Homing in on the Creation of Personal Websites

Homing in on the Creation of Personal Websites

The question used to be to write or not to write in a time when snail mail was the only way to reach out to publishers or even send a CV out to get a writing job – or any job for that matter. Now the question is to have a personal website or to just let your social media posts flood your friends’ feeds?

A while ago – I say a while ago, it has been much longer, but anything to make content seem fresh out of the heart – I decided to take things more into my own hands. I wanted to get my writing skills more out there and put my creative mind to work on more and more interesting projects.

Social Media over Website Content?

I started talking about it to people from different backgrounds and ages. The younger generation was of the opinion that I did not need a website, that I can just work my social media platforms. All very well and nice but I was not brought up with social media. When I was in my early 20s, we just started getting used to the internet, so social media – for me – is an extension of my professional and personal self but it is not the one burst of wind I believe will bring my ship into its harbor. Then I had a talk with a friend (Vassos Hadjivassiliou) who, in the end, I actually did give the green light to get the ball of my website rolling.

– Check out PixelGAP if you like my website’s groove, maybe not a subtle plug but hey, sometimes an adapter just isn’t so easy to find.

Back to my website journey.

Vassos didn’t let the ball bounce for long, he took it and ran with it, now all that is left is to see if his website skills and my content can get us a few business goals.

He is of my generation but he has dug deep into the inner workings of the digital world. He could relate to my problem while also seeing things through the eyes of someone who is more knowledgeable about the subject at hand.

Your Website is Your Home

He said, “your website is your home.” Just that and he had me thinking about menus, fonts, graphics, and everything else a digital home needs to make it an external representation of your professional self. He is right, websites are homes and social media platforms are the second properties we purchase to get away. Medium was my first home. It helped me build up the courage to put all my work in one area and showcase what I do like never before.

Now, as I venture out into my own website, I am building the digital form of my personality. I am also building extensions with testimonials, I am furbishing the home with blog posts, ways to contact me, creative ideas, and much more. I am giving it a vintage feel in places and a retro look in others – only in design terms, of course, because my writing style is very much up to date I promise.

What is in a Website Domain?

I get it, I do. A name that is easy to remember and easy to pronounce is going to be easy to access for people. Being called Marie is not fun for me and having people call me Marie Georgiou is even less fun – the R makes all the difference – but I make a point to correct the people who just go over my name and change it.

Studies show people with an everyday name are more likely to be promoted because their name comes easier to the memory than the unique name of another person who may be up for the position. A good, run of the mill name that is sowed into the very foundation of a global society, could get you a job interview, it could get you noticed, it could get you out of the question mark about whether you are a man or a woman – in some circumstances. Why do men named Stavros call themselves Steve, or those named Demetris call themselves Jimmy when they move to English speaking countries? They want to fit in and make it easy for others to remember their name.

But why am I going on about names? I already have a name and it is one that I have used over the past 25 years to pen poems, essays, articles, blog posts, the list goes on. It is the name I still hold and still use in business and have not changed to fit my new family because this name has built my writing identity, so why should I tear myself away from it now for a website if I plan it to be the home for my writing?

The world could really be in my hands if I play the personal branding game right and I do want people to remember my name. I want them to remember it because they are impressed by my work, I want them to remember it because of a post I put up and it trigged something in them. I want them to put the name to the writing and I will work very hard to make it possible. I also want them to know exactly what I do without much fluff, without neon lights, and underlining, I want them to know that Maria Gregoriou Writes – it is really that simple.

Do you know who Nana Mouskouri is? How about Engelbert Humperdinck? Have I made my point?

And now what?

The website is live. The first time I saw it I kind of closed my eyes and felt insecure. Putting yourself out there isn’t easy, especially if you are used to hiding behind sheets of paper. But I have made the step, I have taken the plunge and I don’t plan on freefalling; I plan on continuously building my home and welcoming in those of you who would like to read what Maria Gregoriou writes.

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