The Making and Life of a Blogger: The Story Continues: Chapter Twenty–My Blog

My blog came about one day during the COVID-19 lockdown and the pandemic was going full throttle in the spring of 2020. Luckily, I had a critical job that I could still go to, so I was able to get a little time away from the house. But that was not enough of a release and tension began to build up. I was becoming very irritable and my wife could tell that I had enough, when I started yelling at the TV while watching the news. She basically humbled me by saying that I should put up or shut up. I asked her what she meant by this? She said that yelling at the TV was doing nothing but pissing her off, and that if I wanted to do something productive, I would have to come up with a plan on how to do it. I had been trying to get my word out on Facebook but I was having only limited impact mainly because they had already started shadow banning me. So I started emailing my politicians and the Trump family and Newsmax and Fox News, the local channel as well as the National channel. Even though it made me feel a little better, I knew that nobody was home and all I was getting were canned replies.

So I started on my path of becoming an internet influencer. While I don’t have millions of followers like movie stars have, I do have a very broad array of faithful readers. I have readers from 142 countries worldwide. I think in this case, quality is more important than quantity. I now know that my word is getting out and if Google would stop blocking my hash tags, I could truly become an internet influencer. Instead of tens of thousands of readers, I should be having millions of readers by now. But at least I am doing something.

Even though, I have plenty of computer and internet experience, the road has still not been an easy one. Besides sending emails, my internet experiences have been limited to downloading files, internet searches and shopping online. Now I was creating something from scratch. Even my two photo websites on Flickr and Viewbug did not prepare me for the road ahead.

When I started my blog, I had little experience with blogs besides reading one occasionally. So I started by going online and posting questions and watching YouTube videos. I finally realized that I was going to have to spend money if I was going to get what I wanted. I know one thing, I wanted total autonomy and I did not want any body blocking the content of my postings like what was happening on my social media sites. I also wanted to be able to upload unlimited content without having my readers deal with obnoxious ads. I finally decided on WordPress as the platform for my blog.

WordPress came highly recommended with its level of functionality and vast customization features available. However, the learning curve is quite steep and if I had to start all over I would use something else, preferably something more user-friendly. Well, with 450 posted articles on my site, the chances of me changing platforms now is slim and none. Apparently unless you have a professional account you have little to no options to backup your site. Well, I have spent literally hundreds of hours on my blog in the last two years, so I definitely wanted to have a way to back up my site. I wanted the ability to copy the entire content onto my computer if I decided to stop for a while. I don’t like the idea of having my entire content on the cloud. I had to upgrade my service just so I could use third party add-ons, like my back-up program for instance. Now in order to get more coverage on my blog, I had to go beyond that to the professional level. Right now I am writing my second book, so I haven’t had very much time to investigate my expanded options. I am hoping that I will be able to tie it in with not only my books but my podcast and photo sites to increase traffic across the platforms for all of my endeavors.

As I said, WordPress has a lot of options and templates to get you started. I chose a likely template and started posting articles with little thought of any organization. I soon found out that was a mistake. I also found out that my template was too limited. So I had to start all over. I eventually found out that I was posting duplicate images, so I had to get more different images in order to replace those duplicates. I was also having problems with my categories because I had to backtrack to update the original articles. Also there are several steps involved in creating your categories that I found quite confusing. As I posted more articles, I came to the conclusion that I wanted the reader a way to link back to other related articles. I also became confused with my dates. Without having someone to show you the ropes every step you took was difficult. The amount of work involved in linking the related postings was daunting, to say the least. The next challenge I faced was that the images had to be of a certain dimension otherwise they caused issues with the formatting. Even now I am still having issues two years later. It seems like every time you add a new feature, a new problem arises. One came about when I upgraded my service. It is quite irritating because it involves the cursor which means that it affects you constantly.

I have done my best to fix the problems with little success. When I access the site on other computers, the problem doesn’t seem to be an issue. So I guess it is a problem that I can live with, enough time has been wasted trying to fix it. As long as my readers don’t have a problem while reading my postings, I guess I am OK with the problem being isolated to my side only.

At this time, I am working on this posting on my cellphone at work during my break. Something that I have not done for some time. Much to my surprise neither problem is showing up. Apparently it is only on the desktop version of the software that these problems are showing up. This is just one more reason to consider carefully what platform you use for your blog. Because if you are going to be serious about it, you will be spending a great deal of time working on it. So every time you have to deal with an issue that reappears repeatedly, it eventually becomes quite onerous. Some people only use their phones to work on their blog, so this won’t be an issue for them. However, I am old school and prefer to use my desk top with my multi-monitor setup and full keyboard and mouse.

Looking back, I am not sure I would recommend WordPress for the weak-willed and the rookie alike. I believe that it should only be used by experienced bloggers.

I am going to discuss the main topics that I concentrate on in my blog in the five following chapters.