Don’t do what I did!
I Seem Unqualified to Write a Blog
What in the world am I doing writing a blog? I am not a computer technical type of person! I just wanted an avenue to encourage others to DIY and decorate, and hopefully get a little supplemental income through it. (You can read a little more about my background and how I started blogging here.)
I have learned a lot of what not to do… So read on with my best blogging tips so you don’t make the biggest mistake I made!
Cheaper isn’t Always Better!
When I first started blogging, I did it as cheaply as I could… that was fine to start out with and try to figure some things out about the blogging world… But it wasn’t the best.
Once I decided I wanted to make changes to the look of my blog, creating a unique site as well as be able to pursue my site as a means of supplemental income, it started to dawn on me that it just wasn’t going to be possible without stepping out and hosting my own site.
I did like WordPress, but needed to switch from WordPress.com to WordPress.org. (that’s the self-host version) and then find my own host.
Ignoring the Obvious
It took me so long to come to that realization though… Darnit! I lost so much time in those years of fumbling around with the WordPress.com site, trying to ignore the obvious. That was the biggest mistake! I delayed because I kept trying to convince myself it would work to not self-host. Truth be told, I was intimidated… Okay, down-right scared.
I’m a middle-aged woman that is a mother, grandmother, interior decorator. I love to cook and paint and be creative… Computer technical stuff? Not so much… (In fact, I’m probably mis-using some of the terminology in this post for self-hosting!)
A Little Intimidated
I figured that it was going to be too advanced for me to handle… and just take up too much time trying to really wrap my brain around it to learn. So I put it off, even to the point of quitting to blog for a while!
Boy was I wrong!
When I finally realized that the only way I was going to make it a success with my blog is that I would have to self-host. Yikes! That scared me so much! I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to wrap my brain around all the tech-y stuff day in and day out in order to have a good working and looking site.
Finally Help was There
So I got help. (But without hiring a web designer that could cost mega dollars) Instead I looked for support that would be there for me through great programs, and still give me the control over my site that I wanted. I (finally) made 3 really good decisions for my blog.
Here are my best blogging tips… hopefully you can save yourself a lot of wasted time and learn from my mistakes.
Self Hosting with SiteGround
- I self-hosted with SiteGround. I was with BlueHost, but when my blog would get big traffic days, it was just too slow… after reading about it, I made the switch to Siteground, and am amazed how much faster it is. It’s important to keep readers to have your site load on their device quickly. We’ve become quite impatient with slow sites, so expect it to go fast, SiteGround does just that for me.
Getting the Right Theme
- I purchased the Genesis Framework through Studio Press. There is still so much for me to learn. I don’t think I can explain the hook system that Genesis uses, (nope, I’m sure I can’t) but that’s the good part… I don’t have to! They do it for me. Before I went with Genesis I tried a few other themes and was very frustrated with how limiting the design choices were. Now, with Genesis I can basically do any look on my site that I want. I love it! Plus they have some great plug-ins to use with Genesis too.
Extras Make the Difference
- I use the Reaktiv plug-in ‘Genesis Design Palette Pro’. First of all, the plugin is amazing and makes it so user friendly for making changes to the Genesis Framework site. I love how easy it is to make minor and major changes to the way my site looks (plus, it’s really fun to work with!) But secondly, again so important to me, their help staff is AMAZING! They are so helpful and responsive. I feel like I have a partnership with them. They have seriously helped me through so many technical issues to help me accomplish the exact look I want for my blog.
I still don’t understand pretty much any of the self-hosting lingo, but that’s okay because my support teams are there and will very patiently walk me through anything I have questions on or when I want to make changes on my site.
Take the Plunge
I encourage you, if you’re thinking about self-hosting, just take the plunge and do it!
- StudioPress They sell all sorts of themes, but I have and love the Genesis Framework with Genesis Sample theme.
- SITEGROUND hosting site for a fast page load!
- Genesis Design Palette Pro from Reaktiv gives me the ability to design my site like a pro without having to hire a web designer. Some of my favorite plugins from them are ‘Genesis Design Palette Pro’ ‘Genesis Design Palette Pro Freeform Style’ and ‘Genesis Design Palette Pro Google Webfonts’. I have those 3 on my blog and they are game changers for a non-techy person like me to do creatively techy things to my site!
Yes, I do get a small affiliate percentage if you purchase through these links, but it’s no cost to you… and I really believe in these! Even if I wasn’t getting paid to say that, I still would!
So How About You?
I’ve read some of your posts on Facebook, and think, ‘Wow, they should be writing a blog! They’re talented, take great pictures and have something interesting to share’ I hope I’ve encouraged you to think about it… Maybe this is your springboard to get started!
Either way, I hope you’ll stop by here occasionally and see what I’m up to, like renovating our Mid-Century-to-Colonial-Revival house!
Thanks so much for stopping by! Please feel free to follow and share this blog with your friends, as well as on Facebook, Pinterest, Flipboard, Bloglovin, YouTube and now Instagram! I appreciate you reading along.
This post is linked up at these other sites: A Stroll Thru Life, Between Naps on the Porch, Coastal Charm, My Slice of Suburbia, The Scoop, Yesterday on Tuesday, DIY Dreamer, Savvy Southern Style, My Repurposed Life, Chic on a Shoestring, DIY Showoff, Between Naps on the Porch, Skip to my Lou