Life’s lessons are never learnt until they are truly learnt
I don’t know where I read this quote nor do I know who has written it, but I suppose it applies to all of us because it is a universal truth. Everyday we learn something new and every time we absorb some learning, we think “Eureka!”
Sadly, the very next minute we realise that what we learnt is out-dated.
I agree this is hyperbole but knowledge is so vast that very few can really claim to know it all. This doesn’t mean that we don’t try to find out things and master them.
If like me you are a self taught computer geek ( I only started out with a knowledge of typing) and had to ask somebody how to put the computer on, you will find your journey of blogging quite hard. It is fun, challenging, frustrating and even impossible at times but each time I cross a roadblock, I feel I’m the Master of the Blogging World and promptly blog about it in the hope that it will help newbie bloggers so that they don’t have to struggle the way I did for all these years.
Why do you want to blog?
First, ask yourself this question – why do you want to blog? Aren’t there enough things for you to do that you want to add on one more task on your to do list?
Ok, you like writing and find this a great way to get your message across without sending off Letters to the Editor (a medium that hardly exists since most newspapers that carried this column are now defunct) but do you know how many bloggers there are out there in the world? There are enough articles and statistics about how many bloggers there are clacking away on their keyboards or punching away on their iPads, iPhones or any other device they blog with, on many different platforms, linking up and networking with several other bloggers ………….you get the drift, don’t you? So why do you want to be just another drop in the ocean?
Presumably you still want to go ahead and become just another drop in the ocean. After all, if each drop refused to become a drop, the ocean would dry up!
But there are things which you may have heard and which you may have followed with sincerity till somewhere along the way you got tangled up like me. Of course if you are born in the latter half of the last century you won’t be having this problem because somehow I feel children born after 1980 are wired differently and see things better than I do.
1) Identify your niche – is your blog about you as in your daily life like a diary? Is your blog about food( a very popular category)? Is it about travel? Photography? Technology?Finance? Interior Design? Fashion? There are literally millions of things you can write about, but it would help you to decide the niche under which you want to write. This helps in making your blog more user friendly……once you’ve categorised and tagged your articles, they are easier to find.
2) Choose your platform well. Sorry Blogger, after diligently following your platform I tend to agree with the millions of WordPress users that it is a more user friendly platform. Yes, after MSN and Blogger, I found WordPress hard to understand and navigate but now I find that it is much easier –
- It has a nice clean, uncluttered look.
- It has many more themes with many more features
- It can easily become a self-hosted blog by simply going premium ( Blogger makes you buy a domain outside)
3) Choose your consultant wisely.
After several years of stumbling in the blogosphere, asking around, interacting with other bloggers, I found that I wasn’t really going anywhere. So last year I took the plunge and actually PAID a professional advisor to help me with my blog. It turned out to be the biggest mistake because this guy just didn’t follow the brief I had given him and I landed up more frustrated because this was something I had literally bought! BEWARE OF ALL THOSE WHO CLAIM THAT THEY CAN HELP YOU SET UP A BLOG ETC ETC. They don’t always put their money where their mouth is.
My learnings till date
So after getting gypped, I was even more curious as to what I was doing wrong and found out that
- Only self-hosted blogs have the capacity to add Plug-Ins. So go for a self-hosted blog once you are comfortable with your blog. This helps you add several things easily like free images that make your blog more attractive. You can get SEO help etc, etc.
- Don’t go for domains like GoDaddy etc unless you are completely familiar with what to do next. Technology is not always as easy as it looks and technocrats aren’t really patient with newbie learners…….so this can be a frustrating experience. Upgrading on WordPress is a far less painful experience.
Since life is a learning experience, I’m sure there’ll be many more lessons for me to learn but till then, I’d like to share these latest lessons with you!
Happy learning and happy blogging!