This one is about my son and I visiting the grandparents during the March 2019 Snowpocalypse Bomb Cyclone Bread and Milk Fiasco.
The website is definitely a learning curve. Setting up a free wordpress site was so much easier, and I just got to write content and entertain myself that way, while WordPress.com got to smear my site with ads I would never see a dime of in profits. Having a standalone site has been confusing, and there is so much information out there to sift through. In the last two days, I have spent $200 on Premium sites and Premium plugins, then realized that wasn’t what I wanted, and got refunds on both.
Let me talk about Jetpack. Jetpack is a plugin that is always running on this free site. It gives you analytics, stats, tracking, and the ability to follow. Which is great, but when you install it on a site you are hosting yourself it is a royal pain in the ass. For one thing it keeps redirecting my URL to WordPress hosting, which slows everything down and eats up all my resources. Also, when I jumped to the Premium package, I thought I would be able to monetize my site, which I could, but only through whatever banners and ads WordPress.com decided to put on my page and I would get paid like $1 per every 1000 clicks on an ad. I get all that for paying them $100 a year.
So I uninstalled it and got my money refunded.
Did I mention there was a non-competition clause too? So I couldn’t even get an Affiliate Marketing or Adsense plugin if I did this. Which are the links to products/companies that pay you for the traffic you direct to their sites.
Even after deactivating the plugin, there were little residuals hanging out, which messed up my site. Again. After deactivating and deleting all of that mess, I got my padlocks back on the URL, I got rid of the ads I wasn’t getting paid for, and it stopped going into redirect mode to WordPress.com.
I was also able to get an Associate account with Amazon, which means I can link products and get a commission. That was free. I didn’t have to pay a plugin company. Which is how things should work. With writing, as with any business, the money flow TOWARDS the writer/business/etc. I just have six months to sell three items and get my traffic up to keep that feature.
What comes next is a lot of research. I need to figure out how to improve the traffic to my site, get a plugin that allows followers and subscriptions and maybe even find sponsors who will send me gear to review.
This is a lot of the nuts and bolts of how I am processing this information, as well as a place to vent, since the post in my back yard can only take so many hits from beating my head against it before I have to get a new one.
The important thing is I love to write, and if this project lets me do that, then great!
Other than that, the whole experience has been like following a road map to the land of confusion.