Blogger

DD is Two Years Old!!

Another birthday has come for dear DD so naturally a Q&A is in order. This blog is hard to stay on top of sometimes but its so worth it with every comment I get to read from each of you and connecting us in this mess of a dating world ❤

 

  1. What’s your biggest accomplishment in your blogger journey so far ?

By far the biggest has been turning the poetry portion of my blog into a book earlier this year! I’ve thought about publishing a poetry collection for the past few years but thought it would happen much later in life or just be a pipedream that never came to be. So the fact that I am a published poet by the time I turned 24 is nearly unimaginable for me and super super exciting! And then the fact that strangers and people around the world have been supporting my book is more than I could have ever hoped! So Thank You so much for giving me that joy!

 

  1. Do you have any future book/collections planned?

I definitely do, before pulling together Cracked Open, I cataloged all of my poems and found other similar themes that can be the foundation for my next collection. I also have plans for publishing a different type of book but I’ll fill everyone in when that is more developed.

 

  1. Favorite post you wrote in your second year?

My favorite post from the past blogging year is Modern Online Dating Etiquette. I like posts that have lists and touch on each item which I think this post does. My blog also originated from modern dating and the mayhem it brings and I like to give advice to help others whenever I can.

Do you have a favorite article of mine?

 

  1. How different was your life one year ago?

Last August I was unemployed so it’s fantastic news that I’ve been working for the same company the past 10 months!! I was also just meeting my current boyfriend at the time so it’s pretty crazy to be at our 1 year already. Even now we talk about how unexpecting that first date was 🙂 So in the past year I’ve gained my first long term relationship and long term job! On a personal level I think I’ve been standing up for myself more in the past year. I establish boundaries and I go after what I want now – I’m a bit braver.

 

  1. What keeps you motivated when blogging?

You know when I was debating going self hosting it actually created a lot of doubt for me – it was a big step, I was making an investment, and I feared failure. It made me forget why I had started blogging in the first place and I ended up taking a month off. In that month I learned that I could never stop writing and I learned to set realistic expectations for where I want to take my blog. Remembering why you started and envisioning your dream are great ways to stay motivated! I also enjoy reading other blogs, seeing their happiness, and their own blogger journey.  

 

  1. Who were you in a different life?

I hope I was a talented artist, either in an entertainment setting or a sculptor / painter whom was often featured in galleries. I hope there was a time when I had so much creative talent that I was able to have a successful career.   

 

  1. What’s something on your bucket list?

I definitely think I want to see the northern lights. I find cenotes really cool and would love to swim in some. I’d also love to eventually have a poetry book in stores and on some best seller list.

 

  1. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Hopefully advancing in my career and in the process of buying a house if I’m lucky. Definitely want to be in a long term relationship with wedding bells heavily in mind. Also would be great if I had a second dog! And would definitely love to have a few more poetry collections published! I wonder if the blog will still be a focus for me?

 

  1. Have you ever wanted to write/publish an article/poem but didn’t because of who might read it?

Indeed I have, I want to show readers that relationships aren’t perfect. I think social media really plays a part in portraying relationships as always perfect and amazing and that makes you feel worse about your relationship. I wanted to portray a real and honest view of relationships. But I’m not the only one in this relationship and I need to be mindful that some things should stay within a relationship. There are also people in my life that read this blog and I try to maintain an appropriate line in that area as well.

 

Learning Curve of Going Self Hosted

I instantly thought I got way in over my head just from the hosting site. I had no idea what I was supposed to be doing nor how to fill out information they wanted from me. Luckily SiteGround transferred my content over from my previous website which only took a couple of hours. But once i got to the wordpressorg dashboard I was more in my comfort zone.

Things still looked kinda different and I’m still getting used to figuring out my Plug ins. I probably wouldn’t have known to add in any without the help of fellow bloggers writing posts about helpful tools. Other helpful tips I wouldn’t have known otherwise were claiming your website on Google and Pinterest and migrating your followers from dotcom to your new site.

One thing I definitely miss is the calendar display while scheduling future posts. I installed a calendar plug in to help keep me organized but I have to go to a different page to see it and that leaves me guessing and making mistakes while picking dates.

Along with the calendar I also miss how easy it was to link your older posts in dotcom. In org I have to open another tab for my site and search for every post I want to link back to.

There’s also been some confusion since I use JetPack to keep track of my Stats. When asking for more detailed Stats I get redirected to my WordPress.com dashboard. If I use the WordPress app will I be following and commenting as my dotcom site or my new site?

It’s also a bit disheartening to see your stats start from scratch. You worked so hard to build it up the first time and now you have to go through the process all over again. It will hopefully help that your regular followers have been migrated over and continue their support.

Figuring out how plug ins work has also been a challenge. I installed some that were highly recommended and don’t really feel like I use them or I guess just don’t know how. Similarly, I don’t fully understand how to properly set up monetization just as Google Adsense.

It’s a learning process for sure and you have to be willing to dedicate a lot of extra time in the beginning in order to get yourself up and running efficiently.

 

3 Month Blogger Break Made me a Better Blogger

I don’t think i wrote a blog post in 2018 until now. I had a great writing streak back in August and had been heavily relying on that stack of scheduled posts since then. But without new content to replenish, that stack dwindled. In February, I really started to strongly consider going to self hosting. But with my writer’s block and dwindling content I became disheartened. In March, I took a big step back. My calender of posting every other day turned into spacing the few posts I had left to every 4-5 days. My pageviews dropped by the hundreds and I didn’t even properly dress my posts with featured images, backlinks, and tags.

I told myself I was taking the month to write again and build up content but the weeks passed by with no pen to paper. The last week of the month I convinced myself again that I would go self hosting before the week was up. That lit a fire under me since I wanted the new site to have the chance to be successful. Within a few days I completed 10 new blog articles!

I also dedicated the next weekend to starting the self hosting site and figuring out the tasks I needed to get done to make it functional and presentable. Once that was complete I turned to Pinterest, Canva, and TailWind in order to help get my pageviews back and combat the loss from the WordPress.com community.

I’m back to having a solid 6 weeks of content scheduled ahead and feeling more professional with my own domain and creating marketing ads. I’m learning a ton from self hosting and feel like a badass every time i successfully add HTML coding.

I have all gone full force on Pinterest by working on Canva, joining share boards, and utilizing Tailwind.

Going Self Hosted

Hosting Site: Expense: $95.15 (included Domain name, privacy, and web security purchases)

I switched to self -hosting So obviously I have to make a post about how to do it! I’ve been on WordPress’ free plan for about a year and a half learning the ins and outs of the blog world. To be honest, I never really had a plan for blogging long term and thought I’d run out of ideas and materials just a few months in. I think it was good to do the free plan on WP so I could learn about blogging without the pressures of trying to make money to make up the loss of spending money on a hosting site. I could discover my place in the blogging community and my process for writing in a very laid back way.

I researched on blogs, talked to other bloggers in the community, and did comparisons on different hosting sites. I heard mixed reviews for BlueHost and great reviews for SiteGround so that’s where I’m ending up. You might decide on a different site based off of your research, not everyone’s experience will be your experience.

Domain Name/URL:

The process was simple since I just stuck with my original WP url name (a common suggestion so that readers don’t get confused with a new name and you lose your following) which happened to still be available. At this point I want to be blogging for the next few year so I picked the plan that made financial sense to me for that purpose and can revalue when the 3 years is up. SiteGround also transferred my content over from my previous site. I was also happy with their support team since I accidentally purchased a second transferred in addition to the free one but was thankfully refunded.

Themes: $41

I thought I would be able to just choose a theme from wordpress that I wouldn’t have to invest money in yet. Unfortunately, the options were slim and not what I was looking for. Just in case, I had done research for WP themes and decided to check out the site pipdig that was recommended. Upon further research, I went for a more budget friendly option and choose a theme from ThemeForest .

Plugins:

From there I installed and activated plugins such as JetPack, Yoast SEO, Velvet Blue Update URLs, and Google Analytics. I’m still figuring out if I need Google Analytics since JetPack seems to also offer blog stats. I put a few posts on the schedule and tried out Yoast SEO – I kinda hate the hassle it requires so I’m curious to see if it really does help my posts get noticed. Velvet Blue Update URLs is amazing if you’re switching from WordPresscom to org because it will change all your links so your audience from dotcom should hopefully get redirected to your new org site. This was an alternative from a paid expense wordpress offers its users.

HTML add ins:

I was a little stressed when I realized I had to do some coding of my own so first thing you need to know is: Theme>Editor>Header. That’s where most of your coding will go such as claiming your site on google webmaster and pinterest and applying for google adsense and similar.

Migrate Followers:

I was super happy to learn there was a way for me to transfer my dotcom followers over to my new site. A little bummed to find out stats can’t be transferred over as well but I’m hoping my new marketing strategy will quickly build that back up.

Explore Your Site:

Some of it will definitely be trial and error and just getting comfortable with the new dashboard. Research and read articles from other bloggers when you get a little lost.