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How to Create a Facebook Welcome Page by John Ames

We have a great guest post for you today!  John Ames, author of Adventures in Nowhere, is here to help us with creating our own personal Facebook Welcome Page.  You can visit his website at www.johnamesauthor.com.

How to Create a Facebook Welcome Page

by John Ames

These days, authors have to do a great deal of promotion for themselves, which usually involves creating a fan page for yourself, your book, or a product connected to your book. Creating the page itself is not very hard. Facebook gives good instructions on fan page creation:

http://www.facebook.com/help/?faq=12809&ref_query=create+fanpage#!/pages/create.php

Once the page is up, the next move is to make it as attractive as possible. One way to do this is to create a welcome page, which allows you to place on it a large image or series of images similar to those seen on the index page of a website. This will be the first thing a visitor will see when viewing your fan page. When I looked into how to do this, I found that the sites explaining the process routinely assumed that I knew more than I did, or they confused me by explaining more than one thing at a time. This post will concentrate on showing you how to put an image of your choice on your Welcome Page and making sure that it is the first thing your visitors see.

In order to accomplish this, you will have to have an image posted somewhere on the web. If this sounds incomprehensible, skip down to item 10 to see what I mean.

To set up the welcome page follow these steps:

1. Find the blue link on the fan page that says either “Edit Page” or “Edit Info.” If you are in the classic view, it will be Edit Page, and the link will be located on the left under the profile picture. If you are in the new format, it will be Edit Info and you will find it at the top of the page under the title you have chosen for the page.

2. Click the link Edit Page or Edit Info Link, either of which will take you to the profile page. On the left side of the profile page you will see a column of choices with “Settings” in the top spot. About eight choices down you will see a choice called “Apps”

3. Click Apps, which will take you to a page of choices. One at or near the bottom is labeled “FBML,” which stands for “Facebook Markup Language.”

4. Click the blue “Go to App” link, which is on the bottom line to the right of the FBML logo. This will take you to a page that asks “Add Static FBML to (your page)?

5. Click the blue “Add Static FBML” button. You will be returned to your page where, in the column on the left side, you will see a gray logo labeled FBML has appeared.

6. Click that logo, which will open up a large white box. At the top of the box will be the title of your page followed by “FBML.” Right beneath that title will be a blue link that says “Edit Info.”

7. Click that link, which will take you to the profile page. On the left you will again see the column containing “Apps.”

8. Click Apps, which will take you to the list containing the FBML logo. You will again see “Go to the App.”

9. Click Go to the App, which will bring up a two white rectangles. The narrow top rectangle is labeled “Box Title.” Inside the box you will see “FBML.” Delete FBML and replace it with “Welcome.” You have now named your landing page.

10. Up to now, this job has just been tedious but relatively easy. It is about to get a little harder. That second large white rectangle with “FBML” to the left of it is the place where you will put the information that will fill your welcome page with the image of your desire. This requires a code. You do not need to know anything about the code, except that it has to be copied exactly, and that you will have to insert some of your own information. In addition, you will be sorry to find out that Facebook does not host your image. You have to have it stored on the Web, someplace with an Internet address. It could be in a Flickr account or on a web hosting site.

Here is what I use to get the cover of my novel Adventures in Nowhere on its fan page.

The first part means “Image Source is at http://johnamesauthor.com”
johnamesauthor.com is where I have the image stored. You would insert the address of your Flickr account or wherever else you may have your image. If you have a website, you can store the image with the service that hosts your website. That’s what I do.

The name I have given my image is coverforface6. It is a jpg image so the full reference is coverforface6.jpg.
Once again, the whole thing is:

If you put your own information in, and you faithfully type the marks and the letters, and you follow the spacing exactly, then your image will show up on your page. All the slashes, quotes–every little mark has to be included. The best approach is to copy my code, paste it into your rectangle, and then replace my address and image name with your own.

11. When you have finished with the code, click the blue “Save Changes” button at the bottom of the page. A light orange bar will appear above the box saying “Changes Saved.” Look in the upper-left corner of the page, where you will see the title of your fan page in blue type.

12. Click that title, which will return you to your page. Again you will see the FBML logo on the left.

13. Click that logo. You should see your image in all its glory. Look to the left side of the screen. You will see the FBML logo at the bottom of a column of choices. At the top of that column you will see a button saying “Get Started.”

14. Click Get Started, which will take you to a page asking for information. Look to the upper right of the screen where you will see a button that says “Edit Page.”

15 Click Edit Page, which will take you to a form that asks you to fill in information. Go down the column until you find “Default Landing Tab.” On the right will be a down-arrow button.

16 Click the down-arrow button to reveal the choices for Default Landing Page. Choose FBML. Look to the bottom of the page and locate the blue “Save Changes” button.

17. Click the Save Changes button. Make sure that your choice has been saved. If not, try again. When it says FBML in the default landing slot, look to the upper right of the screen and find the “View Page” button.

18 Click the View Page button, which will take you back to the Get Started Page. You will continue to see this page for a while unless or until you have added a lot of basic information, but anyone other than the administrator of the page will see the FBML Welcome Page.

They don’t make it simple do they?

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