“The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”
Last fall, this blog went through a lot changes.
A 2-week break to move and settle into my new home in real life turned into almost a month and a half of no updates on my blog. I was using that time to decompress from stress I didn’t even realize I was going through. I also took a hard look at what my blog was and could be, and I knew I had to make some changes.
I did a ton of research about blogging and realized that blogging can be incredibly easy or incredibly complex. I took several Webinars about improving content, branding your blog, and getting paid to blog. I agree with most of the advice from the so-called experts, but some of the tactics just don’t line up with my morals.
So, what was I supposed to do with my sweet little blog?
I made a bunch of changes:
- Got my own URL
- Changed blogging platforms
- Updated the design slightly
- Ditched columns that weren’t working
- Spent days brainstorming ideas about what I want to share with my readers
When I finally jumped back into the world of blogging last month, I realized I had made some mistakes.
Er, make that many mistakes.
If I were to do it again, I would treat my blog move as if it were an actual real-life move—something I’ve done twice in the past year!
1. Ask for help when moving.
All the resources, videos, and tutorials I watched and read said that moving a blog from one platform to another was easy peasy and anyone could do it. I still felt nervous about doing it myself, but I moved forward anyway. I was worried I might lose content, and unfortunately, I did. My first 2 months of posts disappeared, and all my readers’ comments were gone.
I should have sucked it up and hired a professional to help me move my blog from its old platform to my new self-hosted one. I was worried about looking like a fuddy duddy old lady who doesn’t understand computers. My pride got in the way, and my blog suffered.
In real life, if you don’t ask for help or hire professional movers, you run the risk of having your possessions damaged. Carrying a piano up a flight of stairs might seem doable at first, but when you actually try to do it yourself, you’ll soon realize how wrong you were.
2. Leave a forwarding address.
I was so over my old blogging platform that after the transfer, I deleted my old blog. Big mistake. My blog feed didn’t transfer so all my old subscribers thought I had given up blogging. There was no way for them to find me.
In real life, you’d have your mail forwarded to your new address. You’d probably also send a mass e-mail to everyone you know telling them where to find you. You wouldn’t want to fall off the face of the Earth, would you?
3. Don’t invite people over until you’re finished unpacking.
I was so excited about blogging again that I just dove right in. I made the new blog public before I had finished some very basic things, such as updating my About page or getting the design colors right. My blog looks OK, but there are still a few things I’m embarrassed I let my readers see.
In real life, you’d unpack all the boxes, vacuum up the dust, fill the pantry with food, and make the bed before inviting your friends over for game night. Everyone wants to see your new place, but no one expects to sit on the floor eating pizza off paper plates.
One of my favorite bloggers just did a big blog move, but unfortunately, she did it after my move, otherwise I would have grilled her for advice. She left a message on her old blog inviting her readers to visit her new blog, and she didn’t start blogging until her new blog looked clean and presentable. I don’t know if she hired help, but I think she did it on her own. She’s a savvy college student and not a dinosaur like me.
Lesson learned: sometimes you’ll mess up even if you do your homework and make a plan. But now I can learn from my rocky blog move and be better prepared for whatever lies ahead.
Have you ever messed up even though you thought you had everything under control? How did you rebound from your mistake?
Have you ever avoided asking for help because you didn’t want to look stupid?