This website was built and is maintained by me, Elizabeth Jamieson. By the way, and before I get started, I have used a text to speech engine to voice each of the posts I’ve written. It’s a product by Amazon Web Services, but is still a little buggy, but I’m working on it. If you want to know why I’m using a text to speech engine, you can read about my text to speech journey.
The purpose of this site is to document the specific steps I take to build a blog, and then my efforts to build traffic to it. The idea is to start from nothing and create a blog capable of generating income.
How Will This Site Help You?
I know how to put a decent WordPress site together – I don’t necessarily mean a pretty site, but definitely a fully functioning one.
Reading my blog will help you to make sense of any confusing advice you may have already consumed. I will document failures as well as successes and try to explain why things worked or didn’t work. Hopefully this will help you when it comes to building your own blog.
I’m Testing Everything I’ve Read
When it comes to blogging, or content marketing, attracting quality traffic at will, can seem impossible. If you read all the different experts on the subject, you could end up being confused as much of the advice is conflicting.
Instead of advice, I will suggest a way of thinking about the problems bloggers encounter, that should help you figure out your own solutions. You can then decide to do it my way or another way.
I’ve made myself dizzy, reading expert advice. I get half-way through a course and then realise wtf, this guy knows less than I do! My final word on the subject of advice is, there is no substitute for your own experience. I definitely value my own.
Strangely, it also helps if you learn from someone who shares your world view. All that means is that you are more likely to be comfortable with the conclusions they draw. That doesn’t mean you have to look like that person, or be from the same country, but shared values are a big plus where trust is involved.
Doing New Things
A few recent events have changed my outlook. My mother died two years ago, and I have been in a fog of grief ever since. I spoke to friend recently, I’ll call her Jane. Jane’s mother had also died.
She told me there was a “beforeJane”, the person who existed before her mother’s death, and an “afterJane”, the person that emerged afterwards. She said that “beforeJane” was never coming back.
I guess Liz V1.0 isn’t coming back either, because if she did, she would exist only in the past and cry all the time. If I am going to make the best of what life there is, I must put Liz V1.0, behind me.
Star Trek Was A Cruel Lie
Of course, losing a mother isn’t life’s only horror. There are plenty of others and we all get an allocation. Here is a horror we all share.
When I was a kid, I imagined the future would become more like the society we saw in Star Trek. Technology would be used to help people, there’d be free energy, flying cars, no need for money, respect for all animals and food would issue from replicators.
Then, inevitably, the Klingons would show up in a massive spaceship, and hover silently, but threateningly, over the White House. (Yes, I know I’m mixing my Hollywood metaphors here. So what?).
The Klingons of course would find us irritating and start a war. But fortunately all us Earthlings would be saved by a brave, militarily-gifted black fighter pilot and a chess-playing Jewish scientist. Post-war we humans would finally learn to value each other without question, regardless of skin colour, eye shape, religion or anything else.
Then, having achieved a supreme level of human harmony, we’d set about persuading the Klingons, to calm the heck down.
But No …
Given that previous generations experienced what are now well-documented atrocities, there is no reason for us to revisit those times, or those thought patterns.
But for inexplicable reasons, racists, warmongers and holocaust deniers revel in that past, with their swastikas, slatted walls and pointy hats. They are diabolical and dangerous, so why would anyone let them loose, with free unregulated venting rights on the interwebs, or dare I say, guns.
Genies In Bottles And Boxes Marked Pandora
Last year my little rescue dog died, Trump progressed his ascent, and Brexit macerated the social fabric of Britain. The latter caused previously unremarkable people to expose their deeply held prejudices to strangers in supermarkets and streets. After this wide variety of loss and disappointment, I find I have far less patience.
I’m mindful of spending my time, only on things that are worth it. I am an ordinary person. I can’t bring back the dead, influence politics, nor make good the chaos. I may as well get on with what I can do.
Although I’m shifting focus from client projects to my own, I’m not planning to ignore other people’s needs, but I will restrict my involvement to those who truly value my services and experience.
If you’d like my help, I’ll be available if you’re a blogger and you want to build sites the way I do. If not, there are plenty of others out there for you that may be a better fit.
I am not an aficionado of page builders but I get that some are quite good and that some WordPress users praise them highly. There is one page builder I like the look of, but due to the big changes in WordPress right now – I am referring to Gutenberg – it’s not yet clear how future-proof any page builder is.
So having tested all the main page builders out, I have returned to using Genesis. It’s easily the best vehicle in my experience, for building WordPress sites.
Tools And Basic Coding Skills
This website is about those methods and tools I use to build blogs. I don’t think you have to be an expert coder to build sites the way I do, but you do need to learn enough HTML and CSS to get by. It’s not rocket science actually – any motivated person can do it.
Without discipline, (judicious choice of plugins, builders and tools) you will encounter increased numbers of technical problems.
If you’ve used conflicting or badly written plugins, you’ll get a slow, flaky website. Your blog will exhibit weirdness, unpredictable happenings and ghostly goings-on, that you will swear blind are inexplicable, or even, a little bit supernatural.
They’re not. They are the result of affairs with too many unnecessary plugins. I’m not wrong. I’ve seen it many times.
If you choose to build sites the way I do, you will not experience any of these problems. I will use this website to document how I built my main site from scratch, so you can see what is involved.
Further, as I type this page today, in January 2019, in the French Alps, the site I want to monetise, doesn’t even exist.
If you’re a blogger using WordPress, and your blog isn’t working out, I can almost certainly help. Maybe you’re not earning enough from it, it has little traffic, or it displays technical issues.
I offer a WordPress specific consultancy service which will help you. Find out more about the offer by visiting the page where I describe the WordPress Site Review service.