You never know where your next big idea will come from! Who knows? Your new website may start from a joke between friends. Great ideas can come from anywhere and our job at Bluehost is to give you the tools to make those ideas reality.
For our latest “Behind the Website” installment, we’re interviewing customer Laura and her website Tweetspeakpoetry.com – a website that started with a Twitter joke and grew into the full-blown poetry and creative writing website it is today. Check out our interview with her to learn how they got started, what they’ve learned, where they’re going, and more.
When did you launch your website?
Tricky question. In 2009, as the result of a Twitter joke, we hosted what might have been the first ever Twitter poetry party (we’d never seen anyone do that, though now it’s common to write poetry on Twitter). The party had a simple premise: write poems together for one hour straight on Twitter. Have so much fun that you do it again. And again. And then… realize it’s all getting lost in the Twitter stream, so maybe a site should be launched. Just as a holding place for the poems. No more. The site we launched was piecemeal. Sketchy in design. Not terrifically functional. It served its archival purpose.
Three years later, the joke turned serious and we officially started to produce content on a weekly basis. We mark that as our real beginning.
What’s your site about? What does it do?
We feature the best in poetry and poetic things. And we publish poetry, nonfiction, and fiction books. One of them got picked by Oprah.
What platform is your website built on?
What type of server do you use? Why?
We started out with a standard shared server, but were compelled to upgrade to shared PRO about a year ago, which increased our ability to really grow our traffic.
What was your biggest challenge in building your website?
The fact that it started as a joke meant we (unwisely) didn’t take it seriously from the start. It was built poorly, with architecture that we’re still struggling to clean up. Live and learn. The next site I build (and there is one coming) will be far, far cleaner from day one.
What’s your favorite part of your website?
Probably the Quote Widget that one of our teenaged contingents built for us. Other people seem to have a good deal of fun with it too.
What do you wish you did better?
Where do you prefer to work on your site?
You mean like…in the Bahamas?
What new web trends are you excited about?
Flipboard. Supported content, such as through Tugboat yards.
Do you use social media? Why?
Well, that’s how Bluehost met Tweetspeak Poetry, isn’t it? I mean, really met. And then we wrote you a blue mitten poem, which you sorely needed during the Polar Vortex. Next thing, you were interviewing us here.
Social media is where we learn a great deal about what our audience finds interesting, and it’s how we build relationships through “small touches and passes.”
What’s next for your site?
Well, the current joke is that we’re going to send poetry to the moon. Does Bluehost have servers there? Honestly, this year is about solidifying relationships and working to increase traffic. Mobile would be next. We know that. We’re just not quite ready to tackle it.
What advice do you have for someone getting started?
Take yourself seriously from the start. Even if it feels like a joke. Be flexible, of course. But start out as if you expect to succeed. That way, you’ll build it better from day one.
Thanks to Laura for letting us get behind her website! Don’t forget to check it out at tweetspeakpoetry.com.
The Behind the Website series lets us learn how real-life Bluehost customers run their websites. From how they got started to their favorite web tools, we ask some of our best customers to share the story behind their websites. Have someone you want to see featured? Send us an email.
While Bluehost does provide hosting service to tweetspeakpoetry.com it does not review, authorize, or approve its content. The information and opinions on the site, as well as the responses provided in this blog post, do not necessarily reflect the views of Bluehost, its parent company, or any subsidiaries or affiliates.