Does Having Limited Technology Knowledge Impede YOUR Blogging?

Having problem-solving skills helps with blogging, but for most hobby bloggers limited technology knowledge slows their blogging success especially if they begin a self-hosted blog. So the short answer is YES! Can you solve them? Yes!

On my blog, Always Write I use my skills as teacher and administrator to help make your blog more successful. Are you having problems? Have you just solved one? Talk to me!

Limited Technology Knowledge

Limited Technology Knowledge Slowing Your Blogging Down?

When you started blogging, how would you have rated your technological knowledge?

Five years ago when I started, I thought that since I had the technology knowledge to use Word, Google Docs, Evernote, and other cloud technology, I was at least 8/10. I did not I realize that I needed help until I hit the first rough road with WordPress.com. The good news is that blogging on WordPress.com seems natural now. 

WordPress.com Technology Issues

When starting a blog five years ago, I admitted that limited technology knowledge impeded my success. The WordPress sidebar forced me to make decisions. For example, WordPress.com asked me to about the following facets of web design.

  • Appearance decisions including finding a theme, creating a header, title, and tagline
  • More presentation choices including creating widgets and menus – Sometimes they worked, sometimes they did not.
  • Post decisions including categories, tags, and featured photo. 
  • Page decisions, which became my top menu, included determining what pages I needed and why to include them. The most important pages are the About Page and About My Website.
  • Setting choices including options in reading, writing, sharing, and discussion

If you need help with those things, networking with other bloggers helps. Blogging 101 helps. Facebook and other social media groups help answer questions. There are lots of answers out there!

The best tip is to buy a PREMIUM theme from WP for $99. It is WELL worth the money unless you know everything about WP and could work there. They chat with you for free. They access your site – without a validation key. POOF, they are into your site. There is NO privacy in WP.com.

I would NOT buy the business service again! It cost about $299 and did not offer enough added services of the Premium service to be worth the extra $200. If you are going to invest in a site that does not make you money, I recommend changing over to WordPress.org to have the option of earning income with your blog.

Once I finished setting up my WordPress.com blog, I still had to learn how to do other important tasks.

  • Taking, processing and posting pictures threw me into another learning curve. I use Photoshop to process pictures.
  • Over the years I learned that content blogging uses a different style of writing than the expository writing I learned in college. Briefly, sentences and paragraphs are short punctuated by headings and photos.
  • The hardest obstacle to blogging was not technical but was time management. Right away I had more blogs following me than I could reciprocate and read and share comments every day.

You can find my WordPress.com woes on my WP.com site, Traveling & Blogging Near and Far. I never stopped experimenting for five years with WP.com. My husband wondered where else my hobby would take me.

“You spend a lot of time at this. Is it going to be profitable?”

Why Move to a Self-Hosted Blog If You Need More Technical Knowledge?

I decided not to let limited technology knowledge slow my growth as an experimenting blogger. Six months ago I continued the blogging experiment and began to read about becoming a professional blogger. There are lots of ways to do that. Each type of monetization requires technical know-how. With a self-hosted blog, you can do the following activities.

  • Affiliate with companies that sell products you use. It takes a lot of time to use them, and possibly some technological knowledge.
  • Create products for others to use. I created a Transitional Blogging Journal. This took me months to experiment with it. I feel confident that I could market it now. I see ubiquitous cheat sheets from any of blogger with a pop up sign-up sheet. I’m sure that some of them are amazing, but I’ve also paid $500 for a course I did not even finish because when I researched what the person said, his or her advice was not accurate. Some of them use a simple PowerPoint presentation with their voice recorded over. It might take me 8 hours to create such a product it was so simple.
  • Sell advertising in the blank spots on the blog. If you know WordPress.com you have experience with those.
  • Write content for other blogs (OK easy one! hahaha Each post takes about eight hours to write.)
  • Create graphics or photographs for other blogs or companies Again, there are hundreds of programs you could learn. Fiverr offers low-cost entrepreneurs to do graphics and all kinds of blogging chores for you for a very low fee. You can also sign up to be one of the providers.
  • Review products and services and earn income, free products, or services (OMGosh, review them – for how long? Till you have problems? They had better make a good first impression!)

The ways to monetize a blog are endless. HOWEVER, if YOU want to your blog to earn an income, you have to get serious about self-hosting your blog. WordPress.com does not allow monetization for less than 25,000 visits per day. 

The Move to Self-Hosted

OMGosh, some of the young women in the FB groups I just joined say,

“WordPress.org is so easy. I just started a blog. I got 4,000,000 followers in my first month. Check out my blog and see what I’m doing.”

I’m sorry. I have a Masters’ Degree and earned almost straight A’s from the time I started back to school to get my Associates’ Degree. I do not think it is easy to create a great blog on WordPress.org or com.

Self-hosted blogs add a level of technical knowledge that I do not have. I need a web developer. Even with him, I need the assistance of support people at Blue Host, the company that hosts my blog. This week Mack from Blue Host sent me this report.

Limited Technology Knowledge Retard

Defer parsing of JavaScript, Optimize images, Leverage browser caching, Serve scaled images, Specify a cache validator

WordPress.org Issues

  • Communication with other bloggers – Establishing and maintaining relationships & collaborations is the essence of hobby blogging and some professional bloggers as well. Comment-making does not occur naturally in WordPress.org. Do you want to carry on a comment conversation? Expanded comments do not happen on WordPress.org. Your friends complain. Others just leave. What do you do? 
    • JetPack Publicize First posting goes out across multiple social media. JetPack Publicize is free and great! BUT, it’s not enough. Now what?
      • Automattic, WordPress, and Jetpack control the comment world of WordPress.com. They do not do well with WordPress.org, but they are better that they used to be. The JetPack rep said they are working on it. Does anything else work? I don’t know. Do you?
    • My site is slow. I’ve done everything I know. Someone on FB yesterday said it is still slow. So are some other blogs I’ve tried! New visitors leave quickly.
      • Do you know how to do these things? Defer parsing of JavaScript, Optimize images, Leverage browser caching, Serve scaled images, Specify a cache validator.  My biggest problem is optimizing images. I figured it out with the pictures on this page. Now, to do the thousands, I have in my files! Am I a hostage to technology? YES! Daniel emailed me today that he completed fixing these problems
      • Maybe you knew those terms and how to deal with them? How about these? ADD Expired Headers, Make fewer HTTP requests, Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN), Reduce DNS lookups, Avoid URL redirects
      • Here is what some FB members on Blogging 101 had to say.

        SusanI always optimize my images with tiny png before uploading them. Plus I use a plugin called Smush it. If that doesn’t work you might want to consider a CDN. There are tons of tutorials that can help you improve the speed. Also, the more plugins you use can have an effect on load time. Hope this helps you out.
        Sherry  Loading time is a problem. Sorry, you might also look at having a read more instead of such long scrolls.

        My web developer, Daniel Renteria, gave me this advice.

        “Site speed ultimately comes down to hosting, bandwidth, and traffic.  You could have a very poorly optimized site but have a great hosting plan and your site would load without a hiccup!”

    • Get more traffic once you’ve published.
      • Pop-ups & Email Campaigns. I don’t want pop-ups. I went to a recommended site yesterday, and I couldn’t read the post. there was no x to get rid of the pop-up! You need some way for people to follow your blog. Do you want to spend time creating email campaigns?  If so, there is another learning curve. I use Mail Chimp, and I upgraded it to premium so it would post automatically if someone follows me. (I hope it does.)
      • Third-Party Social Media Posting is necessary to attract readers. There are several ways to boost your posts. I use Buffer, and I paid for a year’s subscription. This way I can repost my article as many times as I want on the day it comes out and several follow-up times. I think I can post on 10 platforms, which is plenty for me. Don’t forget the #hashtags.
      • Give Aways, Products, or Services – Customers may follow your blog. This is another expenditure of time to find or create your products. But people who use your products may become your friends. This is WAY beyond hobby blogging. If you are starting a new blog to make money, you had better get this figured out fast! If I were doing this, I’d start a Facebook GROUP to allow bloggers to link their blogs. A lot of them are very successful. I just joined about five that are just for women. If you want to be successful in your niche, I think you should start your own!
  • Upkeep on appearance and efficiency of blog
    • Plugins expire (easy renew them.) Some of them slow you down. Go to GT Metrix to find out which ones and remove them! Don’t use them – take them out!
    • This is what my developer, Daniel Renteria says, “I would definitely recommend not experimenting with plugins!”
    • Themes have glitches! OUCH! Their developers are now teaching yoga at the nearest gym. They don’t even use a computer anymore. Get a new theme, but you did not know that was your problem, did you?
    • your site slows down TRIPLE OUCH!
    • SEO now matters. To market your blog on Google and other search engines you have to make your site visible by using the right key words. YOAST Plugin is great for this. WARNING! It takes a lot more time to write your post!
    • Caching and optimizing the website.

Look at what slowed my site down.

Limited Technology Knowledge Retard

ADD Expired Headers, Make fewer HTTP requests, Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN), Reduce DNS lookups, Avoid URL redirects

 

Daniel Did A Great Job!

Ralph The likes on all the posts I couldn’t like before suddenly appeared, so I zipped through them fast in case they went back to “Loading …”. So I am up to date in reading and liking all your posts MVBFM ?

What technology glitch has thrown you into a hair-pulling tizzy this month?

How can I use my knowledge as a teacher and administrator to make your blog more successful?

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