My name is Alex and I have spent most of my life writing.
After a Foundation Course in Art & Design, and a BA in English and Drama, I spent 18 years as a professional writer, in the advertising and marketing business.
Together with some outstanding art directors, designers and strategic thinkers, I worked for: Air Miles, American Express, Avis, Bell South Communications, Bhs, British Airways,
My favourite piece of junk mail
In 20 years of advertising, this is the piece I was most pleased with: a letter signed by Sir David Attenborough, appealing for money to launch the Millennium Seed Bank at Wakehurst Place.
If you grew up in Britain, you will be familiar with his tone of voice, which made the letter and quote on the leaflet easy to write. And he made no changes to the text.
(Look at that date, though: 1996. Ouch.)
Not just about selling
But it wasn’t all about making money for other people. On the London commute, I wrote an Afternoon Play for BBC Radio 4. Then some audio drama for Big Finish. Plus a number of unproduced TV and film scripts.
In 2007, I left advertising to set up an eco-friendly yurt camp in southwest France. I blogged the whole adventure (in Blogger, then WordPress) and wrote the first part of a book about the experience. And, naturally, I created the campsite’s website. A few times.
Answering the cry for help
As you will discover, when you know how to make websites, you can help people who don’t. The first time I did this was for Second Nature, who ran bushcraft courses in Sussex (now in Snowdonia).
The old website had major design issues. It didn’t reflect the fantastic work of Second Nature, and was attracting more spam than clients. In a day and a half, I installed plugins to stop spam attacks, updated and customised the Theme, resized and tweaked the images, reworked the logo, created a gallery, rewrote most of the pages, added internal and external links, registered the site with Google, worked on the SEO and reorganised the menu.
Here’s what Second Nature said about working with me
I cannot recommend Alex more highly… he took my dated website out of the dark ages, revamped it to work effectively reflecting the character and style of my business. He responds super promptly, has salvaged things on many occasions and his knowledge and expertise in this arena is second to none. Rarely too, his generosity and willingness to help people, just because he can, is unrivalled.Nicky Fish, Second Nature, Snowdonia
The current version of the Second Nature website was not designed or written by me. Websites move fast. Which is why you need to be able to create and manage your own…
Creating and testing yourwebsitecourse
After helping other people with their websites, I realised it would be far better to teach people how to create and manage their own. The “teach a person to fish” school of logic, if you like. So I created the yourwebsitecourse one-day workshop, to show people how to create a website from scratch, using WordPress.
Here is a photo from the day (before Covid) when I took a group of students through the course.
By lunch, it was clear there was too much information. Although the participants did benefit. One of them, who now makes websites for other people, had this to say:
Alex is so personable and professional, I was blown away with his course content and delivery. I already had my website up and running but this helped me a lot to make positive changes and tweaks, and make me more confident and believe in my ability to sell myself well. Throughout the course, you could see Alex’s passion and knowledge in abundance. He combines his love for the subject with his many years of experience. His enthusiasm will no doubt rub off on you and you will leave the course feeling fantastic and confident in your ability to write a website from scratch. Highly recommended.Jo Gilder
The new, improved yourwebsitecourse syllabus
Thanks to Covid, among other reasons, I have written the yourwebsitecourse syllabus as a Do It Yourself manual. Everything you need to know is clearly laid out, step by step. There are plenty of tips and tricks included, to help you get over the hurdles you will come across. And some amusing anecdotes from my years in advertising.
You will not create a website without work. But, as you can see from the testimonial on the home page of this site, the rewards make it well worth the effort.
All your questions should be answered in the yourwebsitecourse syllabus. If there is anything else you’d like to know, ask away. I will get back to you as soon as I can.