Finding Support

Finding Support

I have been MIA for a while now – but am back because I want to talk about finding support. While I was gone I was primarily selling my wares at craft fairs. As a card-carrying introvert, I wasn’t sure I would enjoy this much social interaction, but in...
Super powers

Super powers

Women have super powers they use everyday – and they are so much better than the powers mere cartoon superheroes can display! When trouble calles, at some time we’ve all kind of wished a superhero or superheroine would swoop in and save the day. Sadly this...
Coloring Books for Adults

Coloring Books for Adults

This is a cautionary tale about print on demand services and deadlines! Last weekend my daughter and I were at Green Fest Philly, having been approached to attend as Etsy store owners with eco-friendly products. As we planned for the event, we brainstormed ideas for...
Too many pieces of the puzzle?

Too many pieces of the puzzle?

Often when I’m talking to prospective clients, they are apologetic. “There are too many pieces to this puzzle!” they will say, “I don’t know what to tell you that I want!” I feel bad that too often we are made to feel that unless we...
Showing Courage

Showing Courage

For many creatives, years of training, learning, and practice have gone into learning a craft, so it takes courage to reveal the pieces that are produced. On the upside, all those years of connection with art professors and a cohort of friends and colleagues who have...
Make your website shine

Make your website shine

Often busy solopreneurs like you realize that their websites no longer shine as they did at first, but don’t quite know what to do. If you are no longer in touch with your designer, it may be overwhelming to have to to find a new designer, and if you built the...
What can I do to help you?

What can I do to help you?

What can I do to help you? If you run your own business, then you have probably had days when you have spent time doing everything BUT that thing you became an entrepreneur to do! For weeks (or months) you may have been doggedly trying to learn to do things you have...
What is the purpose of your site?

What is the purpose of your site?

I love the thrill of starting work on a new site with a new client. It is a little like the freshness of the new school year; full of potential and the unknown! Even though my initial discussions try to get to the purpose of the new site, I know from experience that...
Telling Your Online Story

Telling Your Online Story

Many people see websites as a practical way to sell their products, ideas, courses or seminars. This is a perfectly reasonable use for websites, but today I want to add telling your story into the mix. While your product has definite value, it is unlikely to attract...
Telling Your Story

Telling Your Story

Many people see websites as a practical way to sell their products, ideas, courses or seminars. This is a perfectly reasonable use for websites, but today I want to add telling your story into the mix. While your product has definite value, it is unlikely to attract...
Finding your story

Finding your story

Several people have told me that it is too hard to tell their story – that there is just too much to say and so it is just too hard to start. While I get that it can be hard to decide which story to tell, I have a suggestion for finding a way into telling your...
Case Study – Telling a story

Case Study – Telling a story

You may have noticed an embedded book on the Your book? page called “Yosemite”. It is the story about a journey I took to California with my eldest daughter, and we both took many photos while we were there. We were so impressed with what we saw that we...
Uncovering Your Story

Uncovering Your Story

We all remember that kid in school, who when the class was asked to write a story seemed to know right away what they were going to write about. Most of us chewed on our pencils, looked out of the window, and looked around at our friends for inspiration before finally...
Working on your story

Working on your story

As I work on telling my own story I realize just how hard it can be to decide how to tell it as there are so many viewpoints so consider. Is my childhood memory the correct version, or should I interpret it in the light of my understanding of it now? How should I tell...
Using technology and media

Using technology and media

Using technology and media is not just for the young! As you think about what you would like to share for your idea, whether it will be for profit or for your personal legacy, don’t let the “hows” of your idea get in the way of the...
Get found online

Get found online

“How will I get found online?” is one of the first questions I get when people are discussing their new website. With nearly a billion sites live in the world at the time I wrote this, that is a very relevant question, and one with many answers, but they...
Web design follies

Web design follies

I have been thinking a lot about web design follies this week. If you came to the home page of this site before arriving here, you may have noticed an enticement to sign up for may newsletter, called “The Top Ten Reasons Web Sites suck – And Why Yours...
How will you design my site?

How will you design my site?

The other day I was working with a design client to help them to create their first website. As anticipated, there was a momentary look of panic as everything that lay ahead of them came screaming into view. I learned a long time ago that this realization only sets in...
Why you need a WordPress website

Why you need a WordPress website

While there are many options for getting your idea online, I strongly believe you should have a WordPress website to call your own! While you have been considering what your passion project will be, you may not have spend much time thinking about how to promote it,...
Working on your project

Working on your project

I know how difficult it can be to keep working on your project when there are many other claims on your time. Like anything else in life it comes down to deciding to commit to doing the work on a regular basis. Procrastination and doubts can suck the energy out of any...
I do, and I understand

I do, and I understand

“Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand.” ~Chinese Proverb On my first day at teacher training college we were told that the best way to teach children was to remember an updated version of the...
Project Ideas

Project Ideas

While many people love the idea of discovering and pursuing a ‘passion’ project, for some just coming up with project ideas is much harder. While many people have weighed in about finding your passion project, when faced with thinking just what you want to...

Take time to Reflect

While it is exciting to jump straight into your project, it is also important to take time to reflect before you do so. Your fifties are a period of life that will land you in a very different place from the one you left. It is easy to think from the confines of your...
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

When working with a client on a site they often groan when I mention Search Engine Optimization (SEO). They want their site to be visually appealing and functional, but get annoyed when that the ability to be found by Google is mentioned. Whether it is enjoyable or...
Tutoring Help with Web and Graphic Design

Tutoring Help with Web and Graphic Design

I have recently encountered a new group of people who need design help, but instead of wanting me to design a site for them, these folks need tutoring help with web and graphic design for a site that has already been built. As start up companies grow, new...
How to choose a tutor as an adult

How to choose a tutor as an adult

While the obvious reason for finding a tutor is to learn a skill, finding someone who can work well with you is often more important. In my experience, the most successful tutoring comes about when both the tutor and student are in sync with one another. Many times a...
How to choose a tutor

How to choose a tutor

While the obvious reason for finding a tutor is to learn a skill, finding someone who can work well with you is often more important. In my experience, the most successful tutoring comes about when both the tutor and student are in sync with one another. Many times a...
Good Design Takes Time

Good Design Takes Time

Having spent some time recently tutoring people to use web and design software, I have learned a lot about the fear and dread felt when someone is confronted with the unfamiliar. When I first began creating websites I tried to overcome that same dread by looking for...
Email Newsletters: Say Less!

Email Newsletters: Say Less!

One question that keeps coming up concerns email newsletter frequency. Many people seem to believe that sending out an email about an event is a magic bullet that will get lots of people to participate. Unfortunately this tactic too often results in multiple emails...
Using Hierarchies

Using Hierarchies

As humans we now spend a lot of time online, but our brains evolved many generations ago when survival was our primary purpose. To a large extent we use the same systems now to decide whether an animal is threatening us as we use hierarchies to decide where to click...
Learning from your Project

Learning from your Project

When you begin thinking about bringing your project you are probably visualizing the best ways to present your skills. While this is vital to consider, there are also some things you will learn from your project… Learn to leave your comfort zone It isn’t...
Colors for your site

Colors for your site

While it is generally a good idea to consider the form and function of a site first, many people want to start by choosing colors. While you may have a strong preference for a color, it is important to step back from what you like, and start to consider how the colors...
Design Inspiration

Design Inspiration

A part of my kind of design and inspiration ethos is that I carry around a leather notebook and I sketch in it, doodle in it, write notes in it, and I put pictures in it. John Varvatos I’m sure every designer has their own way of beginning a design. Some go...
Design is inherently optimistic

Design is inherently optimistic

Design is inherently optimistic. That is its power. William McDonough When I first read this I wondered about it for a little while. That design is “optimistic” makes immediate and perfect sense – who doesn’t like the thrill of starting a new...
Encore Careers

Encore Careers

As I learn more about passion projects as encore careers, I was intrigued by this article I came across in the Concord Monitor. The headline reads: “More older Americans starting their own businesses to supplement incomes, pursue passion projects”. This...
What is a Passion Project?

What is a Passion Project?

While “Passion Project” has become one of those phrases that are frequently thrown around, at its heart I think of it as being something you really want to do. It is probably something you have really wanted to do for a long time, taking the idea out and...
Encore Careers

Encore Careers

With the recent recession and slow economic return, many of us are looking at working far beyond the usual retirement age of 65. For some this means staying in a job for a few more years, but for others an encore career can be the opportunity to start work on a...
WordPress Themes

WordPress Themes

I often explain that WordPress themes are a lot like clothing. WordPress itself is perfectly functional out of the box, and comes with a couple of stock themes already installed, but just as you wouldn’t want to show up to an event looking like dozens of other...
Do I want a blog or a website?

Do I want a blog or a website?

Your site can be whatever you want it to be! It can begin as a simple blog about your passion for gardenias, and grow over time to become an encyclopedic site about how to propagate and grow gardenias – with weekly blog posts to keep your readers informed and...
Branding

Branding

Your business/dream/concept is uniquely yours, and in order to let the world know about it, the message you put out needs to be consistent. This is called ‘branding’ – and is much more fun than it sounds! Once you have a marker for your business, be...
Nameservers

Nameservers

When you buy hosting you will also be provided with information about your nameservers. These look like an email address, and are usually a sequence of letters and numbers, followed by your host’s site name, for example, “bt1234@hostgator.com” Keep...
Planning your website

Planning your website

Planning your website is the next step as the idea of having a site of your own becomes more real. While you are in this mode, read through to see what you will need, and what the costs will be, as they are recurring. For the most part a domain name and hosting costs...
Hosting

Hosting

Now you have chosen an address – or domain name – for your site, you need to find hosting – or a home – for your site. Again, there are many options, and have most of my domains hosted with HostGator. For about $6 a month you can host your site...
Domain name

Domain name

As you think about the site you want to build, the first decision you need to make is to find a domain name for your site. This is the “address” of your site, so whatever you choose should clearly explain what your site is going to be about. For example,...
WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org

WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org

As you have started to read about WordPress, you may have found some of the information to be contradictory. This may be due to there being two versions of WordPress… both of which are different, and both of which are referred to as “WordPress”. Let...
WordPress 101

WordPress 101

According to WikiPedia, WordPress is: “a free and open source blogging tool and a content management system (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL which runs on a Web hosting service. Features include a plug-in architecture and a template system. WordPress is used by over...
Getting familiar with the jargon

Getting familiar with the jargon

 If you have never built a site before, or entered the world or web – or graphic – design, there are many words that are used, that may not make any sense. In this section the different categories of jargon are listed and then explained in standard...
Responsive web design

Responsive web design

You may have noticed how many people use their smart phones and tablets to check email and browse online. This change in behavior means that websites need to adapt so they work equally well on lap-or desktop screens as well as on smaller screens. Many sites have been...
Books are going digital

Books are going digital

I love to curl up with a good book and read, but like it or not, books are going digital, and are becoming increasingly popular in electronic forms, and the owners of e-readers are a growing, educated,and wealthy demographic. If you have any thoughts of publishing a...
Design Theory

Design Theory

While it is easy to create designs using software like MS Publisher and Apple’s pages. However, without a knowledge of design theory it is only possible to create pieces that look ‘right’, but no way understand how to duplicate that success or...
Animation

Animation

Sometimes you need animation – movement – on a website, but in the past animators have mainly used Adobe Flash. On Apple devices Flash animations simply appear as an empty black box, which isn’t particularly inviting. Given how many iPhone and iPads...
Usability Web Design

Usability Web Design

Now that there is so much ‘drag and drop’ software to help with web design, it is easy to think that anyone can design a website. While it is possible to create a pretty site using such software, there is more to the process of planning and developing a...
Hosting your site

Hosting your site

Now you have chosen an address – or domain name – for your site, you need to find hosting – or a home – for your site. Again, there are many options, and have most of my domains hosted with HostGator. For about $5 a month you can host your site...
Domain name

Chosing a domain name

As you think about the site you want to build, the first decision you need to make is to find a domain name for your site. This is the “address” of your site, so whatever you choose should clearly explain what your site is going to be about. For example,...
What is WordPress?

What is WordPress?

According to WikiPedia, WordPress is: “a free and open source blogging tool and content management system (CMS) powered by PHP and MySQL. It has many features including a plug-in architecture and a template system. WordPress is used by over 14.7% of Alexa...
Social Media

Social Media

Social Media can be a confusing field to enter if you haven’t much experience with it. As the internet expands, social media marketing becomes a medium you need to embrace, but don’t worry! I’ll help you find the varieties that will best help get...