Blogging is Hard

Starting my blog has been a giant experiment in this little corner of the internet.  I honestly thought I’d crap out of it after the first couple of weeks– because, let’s be real, my follow-through could use some work–but thanks to #Blogtober14 I’ve really actually become quite attached to my humble little blog.

Though I’ve learned a lot since July, I think I’ve come up with far more questions about blogging than answers for those questions. Though I’m a #TeamInternet kid all the way, this world of HTML and the actual knitty-gritty of how it all works has my head spinning whenever I try to do something.

Like, Google Analytics.  PLEASE, if anyone ever figures out how to use that damn thing, please let me know.  So far the only thing I have mastered is watching how many people are viewing it in Real Time, and squealing in glee anytime the number is higher than 2.  Like Sunday, I posted the URL on my Facebook for the first time and practically cried when the number of real time views reached double digits.  They like me, they really like me!

Another huge example of my total lack of knowledge in this department reared it’s ugly head this morning as well.  Something so simple (to me) turned into something horribly challenging.

Changing my blog URL.

(Those who have been doing this for years or who fully understand this great mythical beast of the interwebz are probably rolling their eyes at my stupidity right now in thinking that changing my URL wouldn’t be a big deal.  But whatever, I never pretended I was an expert.  I think I’ve actually made it pretty clear that my expertise lies in Netflix, quoting the “Friends” series and drinking crappy coffee, not blog knowledge.)

I like my blog name, as I think it describes my life at the moment perfectly, but when I was making my blog web address, I just used my go-to social media name: iamkelskels

(BTW– My Instagram and Twitter are both @iamkelskels as well.  Not saying you should follow me, but you should probably follow me just in case.  I’m super Twitter cool, I swear.)

This morning, I tried changing it to something that better served my blog title, and immediately realized that it wasn’t nearly as easy as I thought it was.  This changed lasted all of a few minutes before I freaked out and changed it back.

For the 5 minutes that I changed the URL, my blog was essentially a brand new thing on Bloglovin’, which is my only frame of reference for knowing that trying to change it was a bad idea.  Changing my blog URL means that my blog is no longer at the same place on the internet that it was before, which meant that my registered blog on Bloglovin’ no longer existed.  It was my understanding that now I had to re-register my blog with this new URL, and lose all of my followers on Bloglovin’… (all 41 of them– but STILL!  I’ve worked hard for all 41 of my Bloglovin’ BFFs).  Unless hopefully I am wrong, and just don’t understand Bloglovin’ either– which, if that’s the case, please let me know ASAP.

Those paralyzing 5 minutes of fear that my entire blog might move far, far away from the few people who know it was more than enough to convince me to change it back to the original URL, which is how we ended up at exactly the same place I started.

So now I have even more questions:

1.  Can I ever change my blog URL without losing all of my following?

2. Would changing it impact the very little understanding of Google Analytics that I already have?  Would I have to reclaim it on there too?

3. Am I stuck with this stupid URL for my blog forever?

4. What happens if I want to drop the “.blogspot.com” and buy my own domain? Will I lose it all anyway?

5. How can I get super cute icons next to the post categories on the left sidebar of my blog? All I want is a cute, cartoon-y coffee cup next to the word “lifestyle”, is that too much to ask for?!

6. Is it normal for these questions to be keeping me up at night, when I should be thinking about more important things, like finishing the marketing brochure for the CSAC, moving out of my mom’s house, or if there will ever be a ‘Gilmore Girls’ movie?

7. Google AdSense… yay or nay?

8. Is Bitly something I should get into, or should I just keep letting Bloglovin’ tweet my new posts for me?

I have no idea.  I obviously need to do more research on this (in between working at the gym tonight, finishing that aforementioned brochure, cleaning, planning the next 10 days of blog posts, and GOING TO CHICAGO TO VISIT MY BESTIE THIS WEEKEND), but for now I guess we’ll stick with “iamkelskels” for lack of a better solution.

And to any of my lovely readers– if you know any of the answers to my questions, please let me know.  I’m desperate for information.

For now though, I think it’s time for another cup of coffee. My brain hurts.

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#BLOGTOBER14 HALFWAY POINT

It’s Day 16 of #Blogtober14!

In case you’ve been under a rock your entire life, there are 31 days in October, which means that I am halfway done with this month!

Mild amounts of celebrations for my commitment to this weird new thing that I started as a side hobby and has now taken up far more of my life than I thought it originally would, which is okay because I love it!

I also figured out how to add gifs to my blog posts!

Celebrate! And I’ll be back with something more tangible to read tomorrow!

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I’ve Got Nothin’

Dudes, I’m burnt out.

As a part-time waitress, a little part of me has grown to hate weekends.

Saturday starts at 7am with Cross Country and Soccer for the CSAC, then going right to the restaurant for work.  Wake up and work Sunday (and this past Sunday was a double), come home late, then wake up and spend all day dealing with rude people at the gym on Mondays.  Add in starting this Monday with an 8am doctor’s appointment, then to dog sit, and then straight to work for 9 hours.

As that’s usually how the weekend goes, Tuesday ends up being the first day since Thursday/Friday that I am able to get a handle on my life– laundry, cleaning, misc. CSAC stuff, other mundane life chores.

Don’t get me wrong, none if it is actually super hard.  I’m only 22, and I co-habitate with my mother.  It’s not like I’m working these jobs and then going home to take care of a child or something else that is actually super hard– unless you count caring for dog and cat.  It’s just a lot of things, and for an introvert, my brain is screaming for my bed-cave and a few hours of nothingness to recharge.

Not to mention it’s been raining for three days and how amazing are naps with the fireplace on and rain pounding on the windows?

Which is my long-winded way of saying I have blogger’s block, my brain is sleepy, and I will be back to some regularly scheduled #Blogtober14 action tomorrow.

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Blogger 101 // Twitter

Since beginning blogging in the last few months, I have been so thirsty for new knowledge about this great mystical corner of the internet.  I’ve taken to scouring the internet for tutorials on anything from HTML tips to Google Analytics– which, speaking of, does anyone know how to use that? It’s still a mystical uncharted land to me, and I have yet to find a good tutorial that explains things easily enough in Internet Idiot Language for me.

However, one thing I am very fluent in is Twitter.  I’ve been a huge Twitter addict for many years now– even to the point where I’ve given it up for lent twice– so it only made sense that I needed to add my timeline (and a follow button) to my blog sidebar.

Thankfully, this was pretty easy and I figured it out pretty quickly.  I think the best part about this is that the timeline also includes a follow button, which keeps the sidebar from getting too crowded with extra links.  I use Blogger as my blog host, as I know many, many others do, so I thought I’d share the knowledge with a super easy tutorial.  You’re welcome.

Let’s begin:

If you are looking at my blog for reference, I have selected the “User Timeline” as my timeline source, and it is also the source I used for this tutorial.  Because I am conceited enough that I want my tweets in real time on the sidebar of my blog so you all can see how much fun (and humble) I am.
However, here, you also have the option to select a different timeline. Play around with the choices if you’d like to explore what you can do.
You can also mess with the options here.  You can choose to exclude replies on this timeline, adjust the height of the timeline you want displayed, the theme colors, etc.  Again, play with the options to make it fit your chosen aesthetic. 

Much like any other widget on Blogger, you can choose to add a title to be displayed above the timeline.  Mine is simply “FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER” but you can choose anything.

After selecting “Save” do not forget to select “Save Arrangement” on the main Layout screen! I would also suggest previewing it to make sure your widgets are arranged how you’d like it first before saving anything.

Unlisted Step 13: Reward yourself with another cup of coffee and an extra episode of Gilmore Girls while you keep refreshing your blog page after each tweet to marvel at the livestream of your glorious thoughts.  You’re so internet cool.

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Sunday + BLOG PLANNER PRINTABLE

I only have a few hours to enjoy my Sunday morning before I have to go to work later.  Therefore, I am going to spend them drinking coffee and watching Netflix in my bed, instead of worrying about my writers’ block and my inability to form an interesting post following my super sappy Ode to Alpha Delta Pi yesterday.  

However, I only have writers’ block because I may have… uh.. failed to plan ahead a wee bit. (WHAAAT? Me?! Noooooo.)

Instead of thinking about my 5th day of #Blogtober yesterday, I had Cross Country meets for the CSAC, worked all afternoon, and then went for drinks and a movie with a friend.

Off Topic: Saw Gone Girl.  Loved the book, but was disappointed in the ending.  The movie was fantastic, one of the better adaptations of a book-to-movie, in my humble opinion.  I was unsure of Ben Affleck as Nick, but was pleasantly surprised.  My only criticism is the horrible fat suit they put Rosamund Pike in, and her horribly styled hair when it was long and blond– like, dude.  Isn’t the style big, voluminous hair? Why do movies insist on styling actresses with hair that is practically plastered to their head?

Anyway.

So, in order to hopefully help others escape the perils of poor blogging habits, I present you with this link to a cute free printable blog planner from Kayla at Say Not Sweet Anne.  The style is not really my taste, but I adore the set-up for the organizational purpose.  Thought I’d share it for anyone interested, as it looks incredibly useful and her directions for printing and binding are impeccable.

So do as a I say, and not as a do.  Plan your blog posts, and avoid writing something quick and dirty like this while you wait for your coffee to cool.

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