Responses to questions from the readers of this Webblog – Part #1

So far I have received many questions regarding this blog site, the platform, the layout, and other questions. In order to answer your questions, I am posting this as a separate page with answers for you and others in the future.

Question – regarding an IP (Internet Provider): Almost 19 years ago after a lot of research I chose 1&1 as the host provider for my secretarial service business web site: www.tailoredpcdocuments.biz. In November, 2016, I changed the content of that web site and now use it as my author information site. I have been very happy with 1&1’s service. The choice of a host is up to you.

Question about the best weblog site: In November, 2016, I decided to set up two author blog sites; one for my secretarial and transcription help books and one for my mystery-suspense novels. I did an online search for information about the best blog sites. I compared features, ease of use, pricing, theme and template choices, and overall popularity.

Below a URL to a site that lists the Top 10 Website builders for blogs. This site rates the sites, lists the price, and has a lot of information about each site with links.

Top 10 Webbuilders

After a lot of research and looking at samples of actual blogs using the top website builders. I decided to check with my IP to see what they offered. Since I had already decided on WordPress, I was delighted to find that 1&1 has teamed with WordPress. I chose 1&1 with WordPress for my two webblog sites.

WordPress is easy and has layout templates you fill in. You can make many changes until you get the layout the way you want it. You can also add Widgets, add-ons, gadgets, and Plugins. If you want more information about WordPress, go to their web site. There is a LOT of information there about how WordPress works. NOTE: I have visited quite a few other mystery-suspense novel authors and writer’s sites. I would estimate that at least 95% of them use WordPress. Before you decide, check out other top sites.

Question – Did I use an outside web site designer? No I did not. I designed everything you see here myself. My minimal experience in web site design and coding goes back over ten years. I’m self-taught.

Question – regarding PHP language sites: I have been asked about sites using this language. I’m VERY familiar with the HTML and VML codes/language having designed several sites for customers back in 2000 and 2001 before they had programs like Website Builder to do the coding for you. However to be perfectly honest, I’ve not “dabbled” in sites that use PHP and don’t plan to so I don’t personally know a whole lot about it. I notice there are more and more sites popping up that do use this code/language. Below is the URL to a site that should answer most of your questions regarding PHP sites:

Top-10-websites-built-with-PHP

Question – regarding HTML or VML codes. Do you have to know HTML or VML codes to set up your site?: I have been asked this question several times. I can’t say for sure about all weblog sites but the ones I researched do the coding for you. The answer is you do NOT need to know HTML language in WordPress or most of the other weblog sites.

In the window where you enter your posts and create pages, there is a toolbar at the top where you can change the fonts, font size and other features much the same as you’ll find in most email programs. You can also add images and videos. I do know that for advanced features not provided with the weblog platform or template layout you choose, there is a LOT of information that is easy to follow IF you know a little bit about code.

Question – Regarding RSS Feeds: The WordPress theme I chose doesn’t have that Widget available. However, after much searching, I found an article in the WordPress Help section that gives you the necessary codes you can copy and paste into your site. I’m still working on perfecting this.

Question – About images: Images are fairly easy to upload to the program’s Library so you can insert them into posts and/or pages. Check with the program you choose as to how many images (size of each image and total allowed) are allowed.

Question – Is blogging a lot of work?: Setting up the site will definitely take some time and trial and error testing the features, add-ons, gadgets, widgets etc. But once you’ve got it the way you want it, which could take several weeks of tweaking it, the maintenance of the blog is fairly easy.

I personally like to keep track of the comments I receive so I have set up an Excel spread sheet where I copy/paste the topic, date, author, and comment of every comment that comes in. I also keep track of the number of comments I get by date so I can see if my blog is reaching enough people who are commenting for me to continue.

As for time, I would budget about 30 to 45 minutes a day to checking for comments, responding, tracking, and moderating comments, deleting SPAM (which you WILL get) and typing up some new material for future posts.

Question – Where do I get my material from? The material I’ve published and will publish here in this blog are from a journal I started writing about fifteen years ago. My plan is to consolidate and categorize everything I’ve written into two books; one on how to establish, run, and build a secretarial service from home and the other will be dictation tips, tricks, secrets and shortcuts.

Question – Do I have any tips for aspiring writers?: Below are some tips from my own learning experiences (I’m still learning):

TIP: Before you go live with your blog, if you intend to post articles or information on a regular basis which you should do, create a minimum of 8 weeks worth of material (articles) ahead of time. After that, keep adding to your backlog of ready to post material. This will save you from having to scramble around searching for and creating new material to post just before the next post is due.

Before I even established this blog site, I stockpiled at least two months of articles to be posted weekly. I try to write at least one more a week so I’ll always have material ready to post when it’s time.

TIP: Establish a schedule BEFORE you go live regarding when you will post new material; weekly or monthly and stick to that schedule. Post the schedule in your site for your readers to see and keep it updated.

TIP: To save time, type all of your posts and the text for your pages in a word processing program like Word first. Then when you’re sure the post and/or the page is as you want it, highlight the text and copy then paste it into the post or page window. You may have to do a little tweaking to get the spacing and formatting correct, but not much. I find it easier to do my posts or page creations that way. Be sure to review the post or page to be sure everything is correct before you “publish” it.

TIP: To keep your readers interested in your site and keep them coming back, be sure your post new material on a regular basis. This is IMPORTANT.

TIP: Make your material interesting and in keeping with the theme of your blog site. Example: my blog site is about secretarial and transcription work, internet tips, setting up and running your own secretarial service from home, material to help work smarter and about my upcoming books on these subjects. Keep it as simple and easy-to-understand as possible. Remember, your readers don’t know this material the way you do. That’s why they’re visiting your site… to learn from you.

TIP regarding naming your blog site, pages and posts. Because search engine browser programs like Google, Yahoo, Bing, Opera, Firefox, etc. all pick up the title of the blog site as well as the title of your pages and posts, choose your titles carefully. Don’t make them too long. The search engines even catalog the titles under your images.

When naming your weblog, pages and posts, think “What would someone type in the Search field and find a link to my weblog.” Remember that it can take two, four, or six weeks to be completely picked up and indexed in the databases of all of the search engine programs. But once the site name, page and post titles are picked up and added to their database, The link to your blog is there for the world to see and click on.

My last piece of advice is to remember that running a weblog or a secretarial/transcription service from home takes work, time, dedication, patience, and perseverance. This may sound overwhelming, but actually it’s not. The payoff can be success. How much is up to you and the effort you put into it.

I hope these responses answer your questions. If I receive more questions that haven’t been answered here in Part #1 or I think of anything else important for you to know, I’ll post Part #2 with more answers to reader questions. Be sure to check back.

Best of luck with your webblog site! Let me know when your site is up and running. I’ll visit your site and post information about it along the URL. I plan to begin a page listing my reader’s blog sites and the URL to their sites so be sure to keep me posted.

(NOTE: G-rated sites ONLY please.

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Thanks for stoppin’ by. I hope my tips, tricks, secrets, and shortcuts help you improve your skills and/or work smarter and more efficiently. If you have a question regarding dictation transcription, how to run your own secretarial service from home, or if you have a topic you would like me to cover, let me know.

Bookmark this site and check back regularly for more valuable tips, tricks, secrets, and shortcuts as well as articles on specific topics regarding transcription work and working at home. The Schedule of Future Postings page will be periodically updated.

Thanks again for stoppin’ by.

Gail :-))

NOTE: Due to the number of hacking attempts, I am no longer posting my email address. If you want to contact me, leave me a comment and I’ll respond here in the site.

Food for thought: In order to succeed, we must first believe that we can. Nikos Kazantzakis

PLEASE NOTE: All ads, SPAM and inappropriate comments are NOT read. They are automatically deleted by WordPress and the sender is blocked by from further communications.

Please leave me your comments or suggestions for future posts. I would love to hear from you and will respond in this site.