Should I Hire Someone to Re-Do My Website?

I don’t really know anything about web design. Nevertheless, I was able to make a website that I like using a template and some basic creativity. It was even easier for me to make my blogs myself since I use WordPress which offers a lot of great free templates and widgets to customize the blog site. I’m fairly happy with how these things turned out. However, sometimes I do think that perhaps I should hire a professional web designer to re-do my design.

I think that there are a lot of benefits of professional web design services. Web designers can create unique websites that really enhance what you’re trying to say through the site. I also think a web designer might be better at organization than I am. I’m happy with the layout of the information on my site but I don’t actually know if it’s the best method of organizing the portfolio and links that I have. I’ve gotten some feedback on the site from others and it’s been mixed.

I think that I’ll stick with the free templates for my blogs for now. I’m happy enough with them and I don’t really feel like I need anything fancy with the site. However, I do think that I might consider redesigning my actual freelance writing website at some point in the near future. It’s something to think seriously about anyway, especially since I’ve been changing some of my writing goals and may want a new site to reflect that. I suppose that I don’t have to make a decision until I know exactly what I want though.

As a freelancer, do you recommend getting someone to do your website for you are you happy with doing it on your own?

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Cool Social Networking / Coupon Code Site: Buxr

I have been doing a lot of shopping in the past couple of weeks. I hadn’t purchased anything new for awhile because I was focused on frugal living but then it got to the point where there were quite a few things that I really needed (or wanted). Luckily, I’ve been able to find a lot of hot deals so I haven’t spent too much money even though I’ve gotten most of the things that were on the wish list I’d built up when I was in my no-spending phase.

Most people who know me know that I look for good deals when I shop. I love purchasing used items. And I also love buying things online using discounts and promo codes to reduce the cost of the purchase. Because of that, I’m loving a new site that I’ve found recently called Buxr.com. It’s a discount codes site but it has many of the features of a social networking site which makes it unique from a lot of the other promo code sites available.

Some of the key reasons that I like this site include:

• Every member of the site is able to submit coupon deals. One of the best things about online coupons that you don’t get with printed coupons is the ability to share deals with others. This site really takes that to a new level by allowing all users to share deals.

• The members of the site can rate the deals that are submitted. The online discussion and rating of each deal helps me as a shopper to see which deals are worth my time. One of the things that always annoys me a bit about using online coupons is that you sometimes have to try out four or five different coupon codes to find one that works. The conversation about the online coupons on Buxr.com makes it so that this problem can be avoided.

• There are some neat organizational tools on the site. You can create online shopping wishlists on Buxr.com which allows you to stay organized about what you want to buy. This would’ve been really nice for me when I was in my no-spending phase and racking up a big mental list of the things that I wanted.

• The site itself is organized well. You can easily see the latest deals, the about-to-expire deals, the popular coupons and the most recent blog news all on the home page of the site.

• The site has a decent money-saving blog. It’s always good to read about different methods of saving money (something that I read and write about frequently myself) so it’s good to see another blog offering that information as a part of this site.

• You can actually earn money by using the site. There are a variety of different prizes available for being active on the site which means that you don’t just save money with it but also have the opportunity to make money from it. There’s also a Buxr.com widget that online publishers can use to earn money from for promoting the site.

There are a lot of really good sites out there that offer coupon codes. This one just happens to offer a few extra perks and benefits that may make it a better choice than many of the other sites that are available.

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Getting Links to Your Site

One of the things that bloggers and web writers are always seeking to do is to drive more traffic to their sites. One of the key ways of doing this is to get links in to your site from other credible sites.

Here’s a look at some of the most common ways to get incoming links:

  • Ask for them. Many sites are open to giving you reciprocal links if you are appropriate about asking the right people in the right way. Learn more about the right way to use reciprocal links.
  • Writing link bait articles. Linkbaiting is the practice of writing articles that are likely to draw attention around the web. Controversial articles and Top 100 articles are examples of link bait.
  • Write guest posts. You can volunteer your writing efforts to post articles on other people’s blogs in exchange for a link in the article back to your site.

There are many different ways to get incoming links but those are the three that I’ve used most often with varying degrees of success. What I’ve discovered is that writing great content and putting it out there around the web as much as possible is going to bring attention to my site. Guest posts and link bait are some of the best ways of doing that but I’ve definitely also exchanged links as appropriate.

What do you think are the top ways to get incoming links?

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My Favorite Social Bookmarking Sites

People who do a lot of social bookmarking to promote their own web writing will almost always focus their efforts on promotion through Digg. While it’s true that Digg is a great tool for driving web traffic to a site, I tend to prefer to focus my efforts on smaller niche social bookmarking sites. These sites are easier to gain a following through and that following tends to be more highly focused on the areas about which I’m writing which means that the traffic that is generated through the site is targeted and tends to create longer-lasting followers of my work.

Three of my favorite smaller social bookmarking sites are Mixx, StumbleUpon and Tip’d. Mixx and StumbleUpon are relatively large for social bookmarking sites. They allow for general posts on a diverse range of topics but they are still considerably smaller than Digg which makes it easier to use them to drive traffic to specific types of articles. Mixx has a really great setup for its groups which helps the community feel smaller than it is (in a positive way). Tip’d is a niche social bookmarking site specifically for finance topics which I find to be useful when promoting those types of articles.

I also used to really like Hugg when it was around – it was a great place for sharing articles on green topics – but apparently it couldn’t stand the test of time and ended up fading away. That’s one risk that you run when you use smaller social bookmarking sites. The same thing seems to have happen with Wordsy which was the only books and writing focused niche social bookmarking site I knew of. Which sites do you use?

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SmartChick on DayTipper

DayTipper is a really cool site where people provide short tips on all sorts of different topics. It’s easy to sign up to contribute there. I like to participate there so that I can share some of the things that I’m learning about in my research around the web.

Take a look at some of the tips that I’ve recently had published there:

Would love to know your thoughts on any of those tips!

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