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Hobbies Made Into Businesses Made Into Great Websites

People everywhere are looking for their way through our bruised and battered economy. They may have dedicated themselves to a business that seemed invulnerable to competition, the big economy or any number of other factors that can bring a business, an industry to its knees. You could have been one of hundreds, or one of one, a self employed person who finds themselves looking to do something new, or add to what they have.

A great number of us are in need of financial rescue, a way to stage our comeback from the brink of wherever we are. Careers over, we go through “What Color is Your Parachute,” maybe for the the third or fourth time, if we’re old enough. As you put the pieces back together, maybe you have thought of something brand new, or an old passion, an old hobby, something that relights the drive to succeed. If you are heading down one of the lesser traveled roads of a unique startup business, one of the components this time around, has to be a website.

How quickly we can forget that websites are our business windows to the entire world. And new passions can bring with them a drive to create a new profession, a new professional identity for yourself.

My first website went live in 1993, with little fanfare. Why? Because there was virtually nothing else on the internet – nothing. I had a friend of a friend, one of those guys with black circles under his eyes from looking at green monitors way too long, build the site the old fashion way. After about a week of building, voila! It was done. Talk about ahead of the curve, pure bleeding edge stuff.

A couple of decades later, and the power to create amazing websites, the balance of power to create sites like this one, is firmly in our hands.

And that’s why you could take something that may seem like it would be obscure to others, or a very small niche, and explore the possibilities of making it go – via the internet. That’s what I did with a unique website about fly fishing in North Texas. Very few people think of North Texas in the same sentence as fly fishing, but the reality is that www.texasflycaster.com is now the most popular website for virtually all google search words related to fly fishing in Texas.

If you want to see some of the worse websites in existence, go take a look at the typical website for fishing guides, and much of the fishing industry. That’s just one slice of one industry. If you look at Texas Fly Caster, you will see a site with all the bells and whistles that drive traffic to the site, and do their best to convert traffic into business. Being a fly fishing writer and guide in North Texas is a pretty narrow niche. What’s yours?

Let Denton Digital help you find an affordable way to create your new presence on the internet. The fun only starts with the cost. Then there’s also the fun of having control of your site’s look and content – every minute of every day. Imagine a site that you can add pages to, delete pages, content, change the look, add advertising, links, and all kinds of information to make it look just like you want it to look.

Turn Your Retirement into Rewirement with a Cost Effective Website

cimarrona website screen shot

 

Imagine yourself retiring and then rewiring, to take advantage of your hobby, talent, or even an idea, that has been sitting and waiting for you to finally have the time to give it a shot!

One of the things that can help you find your way to new business success, or profession, and let’s face it, the only thing left of the tattered American Dream is the fact that it’s still possible to succeed based on your own gumption, is a website. This site was created for a rewired school teacher who found herself ready, willing and able to start a new business. And even though it looks and works fantastic, it wasn’t expensive, and hosting and maintenance fees are minimal at Denton Digital.

Cimarrona is a site, underpinned by wordpress, that has the added feature of an online store. And for store owner, Leslie Kregel, of Denton, Texas, the store is working for her. It’s her shop window to the world, and the world is looking. Not only does she process retail purchases at cimarrona.com, she also invites wholesale accounts to contact her about her products and terms. Leslie has also used SKYPE to video conference with retail customers, and show them – LIVE AND IN REAL TIME – new products she has available. They can narrow down what they like, she can show them how the hats look being worn. Imagine the possibilities for your business.

Here I Go Again – Just Another WordPress Site

February 8, 2012 General Talk No Comments

If you found this site, then I have already proven the effectiveness of wordpress as a priceless tool for designing websites in the new American Economy.

This site is just one of many sites I own and operate in behalf of my businesses, ideas and other things that are more or less worthy of sharing. Along with all the self serving sites I’ve created, I have also, in recent years, seen an uptick in people coming to me for their own internet website needs.

Sometimes we don’t listen to sentences that begin with, “You should …,” but I finally decided to listen, I guess. The truth is when there’s really no boss telling us what “we should” do, then we don’t … ahhh, hindsight … it’s still 20/20.

After creating the most recent site, www.bolivarstreetgallery.com, for an art gallery in Sanger, Texas, and seeing how excited the new site’s owner was to dig into it and go to work on it, I realized it may be time to start telling secrets – about website design, website creation and (here’s the first secret) how easy it is to own and operate your own website – no real strings attached.

Locally, and that is what I am concentrating on is local website needs, there seems to be a disconnect between those who design sites for huge profits, and the people they want to serve, or simply ignore. Here in North Texas, and more specifically, Denton, Texas, there’s a shortage and a surplus.

THE SURPLUS

Denton’s website design cup is half full of brilliant students who will build you a website for free – zero, zilch, like nada’. Local businesses tell horror stories about their forays into hiring a student to do their website work, and they disappear, literally. Or, they lock up the businesses’ domain name, and nightmares of every proportion. If you are seeking website design for free, that’s what can happen. Lest I paint with too broad a brush, I paid students for website design and had a very positive experience. Of course the price quickly went from a flat fee, to hundreds per page before it was over. Ahhh, the good old days of writing code, while people like myself looked on mystified by their skills.

THE SHORTAGE

Denton’s website design cup is half emptied of website design businesses that were flash-in-the-pan operations, with large a large staff of creatives, lacking interpersonal skills, the ability to listen to their clients, and charging them for sites that didn’t function right, didn’t look right, and weren’t even optimized for search engine success.

THE SOLUTION

WordPress is the solution I found to run, at first, one website – www.texasflycaster.com. I started the site for a couple of reasons. I wanted to begin writing again, and a “blog” oriented website seemed like the way to go. I also had to have an outlet for an addiction, fly fishing, that was overflowing my informational cup. Texas Fly Caster is a perfect example of what YOU can do with your own WordPress site.

Then I decided it was time to get real, and put my money where my mouth was. I would tell anyone that would listen, “how fun and simple WordPress is” to use for website creation. That was three years ago. Three years and hundreds of thousands of words written on Texas Fly Caster. To prove the point, I moved both of my professional photography websites to the WordPress nation. And that was the perfect solution for a photographer like myself; two websites to distinguish between my editorial and commercial photography, and my more retail oriented photography.

WordPress, due to it’s continuing focus on usability, just seemed to get easier and easier to use, tweak and improve. For better, or worse, that lead to a proliferation in my personal website creation. That was about the end of 2009, and word on WordPress was spreading. It was still the heyday for themes and plugins that attempted feats of code daring and magic. Some survive, and many tire and expire along the way, but the one thing I realized is that this WordPress thing was going to change the entire website design creation business – FOREVER.

IT WAS a small step to go from creating those sites for myself, to creating them for profit, for friends in need of a site that works – on every level. In fits and starts, I developed a logical, multi-step process and billing strategy for people who can get set up for one price, and then choose to have me take them all the way to a wordpress site with most of the bells and whistles of any competitor’s  business site, or even nationally known sites.

ONE THING leads to another, and here I sit, in a dark room, surrounded by aging APPLE computers, and old cameras and other hardware, but still able to type and publish this more simply than using Microsoft Word.

If you are a Denton, Texas, business, a student, or other organization that knows they need a fresh take on their website, and wants CONTROL of their site and its content and functionality EVERY DAY, then Denton Digital is here now.

 

 

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