Weekend Sneak-In: A Blogging Novice Speaks Out (With Ink Drawings)

Welcome back to all of my long-lost followers!illustratedbymartie1

Wednesday was a weird blogging day for me.  Stuff just went wrong!  I am still learning about all of this self-hosted blogging stuff, and when something goes wrong, I panic, and think, ‘I’ll never figure this out’!  I always do figure it out, but sometimes I need help doing it!

I wrote a WordPress.com blog for a couple of years, sort of my trial-run in blogging.  I completed Blogging 101 and 201, classes offered by WordPress for learning the ropes of blogging.  I asked questions, answered questions, joined some blogging events, and just filled my brain with knowledge about this growing industry.  I built my following to 108 over that time, then decided to start my self-hosted blog (welcome!) and get my feet wet, for real!  When I did, I set my .com to ‘private’ and jumped right it.  I knew I was giving up all of those followers, but I was ready.

Tuesday night, I discovered the way to migrate my followers from my .com blog to this one, and I was so excited!  I honestly didn’t think I would get the opportunity to keep all of my 108 followers from the old blog!  I figured that I must have done something wrong along the way, and that it would never be an option for me to get you all back.  When I found the way, I was so excited, but I decided to wait until morning to actually migrate you guys, because we have this backwoods internet and the early morning hours are like bonus data!

So, I wake up on Wednesday, all excited because I have my new post all ready to go, and I’m armed and anxious to get my followers back!  I clicked through the steps, migrated my followers, and then started in on some last minute edits to my post, which was going to be seen by 108 people instead of 8!  I even communicated via Facebook with some hairdressers in Florida, whom I’ve never met, but gave them a mention in my post for a great haircut a stylist there had done.  I told them all about the blog, told them I was giving them a plug, and when all was ready, I hit the publish button.

Guess what?  All of my post links broke, right then and there.  In other words, clicking on the link to the actual post for Wednesday, like the links on Facebook and Twitter, got you nothing but an “oops” page. illustratedbymartie If you just went to the blog itself, my post was there, but I could  not share a link to the actual post. I didn’t have a clue where to start to try to fix this, and I was in full-on panic mode!  What was I thinking?  I don’t know how to do this stuff!  I just want to type it, illustrate it, and throw it out to the world, not deal with problems and behind-the scenes ‘technical difficulties’!illustratedbymartie2

I did, however, manage to calm down enough to type a question out on the WordPress support forums.  Then, I decided to just forget about it, and go on about my day.  A stroke or heart attack was seeming imminent, so I needed to move on and do something else for a while to take my mind off of it.  I went shopping with Madre for a few hours.  I didn’t worry too much about the screw-up, just every 15 minutes or so throughout the day.

When I got home, I had replies on the forum!   Helpful replies!  I did what was suggested, and it worked!  My blog posts were now link-able again, and I was able to let my new hairdresser friend know she could read the blog!  All was not lost, and the support forum does provide support!

My thing is, how often is stuff like this going to happen?  Did migrating my followers cause this to occur, or was it just a coincidence?  I don’t want to let fear of the unknown hold me back from my goals and dreams, and I’m so thankful for the support forum and their timely answers, but I do have a fear of screwing things up so badly they can’t be fixed.  I don’t want to ruin my beautiful blog, because I want to take it to much bigger places!  I have just been flying around by the seat of my pants, creating this new blog, adding all of these plug-ins, updating things when WordPress tells me to, and posting my content.

Am I really qualified to do this?   I definitely see now that those who blog for a living do work very hard to bring that content to their followers.  It’s not just sitting at home in pj’s every day playing on a computer…it’s actual, factual work.  I, of course, work as a hairstylist/makeup artist, and I have no immediate plans to quit my day job, but I have spent numerous hours and lots of sweat and tears on this blog in the past few years.  I also run my Etsy store, making each item in it by hand, creating listings for my handmade items, and promoting my shop through social media.  Two posts a week is all I can seem to handle when it comes to blogging, what with my 30 or so hours in the salon, 30 or so hours working on Etsy, and 24-7 being a wife, Mom, and housekeeper.  I know it will take more than that to really get my content out there, but I am struggling to fit it all in.

I would love to hear everyone’s thoughts on this topic.  Are any of you in the same situation?  Do you have any words of wisdom for me?  I can share this:  when my blog post links were broken, I was advised in the forums to re-save my permalinks.  I just went to settings, clicked on permalinks, scrolled down to the bottom and clicked ‘save’.  It worked!  Had it not worked, I was advised to change the permalinks to default, then back again.  But it did work, and I was so grateful!  I went in and re-shared my post link on social media, gave a short explanation of my goof, and all was well.  Are there any other common problems that occur?  Are the fixes quick, or long and time-consuming?  Anyone who weighs in here will be forever appreciated!

Welcome back to all of my previous followers!  I hope I can keep you entertained enough to keep you around, and that you become fans of my work, my musings, and even my whiny, ‘help me’ posts that seem to work their way into my rotation.  I’m stating that today is the first day of the rest of my life, and I am committed to learning and improving every week that I get the chance to do all of these jobs that I love! My goal is to add a third post each week.  The ideas are in my head, I only need time to execute them.

Please hang around to leave me some feedback, because I’ll take all the help I can get, and I will give all the help I can, as well!  And, I hope you enjoyed my ink drawings!

X,O,X,O,   Martie