Day 43 – Blogging Lessons Week #6

Last week I assigned myself two tasks to pull myself out of my blogging slump:

  1. Pay for website hosting (move to a self-hosted site).
  2. Join a support group for bloggers.

Needless to say as in all things technical, it has been a frustrating week of personal growth and confusion, leaning more towards confusion. Let’s recap.

Pay for Website Hosting

After looking through all my options, three sites became viable options:

  • Continue with WordPress.com and enable more features by paying for a better plan ($10/month approximately – most expensive, but smallest headache).
  • BlueHost ($2.95 a month, but turned out to be more like $4.95 when you only signed up for a 12-month plan as opposed to 36).
  • Siteground (advertised as $3.95/month, but probably same as BlueHost in terms of signing up for a 36-month plan).

All were viable options; however, my determining factors were access to support, price being a newbie with no income stream and the sheer number of positive reviews by fellow bloggers.  BlueHost was my choice; however, I’m still waffling (30-day refund guarantee) due to some issues I have encountered this week.

Issue #1

Transferring content.  I thought that I had a minimal amount of content to transfer over.  Turns out, my content was too big for the allowed file transfer amount .  When I transferred my blog, about half of the posts were missing.  I contacted BlueHost support who were extremely helpful; however, the solution was mickey mouse.  I had to transfer the content over in bits and pieces.  I’m sure there is a better way; however, the learning curve I’m facing is so big now, I just wanted the job done and did it piecemeal.

Issue #2

This message: For your information, we’re provisioning your WordPress installation on a temporary domain.  We’ll update your site to acceptingjane.com automatically as soon as it’s ready.

I’m still not 100% sure what that means, but I think it means they’re trying to move my domain under their hosting service.   Looking into the matter further, it was supposed to be resolved in a matter of a couple of days, but it is still displaying on my BlueHost login five days later.  When I logged back into my WordPress.com site, I had a little tiny icon by the address bar that indicated something was trying to log into my site, and they had blocked it.  Looking into it a day or two later, I realized that it was BlueHost and allowed access.  The message still appears on my BlueHost login screen, and I’m thinking I will need to contact them this week to see if there is anything I should be doing on my end.

As an aside if any bloggers wanted to write about migrating from WordPress.com to BlueHost in a complete fashion, it would be amazingly helpful.  Many sites contained bits and pieces of valuable information, but as a whole none of them were complete about moving an established WordPress.com site, especially talking to a newbie like me.

Issue #3

Migrating Followers.  I don’t have many followers, but the few I do have are so valuable to me.  You gave me the push of confidence I needed to keep trucking.  This information was not exported over to my new BlueHost site, and I need to use a free add-on called JetPack to move them.  This was the least painful issue I had this week, thanks to this article.  I also heavily relied on em embedded link in the article to explain things like Subscription Module in more detail.

Issue #4

Transferring over stats.  Still a problem and I need them to see throughout the year what topics resonate most with my followers.   Looks like I may have to ask either BlueHost or WordPress.com for assistance.  I’ll update on this issue next week.

This brings me to my second task…

Join a Support Group for Bloggers

I have joined two support groups on Facebook after doing some research on best blogging support groups here.

Factors in my decision included my newbie status, size of the group (didn’t want too huge, but didn’t want too small either…looking for a little anonymity with the option of being louder when I get more established) and how the intro to the group felt (leaned toward groups that promoted encouragement and lack of criticism).  Some groups were a potential until I read the list of rules which seemed really hard to remember…simple is better.

I chose:

Blogging Newbs – Loved the different stages of the membership.

Blogging for New Bloggers – Came up on the side of my Facebook feed when I was looking at other blogging support groups and liked the growth opportunities it represented (you follow me and I’ll follow you).  =)

So far these groups have been exactly as promised with a great group of supportive people and some great advice.  I encourage you if you’re a blogger joining a support group is a great way to go especially if you’re feeling stagnant and need some new ideas about direction.

Tasks for Next Week

The lessons I have learned this week in blogging have been huge (for me), scary and still paddling in the unknown, but I have assigned myself these tasks for the upcoming week:

  1. Figure out how to transfer my stats.
  2. Message BlueHost about Item #2.
  3. Make a significant dent in my Udemy course, WordPress for Beginners by Andrew Williams.

We’ll see you next week!

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