Writing a blog is easy, right? I mean, really all you have to do is sit down and write about some topic you may or may not know anything about, throw in a few photos, hit the publish button and you’re done. I’m here to tell you, it’s not that easy, but it’s not that hard either. The hard part is everything else your website needs to thrive.
Before we started this website we had zero experience with setting up or maintaining a website. Thankfully, WordPress does all the heavy lifting…at first. The rest was up to us (meaning me). About a year into blogging (meaning late last year), I finally realized there’s more to it than just putting some words and pictures on a webpage. You have to consider the performance of your site, search engine optimization (SEO), on-site analytics (OSA), key words, page formatting and consistency; the list goes on. And all this is on top of making sure the content is accurate, concise, relevant, and more importantly (in my opinion), interesting. Do we hit the mark with every post? Certainly not, but we’ve gotten better. And though I want our website to be a success, ultimately, we’re doing this for ourselves, not for anyone else (no offense).
There are some really great plugins out there that will pick up the heavy lifting where WordPress leaves off. My problem was I didn’t know I needed them or what they were to begin with. Gradually I’ve made my way through the plugins I think we need, but I know there are more I haven’t discovered yet. I know I’m not optimizing our site as much as I could, but for now, it’s good enough.
I would love to make some dough from this blog without turning it into an advertising festival for this or that gadget, and without resorting to Facebook or Twitter or hashtagging (that’s a whole ‘nuther blog in itself), but from everything I’ve read about putting ads on a website it sounds cumbersome, complicated and really gums up the appearance of the website. And it all seems way over my head. No thanks. Plus, I’m pretty sure we don’t get enough traffic (YET) to our website for it to be appealing to any advertisers. We’ll have to cross that ocean if we ever get to it.
One of my big struggles is trying to figure out how to get visitors to the site, and once they’ve made it here how to entice them to stay for a while and comment in the comment box. I’ve forced my mother to comment and she’s been great about it (thanks, Mom) and a few other friends have also been nice enough to comment. Comments give us an idea of what you think or if you have a question or are wondering why we did something one way and not another or it can just be a place for you to tell your story.
Now this is where YOU come in. Let’s make this a two-way street. Come on people! Don’t be shy. We’re all human. We all have opinions, ideas, and thoughts. We’d love to hear yours. I’m totally serious. You came to our website and (hopefully) you hung out for a while, so let us know what you think. If you found our website confusing and unorganized, please tell me. It seems logical to me, but clearly I’m biased. If you think it’s great, then by all means, type us a little note. Of course if you don’t want to comment, that’s fine. My feelings won’t be hurt. It’s not like I’m sitting in front of my laptop watching my stats page waiting for someone to comment…no really, I swear.