Who’s Following Who?

On Monday I got a Christmas letter from Australia. For a moment I wondered if 2020 had all been a nightmare and we were still in 2019. But alas, it turned out a friend from long ago had been tidying her office, no doubt a Covid stayathome activity and had found the unsent Round Robin. On the reverse side was an updating handwritten letter. But this blog isn’t about Round Robins or my friend’s ‘far more interesting than mine’ life. The salient point was that she had been reading and enjoying my website, which was pleasing and also made me wonder how she had arrived there. Had I enclosed a business card in her Christmas card, had I even remembered to send one, or had she just looked up my name on the internet – for experimental reasons I tried this and my website came up first.

An artist’s impression of my website

We started my website ages ago after publishing my first novel on Amazon Kindle in 2013, when I had even less idea what I was doing on the internet than I do now. It is a paid for website, a series of templates, a scrap book waiting to be filled in, without the glue, but for me just as messy; we accidentally created two domains, there were too many pages, which themselves had more pages… what to fill it with, lots of pictures?

My first positive step was discovering you could add a background colour, turning it yellow brightened the outlook, but what next? Over the years I have discovered skills at a slow rate, often there have been changes as soon as I got used to how things were done. How to change the size of words and pictures so people could actually see them, how to do links. At one stage you could put artistic frames around the pictures; that disappeared, but some interesting boxes turned up – perhaps I have been using blocks all along without knowing.

When I realised everyone except me was on WordPress I started this blog, the advantages are obvious, it is interactive, you know who is Liking or commenting and you can respond. On my Big Yellow Website visitors can only Like if they are on Facebook, there is also a visitor counter which records far higher numbers than the Likes. In the unlikely event a visitor is moved to comment they must make the effort to turn to the contact page and find my email address, I think only my sister and a few friends have ever done that.

If I share a link to the website on both my Facebook pages I get some Likes and lots of visits, so who is visiting apart from the friend in Australia? Of course none of this translates into actual book sales, which is why authors are told to start a website in the first place, but perhaps my website is happy in its own right, floating in yellow bliss in the ether waiting for its next visitor.


In the meantime back to WordPress to tackle the new blocks…

10 thoughts on “Who’s Following Who?

  1. I always think of my website as the place where I can play around and build it out however I like. It’s kind of like my lobby or a formal living room you rarely use but keep neat and tidy. My blog is my comfy place to unwind and chat with others. Even though my website doesn’t get a lot of traffic, I still like having it.

    My first website (in 2012) was an experiment too. Very clunky. I think I kept it for two years. The new one I just added last year. Like you said—a learning curve. I did a lot of testing what worked and what didn’t during that time, LOL!.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. My website is now just the WordPress blog. It functions just as well, since you have the pages options (for what are effectively web pages) as well as the posts.

    And on another point, I do get sales of books through my blog. It’s certainly worth the effort.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As a newer blogger, I enjoy reading how other bloggers like you have navigated their way over the years. Thanks for sharing, Janet.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. When you get used to websites and that’s what you started your very first use of the internet with, blogging was such an alien concept. I now see it a little more the other way around; websites are static and less frequently updated, so you tend to visit them less than blogs, which are continually updating and evolving. That said, you’ll get more hits on a website’s content with it being more static. I see the benefits of both and as an author, I can see both bringing you different types of readers and different types of benefits, both of them still building up your ‘brand’, if you like. As for the WP blocks, I was so reluctant to use those when they were first introduced. You’re just getting used to the classic editor then they bring this in… ugh, more adjusting.. but actually I got used to them fairly easily and it didn’t take too long for them to become the norm. I’d find them easier now than the classic editor, so hopefully you’ll find the same after the initial reluctance and dislike. Fingers crossed! 🙂
    Caz xx

    Liked by 1 person

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