I have had a long career as a television and print reporter, including 12 years as an on-air reporter in Los Angeles, at KABC-TV 2 and KCAL-TV 9. I also wrote news for the Daily Journal in Los Angeles before going into semi-retirement as a teacher, first for the Glendale School District and then for the Los Angeles Unified School District. I still occasionally work for the LAUSD as a substitute teacher in grades K - 5.
How to Build a Web Site
or a Graphical email That Works
1. Decide what you want your page to do. Do you want to sell products online? Do you want to explain your nonprofit organization or business online and offer information to potential clients? Do you want to launch a new product, or kick off a special campaign?
2. Carefully plan with your email or Web site designer. Explain exactly what you want, and how you would like to accomplish your online goals. Let your designer know the kind of "look" you have in mind. Do you want it dark and dramatic, or would you like your graphics set against a white background? Avoid fancy, busy backgrounds. Keep it simple. However, some background designs can enhance a site; for example, a bit of "marble" on a law office site can suggest majesty and stability. If you have graphics, logos or photos you would like to place on your site, bring them all out early in the design process. Rough the site out on paper. Set a deadline with the designer.
3. Don't mix a lot of fonts on your page. Pick one type font and stick with it throughout, unless there's a good reason to do otherwise. Font mixing can make a site look cheap and unstructured.
4. Make sure you use good grammar on your page and no misspelling. Seems like a basic requirement, but bad grammar and misspelled words can mark your page as amateurish.
5. Make it easy to navigate. Make it intuitive for the visitor. And keep most of the graphics relatively small, so your page will load quickly. Studies show that most visitors will give a site about 7 seconds to load. If it takes longer, they're gone. This doesn't apply for graphical emails, which load fast even with large pictures.
6. Make sure your Web site will work well with Microsoft Internet Safari, Firefox, and Netscape Explorer. Your designer should make sure your Web site looks good on all four.
7. If possible, provide fresh Web content that will encourage visitors to keep coming back. Be advised that this will require either an in-house or freelance content provider dedicated to freshening the site on a regular basis. Content can include news of your particular business, industry news, consumer news, general interest tips related to your business--the list is endless. Whatever content you provide should be interesting and brief. No long, boring articles.
8. Make sure your phone number, business address and email address are all displayed prominently on your page. Your email address should be clickable to automatically bring up a mail form on the visitor's screen.
9. Make sure your designer registers your Web site with the major search engines, and include your URL (Internet address) and e-mail address on all your advertising, stationery and business cards.
We can also do graphical emails for your business. We use Constant
Contact. Never, never
send emails out cold to people with whom you have never done business.
Collect emails from clients during the business day and at conventions
and business meetings. Place an opt-out link on all emails you send
out. Do not spam.
* The most convenient method of posting a video (Web-ready)
on a commercially hosted Web site
is to post it first on YouTube, then use the embed code.