Just Write

One Blogging Course Leads to Another

Do you get overwhelmed learning how to do all the side lines that go with blogging? I do! Videos make things look so simple, don’t they? My problems (this time) all started with a free course selling me on the idea that I needed email campaigns to build readership.

After taking the free course, I got excited and decided I would start an email campaign. That created another problem. 1.) I needed an email service provider. Google was not equipped to do that, so I chose MailChimp. 2) I needed a list of people who wanted to receive my emails. 3) I needed a LANDING PAGE to collect names of people who wanted to receive my emails. 4) I needed to create newsletters to send to the people who signed up to be on my list.

When I Googled “Landing Pages,” I found a “Landing Pages 101” course put out by Unbounce, and best of all, their landing pages “platform” links to my new email server, MailChimp. Perfect, I thought. Since I did not have an email list yet. I debated which to create first, A. the list or B. the page to go to solicit names to create the list? Unbounce offered a free course on YouTube, so I chose B.

Learning From YouTube

YouTube is my best friend when I’m trying to learn something new. This Unbounce lesson and video gave some great marketing tips: Make your ad title match your picture. Pick three things your product will do for the customer. GOOD STUFF.  I signed the Unbounce contract for a free trial.

Creating text looked SO easy on YouTube.  When I clicked start, my Unbounce screen, looked different than my YouTube trainer’s screen to create text. I toggled the video so I could watch the video several times.

My screen shot

My screen shot

This screen is hard to read, but I did not see a toolbox for creating text. Do you? I found a link to edit notes, but I didn’t want to edit notes. The video did not teach note editing. There is an edit box for the First Variant, but I had no idea what the first variant was.

After about three or four things went wrong with the project within about an hour, my frustration level hit the red danger level on the explosion machine. I was just about to detonate.

But wait!  Tweet Tweet, Twitter to the rescue! Up came the picture of the the video star from Unbounce, a live tweeting person. I was overjoyed. Until… we started tweeting. You be the judge. See if you can follow this conversation. My thoughts are italicized.

When English Is Bloglish

Marsha Just Writes:  Just watched video pt 2. Tried to start landing pg. Couldn’t get 2 1st base.

I should have started with thank you for creating that lovely video, but I only had 140 characters.

Expert writes: you could take this course to learn more >>thelandingpagecourse.com

That sounded simple enough, but I didn’t want to spend days taking a course. I thought I was better and smarter than that. I may have been wrong about that. I just couldn’t find a toolbar to start writing.

Marsha Just Writes:  Simple question – how to access the screen you used to compose. Put in text box or page?

Expert writes:  I’m not sure what you mean re:access the screen. Can you elaborate?

I’m thinking, what else would you call the screen you write your page on. So I asked my husband who sat next to me. Vince suggested that I use the word “page.” I thought that instead of trying to explain with 140 characters I would send Oli a picture. The picture would not load. ?@#*!!!  It was a TIFF file. (That is Photoshop for Tagged Image File Format which is a large file that takes up more characters than 140.) I changed it to a JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group which is a smaller file) I fixed the photo created a short link to it on Bitly.com so it would not take up 140 characters.

Marsha Just Writes: Sure. bit.ly/1KlfxVI. I can’t create a text box even – no tools

Expert writes: link is broken

More vocabulary problems here. Do you see it, or is it just me? The link to the picture does work, I just tried it.

Marsha Just Writes: ??? You can’t see my screenshot or the link on the page I’m trying to create? 

Expert writes: I see the image now. Click the edit button to access the page builder. Do you want text, or a text box for a form?

OMG, I’m lost again. I can’t find the edit button. I asked my husband to look at my screen and find it. Page Builder? Text or Text Box for a Form? The video wasn’t about creating a form, so where did that come in? I JUST WANT TO MAKE A BEAUTIFUL LANDING PAGE LIKE YOU DID IN YOUR VIDEO!

My husband said, “I thought you were going to read a book.”

I did appreciate his personal investment of time, but he had to be as frustrated as I was. My online spar continued with him for about another half hour with no better results. A month later, I still do not have a beautiful Unbounce Landing Page. There are reasons that 1) people hire experts, and 2) not all bloggers have landing pages.

Wrap Up

Have YOU ever felt frustrated when 1) learning one new skill leads to needing to know three or four more? 2) When the video screen shot looks entirely different than the screen on your computer? 3)When English looks like English, but it does NOT make sense?

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If you have ever suffered from those problems Sign up to receive my newsletters and free book about blogging written in plain English for new, struggling, and non-bloggers. You may not always get the help you need, but you might get a good laugh so you can buck up and face your own bumpy road again.