It’s English, TimeThief, but not as I know it, not as I know It. By Guest Author, Jill who blogs at http://jillscene.com
The blogging world once was an alien world to me. When I realised that millions of people are publishing posts every day for anyone, anywhere to read I wondered if we might be heading towards some dystopian, Borg dominated future. Why do that, I wondered, and who exactly reads it anyway?
Then my children began blogging about their travel adventures. I glimpsed not only their new lives but fascinating cultures and places I’ve never visited. And I thought maybe people will be interested in our way of life in small town New Zealand. I put up a post – three photos of iconic Kiwi food. I had a title – I’d figured out that was a good idea – but no narrative. It was another eight months before I posted again.
Oh, how I struggled up the learning curve. I besieged my children with questions. And I reckon sometimes they replied in Vulcan. “Can you repeat that s-l-o-w-l-y?” was my most frequent response to their replies. (Sometimes I probably sounded more Klingon than human but they were very patient with me.)
You see blogging has a vocabulary of its own, most of which can’t be found in any dictionary I use.
I didn’t know what a theme was, or a widget, or the difference between categories and tags, blogs and posts. And how can something be a page if it doesn’t turn? And what exactly was a splog? And that WordPress dashboard – it seemed more complicated than anything Captain Janeway faced. As for followers – the very idea was worryingly messianic.
Basically, this hands on learner was confused by the blogosphere. But, as they say about Vulcan, once you get the basics sorted its perfectly logical – mostly.
The turning point came in November 2013. I was in Bangkok during protests that eventually lead to a military coup. In the frisson of the moment I tapped a post into my cell-phone. Suddenly, I had followers and it didn’t feel too creepy. I returned home determined to learn more.
These days I look forward to posts from my favourite bloggers and I relish the lively conversations that can occur in the comments section. I have more ideas for posts than time to write them. I’ve passed several milestones since March but the best of all, apart from writing a guest post for TimeThief!, was the day one of my children messaged me with a blogging question. I was chuffed. I wasn’t exactly assimilated, heaven forbid, but I was learning the lingo.
Tips for beginning bloggers that will help you feel less of an alien:
- Sign up for the Daily Post. You’ll get writing and photography prompts, information about new themes, and lots of blogging tips.
- Sign up for the WordPress Blogging 101 Zero to Hero workshop – it was there I finally mastered widgets.
- Purchase the WordPress ads free upgrade, otherwise you’ll have tacky ads that distract from your content.
- Follow TimeThief’s advice – switch on comment moderation – it will help to protect you from the spammers.
- Take the time to learn your way around the WordPress dashboard. In the small print right at the bottom of the page is a hyperlink to WordPress tutorials and, guess what, they have a glossary! Although it doesn’t have a definition for splog.
- Remember, unlike the Borg, we can flick the switch. Sometimes stepping away from the computer and the net is a good idea.
Last, but by no means least, a big thank-you to TimeThief for being there, teaching me that content is king, and reminding me I don’t have to work it all out at once.
You are welcome to visit Jill’s Scene and read a small town take on the big, wide world.