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Tales from an Anglesey Smallholding No 4 New skills learned

Tales from an Anglesey Smallholding No 4 New skills learned
7th June 2020 Admin

Hi all,

As we are in Wales, we are still in lockdown. What week is it now ? Week 10 or 11, I think ? Anyone know for certain ?

I thought that today I would tell you about a new skill that I have been learning. No, it’s not cooking, baking or anything to do with food. I’ll leave that to Ron. We’ve just had some homemade brioche for breakfast. I wouldn’t even try to bake as well as my husband ! There’s not much brioche left as you can see.

In the past few weeks I have learned how to build a website. Now, my IT skills are pretty basic. As far as I’m concerned – I have developed my IT skills on a need to know basis – and I only need to know how to email, write a document – that sort of thing.  I’m telling you about this because I didn’t think that I could manage to set up a website – but I have done …. and it might inspire some of you out there to try it, too !

When Ron and I have needed a website in the past, we have had one professionally constructed. The very first website we had built was for my education consultancy. It must have cost about £1k, I think, maybe more. I didn’t do anything much with it. As a result, it didn’t have any impact to speak of – not great value for money. The Bryn Celyn Farm Shop website was built by a professional. I really like it. It’s done a great job for us in terms of appearing high on a google search and helping us promote ourselves via the blog. I really enjoy the blogging side of it.

But if I built a new website, what would I use it for ?

I decided that it may not be the best time in the world to do this, but that I would market other people’s products for a commission. OK, maybe customers aren’t buying much at this particular time but at some point, the market would improve. By then, I would have had a practice at it !!! And maybe, just maybe, I might be able to sell something for someone. For me, however, it is mainly the skill of building the website in the first instance which has been my challenge. It has kept me busy and focussed whilst Ron and I have been home at Bryn Celyn during the lockdown.

I’ve started with Amazon but am hoping to branch out more in future. Their affiliate programme is relatively easy to understand.

So, my starting point was constructing a website………… Also, I didn’t want to spend huge amounts of money…. So, I looked around and decided to go with WordPress. It cost me about £190 for a three year licence and another £50 for a security certificate. I think that’s been about it, to date. I liked the deal because I could get all of my money back if I cancelled within 60 days. I reckoned that that was long enough for me to have a play around with it and to decide whether I was going to be able to manage to actually build a website.

It seems to have taken me an age to get the website up and running – which it has been now for a couple of days. I had to choose a theme which gives the overall look and layout to the website. I really didn’t know which one was best. In the end, I just had to decide on one which had a blog page.

Then the hard bit started.  I had to know what content I wanted to put on the website. The photos, information, blogs, the legalities, and so on. As you know, we have lots of photos of everything going on at Bryn Celyn – and some of these suited the subject matter of the new website – so that saved some time. However, deciding what to write, again took a while.

Learning how to format the pages was tricky. I have probably watched most of the tutorials on the whole of the You Tube website ! Some of the WordPress tutorials are great, but others weren’t as easy to follow. But on the whole, they are a godsend ! I am now pleased to report that I can add text to the various pages, add different photos to the different sidebars and most of all I’m proud that I can link one page to another to a website. I couldn’t do that before lockdown. All I could do was type and save this blog !

The most difficult part of building the website was getting the security certificate in place. I bought it ok (!) but when it came to installing it on my website, I just couldn’t do it at all. In the end, I managed to lock myself out of my own website. Fortunately, the hosting company’s chat facility was a fantastic help. Whoever it was on the end of the line was amazing, he sorted it out quickly and painlessly – I had to follow a set of instructions, one at a time. This wasn’t easy for me.

Yesterday, I managed to get it all finished and published. It has taken me two hours a day, every day for about six weeks. If I had to do it again, I think I’d only take a fraction of the time !! But I have had to learn from scratch. The website is pretty straight forward. Not many bells and whistles….. but I got there.

Now – the next stage is to drive traffic to this website and hope that someone will buy something. As I’ve said, this isn’t a time when people are making a lot of purchases – but maybe they will at some point. Most of all, I’ve done something that I didn’t think that I could do – build a website. The main thing that was needed was time – and I have had lots of this in lockdown.

If you would like to take a look at my new website, you’ll find it at https://www.margarets-reviews.co.uk

What new skill have you learned during lockdown ? Would be great to know as I need to think of a new challenge !!

Speak soon

Margaret x

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