Before committing time and money to any website or blog creation teacher, take some simple steps to introduce yourself to the subject of website technology. Focus on increasing your basic knowledge at little to no cost by gathering information from the following sources.
- Call your local library. Most libraries now include a bank of computers for their members’ use and classes intended to increase their members’ ability to use them. My local library provides the services of a computer “geek” to answer questions. Does your local geek have the know-how to teach you how to create a website or blog? Is the library planning to give a low-cost course. Or perhaps the geek has a friend in the business or has taken an online class in the subject and can recommend who you should turn to. It never hurts to ask.
- Read about creating a website. While at the library, use some old technology to learn some new technology-read a how-to book or two about creating and maintaining a blog. The library geek as well as the research librarian should know what titles are best suited to the beginner. Wading through five pages of a book on website creation will either kill your curiosity or plant the seed that could lead you to take the next step.
- Ask your family and friends. You know by now whether Cousin Fred or your neighbor has given up real life for the web. Do they have a blog or a website? Are they trying to sell products, promote a non-profit or create a blog for a growing family? If so, how did they learn to do it? If they took an on-or-off-line class, who with? How much did it cost? Most important, did they learn and use the information?
- Check the curriculum of local colleges and adult schools. There might or might not be a charge to take classes about web technology, but it’s usually so little, it borders on being “free.”
- Google “how to create a blog free.” There are numerous sites offering web technology information online at no charge. Don’t expect too much-the information these sites offer can be incomplete and confusing. The site’s creator might presume the reader already has a certain degree of knowledge or shares only what he finds convenient to share. At the very least, you should learn some e-technology terms and the pro’s and con’s of blogging. Many of these sites also sell video’s, low-priced books or e-books about blogging.
- Preview calls giving online instruction: Free preview calls or webinars are offered by any serious online instructor. Savvy instructors provide varying amounts of information about creating a blog along with a pitch about their qualifications to teach the course. Most providers allow time for questions from the listeners. Even if you listen to a replay, the question and answer segment can provide valuable information both about creating a blog and the instructor’s ability to provide articulate answers. Listen to three to five of these free sessions before you decide which online instructor, if any, is the best for achieving your goal at a price you can afford.
- Read the online instructor’s blogs. Once you identify the online instructors competing for your dollars, read their blog entries-past and current-and any free online reports they offer. This can be an additional source of technical and practical information about website creation and will tell you even more about the teacher’s ability to communicate the online technology you need.