15 days ago I asked my daughter what a blog was.
I had been looking at taking up something new and didn’t fancy another winter knitting. Having ascertained what a blog actually was, I searched for some bloggers who were around my age to see what they were writing about. And then I thought … I can do this.
I took a big deep breath and decided to become a blogger.
My daughter was very encouraging and suggested WordPress as a starting point. I had never heard of WordPress, never mind the complexities of navigating around the site. Wordpress is complicated! ( to the unitiated ). There are site pages, blog pages, stats, comments etc. What the hell is a ‘plug in’? After 15 days I still don’t really understand those. Maybe by day 30.
I chose a theme, (kind of a model to hang your work on) and sat back thinking ‘Well, I guess I better write something now.’ I sat down with a coffee and wrote a piece on ….coffee.
I kept it in the drafts section and thought about publishing it. For about 3 days.
I was reliably informed that I would need to get my blog on Facebook and Twitter. How do I do that ? On Facebook, it was a case of adding a page to my usual site. Facebook helpfully suggested I invite all my friends to like my page which was nice, (and quite successful) but they also keep asking me to “boost” my site . Apparently, this costs £4 and Facebook guarantee that they will market your site to 1000 people. I know, me either. Not a clue. I haven’t taken up any ‘boost’ options as yet.
Twitter was mentioned next. I have never done Twitter. I don’t know how to do Twitter. You may find this hard to believe, but I had never sent a Tweet. Twitter kindly help you send a first Tweet that says, ‘My first tweet’ (helpful) but the only ‘likes’ it gets are a ‘test’ like which is a bit sad.
It is then suggested that I retweet stuff. I didn’t understand retweeting and that was a difficult ten minutes while I worked it out. Look at me now, tweeting and re-tweeting all over the place! Now I love Twitter!
Getting the WordPress somekindof50 site how I wanted it was quite a struggle. I monopolised my daughter for 3 or 4 evenings when she got home from work getting her help. I think she got a bit fed up with me in the end.
So I thought, stop it! If you can’t do all this yourself, you shouldn’t be bothering, stop relying on others to sort it out and do it yourself!
…so I bought a book on WordPress. That just confused me more and seemed to be written in a different language so I gave up with that. I worked it out eventually by looking at each individual tab that I didn’t understand, and either googling it or having a virtual chat with WordPress support. 15 days later and there isn’t anything (except Plug ins) that I don’t understand about my WordPress site.
I discovered how to look at other bloggers on WordPress (there are 76 million of them – I know! Seriously?) and pick out those to follow who have similar interests to me. Some of those peeps followed me right back, which was positive.
Advertising on the site has been mentioned, but I think you have to have 10,000 followers before you can implement it. That may take a while as I currently have 30. Advertising is the way to make money out of your site, and some of the big bloggers do very nicely thank you. However I didn’t start this as a money making option, so am not too worried.
I feel for the bloggers that are relying on it to pay a mortgage. I see a lot of tweets and posts about how difficult it is to make it pay and I would hate to be under that kind of pressure.
I am still writing posts every day or so and uploading them and as long as I can do that, I am moving in the right direction.
I can’t say I have got past that gut wrenching feeling when publishing a new post. It’s quite terrifying putting out a piece that you have spent a few hours (or even days) on, and wondering whether someone will hack it to pieces. But my fellow bloggers so far have been very friendly. (A couple have been slightly too friendly but we won’t go into that.) Generally, bloggers understand that it is tough being a newbie and will send you positive comments and likes.
To anyone contemplating blogging, I would say absolutely go for it and write as the feeling takes you. My own writing is rather jumbled as you can see. I have posted on serial killers, positivity and shopping, a chocolate shop and exercise! Because I can! ( …and I haven’t even gotten started on Henry VIII and Manchester United yet!) No one is looking over your shoulder saying you need to write about this, or you can’t post about that.
….and there lies the joy of it. Write about anything, anywhere, any time. Be amazed/relieved/ excited if anyone reads it. But mostly write for you. ❤️