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How to Build a Successful Website: Making a Connection with Readers

How to Build a Successful Website: Making a Connection with Readers

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How to Build a Successful Website: Making a Connection with Readers

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Feb 13, 2014


This book is a rewritten version of Malene Jorgensen's Master's thesis paper, "Individual, Psychological and Interactional: An Examination of Credibility of Corporate Banking Websites from a Psychological Perspective." The book discusses interviews and research conducted by Jorgensen during her time at the University of Copenhagen, when she was researching what people found to be credible elements on corporate banking websites. In this book, Jorgensen presents the study of "the psychology of language use," introduces basic communication theory and explains how each element on a website (color, images, text and layout) is interpreted psychologically by individuals visiting the website. In addition, she discusses what people should consider when creating a corporate website.

Feb 13, 2014

Sobre el autor

"I’ve always had that entrepreneurial spirit, even before I added content strategist, speaker and author to my resume. When I graduated in 2009 with my Master’s degree in hand, I decided to pursue a freelancing career because the idea of working for someone else didn’t entice me – at all. By trade, I am a language psychologist – something I try to put to good use in my many books. During my freelancing years, I learned the ropes of the internet, including everything about hosting, websites, HTML, blogging, monetization and ad-campaigns.And then something clicked for me; I wanted to do my own thing. In 2012, I began writing a business plan without really knowing where it would take me. I continued to work with clients, who were either starting blogs of their own, or trying to keep readership numbers high with engaging content and massive exposure.I always worked on my business on the side, taking what worked with clients into my business and tossed everything else to the side. Slowly, the business plan started to make sense. I knew what I was good at and what my readers enjoyed. Soon, there was no turning back.Today, I continue to write books, share my knowledge and work on my business, One Door Press.I can’t wait to see what you create."------In 2013, Malene Jorgensen did a soft launch of her company – One Door Press – which would grow in both Canada and the United States. Within months, the company would enter and expand in 50 additional countries. Her company started as an international publishing company, but with more knowledge, growth, and experience, she grew the company in new directions.Jorgensen owns and operates several websites on the internet as part of her business plan. Her work with start-ups, online content creators and regular bloggers have given her plenty of recognition. She shares her own tips and experiences in her books. She is the Vice President of the Professional Writers Association of Canada, representing the Canadian Prairies. She has also been recognized and nominated in her home country of Denmark at Internet Week Denmark for the “Rethink Award” for her contributions to the online world.She currently runs her international start-up, writes books about her online knowledge, does speaking engagements about the book and online publishing, and works with clients in New York, Miami, Boston and Silicon Valley in San Francisco.

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How to Build a Successful Website - Malene Jorgensen

How to Build a Successful Website: Making a Connection with Readers

Copyright © Malene Jorgensen 2014 All rights reserved

Published by One Door Press

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning, or otherwise, except as permitted by Malene Jorgensen. This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be resold or given away to others. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you are reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was purchased for your use only, then please return to Smashwords.com, and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

ISBN-Print: 978-1-77181-014-2

ISBN-E-Book: 978-1-77181-015-9


Though the author has used her best efforts in preparing this book, she makes no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy or overall completeness of topics covered in this book, as social media and strategies for web content do change over time. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for all business situations, including your own. Consult with a professional before making any changes where appropriate to better your business. This book is meant to be informative and educational at best. Neither the author nor the publishers shall be held liable for any loss of profit or any commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential or other damages.

A Note from the Author

I wrote my Master’s thesis in 2009. I spent about four months doing full-time research and writing the demanding paper, while wrapping up my degree at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. I submitted my thesis and found myself working on my own as a freelancer within 9 months. Over the past few years, I’ve been running my own business and many people have inquired about my thesis paper. It is very theoretical, so I decided to rewrite it and add some practical information to make it more appealing to the mass market. This book is the final product.


This book is dedicated to all of the people who spent time with me and supported me during my studies in Copenhagen between 2007 and 2009. It was quite the learning experience and I don’t regret anything – the good, the bad and the difficult times.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Building a Website

1.1 Hosting and Wordpress

1.2 Selecting a Design

1.3 Things to Consider

Chapter 2: Introducing my Thesis

Chapter 3: Understanding ‘Psychology of Language Use’

3.1 Communication from a Theoretical Perspective

3.2 Successful Communication

3.3 Psychological Interpretation

3.4. Associations

3.5. Habits

3.6. Contexts

3.7. Social Influence on the Individual Development

3.8. Engagement

3.9. Psychological Take on Communication Theory

3.10. Credibility: From a Psychology-of-Language-Use Perspective

Chapter 4: Elements of a Website

4.1. Language Use in Mediation

4.2. Words and Expressions

4.3. Formulations

4.4. Tone and Textual Coherence

4.5. The Structural Lay-Out

4.6. Introductory ‘Chunks’

4.7. Labels and Categorizing Menus

4.8. The Functions of Colour

4.9. Visual Aids: Pictures and Videos

4.10. The Important Relationship between Visuals and Text

4.11. Personality and Identity

Chapter 5: Discussion, Results and Analysis

5.1. The Hypothesis for the Analysis and the Empirical Data

5.2. Interpreting the Overall Results

5.3. New Material and the Meaning behind It

5.4. Limitations

5.5. Relevance

Chapter 6: Discussions of Research Methods

6.1 Method: Questionnaire

6.2 Things to Consider

6.3 Why Not Interviews

6.4 Target Groups




Take advantage of every opportunity to practice your communication skills so that when important occasions arise, you will have the gift, the style, the sharpness, the clarity, and the emotions to affect other people. – Johann Jim Rohn

When I applied to my Master’s program back in 2006, I had no idea what I really wanted to do. Little did I know that I would essentially write a thesis paper that would change the way I approached the internet. When I started writing my thesis, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life or with my career. Up until that point, I had just followed my passion and what interested me in school. And applying for a program called The Psychology of Language Use – only offered at the University of Copenhagen – intrigued me. Many people asked what it was and I could never really explain it to them. Even when I graduated, I still struggled with a definition because I definitely took an untraditional route with my final paper. Many people taking this particular Master’s program end up doing something theoretical, doing something in consulting or doing something with research and statistics.

I went out on a complete limb and decided to combine the old theory we had been reading for the past 18 months with modern technology. I even ended up creating my own theory based on the results I found. The thesis paper ended up being a rather theoretical paper, but those who understood it received it well and several copies were printed. Now, 4 years after submitting it, I feel like I should share this paper with the general public in hopes of inspiring some professionals to rethink their website design.

My Master’s thesis combines three things; psychological theory, communication theory and the internet. The scope of the paper discusses whether it is possible to create something credible online, given that the internet is not the most trustworthy place. In addition, the paper offers several theories as to how you can make your website more credible through the eyes of users by studying their psychological habits, mental associations and even past experiences.

If you have read any of my books, you know that I often start the first chapter by explaining how to set up a website. This is very useful for the blogging books, since people may not know how to build a website from scratch. I will offer a similar set-up for this book, but the chapter won’t be in great detail because of the focus of this book. I won’t teach you how to optimize your content for search engines and so forth. This book will instead focus on writing credible and captivating content for your website and creating a design that resonates with users. How do I know? Well, I spent 4 months interviewing people and putting their answers to the test.

You may be wondering what you can expect in this book after I discuss setting up a website in the briefest of chapters. I will spend a great deal of time defining what The Language of Psychology is for this particular book and how the old psychological theory applies to something as modern as website design. I will explain what mental associations are, how habits change and influence our thinking and how communication theory plays into that theory. Oddly enough, it all works together nicely.

I will then spend some time explaining how this theory can be applied to website design. Rather than being vague about it, I have analyzed four websites from major Canadian banks. The websites were analyzed and examined as they looked in 2009, which are shared in the Appendix. The appearances could have changed in the meantime. This analysis will take you through various components of a website. And as any good thesis paper, I will offer a discussion on my findings and how people can benefit from these new revelations in the later chapters.

Since I got my information from researching and interviewing various people, I have shared the results with you throughout this book where applicable. I have chosen to leave out the many results from the research, as only some of it truly supported the theories. Plus, it took lots of conversations and questions to get to the meat of the opinions and thoughts of the participants.

Lastly, I have added the bibliography from my thesis in case you want to keep reading about specific theories or revisit some articles. Since I wrote my thesis while studying at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, some of the references are in Danish, Swedish and Norwegian. I have done my best to translate any quotes within, so you don’t lose any meanings or overall values of the theories, research and this book.

Chapter 1: Building a Website

For every book I write, I dedicate an entire chapter to creating a website. Usually, I go into very great detail about why it is important to create a website with your own hosting, but for this particular book, I just want to show you how to create a site. It is quite possible that you already have your own website and you are looking for some advice to add some credibility or perhaps make it more professional. If you already have a functional website, you can skip this chapter. But if you are reading this book because you want to do everything at once, then I will quickly show you how to create a website that gives you lots of freedom to design your own look and create a professional feel.

This chapter will break into three parts. The first is the actual setup of the website, which includes getting hosting and connecting the Wordpress platform to the hosting account. The second sub-chapter deals with the design aspect and I will encourage you to buy a theme to make life easier for you. Lastly, I will just offer a few tips to help increase the value of your website, including boosting your credibility factor. But first, let’s look at hosting and website registration.

1.1 Hosting and Wordpress

You may have heard the words Wordpress and hosting before and both are necessary for running a successful website. Hosting is essentially the space you require to store all of your content and pictures. Consider it a parking spot of sorts. You buy hosting space on a yearly basis and you get a certain amount of storage for that price. A regular package is more than enough hosting for a standard business website.

Wordpress is essentially a content management system that allows users to easily manage their website. Wordpress is essentially a platform that allows you to add pages, posts and even set up contact forms for your readers. It is also here you add all of your designs and pictures, for example. Wordpress offers two options for users; Wordpress.com is a free service that allows you to host your website for free on their hosting, but it comes with limited functionality, whereas .org gives you full freedom on own hosting.

I always encourage my readers to take the Wordpress.org version and pay for the hosting. Even though free sounds nice, you never know where your blog or website will go in the future.

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