April 2019 marks 3 years since I began blogging – first at CultureWeave, and now at YourGlobalFamily. Here are 3 lessons I've learned related to tech.
One aspect of blogging and growing a venture to last is tech.
If I were 20 years old, the tech landscape would look quite different to me, I’m sure.
But I’m in my mid-fifties. Sometimes I can’t even believe I’ve arrived here. How did that happen? Well, that’s another story.
Still, tech is something I actually love and feel rather comfortable with. Until I don’t. Reality is, I can navigate it and, for the most part, with some commitment and dedication, feel as if I can master what I need to know. At the same time, I don’t “get” it with the alacrity of a 20-year-old.
(Thankfully, I do have three kids around that age, and they can be a fabulous help, even from a distance!)
If you’re in my generation and have raised kids, you’ve probably developed the mindset of “Google it” because of their influence. Let’s be honest: that wasn’t the first reaction long ago. But it is now. Or, perhaps, “YouTube it.” Either way, the answers are often at your fingertips. But you do have to be discerning and ask the right questions (in a clear manner) when you use these tools.
What do you need to develop a blog?
There are many ways you can go. Most of the influencers I know suggest you choose a self-hosted blog/website using WordPress.
I won’t deny it. WordPress DOT org is the most-used blogging / website platform in the world. It is open-sourced, meaning it is designed by an open community of developers. It powers 26.4% of the web (as of April, 2019). (Source: https://digital.com/blog/wordpress-stats/)
WordPress DOT com is different from the .org version. It is more pre-packaged and generally easier for the beginner.
I built my first website, CultureWeave.com, on the .org version. It was pure struggle for me for four months! I know, I know – it wasn’t supposed to take that long! And, it wasn’t as if I was working on it straight over that time; I did have other things going on! Still, I remember times when I was in great pain trying to figure things out – all the while making use of Google, YouTube and built-in WordPress tutorials.
I learned about website hosting services (BlueHost, then WP Engine), Domain Name Servers (Go Daddy, then NameCheap, which I currently use), and plug-ins. Oh, the plug-ins! There are so many out there, both protecting, strengthening and “fancifying” your site.
Maybe the fact I struggled so much was just me. I did overcome, however. I built a pretty comprehensive website which was, in the end, more than I needed. If I had the opportunity for a redo, I would have gone much simpler. Lesson learned.
Once I got my website where I wanted it, however, I was quite afraid to change it! All I could do was add blog posts with confidence.
Then, one day, I received an email from AppSumo (a group I highly recommend for some awesome deals) telling about a new drag-and-drop website-building system called Simvoly. I checked it out and decided to purchase the AppSumo Simvoly Lifetime deal for $49.
To date, that’s one of the best AppSumo deals I’ve ever purchased.
In the midst of a branding and name change, from CultureWeave to YourGlobalFamily, I also switched to Simvoly for my website host, server and platform. So much simpler, so much more flexible. I am very happy and confident with this change. No regrets.
I also am building some websites for others now as a Simvoly White Label partner. It is something I love to do on the side and hope to grow more.
You can find a list of tools I’ve found particularly helpful on our website here.
A Final Message on Tech
Of course, there’s an endless sea of apps, products and even gadgets you can use – some free, some for a price, many offering free lead-in plans aiming to get you to become a paid customer – as you progress on your journey.
Learning to discern and not over-buy – whether for a learning course or a new tool to help you dominate the vlogosphere – this is the challenge for all who step out into the unknown, seeking to build something out of nothing. Or, at least, create instead of purely consume.
And, when it comes down to it, one of the best lessons I’ve learned as I’ve traveled this road now for three (and-a-half) years is this: The answers are often found inside of you. They are there, yearning to get out.
This is even true of tech. It can only take you so far. You need to understand what you want, who you want to serve and where you want to go with what you’re doing. Clarity is key. It usually doesn’t come automatically. It emerges over time. Process over product, enjoying the journey. Playing. Having a dance party of the soul, mind, body and spirit.
Once you recognize that truth, you are, in so many ways, almost there.
What have been your experiences with tech as you build, create and grow something new?