Once upon a time in a land far, far away, a young writer sat at her computer trying to decide whether or not to create a website. She had heard from many fine resources (including those fine ladies and their guests at Prairie Chicks Write Romance) that a web presence was an important tool in the writer’s toolkit. But this writer was unpublished and she thought it presumptuous to create a website at this stage of her career.
There were many other issues creating conflict in the young writer’s mind. From her vast personal knowledge of websites, for what else is a blocked writer to do but surf the web waiting for inspiration to strike, she knew a website needed to be constantly changing. There had been more than one website she had slashed from her daily visits due to its static nature. With over 156 Million websites (as of Jan. 2008 and according to Netscape), fresh and innovative were important factors in luring and keeping readers coming back. The young writer didn’t know if she had that much creativity, over and above the story plots churning in her brain.
Then there were the decisions that would need to be made on designing the website. The young writer was not an artistic person and although she knew what she liked, she didn’t think she could settle on a ‘look’ for her personal web page. Color, images, font, sidebar information, headers, and the all-important tagline were giving her headaches. The word ‘branding’ kept swirling, but she had not yet found her voice in her own writing, waffling between her love of historical romance and her flare for romantic comedy. How could she make create a permanent website when deep in her soul she was not ready to commit to a ‘brand’.
But, a writer must do what a writer must do – and our young writer knew a website was an important professional step in her emerging career. She made some notes on possible pages and gathered some images that would represent both her historical writing and her contemporary writing taking note of some of her favorite authors’ websites who wrote in more than one sub-genre. She read up on how to link her blog, which she refreshed every day, hoping that would be enough to keep readers coming back regularly. Then, she researched how to register her domain name. Everything prepped for the actual task of creating her very own web page.
Until she discovered the need to know HTML!
Disheartened, the young writer slipped her notes into a folder marked ‘Website’ and clicked on her blog. She had been putting off updating her sidebar in favor of working on a website and with the disappointment of that endeavor decided to focus on the one technical thing she did feel comfortable doing. The faint sound of hooves distracted her momentarily, but she refocused and opened up the ‘Customize’ button, ready to add another link gadget. The galloping sound effect grew louder.
The young writer paused, trying to determine whether the galloping required a new word document to be opened or a previously written scene to be revised, always attuned to the fickle ways of her muse. But the galloping stopped and neither option seemed necessary. She pushed the mouse over the ‘Add a Gadget’ section and horses hooves thundered in her head. Slowly, she clicked the link and stared in amazement at a glorious knight perched high upon a white steed, his armor spit-polished to a blinding sheen and a heavy lance gripped firmly in his right hand.
Already comfortable with her abnormal imagination, the writer simply blinked once in response to the sight of a knight. "Good day!"
"I have come from Blogland to assist you in your plight."
The young writer cocked an eyebrow. "My plight?"
"See here upon the ‘Add a Gadget’, a new option, m’lady. Blog pages." He used the lance to point to her computer. "Click upon the link and behold the end to your website dilemma."
A sizzle of excitement sparked in the deep recess of her brain. But she had been burned before with her enthusiasm. Caution ruled. "Really?"
"By-your-leave, m’lady. With the application of this gadget you will be able to create pages for your blog, just as you would on a website. You may have as many as 10 pages with the option of listing them at the top of your blog, just like a website, or on the sidebar, if you so desire. Your readers simply click on the heading and they will be transported to another page, no more linking to previous blogposts if you’re referencing a continuing story. No need to use the labels if your readers wish to read your latest updates. And, m’lady, no need to learn HTML."
The young writer’s eyes grew wide at the possibilities. "No need to design a website. No need to create a tagline or make a decision that could prove to be wrong regarding my branding. No need to register my domain name."
"None, m’lady." He bowed his head. "I am at your service."
Love blossomed in the young writer’s heart and she batted her eyelashes at her noble knight. Never before had her heart been so easily swept up in such emotion. Without having seen his face, she knew she would love this knight forever for he had given her the greatest gift - promotion opportunity in a simple, easily understood format that she herself could control and modify at the reasonable cost of free.
One day, she might very well need a website, but for right now, she’s living happily with her Blogger Pages. The knight, however, is eating her out of house and home and his horse – well, stinks. Anyone need a knight in shining armor? Anyone?
Have you discovered the Blogger Pages Gadget, People of Blogland? If not, I highly recommend you have a look. It allowed me to do everything I wanted a website to do (pages for my bio, my continuing Friday Fiction story, free short fiction reads, my articles for writers, and both my historical and contemporary WIPs). And for free (my Scottish blood is happy). If you have created pages for your blog, let us know in the comment section and leave your blog address so we can come and have a look!
Janet (feel free to visit me at http://www.jscorcoran.blogspot.com/ – check out my pages)