Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Help me choose my new site layout(s)!

So far it looks like my decision to re-brand my podcast as "Silken on Sex" was a good one.

On Jan 13th I Tweeted: "My Silken on Sex podcast is up to #21 in the iTunes Sexuality category! Getting there--I was at #7 a month ago before my old RSS failed." 10 days later it was at #3, and seems to be holding steady in the #4 - #7 range. It only took 5 weeks to recover. But... I've not seen my sales recover. And I've now got about 1000 more listeners than before. I am sure part of it is the economy, but I'm not going to take the easy way out and blame it on circumstances beyond my control.

I'm certain that  a lot of it is my AudioSensual website.  It isn't as smooth and silken as one might expect from my voice -- so I've been working (for months) on a site re-design.  And because I don't know the first thing about javascript or css stylesheets or CMS platforms, and can barely navigate Dreamweaver, it was going rather slowly. In fact, my site re-design project had stalled completely by the time the original podcast crashed. I was thinking about aggressively putting money aside so I could get a real web-designer involved. A friend of mind recommended Joomla to me a few months ago but I was rather intimidated by it, so I didn't explore it further.

I admit I've been feeling a bit glum and my partner has been amazing. He put me in touch with a friend of his who does SEO optimization and marketing and she asked me some great questions that dovetailed with some of the one's he's been asking. He's been working in the e-Commerce arena in some form or other for over a decade, so he's made some great suggestions and asked me to clarify my vision for "Silkenvoice." Which I've been doing, with some difficulty, since I'm terrible with drawing free-hand and not much better with graphic design. He recommended I use a CMS like Drupal for building an integrated site, and has been teaching me how to make good use of Google Analytics and the stats from my hosting company, Go Daddy.

I looked at a LOT of sites this weekend, particularly the sites for podcasts in my category (sexuality) as well as others that use the podcast as part of a commercial enterprise. I liked some of what I saw, and didn't like some of what I saw.  And what I didn't like was the amateurish sites, and the obviously Blog*Spot ones, of which mine are both. So... I started looking at Blogger themes and widgets with an eye toward making a more professional-looking site. In the process my search engine turned up CMS again, and Joomla and WordPress. The latter made me do a double-take.  WordPress (which I have a rudimentary knowledge of) isn't just a blog software, it is a CMS platform, and has plugins and widgets for doing everything from generating sitemaps and robot.txt files to providing product sale/purchase platforms.  And the themes! Oh heavens, there are thousands upon thousands of themes, and finally, finally I found ones I like that made it possible to have a blog and a podcast and a shop and whatever else I want, all with nice, slick, silken-smooth and aesthetically pleasing pages with properties that populate to all the pages under that theme automagically.

So now I am in the process of setting up some tests of the various themes that I like and I'm asking for volunteers to contact me if they want to (and have the time to) look at the functional mock-ups, answer a few questions, and give comments of their own. So please pop me an email at tester [at] silkenvoice . com and I'll send you the particulars.

Once I've got that up and running, I'll actually work on getting some pertinent affiliate links / ads on my site to generate a bit of revenue, too.

Thank you in advance!
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PS: The Silken on Sex podcast comes out every Wednesday, so look for it in the wee hours of the morning tomorrow.


Want more Silkenvoice?
Support my work with a small (and welcome) donation.
Get my AudioSensual CD on iTunes or Amazon.com
Visit my Erotic Audio Site: www.AudioSensual.com
Listen to Silken on Sex: SilkenPodcast.blogspot.com
Read my Blog: Silkenvoice.blogspot.com
Kayar
Silkenvoice: AudioSensual Erotic Shorts, Vol. 1

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

New layout of your site silkenonsex.com looks very nice. Good work, Kay.

11:25 AM, March 09, 2010  

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