Baffled Blogger… Send Help

​When I decided to start a blog I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, but what I found is that I bloody love it! The blogging community is amazing and I’ve (virtually) met some fantastic people.

I only started my blog in September 2016 so I am still a fairly new blogger (can I call myself a blogger yet?!?!) but I would go as far as saying that starting this blog is one of the best things I’ve ever done, even if I have been in a permanent state of confusion since the start.

Some of my confusions/questions are:
  • What exactly is Vlogging and is it something I should think about in the future?
  • How the bloody hell does Pinterest work? Seriously? It’s so confusing!
  • How do I best use Instagram? Especially when I’m a crappy photographer, which is made worse by the fact that my toddler subject won’t sit still.
  • Should I have a logo designed or at least attempt to design one myself?
  • If I make a Facebook page does it have to come from my personal account? (Nobody knows about my blog apart from Chris, my mum, and my sister)
  • Why should my photos be a certain size and how do I get them to be this size?

I’ve been confused about a lot of things since starting the blog but I’ve managed to work them out as I went along. I know I’ll eventually have the answers to these uncertainties too, and I will have fun figuring them out along the way.

Confusion aside, I am loving blogging, so much so, I have decided it’s time to think about going self hosted.

The problem with that though, is that I can’t seem to get my head around how I go from my free little WordPress blog to a self hosted site. I’m not even sure I know what self hosted actually means.

Saying I am confused about the whole thing would be an understatement. Words like befuddled, discombobulated, flummoxed and perplexed are way more fitting.

I think I’ve read too much information about it at this point. Just when I think I am starting to understand it, I somehow end up confusing myself even more (easily done to be fair though).

I have so many questions:
  • Do I really need to go self hosted or am I getting ahead of myself? Should I just upgrade my WordPress or would that be a waste of time?
  • What is the difference between a hosted site and building a website, and how do I know which one should I go with?
  • I’ve seen things about self hosted WordPress or putting your own site on WordPress. What do these mean? Are they different?
  • If I went self hosted would my content, stats and followers transfer over to the new site?
  • Do I have to be a coding whizz, because that, I am not?
  • Do my questions even make sense?

My head hurts thinking about it all…

I feel like I’ve been in a permanent state of confusion since starting my blog but it’s a good confusion, because I am loving every single second of my journey.

Maybe one of these days I’ll write a ‘how to’ post but I don’t envision that being for a good while yet, especially as the confusion is really making itself at home in my head!

If anybody has any tips or advice I would love to hear them.

As always, thank you for reading, Sam x

My Petit Canard

Tammymum

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44 Comments

  1. I can’t answer them all…

    Pinterest is amazing. I’m not sure it overly helps my blog, but I could spend days on it. Sign up and start playing! Same with instagram really. I just see them as a little compliment to my blog that are fun!

    Self hosting is great. You can just do a lot more. I don’t understand code at all. But most plugins just work like widgets and you don’t need to code anything. When I do need code…I google what I want to do and copy and paste it!!

    1. My none crafty sister assures me Pinterest is amazing, so it must be if she thinks so ha. I have signed up but I need to sit and spend more time on it I think. The same with Instagram. I think I just need to bite the bullet with self hosted. I just don’t know where to start ha. X

      1. I’m with tsohost. £2.99 a month. And I think I paid £8 for my domain. Then install WordPress on it. To be honest it’s not that much different from this, you can just do more. I love Pinterest. I desperately want a wedding board but I’m worried my husband might find it odd!

        1. Hahaha. You make me laugh. I was looking at tso the other day. I almost signed up for it, just backed out at the last minute. That seems to be the best from the others I’ve looked at – although I don’t know what I’m looking for.. If i sign uo for that, what happens with my current WordPress site?

          1. Do it!! Now!! When you sign up with the host, it gives you the option to install WordPress. Then that gives you the option to transfer your old site over. If you change theme it might look a little different, but you won’t loose any content

          2. Eeeek. It’s scary. Not sure why.. I should just do it and hope for the best ha

          3. I just jumped in, then googled a lot! I’m by no means an expert, but it’s pretty recent, so fresh in my mind. Send me a twitter direct message if you’re ever stuck. I’m sure one of us will figure it out

          4. Awww thank you. I will probably be messaging you all the time ha. I want to jump in and do it now but the OH and child will be home soon. I wonder if I can send them out for the evening haha

  2. Hi Sam
    This is me. Right now! I could’ve written this exact post. Same dilemmas, started at the same time as you! Yeah I’ve found I can’t do anything with ‘Yoast’ (helps with SEO google stuff) without being self-hosted, but am scared about it too as I really feel out of my depth! I also would like a better design, but again don’t know how this works with WordPress/self-hosted etc, I’ve only just got my head around how my existing site and wordpress works. Help!
    I’ll be reading your comments in the hope it’ll shine a light for me too…
    Good luck!
    Kimberly (Media Mummy) x

    1. I definitely feel out of my depth. I’m the same, just about getting to grips with WordPress (barely! Ha). I just keep thinking is it worth it, but I love blogging so it has to be worth it.. I think I confuse myself even more. Ha x

      1. Exactly – and there’s that funny self-imposed pressure all the time. Often I think better to do the complicated techie stuff sooner rather than later or it becomes even harder in the long run…
        Kx

        1. That’s what I keep thinking. On the one hand I wonder why I’m thinking about self hosted when I’ve barely started blogging, but on the other hand I don’t know where my blog will take me so surely it’s better to make the leap now while my blog is small, instead of when it might be a little bit bigger in the future..🤔

    1. It really is. I’ve learned so much already but in some ways I still feel as new as the day I started. I love it though!

  3. Hehe I’ve been blogging for ever and I know nothing – mainly because my very clever husband set it up for me and because I’ve only recently started making a conserted effort to actually get people to read!

    Facebook- you set it up with your log in but no one needs to know about it. TBH though I rarely get much interaction from people I don’t actually know.

    Pinterest is awesome but I think it works less well for bloggers than it used to

    I think really with both you/I need to interact with other bloggers to get the word out – once Pinterest/Facebook thinks your interesting it decides to show other people. :/

    I guess I do know a few things after all

    #familyfun

    1. Awww thank you. Fab advice. I’ve made the effort to set up a Facebook page and Pinterest but I haven’t done anything with them yet. Ha. The OH has said he will take our daughter out on Saturday so I can “have a go” of going self hosted.. ha. X

  4. Oh I LOVE you! Someone who feels as out of her depth as me! I am so sorry that I am going to offer you no practical advice whatsoever, just moral support in the knowledge that you aren’t the only one struggling for answers. I wondered what, ‘self hosted’ meant for months, until it suddenly dawned on me that I actually was self hosted already! When I had started my blog, I just followed a tutorial on line and did what they said – I had no idea it meant I was self hosting. Good luck in your discovery of answers to all your questions. Aren’t we lucky that the blogging community is so damn friendly 🙂 Alison x #FamilyFun

    1. Haha. Love the fact that you didn’t know you were self hosted. The blogging community is so amazing. I really cannot believe how friendly and welcoming everyone has been. I’m so glad I started the blog and even though I feel like I never know what’s going on I am loving it and will go self hosted (If I figure it out haha).

  5. I set-up a facebook page (which is linked to my personal account but standalone) and tbh without promoting it I don’t really get any activity. I think I have 1 whole like. Haha! But you have to pay to promo and I don’t really want to push it on my personal stream because, like you, not many people know about my blog. It’s not a secret but similarly I don’t feel confident advertising to ‘real’ people.

    I started out self-hosted because my husband had his own site, so I built my own and then ended up integrating wordpress. But from everything I’ve seen and read, it’s really easy to go self hosted now using wizards and the support of your domain company.

    When I rebranded my website earlier this year, I had to change some of my wordpress settings etc. Even with my technie background I was unclear about what I needed to do, so I just emailed the support desk and asked for help. Also, all of my Jetpack stats seemed to carry over which I didn’t think they would. But a hosting company should be able to help with that.

    As for photos – I’m with you on that…

    #FamilyFun

    1. I’m the same as you, my blog isn’t private I just haven’t told many people. Purely because i’m not sure how they would react to it. Although I do have some really supportive friends on Facebook so I’m sure it’d be fine.. maybe one day they’ll find out ha. What worries me the most about going self hosted is that I will completely screw it all up and lose everything from WordPress. I just need to jump in and do it I think…x

      1. Just make sure you do a full backup of your content before you start. That way if things don’t migrate you can restore from a backup. You easily Export from WordPress. I forget where on the menu but if you can’t find it then message me x

  6. I don’t get Pinterest either lol. Going self-hosted is very confusing, took me a while to get my head around it. I am sure you will do fine.
    #FamilyFun

  7. Hey Sam, Going self hosted is a good decision. I started with the same and happy about it.I too doesn’t have the best pictures to show on Instagram but yet, I post them whenever I like to. Here through family fun. Good wishes.

  8. Oooh I could be hear answering these all day, not that I have all the answers lol. So I’ll touch on a couple…I would say going self hosted was the best move I made – it was hard for the technically challenged soul that I am though. I find Facebook good for traffic you need a personal Facebook account to set it up as a ‘page’ but you don’t have to publish on your personal al page so can stay hidden. As for vlogging. Na you wouldn’t get me infront of a camera but that is just me many people do and are fab at it so whatever works for you lovey. Thanks for sharing at #familyfun xx

    1. Awww thank you. I’m going to attempt self hosted this weekend so we’ll see what happens.. ha x

  9. Ok here are my answers:

    * Vlogging is similar to blogging just done via videos instead.
    * For Pinterest I’d recommend checking out Jan Stanbrook’s course.Also look into Canva.
    * As far as I know you need a mobile phone that enables you to be on instagram. I’d then join in with the various communities.
    * I’ve created my own header but I’ve noticed that others use certain artists.
    * I think your Facebook page is automatically linked up to your profile but people can only see your page not your profile.
    * If you like things to be uniform then photos can be made the same size. This is something I need to work on myself but I think a bit of computer code may help automatically make them the same size.
    * I’ve heard good things about TSO Host a lot of bloggers are with them when it comes to hosting.

    Most of all enjoy the process.

    #MarvMondays

    1. Thank you. This is brilliant. I really appreciate it. I’ve heard good things about tso host and from what I’ve seen they look really good so I think I will go with them. X

  10. Okay so I’m not going to answer any questions as I’ve just read your comments and it looks like you got lots of the answers. Sorry! Going self hosted does mean you have more control over plugins and the such so you can make your site your own. You’re doing fab so far and if you want any help with designing a logo or anything else just send me a private message and I’ll try help!! Keep up the good work, blogging is indeed exciting 😀 Thanks for linking up to #familyfun

    1. Thank you so much. I may hold you to that.!! Ha. Everyone has been so amazing. I can’t wait to get stuck in and get my own site up and running now x

  11. Love this post as it encapsulates lots of the questions that have been going around in my head for a few months too!!!! Reading the comments has been really helpful – the only answer I had for you was about FB but it’s been covered above. Pintrest is a mystery to me 0- I only joined Instagram a couple of weeks ago!!!! Good luck #familyfun

    1. Thank you. I can’t believe how helpful everyone has been. The blogging community is absolutely fantastic x

  12. I’m only slightly less new than you so I won’t try to give you any advice. And it sounds like lots of people above me have answered some of your questions. It is so lovely how bloggers all help each other instead of just competing. I’ll be interested if you decide to go self-hosted about how it works for you. I have my own domain but it’s still on wordpress.com (not self-hosted). I’m really quite happy with it and haven’t found it limiting thus far…but it’s early days. #familyfun

    1. I am quite happy with my WordPress site to be honest and blogging is only a hobby. But… I am really liking it so I just keep thinking it would be better to make the change now rather than later and maybe having to start over… I had considered upgrading wordpress too.. to be honest everything technological seems to confuse me these days. And I’m a Pisces which really doesnt help with my decision making! Haha

  13. Wow so many questions. I am with you there is so much to learn and I feel even after a few months I am still stumbling along and finding my way. I found Tots 100 really useful as they have lots of guides to various aspects of blogging and all the other social media channels and you don’t need to be a member to check them out. Maybe worth a look. #familyfun

    1. That’s a good idea. Thank you. I started the process yesterday but it’s taking a while and my brain is frazzled. I think I might have to give the company a ring haha.

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