Surely, it would be something profound, and witty, and acerbic.
But I am tired.
This was supposed to be easy. I read all those blogs by other bloggers telling me how to blog. I pinned all those Pinterest pins telling me how I could set up my blog and be blogging in minutes.
Want to know how it really went? Pull up a chair and I’ll tell ya a story about how I became a blogger in just 2000 easy steps…
Get notified that you’re soon to be unemployed.
This step is easy and requires virtually no effort on your part. Just show up to your job of 16 years, wearing your favorite Star Wars shirt because it’s May 4. You know…”May the fourth be with you”. Be in a good mood.
Then BOOM! Suddenly the VPO is having a meeting with your entire department and announcing that your office is closing and you will have to find a job in one of the other offices or you’ll just be shit outta luck.
Which brings me to the next step, which I like to call
The Fucking Stages of Unemployment
It only took me about 24 hours to work through all five stages. That’s probably a new record for me. But luckily (or maybe unhealthily) I was on to the next step.
Did you know there are 5,258,479,326,199,621 articles on the Internet about Blogging? I know because I’m pretty sure I read them all. I’ve learned a whole new vocabulary at the ripe old age of 46. And the problem is, when computer and techie nerds write how-to’s, they are usually writing it for other computer and techie nerds or they are assuming you already have some knowledge of blogging/computers/techie crap.
“Make sure your SEO plugins are configured to maximize your tags and meta data and don’t forget to update the cache and cookies settings on your dashboard so that Google bots can crawl your site and rank you in the search engine over Kim Kardashian’s ass.”
Ummmm…WTF? I was a Liberal Arts major, for crap’s sake! I can greet you in five languages. I can write a hell of a poem about cleaning out the refrigerator at work. But techie talk? Not so much. Here’s what I think of when I see these terms:
SEO – the band that comes after REO Speedwagon in the alphabet
plugins – those things you put in your bathroom to make it smell good
tags – those annoying things on your shirt that itch all the time
meta data – I’m pretty sure this was a term Spock used in the original Star Trek show on TV
cache – French currency
cookies – yummy goodness, goes well with milk
bots – another Sci-Fi term
Apparently, that is NOT what these terms mean. And I now understand that, but I won’t bore you with the real definitions because I need you to stay awake for the rest of this post.
Buy a domain and get a host.
Again…Liberal Arts major here. I already own my home and I can host my own parties, thank you very much.
I had to buy “angelwhoswears.com” so that I could actually use the name. And who would’ve guessed that nobody else owned it? Can’t imagine why…
Then I had to sign up with a “hosting” company. In other words, an empty lot to build my house.
And because I bought my domain with one company and chose to host with another (advice I read in several of the eleventy-million articles), I had to “point” my domain to my host. This required copying and pasting some html code into the appropriate places.
HTML? What? Did I mention I’m a Liberal Arts major?
I JUST WANT TO WRITE, FOR CRAP’S SAKE!!!
So once I screwed that up, I had to contact my host company for techie help.
Helpful Tip: Don’t choose a host whose techies and servers are in Houston and then screw your shit up on the very day Houston gets hit with record flooding from a hurricane.
A week later, I was able to IM a really nice guy named Dave. We had the following exchange:
Dave: Hi. How can I help you today?
Me: I have pointed my domain to your site but I can’t get WordPress to install.
Dave: Ok. Pointing your domain was correct. Did you open your C-panel?
Me: Is that anything like a C-section? ‘Cause I’m not sure I’m mentally prepared for something like that.
Dave: Um…your C-panel is just your dashboard for this site. It’s where you control things.
Me: Oh…yeah, it’s open. Wide open. Oh…that didn’t sound good, did it? (I looked for a winky emoji but apparently techie nerd companies don’t utilize those for serious tech issue IMs)
Dave: Ok. Did you find the button for “Quick Install”?
Me: No. My C-panel is blank. Apparently, my C-panel is barren.
Dave: Um. Ok. Let me take a look…
Me: I think I should know your last name before I let you look at my C-panel.
Dave: Excuse me?
Me: Just kidding. I’ll wait. (waiting…I wonder if he can net op into my computer like they do at work and see everything on my computer? What if he can see my Google searches? Oh, shit…what I have I searched lately? What if he can access my laptop camera and see me? Why didn’t I straighten up the living room?)
Dave: Ok…go check your email. You should be good to go.
Me: (checking email) You installed WordPress for me? That’s awesome! Thank you!
Dave: You’re welcome. Is there anything else I can help you with?
Me: No, thank you. You’ve saved me a major headache already.
Dave: Hey, do you mind if I ask you something?
Me: Um…I guess not?
Dave: Why do you have a Big Foot statue, 5 ceramic skulls, and a dragon playing electric guitar on your mantel?
Me: I knew you could see through the camera on my laptop. I should’ve brushed my teeth.
Dave: No worries. At least you have pants on. If you could see the things I see…
Disclaimer: The conversation may not have gone exactly this way. But the gist of it is, Dave installed WordPress for me so I could move on to the next step.
Themes, passwords, and other crap I never anticipated.
So I purchased a “theme” to set up my site. The theme is the basic format style of your blog. You can get free ones but I opted to buy one because purchased themes often have “window dressing” and other options that are cool and make life easier.
But as you will learn about me, I don’t make anything easy.
Helpful Tip: When you get your theme and its set-up instructions, you should actually READ THE INSTRUCTIONS AND FOLLOW THE STEPS. I totally “manstalled” my theme.
After not figuring out what I was doing, I got smart and pulled out the set-up instructions and finally put together this blog you are looking at now. But not without some casualties.
My brain, I believe, has reached its maximum capacity of passwords. I have a password for WordPress, for my hosting site, for my domain registrar, for my theme designer, for my mail list service, for my gmail….you get the picture.
This doesn’t even include the passwords I keep at my “day” job, which I still have for the time being.
And I can’t remember any of them. If you are planning on hacking me any time soon, could you please email me a list of the passwords that worked on my sites? Thanks…
So there you have it. Probably the least instructive post you will find on how to become a blogger. But I’ve updated all my tags and meta data so that when some hapless soul is fried out and looking for helpful info on blogging, my post will come up and make them laugh.
Or possibly convince them NEVER to go into blogging.
Stay weird, my friends. Normal is boring.