image of frustrated personOne thing I notice about people, whether in the real world or online, is each one of us has our own unique talents.

You know how it goes.

Some are very artistic and can make a stick figure look like a work of art. Others can take words and spin them into a captivating tale. Some have perfect hand eye coordination and yet others can look at a room and envision a beautiful transformation.

I feel everyone is gifted in at least one area, but I’ve yet to find anyone who can do it all.

Today’s Lesson

Blogging is one of those activities that incorporates many talents.

We not only need to know how to write, but also need knowledge of coding, links, blog security, statistics, SEO (search engine optimization), inserting images, ads, widgets and/or embedding videos into our posts, plus much more.

When I started blogging, I didn’t understand the language of blogging, nor did I understand coding. There was so much I wanted to do with my blog, but for the life of me, I felt I was continually hitting a brick wall.

In some ways I knew just enough to get me in trouble, and when I crashed my blogs, that became even more evident.

With time on my side and with the help of others, I feel I’ve conquered many of my struggles but also realize with the rapid changes in technology, the learning process never ends.

Knowing I’m not alone, I’m sharing one of my early blogging challenges.

It was how to insert an image into a post. For the life of me, I just couldn’t grasp it.

After weeks of trying to wrap my brain around the concept, the light bulb finally went off.

What about you?

Today’s Assignment

Reflecting on your blogging experience, what has been the most difficult part of blogging for you to grasp?

Do you still struggle with it, or is that challenge behind you?

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Photo Credit: moonstarsilverwolf

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  1. My struggles are always with keeping my blog platform updated. I use WordPress and it seems they come out with an update every other month. And it’s bad if you don’t update on time. But the stress of doing so always has me in a tizzy. You have to watch with plugins and making sure you back everything up beforehand. I sometimes long for the old days when I was on Blogger and didn’t have to worry about such things. Sigh. Yes, I still struggle with it. Ugh.
    .-= Check out Junk Drawer Kathy´s awesome post: Careful Where You Stick That =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Kathy,

      That’s true. With WordPress, they do come out with updates fairly often. It can be a real nail biter between the time we start the process and when the update is complete.

  2. DotNo Gravatar says:

    My struggles are with coding. I don’t like it, but I want to customize everything and I can’t afford to pay for all the things I want. I also change themes often, meaning I have to start customizing all over again. I’ve never studied CSS and XHTML, I just try to learn what I need at the time, which isn’t the best way to proceed, either.
    .-= Check out Dot´s awesome post: Comment on The World of Dotitude by Barbara Swafford =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Dot,

      I hear you. That’s one of the disadvantages of changing themes as everything has to be recustomized for the new theme. In one way it’s good, as we get more practice with CSS and XHTML, but it can also be very time consuming.

  3. Oh gosh, Barbara, you made me laugh when you said the light bulb went off when you finally discovered how to insert an image into a post. I had that same experience, and many others along the way. I know nothing about coding, SEO, security. I must sound like a real rookie! As a result, my blog is extremely basic, and I keep telling myself I should learn about SEO at least. But another part of me says, “Who cares? Just write and have fun.” One good thing that came out of this is I discovered Jeb Dickerson, a delightful technical guy with a company called His rates are very reasonable for novices like me.
    .-= Check out Patty – Why Not Start Now?´s awesome post: Thirteen Tips to Transform the Story =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Patty,

      Isn’t that maddening when you just can’t “get it”? And then when we finally do, it’s like “Wow, that was easy.”.

      I think SEO is important if we want search engine traffic, but yet it’s so easy to just write and not worry about it. (I don’t use it too often on this blog).

  4. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara. I REALLY miss my hosted blog. Having a self-hosted blog is a lot of work and sometimes overwhelming. Updates for plug-ins and then the constant WordPress upgrades. Had to deal with a couple of “fatal error messages” the other day… holding my breath, hoping I didn’t crash my blog. All is well though. I’m no techie so I outsource the WordPress upgrades to John at WP Blog Host. I’d rather focus on the reading and writing and leave those details up to the pros.
    .-= Check out Davina´s awesome post: A Yogi Twists A Business Pitch =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Davina,

      That’s scary when we get those, “fatal error” messages, isn’t it? I think it’s smart to outsource that which we don’t understand. Like you said, it lets us focus on what we enjoy.

    • And it’s been a pleasure working with and getting to know you, Davina 🙂

      Like you said Barbara, we all have our strengths and weaknesses. Davina might outsource to me for upgrades and security things, but I outsource to others for things like content writing (not on my blog) and some marketing.
      .-= Check out John Hoff – WP Blog Host´s awesome post: The Top 7 Mistakes eBook Authors Make! =-.

  5. My belief is slowly evolving that you should ask an expert when you need help and that was reinforced by Jim Connolly’s recent post (11-20-09) about picking the right expert. So when blogging got over my head, I asked the expert that I originally met here and on several other blogs. I ask Kim Woodbridge and pay her reasonable rates to tweak my blog, update the WordPress, reinstall whatever I inadvertently disconnected, and put the new widgets I want on it and she does and it makes me happy!
    .-= Check out Julie Walraven´s awesome post: Are you on board? =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Julie,

      That’s true. Finding the right expert can alleviate a lot of headaches when we get in over our heads. And with blogging, sometimes that’s easy to do.

  6. DebNo Gravatar says:

    Barb, I wish I’d discovered this blog sooner. You’ve got quite a few pearls of wisdom here and I find myself more often than not nodding my head in agreement.

    I am a firm believer in the words “You can’t do it all”. Sure you can try, cross-training is always important and I do it all the time. But I’m not a coder. I’m a designer. I know enough code to be dangerous and can get what I want done, but sometimes I feel like I’m Frankensteining things together with duct tape!

    That’s not to say the work I do comes out that way. Not by a long shot. I just know that if you can find a provider who specializes in what you need done, then go for it. You’ll save yourself a lot of time and money in the long run.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Deb,

      I like how you put that, “I feel like I’m Frankensteining things together with duct tape!”. I’ve been there, too.

      I agree sometimes it’s best to pay an expert to handle that which we don’t understand. Too often we spend countless hours struggling and in the end aren’t any closer than when we started.

      • DebNo Gravatar says:

        *chuckles* That’s one of my favorite phrases too. At least you and everyone else knows that even sometimes the professionals need professionals. 😉

  7. jan geronimoNo Gravatar says:

    I’ve problems with customization. Want to tweak many things on my blog, but don’t do it because I’m afraid my blog will die on me or vanish into the blogosphere’s black hole or something… Thought I’m done with schooling. Gosh, I have to learn many things like coding. Shouldn’t that be the exclusive domain of spies and moles? I know my le Carre and the cloak and dagger business from reading about them, but little did I know when I joined blogging that I have to be nerdy, geeky to be cool. Good if I were a precocious teen, but for crying out loud I’m already middle age!

    Truth is despite this handicap I wouldn’t trade this with another passion. Blogging is awesome.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jan,

      I say “ditto” – Blogging is awesome.

      Coding for customization can be stressful, but one thing that helped me was to set up a test blog site on which I can practice. If I crash that, nothing is lost but a little bit of my time. I love how by changing just a tad bit of code, we can completely change the look of our sites.

  8. Kelvin KaoNo Gravatar says:

    For me it’s the layout stuff. Once upon a time, all layouts are done using table tags. Now we have div tags and css. I sort of tweak things around but they don’t always do what I intend them to do. But I know the solution already. Just find some book or website and learn that stuff from scratch instead of just randomly messing with things. I just haven’t gotten to it yet.
    .-= Check out Kelvin Kao´s awesome post: Puppetry Classes =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Kelvin,

      Learning div tags and/or CSS from scratch is probably the best way to do it, but like you said, it’s also something we need to make time for. Maybe we need to clone ourselves first. 🙂

  9. Evelyn LimNo Gravatar says:

    Oh gosh…I had so many challenges that I didn’t even know where to begin. I am just like Dot. I don’t bother with studying too much CSS and XHTML. I just try to learn what I need at the time, which isn’t like she said a very efficient way of doing things.

    Someone just commented to me this week that my site looked professional. My response was “wait till you know what goes on behind the outside experience”! I still have fatal errors, bugs and IT stuff to deal with! Somehow, the person I have outsourced some of the work to is not paying enough attention to my site. Sigh…
    .-= Check out Evelyn Lim´s awesome post: Feed has moved =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Evelyn,

      What you and Dot said reminds me of how many of us blog by the seat of our pants – learning just enough to get by for the meantime. And I don’t think that’s all bad. After all, look at the compliment you got on your blog. That says a lot.

  10. Cath LawsonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – I struggled on so many things in the beginning – and there’s lots of things I still do struggle with. It feels like I’m just getting the hang of something and it changes.

    Inserting images was definitely one. I didn’t have plugins. I couldn’t install WordPress. And the idea of changing my theme was a nightmare.

    Also, I didn’t grasp the difference between static and dynamic, so I had a seperate blog and website on my domain. And don’t get me started on social networking. Figuring out how to use social networking sites, then wondering if I should be using them at all was another huge problem.
    .-= Check out Cath Lawson´s awesome post: 2 Things A New Business Must Do =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Catherine,

      That’s true. It’s frustrating when we learn something and then it changes and we have to learn it all over again.

      Re: Social networking sites. I’m with you on that. With there being so many of them and each having their own set of procedures, it’s difficult to know it all unless we spend ton of time on them.

  11. HI Barbara,
    Before i started my blog…i did a lot of reading…I mean truly a lot of reading and research. I even read blogging for dummies. I was all set to buy my own domain and do the work..and then I thought what if noone ever comes to my blog..??? So I thought of the next best option..WORDPRESS.COM
    That was my best decision ever. Today, yes my customizing can be a little limited..but they are so good with their upgrades….i only have to worry about writing and publishing.
    I had that issue of inserting pics and videos…finally mastered it though 🙂 But i love…Firstly its free, its perfectly professional with all what self hosted blogs have..and in future..if i ever run out of space..i can always upgrade. I wish the only thing they would add in the thesis theme to it…;)
    I can play around without worrying about my blog crashing..cause those awesome folks at are always there to help. I still dont have a clue what CSS is..and I can take care of it myself. No need of IT guys for me 🙂
    Its only 6 months since i started the blog..and i do wonder if i should buy my own domain….but I am so thoroughly enjoying blogging as of now to worry about that i actually have readers 😉
    .-= Check out Zeenat{Positive Provocations}´s awesome post: Being Alive{Inspirational Quote} =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Zeenat,

      That was very smart of you to do so much research prior to starting a blog. Many of us just in head first and ask questions later.

      It sounds like is working well for you. I know many bloggers continue to use it and have a huge following. Although it doesn’t have all of the advantages of a self hosted blog, it’s definitely a great start.

      P.S. You are a great spokes model for them 🙂

  12. There is so much to know – that is for sure. I taught myself many of the things you have listed in your blog. One resource I found was This is a library of tutorials that can teach you pretty much anything you want to know about any type of software, including coding. I still go to Lynda anytime something new comes my way that I want and/or need to learn.
    .-= Check out Heather Villa´s awesome post: Weekend Reading: My fav’s from this week: 11/20/09 =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Heather,

      Like you, I am also self taught. And it’s certainly advantageous when we find a site with information that helps us learn more. Thank you for providing the link to Lynda. It looks to be a fantastic source for information of all kinds.

  13. Hi Barbara, I know I commented last night but after reading a few of your other posts that I missed, I do have one question that I haven’t resolved. I put Tweetmeme on my site and changed the code as it suggested to say my name but I was talking to a marketing professional yesterday and he said that you should leave it alone. I like the little green retweet buttons and the counter that goes with them. It seems silly to leave it at Tweetmeme because then often the RT doesn’t even tell you whose site it is from. Did this make sense? Perhaps you or one of your many commentors have an answer.
    .-= Check out Julie Walraven´s awesome post: Are you on board? =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi again Julie,

      I’m not sure how the Tweetmeme button works. I used to have it here but then added the Sexy bookmarks plugin (see area at the end of the comments) and removed Tweetmeme.

      Hopefully someone else is reading this and can answer your question as I don’t have knowledge on that.

  14. Great Post,

    The most difficult thing for me is time. I suck at time management. Get distracted too easily. I consider myself multi-talented.

    I suppose the other thing is actually writing. I suffer from dyslexia, so reading and writing is a challenge. But one thing for sure is that blogging has improve my writing skills tremendously.
    .-= Check out Robert Bravery´s awesome post: 7 Reasons why you should quit blogging =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Robert,

      I know exactly what you’re saying about time. Even when I’ve attempted to put myself on a strict schedule, like you, I get distracted and the best laid plans go our the window. If and when you discover the secret , let me know. 🙂

  15. In the early days most of my challenges were technical in nature but then I decided to give up on the idea that I’d ever master that side of it because really it gives me very little fulfillment to do so. So I now pay for technical help and I’m so glad that I do.

    Now my challenges are all internal. It’s important to set your own blogging standards and live up to them rather than driving yourself crazy by trying to compare to others.
    .-= Check out Tom Volkar / Big Link Rally´s awesome post: Easing into Bold Engagements =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Tom,

      That’s so true. Comparing what we do or where we’re at in blogging against someone else’s progress ends up being a recipe for disaster. We need to do that which we are comfortable with and not worry if we’re at the same level as others.

  16. Chase MarchNo Gravatar says:

    I just wanted to write and get my name out there so I use Blogger as my platform. It is so easy to use that I didn’t really need to spend time figuring out technical aspects of blogging.

    My only challenge is getting people to comment. I get a fair number of people visiting and reading my posts but I don’t get too many comments.

    I know that my teaching tip posts are useful and are attracting teachers to my blog and I can understand them finding what they need and moving on. Teaching takes up so much time. These teachers probably don’t think about how much time and effort I put into sharing my ideas and thoughts. They might not even realize that comments are something that bloggers actually live for.

    So that’s my biggest challenge – getting comments.
    .-= Check out Chase March´s awesome post: No Homework Please =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Chase,

      Thank you for bringing that up. Many of our readers are not aware they can leave comments, even when they see the comment box.

      I was just on your site and see you mention commenting in your header as well as in the beginning of one of your teaching posts. Food for thought, what if you were to remind your readers at the end of the post as well; that you would like for them to share their thoughts, suggestions, etc (like you do in the beginning)?

      Or, end with a question and try to illicit comments?

  17. suzenNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara!
    All I can say is, it’s a good thing I have a sense of humor coupled with the beginner’s mind attitude! I take one step forward and 20 back! I have no clue about anything techy tho I did learn to put a photo on my blog. I did it once. I may do it again.

    My faux pas never cease. Take, for instance, my clicking on one of my followers last week in an attempt to go visit HER – the screen asked me if I wanted to follow – I thought it meant follower HER, but oh no, I am following ME, picture and all, right there on my own blog! I was horrified. I am following myself! Lovely.

    In my 9 months of blogging, I’ve been given a half dozen awards. I was honored, and told the people that, I just don’t “get” how to put them on my blog. So by the 3rd go round, the person sent me a tutorial, hell bent I should display the award. I thought the first two people would feel slighted, so I said I felt the Universe intended for me to be humble and not display anything at all but just to know in my heart that people thought highly of what I wrote. Of course this “humility” doesn’t advance my techy skills but oh well. I’m not here to conquer technology but just to write. There are people in my life who think, knowing me, this is already the feat of the century!

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi SuZen,

      I agree. A sense of humor certainly helps when we’re blogging. It’s so easy to make mistakes even when we know what we’re doing. Blogging has a way of keeping us humble.

      And yes, blogging is about writing. Worrying if we “get” all that comes with it can end up being a creativity buster so sometimes it’s best to just let it go.

  18. Lori HoeckNo Gravatar says:

    For the heavy lifting — starting self-hosted site — I rely on my husband. SEO I’ve picked up by osmosis from reading about blogging so much. My next big leap is video.

    I once had a quote on my fridge that could very well be for blogging instead of housekeeping: “Keeping house is like threading beads on a string with no knot on the end.”
    .-= Check out Lori Hoeck´s awesome post: Karate yells: Bogus or big help in self defense? =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Lori,

      First, I must say, I love the quote you shared. And yes, it applies to blogging, as well.

      How exciting you’ll be adding video to your blog. I’ll be watching for your debut.

  19. Hi Barbara – I have trouble with just about everything everyone mentioned. 😀

    One thing that really bugs me is that Google RSS won’t support the embed code that you get with YouTube videos. Why? I can’t figure out how to change it, so what I wind up doing is a Texas two-step with Apture embeds, whose code is evidently supported. So it turns the process into one of multiple steps. Just support the dang code to begin with!

    And, when embedding my own photos, I can’t get the text to wrap. I can with Apture embeds, so when I mix sources in a post, it looks like visual gobbledy-goop.

    The other challenge I have is distributing my time, especially with respect to social media. I am spinning a lot of plates with ongoing projects. Twitter has been getting the short end of the stick lately, but I discovered you can integrate Facebook with it, so maybe that will help.
    .-= Check out Betsy Wuebker´s awesome post: Unincorporating Food, Inc. =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Betsy,

      You’ve brought up a lot of good points. And you’re right, when we start mixing sources in a blog, it can create havoc.

      A lack of time is huge for many of us. Like you, I neglect social media sites when work, life or other blogging responsibilities need to be addressed. I used to stress about it, but now I remind myself I’m only one person and I’ve quit beating myself up for not being able to do it all.

  20. Hi Barbara,

    I never understood the whole SEO thing that comes with blogging. I tried to read up on it and it just gave me a headache. So I don’t care about it and just write what comes to my heart.

    I think many people fall into the trap of believing that there are a set of rules when it comes to blogging. I don’t buy that. Just do what you love and run your blog with all of your heart, it works itself out somehow. I truly believe that because the minute a person starts to run their blog based on the standards of others it is bound to be a disaster.
    .-= Check out Nadia – Happy Lotus´s awesome post: The Happy Lotus Diaries Begin – Please Share Your Thoughts =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Nadia,

      I agree, the SEO stuff can be daunting.

      I like what you said about bloggers being true to themselves and not worrying about the standards of others. With there being no set rules to blogging, it gives us the opportunity to write from the heart, be unique and develop at our own pace. Doing that removes a lot of the stress and lets our creativity flow.

    • FriarNo Gravatar says:


      LOL! I never understood the SEO stuff too…till Barb explained it to me in a few dozen words on Twitter.

      I’m still too lazy to use it. But it seems when I look for my own blog on various search engines, I’m at or near the top of the list.

      So I guess I must be doing SOMETHING right. 😉

      • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

        Hi Friar,

        I’m happy to hear the Twitter lesson helped. 🙂

        It does take time and energy to use SEO, and like you, I also get lazy and don’t worry about it.

  21. NaturalNo Gravatar says:

    i don’t worry about the back end too much. if anything, the most difficult thing is scheduling and what to write about for myself as well as other people. since i’m all over the map with my posting topics, it can get kind of crazy over there. i’m on a break. 🙂

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Natural,

      I saw the post on your blog how you’re now taking a break. Good for you. I hope you’re enjoying your hiatus.

      When you do start posting again, please do let me know as I’ve always enjoyed reading your work.

  22. Wilma HamNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara

    SuZen’s comment made me laugh out loud.

    Finding out about blogging technology brought the worst out in me. If I do not get this info I am not really interested in, spoonfed I get impatient, I have no time to find info or read manuals. Halfway reading stuff I start clicking on every button I can find and when I accidently get a result I have no idea what I did and visa versa when things crash I do not know why.
    So, now John does most of it and we have a tech guy, bliss.
    At least now I am no longer confronted with the frustration, it is all too much detail for me.
    I am with Nadia on this one, I do what I think is best and read blogs like these which make fun of all this behind the scenes blogging stuff.
    I highly admire people like you, who take the time to figure it out and then share it all. You are a maven.
    I am grateful, love Wilma
    .-= Check out Wilma Ham´s awesome post: Community is dead, long live community =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you for your kind words Wilma,

      I’ve never been called a maven before. 🙂

      How fortunate you are to have John and a tech guy to help you out. That lets you concentrate on what you do best – write and help other with your words.

      Me? Although I do get very frustrated when learning the back end stuff, I actually enjoy figuring it out. The down side is, it’s time consuming, but on the upside, I can share with all of you any short cuts I find as well as what worked for me or what didn’t.

  23. Hi Barbara – I love this question! And I was thinking about something similar this morning in regards to my house. I just bought it a couple of months ago and it has made me realize all of the things that I don’t know how to do or have no experience with. It’s a learning curve! As far as my blog goes, I think realizing that there is no “done” or “finished” when it comes to it as been a challenge. I change things a lot – my post styles, little design tweaks, how much to comment on other blogs, how much to focus on SEO, etc. etc. But I think that’s ok. I don’t see my blog as something to “complete” now, but just to figure out as I go along!
    .-= Check out Amanda Linehan´s awesome post: 100 Posts =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Amanda,

      That’s a great analogy. Having a blog is very much like owning a house. Who knew when we “moved in”, there would be so much work involved. And like you said, it’s often stuff we don’t have any experience with.

      P.S. Congratulations on your first 100 posts. I wish you all the best as you embark on your next 100.

  24. Marketing. 🙂 That’s the hardest part and I wish it could take care of itself!
    .-= Check out vered | blogger for hire´s awesome post: Genetic Testing for Children: Would You Do It? =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Vered,

      Thank you for bringing up marketing. That’s one thing that’s very difficult and time consuming, but yet so essential if we hope to advance in any way.

  25. I have a tough time trying to decide what to write about. It took awhile to figure out how to set up and use a blog, but after that, I needed to figure out what to write about

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Dave,

      The best way to figure out what it write about is to think about that which you’re passionate about.

      I see you’re linking to your business website. If you have a chance, let me know the link to your blog and I’ll come by and check it out.

  26. CarlaNo Gravatar says:

    I think for me the most difficult part of blogging is having my own self-hosted blog. The coding, CSS for custom themes, learning what goes into a theme, why I crashed my blog, how to back-up, security issues and so on.

    The next thing is the occasional “writers block” 🙂
    .-= Check out Carla´s awesome post: Goodbye 2009 =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Carla,

      Your comment raises a good point. If we do crash our blog, it helps if we know what we did to make that happen.

      Thank you for mentioning “backing up” our blogs. How disheartening it would be if we lost all we’ve worked so hard to create.

  27. J.D. MeierNo Gravatar says:

    I like that blogging can scale up or down to our talents.

    I still have an amazing gap between what I imagine in my mind, and where my blog is actually at. I enjoy the journey though. I think working on our blogs is working on our lives.
    .-= Check out J.D. Meier´s awesome post: What 16 Movies Can Teach Us About Life and Leadership =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi J.D.

      Yes. Blogging can be scaled up or down, depending on our talents. That’s a part of blogging that’s so awesome. We don’t have to be techies, but we do have the opportunity to learn more if we choose to.

  28. Well I meant to stop by sooner and leave a comment, but I’ve been so busy getting the new blog look up, running and tweaked. I’ll be tweaking it for a while yet, but overall it’s stabilized.

    I agree that blogging requires us to learn many new things, we do indeed end up wearing many hats. It can be frustrating as we bumble around trying to grasp it all, but if we keep at it we gain new skills and a higher level of proficiency. My advice to new bloggers is to keep on bumbling, questioning, researching, experimenting and know that ultimately you will be rewarded with a growing sense of accomplishment and a blog that is uniquely your own.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Joella,

      I just checked out your blog. It looks superb. Great job!

      I like your advice to new bloggers. We do end up with a sense of accomplishment as time passes and we’ve conquered those things that scared us so much in the beginning.

      It’s definitely a matter of wearing many hats, and fortunately if we don’t want to deal with a particular aspect of blogging, there’s always someone available to whom we can outsource.

  29. Barbara,
    I struggle with everything one can possibly struggle with. I agree it changes by the time I learn something. I either barter, use Jeb like Pattie does or I have a guy that charges $10 per hour. One of those three options works for me.

    I don’t get as frustrated as before. The sun will rise and the sun will set no matter what!
    .-= Check out Tess The Bold Life´s awesome post: 20 Tips For Holidays That Rock =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Tess,

      It sounds like you’ve found what works best for you and in turn, alleviated the frustrations that can arise.

      And yes, the sun will rise and set… 🙂

  30. George AngusNo Gravatar says:

    Ugh. I STILL grapple with how to get the words to wrap an inserted image. Decided the best thing to do was insert images centered and put text below each. Yukky.

    As well, I’ve too many thick moments to list here. Maybe I’ll write a book. 🙂

    .-= Check out George Angus´s awesome post: A Roarin’ New Blog of the Week =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi George,

      As for wrapping the words around images, I use the image uploader in the WordPress “edit post” screen. After I upload my image, I just click on “alignment” (none, left, center, or right) and the text automatically wraps.

      Prior to that, I used the “Image Manager” plugin which offers the same options. Hope that helps.

  31. Hi Barbara,
    The design/coding piece. I can figure out how to set it up, but the creative design and “what looks good” evades me. I will be seeking help in the coming months as I update my site. Until recently the SEO piece also stumped me, but I’m pretty sure I get that now.

    .-= Check out Stacey Shipman´s awesome post: Exercise and Yoga: You’re Never Too Old to Start =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Stacey,

      I see you’re now using the Thesis theme. Your site looks fabulous. I like the red border against the calming background.

      As for the other stuff, it too will come to you, just like SEO did.

  32. PatriciaNo Gravatar says:

    Dyscacula is my worst nightmare- I can not do any of the computer/ numbers/spacial components of blogging. My IT just had to show me in person how to get everything for the fundraiser into word and the pictures were nearly impossible.

    The second problem is money – if I could not pay IT in Wii and Wii fit and a new reading chair I would have to give up all together. I do not wish to do that because the computer is so vital to our living life in a daily way. I do not wish to be left behind.

    The third problem is my communications ability. I sometimes just can not convey to my IT what I WANT….so I often need to back down and go with her ideas – this is sometimes a win-win and sometimes a win-lose proposition.

    It is hard to explain so I just do the best I am able to do with the talents I am able to use….fun post makes me thankful that I have a computer…

    Going to learn voice activated software as my next project…always learning…that is the best part. Thank you Barbara.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Patricia,

      How fortunate you are to have an IT person to help you out. With you enjoying blogging (and computers) so much, she affords you the chance to get your name out there and share your knowledge. I see that as a win-win. 🙂

  33. HilaryNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara .. fortunately I was given some basic settings at the beginning – I went with blogger as it was ‘easy’ .. that meant I could do pictures, video etc .. and I was taught the etiquette – thank goodness and found all of you. So now I learn and listen .. and don’t do much – except post and research.

    I’d love to find someone down here to help me with the techie bits – someone who can guide me and help me, so I can learn – that I consider essential. I’ll probably move my blog from blogspot to WP – or just start a new WP and utilise the ideas of Positive Letters or start a slightly narrower niche.

    I have some pretty good ideas and resources for the future – it’s putting it all together … but I’m amazed at how entrepreneurial everyone is .. and worked their routes out = good for them.

    I’ll get there – love your comments and replies – thanks .. Hilary
    .-= Check out Hilary´s awesome post: What is a Persian Palette…? Turquoise, Seagreen, Magenta … =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Hilary,

      I know you mentioned switching to WP (WordPress). Although you can move your posts over (to WP), I like your idea of just starting a new blog and using your current one for ideas. That could potentially save you time and worry.

      P.S. If you ever have a question, please don’t hesitate to ask. If I don’t know the answer, more than likely someone in this community will.

  34. The most difficult part of blogging for me to grasp is that there are just soooo many wonderful bloggers and blogs out there but only so much time. Even though I keep thinking I can somehow increase the number of hours in a blogging day, there are still only 24.

    Technically-speaking the hardest part has been learning that this little thing…closes a segment. Very important. Had to figure that out myself!
    Check out Jannie Funster´s awesome post: 10 Top Blogging Addiction Signs + Recommended Treatments

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jannie,

      I agree. There are SO many wonderful blogs out there, but with only 24 hours in a day, finding the time to visit/read them all, become difficult.

      I had to edit the closing tag out of your comment as it created a link, but I do know what you mean. If we are coding and start anything with an opening tag, we need to remember to close it with the backslash and tag.

  35. Dennis EdellNo Gravatar says:

    Without a doubt, going in the admin editor. Oh man oh man lol.

    Slowly but surely though you learn a piece at a time…before long you are helping others with the same issues.
    .-= Check out Dennis Edell´s awesome post: How Do You Feel About A Static Homepage On A Blog? =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Dennis,

      I agree. The admin editor can be scary since that’s what controls what others are seeing when they visit our blog.

      And like you said, that’s one good thing about learning, we can pass our knowledge onto others.

  36. Hi Barbara,
    My conundrum with blogging is customization. If I could figure out how to personalize my wordpress template a bit more, that would be great, but the code freaks me out. If I could figure out how to support my own blog, that would be great, too, but spam and viruses freak me out. So I’m left with loving my blog as is. That’s okay, too.
    .-= Check out Jodi at Joy Discovered´s awesome post: Forgiveness, Letting Go, and Freedom =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jodi,

      I know you’re not alone with wanting to be able to customize your blog. Unfortunately it does require knowing coding, but that’s also something you can learn. One thing I did was start a test blog on which I can practice. That helped me a lot. I can even crash it and no one is the wiser. 🙂

      As for supporting your blog (I’m guessing you mean switching to a self hosted one), just give yourself time. When that happens, there are two bloggers who frequent this site that can handle security, spam and virus issues for a fee. One is Kim Woodbridge and the other is John Hoff.

  37. KeithNo Gravatar says:

    Hello Barbara,

    I have encountered some challenges along the way, but I am probably in the minority here because I don’t use WordPress. I use Typepad and I love it. Great support and user friendly interface. The biggest challenge I face is customization, not because of TypePad, but because I do not know anything about CSS! LOL I can customize to my hearts content if I know CSS.

    I am a believer in “Leveraging ” so I am enlisting the help of a designer for my new blog that will launch in early 2010. I believe that when you keep your thoughts focused, visualize what it is you wish to accomplish and have the belief that it WILL be accomplished, what you need will arrive. As it turns out, my daughter has a friend who is a graphic designer and is going to help me with a unique design. I’m excited about that!

    Thank you for another GREAT article Barbara!
    .-= Check out Keith´s awesome post: Choose Your Path! =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Keith,

      I’ve heard Typepad is a good platform, too. And how lucky you are to have found a graphic designer to help you with your new site.

      Like you, I also believe we draw to us that which we desire. Although I don’t want to sound “woo woo”, it does work. 🙂

      For CSS (and XHTML, too), the W3Schools website (it’s free) has some great tutorials that have been helpful for me. I also like their site as you can “practice” with coding and instantly see the results.

  38. elmotNo Gravatar says:

    I think the most difficult part of blogging for me is first, having the time to write consistently because of some other important tasks; second including SEO techniques on each of my posts; and third, increasing traffic each day.
    .-= Check out elmot´s awesome post: When Farming Uproots You From Your Blogging Chores =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Elmot,

      You’re not alone. Time is a HUGE issue for most of us. And when life happens, our blog and blogging activities often get put on the back burner.

      P.S. I was looking at the post CommentLuv linked to and thought it meant life took you away from your blog because of responsibilities on your family farm, but then I read your post. 😆

  39. Raul OjedaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    My strugle is just one: I have no clue on the technological part of a blog!

    I’m still trying to create that little image that goes with you when you make a comment, what’s the name, Avatar? So for the moment just keep things simple and dedicate mostly to improve my writing while experimenting to learn little by little, and hoping nothing will go wrong yet.

    It is fun anyway to learn this stuff, makes me feel like a child again when I discover something simple like how to resize a picture, then I have the joy and feeling of accomplisment of a child putting together a Lego toy!

    I guess is almost like rediscovering the childish inocence: we want to do something, we don’t know how to do it, we experiment with some fears of making mistakes, and enjoy when we accomplish something that was new for us, we leaned something new!

    Sometimes I feel guilty of having so much fun like a child with this blogging thing instead of being a responsible adult that, with a grey look, do things as the right thing to do.

    Great article Barbara! You made me realize that inside maybe I’m still a child

    .-= Check out Raul Ojeda´s awesome post: I Love You, I Want You…and Savings! =-.

  40. Marketing and bringing people to the blog. I just can’t wrap my mind around all the work that’s needed to draw people to build the reader and subscriber numbers.
    .-= Check out Alex Fayle | Someday Syndrome´s awesome post: Actively Involved in Change Mentoring vs Coaching =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Alex,

      I agree, it’s tough to get noticed, get more readers and subscribers. I think social networking sites help, as does SEO. But in the end, it seems like it just takes time.

  41. […] Chase March of Silent Cacophony commented on the I Don’t Get It post, his words echo those of many. In part, he said: …They might not even realize that […]

  42. Barbara — First of all, WordPress makes things really easy. I’m amazed at the creativity behind this program:~)

    In answer to your question, two big things I’ve learned are: how to put a frame around a image in WP and how to use “click and enlarge.” As I use photos a lot on my site, both of these lessons were greatly appreciated.

    There are still tons of lessons waiting for me as I get more daring with blogging:~)
    .-= Check out Sara B. Healy´s awesome post: Sitting Empty on the Beach =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Sara,

      I agree. WordPress does making blogging easy. And it keeps getting better.

      Isn’t it exciting when we learn something that helps make what we blog about easier? I can see how the two lessons you shared are beneficial to you.

      I don’t know about you, but I hope I never learn it all as that’s what makes the journey so much fun.

  43. I’ve got to say that my biggest challenge comes with what’s also my favourite part of blogging – the creation of content. I love writing blog pieces, but sometimes writers’ block hits and I can’t shake.

    There are other challenges, too, with the technical stuff, but like you said, we can’t all do everything!
    .-= Check out Ravi@How to make quick money´s awesome post: How I Got 700 Unique Visitors Last Month? =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Ravi,

      That’s right. Trying to do everything right away could be way too overwhelming. Taking it a step at a time works best for me. Then when time permits, I’ll add more.

      I know what you mean about writer’s block. Sometimes it’s best to just step away and not worry about publishing until we’re feeling creative again.