A huge thank you to Katy Flint of Learning As I Go for sharing her experience with WordPress.Com. Katy is a member of the North Iowa Bloggers and her blog has been inspiring others for several months. I am over the top excited that Katy agreed to share her experience with all of you, as I understand how challenging it can be when it comes to getting your blog up and running.
I can’t believe that it’s been about 8 months since I started my blog, Learning As I Go. Last summer I found myself blogging for my job, but had so many things I felt like I wanted to “say” and “get out” but the professional blog wasn’t the place for it! So, I took a leap of faith and started my page. I knew of other bloggers and what they did and often read their posts, but really didn’t know HOW to blog or WHERE to blog. I knew that WordPress.Com existed (from Googling it of course) and that it was free (Free is good when you’re starting out, right?)!! So, I thought….why not? I set up the name of my blog and dug in. Then you learn things and you learn that it’s not as simple or as easy or FREE as it seems. A couple things I’ve learned from having a WordPress.Com account and wish I had known before I began:
- The web address of your blog is going to be really long! When I started out mine was www.learningasigokf.wordpress.com ! Doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. I’ve since purchased a domain and have it routed to my WordPress site (www.katyflint.com. A lot more fluid, right?)
- Widgets – you get what you pay for, right? Some widgets that a lot of bloggers use are not supported by WordPress.com like Rafflecopter.
- Layouts – the layout (or design) or your webpage/blog should be a description and illustration of who you are and what your blog is about…when working with FREE you are much more limited. Yes, WordPress.Com does offer several nice layouts, the best cost money (typically $69 and up) and then when you want to personalize colors, etc…you add another $99 fee on top! Starting with the free layouts will cause one to want to change and personalize as your blog grows (trust me, I’ve been there.)
One thing I will say that I love about WordPress.Com is it’s a great app (both Android & Apple). From my phone and iPad, I can see my stats, edit & write posts, upload media, etc. It’s great for on the go (which I often am) and when I feel that writing itch start!
So, while free is good when you’re starting out, there are some things to be aware of that can hinder your growth as a blogger! Good luck and blog on my friends!