I’m hoping that a few of you have noticed that my blog recently took a dive. I have to admit that I have no idea exactly how long it was down before I even noticed. I have the great fortune of trying to start a blog with crazy, slow internet. My internet rolls over on the 10th of each month and in the month of December, our limited internet plan was completely used up by December 14th. I know, right! I have two teenagers, a tech savvy first grader and I’m trying to get a blog off the ground, and as I already stated, LIMITED internet. The culprit to the quick demise of the internet quota for this month was my 15 year old son (aka Guitar man). Guitar man’s PS4 was set to run any and all updates as soon as it could muster up an internet connection. This, folks, can make short work of our measly 20GB monthly internet allowance, which, I guess, is the price we pay for living in the peaceful countryside. This is our ONLY internet option where we live. This is their largest package (oh, we get 25GB from 2 a.m. through 8 a.m. – insert frown here – even from this night owl). Let me not forget to also mention that we pay about 3 times what others within 5 minutes of us pay for unlimited, wired internet. So, short story made long, since I didn’t plan to do much blogging through the Christmas season as I am not currently as automated as established bloggers, I didn’t even notice until recently that my site was down. I had made some modifications to comply with one of my affiliate sites just before Christmas and that was the last I was able to do with my blog. I wanted to get started back as quickly after the first of the year as I could and when I went to my site, I could not open it, nor could I log in to alter it.
Image courtesy of imagebase.net
This was all I could do for several days. Hold my head in my hands and think, “What now?!” I’m a newbie blogger and I had no idea what it takes to start, maintain, automate and fix a blog, if need be. I’ve always considered myself pretty tech savvy. I have had basic websites in the past and know a scant bit of coding. I didn’t think blogging would be easy but I had no idea it would be this involved. Just a little timeline on my blog. I purchased my domain and hosting back in March. I chose bluehost for my hosting and got my blog set up. I chose WordPress as my platform and downloaded it to my computer and my ipad. Chirp, chirp. There I sat with this blog host all ready to go. I had done a few of the things I considered the hardest (for me, anyway). I chose the name for my blog and therefore my domain name (I really struggled with this) and I made the step to purchase my hosting and domain. I would open WordPress and say, “I just don’t get it!” I had no idea how to even get started. I searched pinterest and google for how to get this blog up and running. There were many, many posts dedicated to “getting your blog up and running in X easy steps.” Every site I seemed to visit had basically the same thing. Chose your niche, choose your domain, choose your host (with “We HIGHLY recommend this host and a bazillion ways to get to their affiliate section of said host), install WordPress and ba-da-boom ba-da-bing, you’re ready to blog!! NONE of this was helpful. I had already done all of this, I just didn’t know what to do with it once I got there. Then, one day, I was scrolling through pinterest and saw a sponsored ad for a free 7 day video course for starting a profitable blog. This lady became my hero. Laura from iheartplanners.com sent a video course to my email every day for 7 days and even though I know this came to me through an automated system and she had no idea I was even taking the course, it was like she took me by the hand and said, “Here’s how you do it, honey!” I found her on Oct. 25, and my blog was live on Nov. 1. I was able to be up and running before the course was even over. She had so many good tips and went step by step on how to get started. I know there are probably many other sites and video courses out there that do this but I felt like I’d never find one and when I did, I was elated. If you’re trying to start a blog and can’t seem to get over that hump, like me, you can find her free course here. I’m so glad that I persevered and finally stumbled upon what I was looking for.
Shameless affiliate plug
So, I am finally up and running and living in blogging bliss for a couple of months. Then, as I said in the beginning of this post, blogging disaster struck. I know that playing around in the code area of my blog is not recommended if you don’t really know what you’re doing. I have had a couple of instances where I did go into the code and make some changes but it was simply to add things to it, like the tag that I put at the top of pages like this one, so that you know if there’s a possibility that I might make money from something that I have put on this page. If I make posts where there isn’t a link to any of my affiliate sites, I don’t need that. In order for me not to have to type it in each time, I’ve written it into the code so that if I tag this page as “Affiliate”, it’ll automatically put that at the top for me. I have altered code successfully so I had no idea why, all of a sudden, my site wouldn’t open, and even more disturbing to me, I couldn’t even log in to the admin area to fix it. Yet again, I was like the poor guy above, holding my head in my hands and wanting to throw in the towel. The main reason for that this time was, yet again, my lovely internet provider. It’s been raining here since I found the error. Rain=no connection. Between the downpours, I did manage to watch a few videos and figure out a few things to try to get me back on my feet. The only problem was that they all wound their way around to my needing to have FTP software on my computer, such as Filezilla and a good enough internet connection to alter said files related to my blog. My connection was never even strong enough to download the software to my computer so I was dead in the water. I finally had the day off and the time needed to run to my mom’s house to mooch off of her internet and after about an hour, Viola, we’re back up and running. Every day that I am able to work on my blog, I have a newfound respect for those who have been blogging for years and especially for those who were the pioneers. This is an industry where you can start from scratch and learn as you go, but it’s not for those who can’t push through the problems and know that there’s an answer out there somewhere. The blogging community is so helpful and friendly, sometimes you just have to weed through all the junk to find that truly helpful post. Being a blogging newbie is hard… and perseverance is a must! Thanks for sticking with me through my perseverance phase!