It’s the one year anniversary of my blog Momrockzz Her New Life!
Blogging hasn’t been so easy for me. There was so much I didn’t understand and still don’t, but somehow I managed to get a site together and write a fair amount of posts.
Soon after I retired from teaching, I thought starting a blog about living a happy retirement life would be a good idea. I read all about finding your niche. It would be a nice hobby and perhaps I could make a little extra money from my posts. I figured I would call it Momrockzz Retirement. Momrockzz was a name my daughter gave me years ago for the Wii Game System and it has stuck.
Well I didn’t know anything about starting a blog so I did some research. Google led me to Pinterest where you can find a gazillion pins about blogging.
- How to start a blog
- Mistakes bloggers make
- How to promote your blog
- Affiliate networks everyone should join
- Ways to protect your blog legally
- 25 WordPress tips
- Reasons new bloggers fail
- How I turned my blog into a career
Dazed and Confused
Everything I read said you should use Bluehost for website hosting, and that any other choice would be a mistake. I had a feeling I wouldn’t understand it. That it would be too complicated for me. After days of reading posts about starting a blog, I signed up with Bluehost. I had no idea what to do once I got my domain name. I was completely lost. It was supposed to be one click, but then I was reading about cpanels and it was like I was back in the days of DOS before Windows 95 and point and click. The phone assistance didn’t help, so basically I paid for a domain name that I had no idea how to use. Big disappointment! I hate feeling stupid. I was sure half these people with blogs I saw on Pinterest weren’t exactly the sharpest tacks, but they got a website together.
Lost without a Home
I tried checking out using Facebook and Google, but this was a dead end when they asked for a privacy plan. Facebook would end up being a page similar to what I have for my dog sitting business. That wasn’t going to reach new people, and to be honest I’m not crazy about half my friend’s list reading all my posts. Google’s blog seemed to suggest that it would be eliminating this feature which made it pretty undesirable.
I looked at Go Daddy, Wix, Squarespace, SiteGround, but I figured I would have the same result as Blue Host. Then I did the thing every blog Pinterest pin said not to do. I signed up with WordPress.com. I chose the the Premium Plan which was a step up from the Free plan.
The Best Made Plan
First I needed a new domain name since I couldn’t use the one I bought on Bluehost for a year. I kicked a lot of variants of Momrockzz Retirement around and settled on my current domain name- Momrockzz Her New Life. I somehow figured out how to categorize a few pages and make an about page. My page categories were: Blog/My Travel/Dog Days/Words to Live By. I was pretty impressed with myself. I wrote a whole post analyzing a quote for Words to Live By and another about retiring, but when I told my friends about the blog no one seemed able to get on. I was very frustrated and at a loss of what I should do next. I was ready to quit.
A few days went by and I decided to ask WordPress for help. The help chat was very responsive and even though I sounded like an emotional wreck, he calmly explained my problem. There’s a difference between a Post and a Page! I was posting on a static page! He helped me have an operational blog in just a few minutes.
It didn’t take me long to figure out that I needed to tweak my categories and came up with using – Her New Life as a connection. My categories morphed into: Her New Life Blog; Her New Life Dog Sitting; Her New Life Travels; Her New Life Quotes.
I tweaked my categories one last time to better fit my posts: Retired Life Blog/Dog Sitter Life/ Life on Long Island. I realized that most of my travels were on Long Island and that I could put any other travel post under Retired Life. Analyzing quotes was pretty laborious, but also fit under the category of Retired Life.
Pinterest was a valuable tool for learning about getting traffic on your page, ways to get subscribers, and affiliates a new blogger could join.
I occasionally posted my blog on FaceBook and tend to get some traffic to my page. Occasionally a Twitter follower will check out my blog. I have linked my blog post to Pinterest quite a few times too. WordPress Readers check out my blog posts also.
After some more struggles, I figured out MailChimp for subscribers, but don’t really have many. To be honest, I follow other WordPress bloggers and only occasionally click on the link to read their blog from the email notification. I do go to the Reader page though and find many engaging articles to read and often comment on.
I did a lot of research on this topic! I signed up with WordPress, Amazon, and Chewy pretty easily and surprisingly learned how to link promotions and products to my posts. I had no interest in signing up for pop up ads that I personally feel cause the reader to lose interest in the words on the page. I had little luck with affiliates and when someone actually bought something on Amazon, I decided this was a waste of time due to the small earnings. I also felt phony putting these links on my post. I guess I’m not a salesperson.
Today I’m pretty happy with my blog. I don’t have many subscribers, but I do know people who have checked out places on Long Island because of reading my blog. Dog Lovers have enjoyed my Dog Sitting Posts, and my Retired Life Blog Posts have entertained and inspired a few.
I gave up trying to get people to subscribe and repeatedly link posts on Pinterest. I stopped all the affiliate links too. I decided that I’m just going to write. Writing is a nice outlet for me, and if I think about it, it’s actually something I’ve always done to express my feelings.
If one person reads my blog posts and decides to check out a local hiking trail or preserve, or finds things to do near their home, or finds a hobby or takes a trip, or rescues a dog, I’ll be satisfied.
I’m not a paid travel blogger or influencer, but in a small way I feel my writing helps others.
I like writing blog posts and I guess that’s all that really matters.