A few weeks ago I decided to act on an idea I’ve had mulling around in my brain for several years, the idea of actively trying to attract blog traffic. So, I ventured into the scary world of back-end blog tweaking, trying to install some plug-ins to help me track traffic and SEO and stuff…and about three steps in I realized that I was waaaaaaay over my head. So, like anyone born in the early 1980’s I started googling “self hosting for dummies” and “how can I install a plugin” and SUPER basic stuff like that. And I couldn’t get through more than the first two paragraphs before I was completely lost. After several hours I sent a text to my computer genius person, the Technology King, and clumsily explained my problem. He asked two or three questions, asked if I’d like him to just take care of it instead of try and explain over the phone and babysit me through every tiny step (YES!), and then he sent me this:
And he fixed it. Like, everything. In about 13 minutes he did all the magic coding and [insert tech terms here] stuff and I am now self-hosted, or, rather, Technology King hosted, because of course he has his own server, and he updated everything and ported it over, and gave me new options, and a whole lot of other awesome stuff I absolutely do not understand. Yet.
I’ve been tweaking things here and there, adding little bits of code and feeling super smug because it only took me 17 tries to upload a header with the words AND images where I wanted them; seriously, guys, only 17 tries. And it’s literally the same header as it was before, just, you know, slightly resized. Me and Microsoft Paint are gonna take over the world of technology, 17 tries at a time.
Great. Ok, Harriet. So what does this mean?
Am I actively trying to monetize my blog? Um, no.
Am I ruling that out for the future? …no?
Is it nice to have options? Sure. Even if I don’t completely understand what all of those options are quite yet.
Honestly, I mostly wanted to see if I could bump up my traffic a tiny little bit and figure out some basic SEO stuff. Which, given that I couldn’t figure out how to install a SEO plugin without calling for reinforcements makes the whole idea of me as the Queenpin of my own media empire completely hilarious.
But, even so, I have options now that I didn’t have before, and realizing how little I actually know about websites and code–despite blogging for 11 years–was super humbling. I’ve ever started looking around for some basic coding courses to learn some new skills.
So. That’s fun.
How much do you know about website building? SEO? Figuring out how to grow traffic in an authentic and organic way? Any websites I should pay attention to? Blogs? Podcasts? Whatever the next big thing is?
I start to come over all panicky when I think about stuff like this. I’ve been forced to learn a bit more for Halfway Down the Stairs but I learn the absolute bare minimum to do what I have to do, mostly by trial and error, and will someday be totally destroyed if there is a problem that requires more complex knowledge. So I can only say I admire your determination to make this work – go you! And yay for your friend the Technology King! We all need people like that in our lives…
Oh man, without The King I would be a hopeless mess.
No, that’s not entirely true. The interweb-facing blog has changed very little, and it has worked just fine for YEARS. I just was maxxed out with any tweaks…not that I know yet if I *want* to make tweaks…it just…yeah. I’m not great at this stuff.
I used to know a ton. And then life got nuts and I barely post anymore. I miss it, which means I WILL post again. Soon.
I wish I knew more and was comfortable with a decent base of basics so I could at least build on it…but nope, I know nothing. Sigh.
(Also? I miss you!)
I seriously Google how to do EVERYTHING. And at first I didn’t understand any of the gibberish, but eventually I started to decipher some key words and figure it out. It took a long time, but I feel semi-comfortable with the whole blogging thing… sometimes. Haha.
I honestly don’t know if I have the patience to figure it all out step-by-step, I can understand when someone explains it to me (someone who is good at explaining such things in ways that non-tech-brains like me can understand)…but figuring it out alone? I get frustrated and lose motivation REAL quick.
Oh god, I had my own domain for a long time, but SEO? I have no clue. Teach me, when you got the hang of it?
I have had a custom URL forever, didn’t realize that was not the same as self-hosting…which is very different…that is still as far as I’ve got with this project, so, uh….maybe circle back in 11 months and I’ll have a whole paragraph of tips? Ha!