The purpose behind my creating my blog 3 years ago was to share my life lessons with women possibly going through the same things. As I dealt with life’s ups and downs, I often wished that someone would have shared their knowledge with me along the way. I thought, if it could have benefited me, it could benefit someone else.
After doing some research on blogging platforms, I decided to go with WordPress and began the task of choosing a theme. Never fully satisfied with any theme “out of the box”, I joined Website Babble for help. After that, there was no turning back.
I dabbled in HTML only to find that I need to learn CSS only to find that I needed to learn XHTML. I installed plugins only to learn that they can wreck havoc on page loading, scaled back on plugins and downloaded theme updates only to find that my plugins would no longer work. I took classes to learn, added ads to monetize and joined affiliate marketing programs.
What no visitors?
Once partially satisfied with the look and feel of my site, I set out to drive traffic. I joined Twitter, strategically sprinkled keywords throughout my post hoping Google would notice me and became a member of several networking sites gear towards women, moms or businesses. I downloaded badges, tried to learn how to create badges and checked my site stats every 15 minutes hoping to see results.
With still no substantial increase in views, I signed up for HootSuite so that I could have my Tweets sent when I was away from home. I searched for new content, commented on other blogs, schedule the posts I found, waited for other bloggers to show me love and stared at my stats again.
Willy Nilly Commenting
Then I read that I need to be strategic when commenting on other blogs. That I needed to only comment on blogs that were related to my topic. The quality of the linking was important I read. Oh no, I thought, my first affiliation with blogging was through the internet gurus of Website Babble. Most of my comments were on/from techie sites.
So, in need of content to share and an increase in views, I turned to my blogging networks in search of bloggers like me. I’d read a post, leave a comment and then…notice something very different. Before publishing, I had to make a choice. “Comment as: Google Account, LiveJournal, WordPress, TypePad, AIM or OpenID.” Oh, I was on a Blogger site.
Of course, my first choice would be WordPress but my site is self hosted (oops, forgot to mention that whole ordeal) so I don’t have a User ID. As a matter of fact, I have this dandy self hosted email address that I’m paying for…another something I was told I had to have. With WordPress not being an option, I’d try Google Account but, again, I don’t want to use my personal email address, I’m building a brand and, besides, my picture is associated with the other one.
Totally off track
With all my doing what everyone else was doing, I forgot why I created my blog. I’d posted a little here and there but there was no consistency. My initial goal was to offer shelter from the storm but I was more concerned with the shingles than the Welcome mat. Before I started learning, installing or affiliating, I knew the importance of writing good content. Exhausted with it all I quit.
After being trained as a life coach, a year ago, I started giving more thought to my blog. Not willing to get sucked into all the dos and don’ts of blogging, however, I held back.
Today, while penning an awesome comment on Jewel Crow’s post, I ran into the OpenID issue again. After failing much like I had years prior, I decided that I would figure out how to create this mystery id. And so the bunny trail began…
Relentlessly, I searched through several techie blog posts to find a simple way to create an OpenID that mimics my Gravatar and, while what I found isn’t perfect, it was easy and I can live with the results. Now, why was I able to figure it out today but I couldn’t figure it out before?
Advice or Answers
I’m sure the information for how to create an OpenID hasn’t changed much since I started blogging several years ago. So we can safely assume that the information was there all the while. I mean, it had to be, the site address is www.MyOpenID.com.
My initial choice to blog came from a place of mourning. I wanted to offer others what I felt wasn’t offered to me. Answers. Initially, I thought the purpose of my blogging was to offer women advice on how to get through life’s ups and downs but what I really want is to provide answers.
Exactly like my experience with OpenID years ago, my unwillingness to seek answers to my problems in life didn’t change the fact that the answers were there.
Back in the Saddle with No Barriers
Over the last few months, I’ve participated in several writing challenges that have reignited my interest in blogging. With everything I’ve learn about blogging, an OpenID userid and a commitment to post answers every day for the month of January (NaBloPoMo), I’m putting greater emphasis in the Welcome mat than the shingles. Hopefully, you can tell.
When have you dove head first into a project and got so caught up in it’s success that you forgot why you started?