So here I am – the official launch day of Freelance Writers Online. It’s not perfect yet, but that’s OK.
As it goes, I’m not starting a new blog per se – I’m just shifting everything over to a new domain name, new host provider and providing new content with different branding.
What’s that you say? That means I am starting a new blog?
OK, you’re probably right.
So what have I learned and how can you benefit?
Well, aside from ‘there’s nothing you can’t learn with a quick search on YouTube,’ I learned a fair bit.
It’s been a long(ish) process. More so because I wanted to do everything myself this time, and so had to learn a few things about getting my new site the way I wanted it.
I had some help with my last blog, and it was really important that I did everything on my own this time so that I was fully in control.
The rules were that seeking help was fine, but I had to be really stuck and I had to fully understand the solution.
Yes, I admit that this was a time-consuming strategy but the logic was that a.) I’d have total control of my new baby website, and b.) It will actually save me time in the long run if things go wrong (as things inevitably will when starting a new blog.)
If you’re going to do it, you need to do it on your own terms. After much research and deliberation I decided to use HostGator (affiliate link) to host Freelance Writers Online.
This was based on a few things, but mainly the reputation they seem to have amongst people just like me in the online world.
If fellow freelance writers, online marketers and bloggers are raving about Hostgator then there has to be something to that. It’s claimed they’re reliable, affordable and have great customer service. The customer service part I discovered right away…
I bought my new domain name and hosting from them and merrily installed WordPress. I then contacted them a couple of times via webchat to ask where on Earth my new website was I’d just purchased.
Apparently it takes a few hours for everything to work.
*Ahem* Yeah, I knew that.
But the folk at HostGator were very helpful, quick and responsive (and not at all fazed by how much of a newbie I was proving to be). They’re in the States and I’m in London in the UK so it was nice to be able to just click a button and speak to someone rather than having to make that long distance call.
In my quest for honesty and integrity, I should tell you that the other added bonus is that HostGator have an amazing affiliate program, so if they continue to prove reliable and responsive then I can recommend them to others and make a bit of extra income on the side.
**Update: Freelance Writers Online readers can now get a 25% discount on web hosting from HostGator by using the coupon code ‘WRITERSONLINE25’ at checkout.
As freelancers, increasing streams of income is important. We don’t want to have all our eggs in the same inky basket when the famine part of the ‘freelance feast or feminine’ kicks in, do we?
After choosing my theme I then started making my own changes with my limited knowledge of html and a full two days of tweaking.
I worked out how to get my past blog posts over from my old domain and how to convert all the links so that they pointed to the new site. Huge thanks to Bamidele Onibalusi of Writers in Charge for pointing me in the direction of a Plugin that did this automatically, called Velvet Blues Update URLs. Also, big thanks for all his encouragement and support via email. 🙂
Getting it out there
This is surely the most important part of starting a new blog and the main point I really want to stress here. If you’re starting a new blog, there’s only so much tinkering and tweaking you can do before you have to just sit back and say, ‘OK, it’s time to get this out into the world.’
As Seth Godin puts it – you need to ‘ship’. Shipping something basically means getting it out there. Creating something and then making it available and accessible to an audience.
For me and Freelance Writers Online this starts right here, today. So all the hard work spent getting my old blog out there needs to be done all over again. I’m excited for the challenge and have some great ideas for some future posts that will help you become a better freelance writer.
I need to work harder, smarter and be more proactive. In other words if I want Freelance Writers Online to be successful, I need to treat this blog like I treat the rest of my freelance writing career.
How Can You Get Involved?
I hope you join me on this journey and find what I’m doing here useful and inspiring so that you can create more success and freedom with your freelance writing career. If you have anything you want me to cover in a future post please let me know in the comments below or by contacting me here.
There are many more things to come – including a freelance writing jobs listing page that will be updated every Thursday, and the travel blogging eBook I’ve mentioned before.
But for now, I just had to get this out there.
If you’re interested in some of the resources I use for blogging and other aspects of my freelance writing career you might want to check out the Resources for Writers page.
PS Don’t forget to sign up to get my click here now if you haven’t done so already.
photo credit: angelocesare via photopin cc