Last week my publicist sent me a “Pre-campaign” analysis of the various websites I have concocted over the past six months in support of my book.  For those of you who don’t understand, this is basically something that a marketing expert should do,  before they start driving customers to you site.

Being the inept capitalist that I am, it came as no surprise to me that my sites, collectively, did not suck.  That is they did nothing to suck customers into my web.  I was actually quite proud of this.  I’m no salesman, and I don’t want to be.  On the otherhand, since my primary goal is to get 1million people to READ my book, my PR folks told me I had to provide my readers with more information about my book and be much less cryptic about it.

I wrestled with this most of the weekend and determined that giving my BLLog a new look, adding a free newsletter and, MAYBE, a buy-the-book button were changes that I could probably support.  There are many more things to come, but just achieving these simple but dramatic changes in two days was enough of an accomplishment for me.  At first I struggled to build the site from scratch using Dreamweaver and my meager skills as a web developer. But this was too overwhelming.  I had to find a faster, better way.

I discovered two things that allowed me to not only accomplish my initial tasks, but provided the infrastructure for me to, rather easily add, what appears to be, everything else I want to present to you. 

The first discovery was the flexibility of WordPress.  My blog was originally built using a WordPress addon, installed automatically, for FREE by the folks at  After an hour or so, it was ready.  I logged into the blog and proceeded to configure it.  I selected the more desireable of two basic “WordPress themes”.  Themes are just canned formats with colors, fonts and other good stuff predefined for you.  After about 15 minutes(really!) I happily made my first blog entry.  And I continued trouble free blogging for the next 4 or 5 months. 
Then, last Friday, I discovered there are well over 1000 other FREE WordPress themes you can readily download and install.  It’s a little bit tricky, but from my perspective the hardest part was choosing the right new format, not installing it.  Once your theme is installed your entire blog can be reformatted with a single click, previewed and if it’s not what you had in mind, you can just click on your old format to restore it.

The other thing I found was Godaddy’s Express Email marketing.  I can now do three things that I always wanted to do on my sites.
1. Collect the email addresses of site visitors that want to know more
2. Periodically send out a newsletter or notification to my readers.
3. Periodically poll my readers on subjects relative to our collective interest 

While Email Marketing is NOT free from Godaddy,  you can get two years of the service for the cost of one Dreamweaver-add-on that will do about half of what this service provides.  At 2:00am on Saturday this discovery had me dancin to dreamland…a place I would have missed Saturday and Sunday if I had to TRY and build these capablities all by myself.   

In short, this weekend I learned to do more and more with less and less by working in harmony with my environment and by PROviding advantage to my readers rather than trying to take advantage of them.