Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Clean Up, Clean Up, it’s time to Clean Up the Blog Space

No, I have lost my mind, nor this is not the new adventures of The Wonder Pets (parents, you know who I am talking about).  This is an update on how I am progressing into the world of organizing my Social Media and blogs. This is also a Motivational Monday, which may turn into a Tip Tuesday depending on when I upload this post.
Side note: Ok, this aunt realized that “Clean up, clean up” did not come from The Wonder Pets, it came from my childhood memory of my preschool teacher urging us to clean up our toys, sorry.

Well, I am cleaning up my toys in a sense.  I finally got the go-ahead to switch my blogs and business handmade website to SiteGround.  I will explain to you in a later post on how to get your own website with Siteground at a later time.  So far, I like what I see, and around March 31, you will see a brand new My Ambiance Life, At Home with Tricia's Baskets, and P. Lynne Designs blog and website in much cleaner light.  They are going to be lighter (white background on all of them).  I love all the websites and blogs I visit with clean, uncluttered backgrounds, and it seems to be the trend that is continuing well into 2019 and 2020. 

To give an example on what I do not like:  My blog, At Home with Tricia's Baskets, has this brown background, which was great for the 1990s and 2000s, and maybe even 2010-2012, but starting 2013, everyone was leaning towards not having any background images.  Having a background image makes the blog and websites look cluttered, dated, unorganized, and hard to read, especially since
An example of a clean-looking
Blog (Story of Five Blog)
there are a lot of seniors who are turning older, and their eyesight is not what they used to be.  With that comes background colors with little to no color in them.  In other words, a white background with little to no color in it.  In your foreground, your fonts need to represent manuscript writing.  Save the fancy stuff for invitations, cards, and other things of that nature.  I am going, to be honest, to tell you that it is harder to read script writing than manuscript writing.  Ask any 7-year-old.  In fact, they do not teach cursive writing in schools now.  So, this blog is the first to get an upgrade to Siteground.  I have not decided which of my domain names I am going to choose for this site.  It might be the one I registered or a subdomain.

Speaking of Domains…

I am having a hard time with my plynnedesigns.com domain name.  I do not know if Google is still banning it to show up or what.  Not to get into why I am changing it to plynndesigns, but Google thought the old one was phishing.  Someone back in September had hacked into my account website and killed the whole mood for me using that domain name again after I removed the affected file.  I have been fighting with Google for a whole month to prove that I am the owner of the domain name and to let me use it.  I gave up last week, and now I am using the new one for the website and blog.

Some takeaways from this:

  1. When creating your website, either on SiteGround, GoDaddy, Wix, Weebly, or some other website, make sure you are covered.  This includes being able to create as many websites on your account with a plan you can afford.  I use the “Growing Up” plan from Siteground.  At the time of this writing (February 25, 2019), the Growing up plan is $5.95 a month. 
  2. Also, make sure that your domain name is available.  I was lucky that the new name (plynndesigns) was available.  The current domain name for it plynnedesigns was available when I created that domain name as well when I got it in 2016. The name I wanted as well was PLDesigns, but it would cost me a pretty penny ($4,800) to have, which is another thing.  I looked it up, and anything with the word “design” in it is considered high-end, but I am confused because both domain names also have the word design in them, but they cost me $2.99. Make sure you can afford the domain name price.  All 4 (those two, plus PLDMDN and patriciallogan were $2.99 each).  You can renew them once a year, but if you know you will have them for a long time and can afford it, renew at some point for 10 years.  So, far, I have only been able to renew the domain names annually.
  3. Make sure you protect your websites and blogs.  I protect my websites for $19.95 a month through Siteground.  I learned my lesson from Hostgator, who I no longer recommend as a hosting site.  I also do not recommend Blogger, unless your website and blogs are very simple.  More on Blogger at a later time.
  4. SSL certificates are FREE.  Unless you are doing something complicated, Use the site’s free SSL certificates.  What is an SSL and why do you need it?  Think of it as an added layer to id your site or blog.  In other words, it authenticates it.  Google is cracking down on sites who do not have the https:// on it (most sites still use HTTP:// which is supposed to be not secure).  There are more advance SSL certificates, but they cost more and are not really needed for blogs.
  5. As I always say, plan out your website or blog.  Know what topics you want to talk about, the categories you have those topics under, the color scheme, theme, and do not forget to name your site.  You can read about how I came up with my names in another series I am developing about blogging.
One thing I do want to say about these tips is do not worry about it if blogging and creating a website is not something that you want to do.  You can hire someone to do it, but it will cost you more money, instead, check out this next item, challenge yourself to something greater.

I am bored…

This phrase is not only for children who have nothing to do but adults as well.  We all get that way from time to time.  Boredom comes to the best of us and it sometimes brings out the worst in us.  Think about it, have you sometimes thought about these types of scenarios and said to yourself, “hmm, they must be bored”:
  • Hackers or ID thieves.
  • Children throwing flour all over the house or getting into mommy’s cosmetics or dad’s shaving cream.
  • The police issuing out a bunch of tickets
  • Full Moon
All of these sound good.  I mean, yes, people who hack on the computer to get into someone’s bank account (It happened to me this past weekend) could have been bored or need a job.  Same with the children, but the police?  Humm, maybe some of you have been pushing the snooze button way too many times.  I can always blame the full moon theory, especially on hackers and children, or as my grandmother used to say, “the Devil got to them”.  Either way, the true culprit is B.O.R.E.D.O.M.
So, how can I combat Boredom?

Boredom does not mean that you are sitting around the house doing nothing.  Boredom means you are sitting around doing nothing in your business, your home, as a parent, and even in your church. Boredom can even be in your food choices, your clothing choices, even your vacation choices.  So, how to get rid of it?  Simple, challenge yourself. 
How do I challenge myself?

  1. For business and work:  look at your current skills.  See what you can improve on in terms of weaknesses.  If you cannot see it, ask a supervisor or a trusted co-worker a critique on your skills.  This should be part of your talk with your supervisor during your annual review.  If you own a business, as yourself what is the one thing you wish your company could do for a customer or client.
  2. At home-organizing. what is the one area in the home that could use a little sprucing up within your budget?  This is not the time to do a major renovation to this area.  If this is what you are aiming for, it is fine, but take baby steps.
  3. Self-improvement:  everyone can use a little self-improvement every now and then, but, how challenging is it?  One thing is once you stop learning, you are dead.  If you can afford it, go back to school or take a class online on a site like Lydia.com.  if you hate classes or cannot afford to go back, read a book or if there is something you want to do, search for it on Google or Bing or watch a skill on YouTube.
For an example, when I was getting my bachelor’s degree in Marketing from the school I graduated from in 2003, I was not interested in graphic design or writing at all.  Now, I find myself on an impasse of sorts.  When I started my blog, MDN Creates (now P. Lynne Designs), I knew I needed photos, but I did not have photos nor the skills to edit them.  I am old school.  My parents taught me that you take pictures on 35mm film, take them to the store to get them sent away, get them back in a few weeks, and display them in a photo album.  The camera on my mobile phone was new and foreign to me.  I taught myself to move the photos from the phone to my computer, then I started a trial of Photoshop, and fell in love with the aspects of it.  I have taken myself as far as I can go on my own.  Now I am hoping to gain more knowledge from an instructor at the school I graduated from.  The same with writing.  I have taken myself as far as I could go, and I hope to get a degree in entrepreneurship, which is a subsequent degree.
One of my personal challenges is to create a new craftroom. I have a budget and a plan.  My takeaway for this challenge is already listed. 

So, if you feel bored, challenge yourself and do not let fear get in your way.  Life is a challenge by itself.  You can do this.  

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