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Why I Love Using Strikingly

And why you should too!

Strikingly has changed my life. No, I'm not kidding or exaggerating. Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating a little, but I'm totally NOT kidding.

See, I've been meaning to create a blog for, oh, I don't know...forever, maybe? And I've been making excuse after excuse as to why I hadn't gotten started up to this point.

Maybe you've heard *your friends* (cough, cough) make some of these excuses before about stuff they've been putting off too.

No, silly, of course I'm not talking about you.

Some of the excuses might sound like:

  • I have no time.
  • I don't know where to start.
  • I'm not sure what to write about.
  • No one is going to read my blogs.

While it was true that I had no way of knowing or proving whether someone would actually read my blogs or not, in the grand scheme of life, these were still pretty lame excuses.

After all, I created my own website for my Virtual Assistant business, p31 Publications. So it wasn't completely true that I had no idea where to start. I actually started by putting my blogs on the p31 site. But something just didn't feel right.

Decisions, decisions

As a technically inclined non-coder (currently), I knew that whatever I chose to build my blog platform on was going to have to be extremely user friendly. I understand basic HTML and CSS and I've played around with a little Java Script, thanks to the lessons over on Free Code Camp. And while I'm interested in learning more. Super interested actually. I knew that I also wanted to make a place for myself to call home sooner than I'd be wiling to wait for myself to level up my coding skills.

I also knew from experience, having built a few websites with Wix, that there were other builders out there that would provide with me the results I was searching for without all of the upfront knowledge investment.

I felt like I needed to do something different with my blog.

But I just wasn't sure what.

So I started shopping around. I decided not to go with Wix this time because, well, I'd been there and done that. There are a tons of gorgeous templates to choose from, which I'm sure would've worked out just fine. But I wanted to educate myself on what was out there in the market as well as take (a little bit of) time to learn something new.

I thought about Wordpress and Squarespace. I'd heard great things about both platforms and the fact that I could find a theme that would quickly help me to make it my own. Well, from a learning curve perspective, I didn't find it as easy to jump into Wordpress. Again, nothing against the platform, but for my current needs and this particular project, I needed something a little more turnkey.

Squarespace, while beautifully designed and little more reminiscent of the drag and drop familiarity of Wix, still proved to be a little more of a time investment than I preferred.

Then along came Strikingly. Should I try it, I asked myself?

The beauty of a free trial is that it is simply that -- a FREE trial. I had nothing to lose. And if I felt like I was spending too much time trying to figure it out, I could simply move on.

My initial thought was that it was extremely easy to set up! Because I had so few choices, I was able to quickly make a decision and move on to the next step.

Sometimes less is more, and in the case of this non-technical user trying to put together a beautiful website, this is absolutely my truth.

I loved the quick walk through that was suggested upon creating my account. It wasn't too long and drawn out. It was just a few quick tips on how to navigate this new interface. Like anything new, there's always that slight period of adjustment. But this guide helped to take me from zero to I'd say at least 70 pretty quickly.

The rest was going to be up to me, what I wanted to accomplish, and how I wanted to reach connect with my audience using this tool.

Time to design

You can easily create the look you want without having to fuss with formatting and html. Unless, of course, you want to use html. In that case, you definitely can with just the click of a button. The most important thing is that I had so much fun creating my blog that I literally had to pull myself away.

"Creativity is intelligence having fun." ~ Albert Einstein

There's so much to love about Strikingly, but one of my favorite things is how easy it is to customize your blog posts.

I added a video background to a post that I created featuring an amazing remote developer company called X-Team. Now it definitely helps that they had some stellar video production going on. Can't take credit for that. But it was super easy to add an interesting pop to my blog.

You can learn more about how I did it here:

Another feature that I love is the fact that you can preview a few different layout options all within your editor. This is not to be confused with the acutal "Preview" button. Which is also not to be confused with the button that allows you to view your live site.

Just in case I lost you, here's what it looks like to walk through what I just described above:

As you can see in this video, Strikingly reminds you of when you've made changes that have not been published. So there's no worry about making changes behind the scenes and no confusion about the content that goes live.

Changes made in the blog editor are saved when you "Publish" them. But you still have to publish them to your site before you're able to share those changes with the world.

Is Strikingly for you?

I would definitely say that for the non-technical user who wants a beautiful site without spending a ton of time figuring out the software, yes, Strikingly is definitely worth the trial.

So Kudos to David Chen and the entire Strikingly team for a creating a super user friendly product that delivers strikingly beautiful websites. 

Pun totally intended.

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