Exciting news! E is for Extra has officially been online for 30 days (originally published April 2, 2020) and I have learned a TON. I’ve always wanted to create my own blog, but never felt like I had the appropriate resources available to me. Then quarantine came along and I thought why not give it a shot!
The common denominator here is trial and error. I never took a class on any of this, but thankfully there’s Google search and YouTube. Also shoutout to the WordPress support chat team.
Building a Website is Frustrating
Shocker! But anyways, creating a website from nearly scratch isn’t as easy as it seems. Thankfully WordPress has an assortment of templates to choose from, so you’re not starting with an entirely blank slate, but there’s a lot to create even from there.
I’d recommend finding a website that has similar offerings or purpose, and mimicking from there. I am on the “Premium” plan, which is a step up from the basic plan. Premium makes the most sense for the current state of my blog, but sadly there still are several features I’d like to include, but can’t because of my plan.
I’ve utilized the chat support feature of my plan to ask questions. I mean dozens of questions, if not hundreds. Something I’ve learned is to take advantage of your resources! If you’re paying for them, you should be using them, or at least figuring out how to use them.
Websites Don’t Track Data Like You’d Assume
WordPress stats include number of visitors, views, likes, and comments, but there are a myriad of other data points to track. I’ve become aware of this thanks to my job, but there’s so much you’re missing out on if you stop there! Information such as bounce rate, session length, device, gender, location, and the list goes on. This is crucial data that marketers leverage every single day, and you can get access to this data for free.
Google Analytics makes it very simple to link your WordPress site to their platform. I was able to set up an account within minutes, and now I’m able to monitor all this information on an ongoing basis.
How am I going to use it? Well first, you need to think that data gives you perspective. Data provides insight on who your audience is, so you can better market to that demographic. You can also leverage it to create content/products that are better-suited for them as well.
WordPress is My Recommendation
Initially, I launched the website with Wix. That was my first mistake and regret. Of course there are thousands, if not millions, of websites on the Wix platform, and completely by choice. There are pros and cons to every website service, but I’d recommend doing your research.
After I’d invested 10-15 in my Wix website, I did some reading online and quickly realized that WordPress is the choice platform for blogs. Within a week I was switched over to WordPress, and WordPress is going to stay.
Roughly a third, if not more, of the current existing websites are on the WordPress platform. This stat alone justifies this choice because there are so many resources online if you do have problems or need additional support.
While WordPress doesn’t offer phone call support, their chat support is extremely responsive and helpful.
Free Marketing & Exposure is Challenging
Now that I am finally comfortable with the design, UX, and branding of my website, I am looking to gain more traction and visitors to my site. I am still trying to figure this out! I’ve started uploading my posts to other websites such as Pinterest and Medium, but this is ultimately going to be a challenge. Please reach out if you have any!
Plug Your Socials!
Plugging your social media platforms to your website, and vice versa, is a great tactic for getting more followers and buzz on both platforms. If someone can find your Instagram, they should be able to find your website too!
I plan on writing a 60-day and 90-day update as well. Like I said, this has been a major learning curve, but it has been exciting to learn something new. Thank you for all the love and support ❤