Meet my New Baby Bloggling!

Thank you for visiting! I thought I’d let you know how I’ve already broken most of the basic blogging rules, ruined my chances of pro-blogging niche millions and why I’m still deliriously happy with the baby bloggling you’ve come to visit today! It might be an idea to grab a cuppa now; I’m not too great at short posts…

The Journey…

I’ve had a private blog for nine months now where I practised blogging – or so I thought. Nothing prepares you.

I’ve always known who I am and why I want to blog: my longer pieces needed a permanent home and I love the feeling of power it gives me being in control of what I publish and when. Comes from years of manuscript rejections, I guess, and of having editors who have a final say as to whether my pieces appear or not.

For the last few years, I’ve been lucky enough to have a place to write, a regular column in a newsletter. But I love it so much, I often write more pieces than the editor needs, and if they’re seasonal, they can’t be used the following month. As it’s a coaching newsletter, sometimes they’re too general, political or controversial. A blog seemed like a good idea. After being ‘fired’ by one editor last year then re-instated when she resigned, the blog decision was a no-brainer. The loss I felt when I could no longer write that column and connect with people I’d bonded with was visceral, soul destroying.

Perfectionism and Analysis Paralysis…

But despite being aware of general blogging theory (having a private blog and never commenting anywhere gives you plenty of time to study archives and free ebooks!) I’ve fallen into all the classic traps with this blog.

I didn’t want to dive in to learn by doing, not publicly anyway.

I wanted to upload everything I’d ever written before I launched. (Still haven’t. Sigh…)

I wanted the whole site to be functional yet pretty, like a swan gliding while paddling madly under the water – oh, make allowances, I’m a girl who loves colour, flowers and lyricism! – and unfortunately, that meant creating wish files of bees and buttons, flowers and fonts and studying dozens of other people’s headers, footers, sidebars, backgrounds, buttons, drop downs and extras. Then rejecting most of it and doing whatever I liked anyway, like most women I know!

I wanted a header I loved, one I’d made myself. (The tulips are from my kitchen window.) As I don’t have Gimp or Photoshop, and my previous blog header had no graphics, it  took a week to create ‘candidates’ before I even had a theme.

I agonised over whether I wanted to make any affiliate money as well as sell my own ebooks. I have a new ebook almost ready to launch – watch this space – and didn’t want to go public until I had it on the site. My husband rolled his eyes and shook his head in despair. So, it’ll have to wait. The manuscript has been doing the rounds of publishing marketing departments for five years so it can wait another few weeks!

Identity Crises and to Niche or Not to Niche…

And then, the biggest blow, I realised I was going through such a tough spell with chronic health problems, my t(w)eenage kids and elderly father that I’d disconnected from my domain name itself, Loving the Details. I simply wasn’t loving the details any more. Which was terrifying as I usually take a zen delight in all the details of my life and am very present. I will use it again some day, but for now, the important thing is that I keep travelling, keep evolving without procrastination.

As if that weren’t enough, there was the niche thing. Because my main aim in in this blog is to express myself and support people, to make money with meaning, if at all, I refuse to pigeonhole and separate my friends – to divide coaches who don’t have kids from parents who coach; gay coaches who write from parents who don’t have blogs; personal development writers from certified coaches; younger readers from older ones. So, in writing for coaches, writers and homemakers of all ages, chances are my posts won’t always interest you, but there again, maybe you can connect with some new people, gain some new perspectives in the comments – if I get any.

Loving Thesis and Networking…

I stalled. I continued to lust after a Thesis  theme. I started commenting on other people’s blogs in the meantime, visiting, learning, supporting and reconnecting with my love of networking and championing people. (I used to be highly active in coaching forums and membership sites.)

All the time my craving to write and publish grew. My comments grew longer. I started sending out guest post feelers.

Sharing the Journey is Born…

And then came my Barack Obama piece. I’d written the core when he won the elections but it all came together when he was inaugurated. I called the piece Sharing the Journey and I suddenly knew, in that place where you just know, that I had to change my domain name and buy one that says what I’ve spent my years doing. The tagline came in a heartbeat, although another one, which says much more lyrically who I am and what I offer, stalled the process again. I promise I’ll tell you about the other tagline candidate in a proper post some day.

Huge blogging error, bonding with a domain name without checking if the dot com is available, but I didn’t care.  The dot co dot UK means folk will give me a break about my Scots English spelling!

I took a deep breath, bought Thesis and started learning. Struggling, asking for help, sobbing, tearing my hair out, learning, persevering… It still takes me five minutes to upload and position a photo.

And the comments thing? THREE days to learn how to get rid of that  quantity not quality {0 comments} counter from my home page. It had already taken me a year to get psychologically prepared and ready for the possibility and acceptance of no comments or negative ones. I have fluctuating self-esteem at the best of times.

I had no idea what widgets, plugins, hooks and RSS were. I still don’t know what sticky means. I found out what memes and pings were a few days ago and although I did the SEO for my first site and blog myself, I’ve  had to study it all again from scratch – only to realise my category structure means I’ll be google sandboxed, apparently, not entirely sure… the thought of embarking on social media makes me want to run away and bury my head in that self same sandbox, but I’ll learn, I know I will. I have so far.

So that’s the blog-building journey. I could have asked or paid a trusted colleague to do it all, but my husband and I have grown closer working on this together and my daughter now has Thesis envy for her first blog!

Getting to know me…

If you want to know more about my journeys as a person, my Welcome page has an outline and maps out what I hope to achieve in this blog, but the best way is through my writing. My family life, my writing and my coaching are the canvas that holds all the embroidery together.

Birdsong, in the popular posts section, says what I feel about you, about coaching, writing , people, connection and life.

Loving Letters and And the Angels Sang will give you a glimpse of how I feel the world.

Sample some of my homelife coaching in the Coaching Moments piece Life Laundry, and get a taste of some general coaching questions (and my interest in quantum physics!) in Black Holes and Hurtling.

Share my career frustrations in Ebb and Flow and Missing the Boat.

If you want to see how I’ve dealt with ‘failure’, check out The Sound of Music, Heading for Home and Everything is Fuel for Writers.

My politics? Saving More than Money, When the Heavens Open and Sharing the Journey.

Some of those may be re-posted as What was happening this time last year…posts, so there’s no rush. I’m hoping to get to know you slowly. This is probably one of the least scannable, non How to/10 point list-y sites you’ll ever visit, so I’m really, genuinely grateful you’ve visited and read this far. I hope you’ll visit often, whenever you feel like a bit of respite from your busy day.

I’d love to hear how you struggled to build your blog, the pitfalls and the passions.

I’d love to hear which, if any, of my pieces you’ve resonated with most.

It would be, as Leo Babauta and Mary Jaksch put it, insanely useful for me to know what you’d like to see more of or which advice or insights you’ve found useful.

Share recipes, resources, quotes, ideas – it’s your blog too!

Hope to see you in my guest book!

Thanks for visiting!

Janice

16 thoughts on “Meet my New Baby Bloggling!

  1. Hi Janice,
    Hubby and I are admiring your work. Welcome to the blogosphere. Beautiful job with Thesis. Love your words and delivery. You are a tenacious gal with much to share. Looking forward to this journey with you.
    Shine on young lady!
    Cindy

    Cindy´s last blog post..90 Days

  2. Well, one thing I can say for certain is that it was worth the struggle – the blog is absolutely gorgeous and really repays all the thought, effort and time that you’ve put into it. I’ll be subscribing for sure 🙂
    Amy
    xx

    amypalko´s last blog post..The World is Waking Up

  3. Janice, I can remember it seemed like an eternity before someone came to my blog and commented when I was a fledgling blogger. So I wanted to take the time to enourage this new journey.

    You’ve made transparent your thoughts and trials to get this new adventure underway and just from this I can see I want to return to learn more about what you will share here. In fact, I anticpate it.

    All the best!

    Robyn McMaster´s last blog post..Brain’s Left Side – Tames and Organizes

    • You’d all laugh if you saw me panicking right now! I suddenly realised I have NO idea what threaded comments really are or how to reply from this end. Nor have I any idea why one comment awaited moderation while others didn’t! Still, a lovely learning experience!

      @Cindy and Amy, you’ve slain my niche blending anxieties already – two exceptionally committed mums who are ace educators and gifted writers side by side in my comments!! Couldn’t have wished for a better, more auspicious start. Thank you!
      @ and Robyn, I’m sure I’ve seen you somewhere, in someone’s comments but I’m looking forward to checking out your link and getting to know you better. I hope you will visit. Thank you for understanding so perfectly what today’s launch has felt like. I appreciate your support and empathy. I didn’t think I’d be this giddy or uncool, fiddling around all day on the computer, but really just waiting and hoping!

  4. Glad you visited, Barbra. There would have been no coach certification without you, and no Coaching Moments column either. Thank you for asking me to write and for believing I could coach. For both I’ll be eternally grateful.

    For anyone reading who’s considering coach certification, Barbra’s ‘Become a Certified Coach’ link is in my sidebar. Uncomplicating things is one of her gifts.

  5. Appreciate it, Sean. (If anyone reading this needs a copywriter or ghost writer, this is your guy! He’s Writer Dad over in my sidebar, too. Beautiful, touching writing, beautiful family.)

    • Thank you, Karen! (I’ve seen that smiling face before on another blog – it’ll come to me in a minute!) Sorry I didn’t reply sooner; your message came in at 12:32am my time. I hadn’t thought about how the timezone differences would mean I couldn’t reply to people sooner. (I’ve got it – Randi’s blog, ‘Foreign Quang’!!) Thanks for your guest book post too!I hope you get a chance to meet some new people here – bring a few friends, have a coffee, have a read! For example, Robyn above has a recent fantastic blog post about how creative people use their right and left brains. Amy’s PhD was on Stephen King, and included in depth work on his book On Writing. She also takes fantastic photos over at Less Ordinary. Cindy and Sean you’ll already know from Writer Dad. If you want Thesis help, just ask Eric or Sean over at Blogopolis Blueprint or Marc at Welshscribe.co.uk. It was Thesis that finally made me feel I could start a proper public blog!

  6. Hi Janice,
    Great blog indeed! I never felt so connected with your post here! I came here by sheer luck. I know I had so much to learn from you and others in the comments too. You’ll find me here often.
    Yesterday, like you, I felt as my eternal wait, anxiety is over and done with, as I found a comment from an unexpected reader – a freelance copywriter. I felt so happy and feel my hard work and agony of not finding a reader is forever over. I didn’t invite people to come to my small site and place a comment; for the precise reason that I’ve nothing so great to be read. But, I needed some support and there will be many samaritans who will support me.
    I blog – on my journey in copywriting and my predicaments which are so new and shocking left me restless to give my own perspective. A perspective that any person from a humble background can feel “here is my voice…my soul” and get some solace.
    I want to congratulate you and am sure you found your true calling in life with this blog!
    All the success!
    Solomon

    Solomon´s last blog post..How do our mindsets play a role in writing killer copy?

    • Thank you, Solomon! I’m glad you found us. I hope, if you’ve time, that you’ll visit the people in the comments and the guest book too. I’ve been stunned by the warmth and talent of the people who have taken the time to visit and leave a comment. I’m maybe a naive blogger, but I still believe that blogging is a fantastic way to create communities and beautiful tapestries all over the web. Everyone has a thread to weave or embroider and we never know where one link will lead next. I share your belief that there is great solace in finding a place where we can say “Here is my voice…my soul.”

  7. Janice,
    I LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog! You voice is a gift to me and I’m so happy that you continue to share it with many many more!
    Here’s to great success!
    Kerri

    • Thank you Kerri!! I hope you’ll visit often and bless us with your healing energy, your insights and your amazing EFT and coaching talents!

  8. Oh, wow, Janice. Your early blogging struggles are exactly what I’ve struggled with and am still struggling with, so this was very comforting to read. I’ve broken a couple of rules, too. And I am definitely learning as I go. Wish I’d known about Thesis a month ago. I’ve been plodding along with blogger and making a fine mess of it 🙂

    While I am relatively at peace about the early days of {0} comments, I am beginning to feel that I’m being let down by the search engines? The positive response from my readers has been heartwarming, encouraging. I just don’t feel that my blog’s getting “out there” beyond the word of mouth spread on our chat boards and comments. This is lovely but limiting. Hmmmm …

    Chania Girl´s last blog post..An Open Window

    • Don’t worry! People I know and trust assure me that it takes months, usually over a year to get really established. If you check out my sidebar, there are some good people there, techie experts and SEO specialists, many of whom are using Thesis so you’ll see different varieties. We’re all Thesis affiliates too, so if you buy, wherever you buy, you’ll be helping someone. Thanks for all your lovely comments as you work your way through my archives. I really appreciate the feedback!

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