Professional Development, Studio Business, Technology

Studio Marketing: Communicating Value Through Your Website

Have you ever visited a website and been completely overwhelmed with the amount of information, ads, links, and CLUTTER?  Have also you ever visited a website and been impressed by the graphics and the ease with which you could find information?  This post is going to offer some tips for organizing and effectively communicating value through your studio website.

Studio Websites: A Necessity

Having a website is an important part of studio marketing.  In a world where the internet is now the first place parents turn for business information rather than the phonebook, teachers need to maintain an online presence.  The good news is, it’s a pretty affordable and easy way to market yourself as a piano teacher (see the resources section below) — definitely more affordable than an ad in the Yellow Pages!  Continue reading “Studio Marketing: Communicating Value Through Your Website”

Technology

More About the Logistics of Setting Up A Blog

I frequently receive emails from readers who are curious to know more about how to go about setting up a blog.  I’ve been meaning to write a blog post about this for a while to help answer those questions, and finally, here it is: a guide to the logistics of setting up a blog!

There are two things you need in order to have a website:

  1. A domain name.  (e.g., colorinmypiano.wordpress.com, or colorinmypiano.com)
  2. A place to store your website on the internet; i.e., a web hosting service.

Both of these things are available free, or you can pay for them.

Domain Names

You can get a free domain name with a free blogging service such as Blogger.com or WordPress.com — but it will have their name also tagged onto the end of it (e.g., colorinmypiano.wordpress.com).  If you would rather have the whole name yourself, you can buy annual rights to a domain name at a site such as Name.com (owned by Google).  This makes it a little easier for followers of your blog to remember your url.

If you decide to purchase your own domain name, try to choose something that is not too long and is easy to remember in connection to your blog’s name and topic.

Sometimes I get asked about which free blogging service is best, after all, there are so many and they all basically do the same thing.  Most people use Blogger or WordPress.  I personally prefer WordPress because I think it’s more user friendly, but you can try them all out for free so there’s no reason not to. Continue reading “More About the Logistics of Setting Up A Blog”

Resources, Studio Business, Technology

Free Studio Website Builder: Weebly.com

Have you thought about starting a website for your studio, but felt that you didn’t have the resources or expertise to build one?  Check out Weebly.com — an attractive and easy-to-use online resource where you can create a website for free.

Personally, I currently use iWeb software (comes free on all Mac computers) to create and maintain my studio site.  However, Weebly sites are so attractive, I might make the switch someday!  I switched, and now I use Weebly for my studio website!

Some great features:

  • Extremely user-friendly. The drag-and-drop site builder is extremely easy to use, even for those who might not consider themselves to be very technologically savvy.
  • No software is needed. That means, no buying or installing software onto your computer.  Creating and maintaining your website is done completely online.
  • You can use a free ___.weebly.com domain name, or use your own domain name. Weebly is one of the few free website building sites that allow you use your own url (e.g., colorinmypiano.com) if you desire.  Just purchase one from a site such as Name.com (a year usually costs around $10).  If you don’t want to use your own domain name, for free you can just use yourname.weebly.com.
  • Attractive themes. Of all the free website building sites I’ve seen, Weebly by far creates the most attractive-looking sites.  They have tons of great customizable themes to choose from.

Here are some links to some studio websites that were created using Weebly, to get you inspired:

Good luck!  If you are successful in creating your own studio site using Weebly, be sure to share the link with us in the comments!

Forum Q&A's

Introduction of a New Series: The Monthly Forum!

At the expense of sounding like an old record, I’d like to express once more (last time, I promise!) how much I’ve enjoyed reading all your comments lately, especially the shared stories on the giveaway post from a couple weeks ago.  It’s comments such as those that make Color In My Piano a success and a worthwhile resource for everyone including myself!   We have so much we can learn from each other.

For this reason, I’d like to introduce a new series that is coming to Color In My Piano designed to inspire and facilitate worthwhile discussions on various topics.  It’s essentially a place to “throw our heads together” and share our expertise and experiences so that we can grow and learn from each other.  Each month, a topic will be introduced in a post titled “The [current month] Forum: [topic].”  The success of this new series lies in your hands…so please, be ready to type away!   Think of it like a potluck: we each bring a dish to pass so that we can share a fabulous meal with each other.  =)

At the end of the month, I will post another post summarizing the various points of discussion brought up and perhaps adding more of my own thoughts, effectively bringing that month’s forum to a close.  (Although you may certainly feel free to continue commenting about the subject if desired.)  At the beginning of the next month, a new topic is then introduced.

Stay tuned for the introduction of the topic for the first-ever monthly forum — to take place tomorrow!

Photo credit: incase. | CC 2.0

improving as a teacher, Resources, Technology

Readers, Introduce Yourself! …on the Color In My Piano facebook page

Get to know the other readers on this blog – please take a moment to introduce yourself on the discussion page of the Color In My Piano facebook page!  There are a few introductions there now, and I’d love to get to know more of you.

To receive blog updates right in your facebook newsfeed, click the “like” button on the facebook page.  It’s a very easy and convenient way to stay updated.  Please give it a try!

improving as a teacher, Technology

So you want to start a blog?

Today, I thought I’d share a little bit about my experiences as a blogger.  I don’t claim to be an expert by any means, but I would like to share what I have learned over the past year!

Considerations before starting your own blog:

  • Determine your audience. Who are you writing for — your students?  fellow piano teachers?  Music teachers in general?  Stay focused on one target audience, rather than trying to combine. Find your niche and start generating ideas for what to blog about.
  • Choose a focus/goal. What kind of topics would you like to cover?  What do you hope your readers will gain from your blog? Brainstorm ideas for blogging for the long term.
  • Think long-term. What are your goals in having a blog?  How long do you see yourself blogging?

Tips for successful blogging:

  • Post original content. While it’s great  to share links to great sites and blogs where you’ve found great resources, you don’t want to be constantly directing your readers away from your site.  Posting original content is what will keep them coming back!
  • Keep yourself on a schedule. How often do you plan to post on your blog?  Every day?  Once a week?  Think realistically, make a plan, and stick to it.
  • Keep an “ideas” notebook. Are you bursting with ideas for blog posts?  Capture all your ideas on paper, before you forget them!  Later on, you can return to this list and continue blogging even when inspiration is low. Continue reading “So you want to start a blog?”
Announcements

Welcome to Color In My Piano!

Hello, and welcome!  I’m Joy.  I love teaching & playing piano, as well as sharing music resources & ideas with others.  Join me here at colorinmypiano.com as I strive to keep a little color in my piano.

  • Home – the blog page — scroll down to see the latest posts!
  • Printables – view listings of free music worksheets, sheet music/arrangements, and other resources
  • About – learn more me and about colorinmypiano.com
  • Contact – feel free to send me a message
  • Links – explore some of my favorite links

Want to receive blog updates without having to revisit this site?  Subscribe to email updates here or RSS feed updates here, or visit the Color In My Piano facebook page!  Be sure to leave some comments and let us know what you find useful.  Thanks for visiting!

Announcements

Welcome to the new colorinmypiano.com!

Welcome to colorinmypiano at the new url location!  What do you think of the new look?

I registered my domain name with Name.com and have bought a year of web hosting from HawkHost.com.  So far, I’m very pleased with the services I’m paying for.  And I absolutely love using WordPress for my blog.

I haven’t yet settled on a theme that I like for colorinmypiano.com, so my site might be changing appearances frequently over the next week or so.  Bear with me!  :)