Blog Set Up is a Lot Like A Mad Science Experiment
Today I am studying the Farmers’ Almanac Blog at https://www.farmersalmanac.com/blog to see what I can learn about a blog site from the guys that are into the weather, the skies, food, and manure.
The Mystery of Web Terminology
It is tedious to try to talk about a blog when one does not know what to call every part of a website. So, I am left trying to describe it: In the top center of this blog, there is a narrow horizontal box (maybe called a banner) that displays the picture of a man. In the box it says “Justin’s Story—Keep Seeking, Science is a Challenge” ThermoFisher Scientific. When you click on the banner a whole page of videos opens. The entire page is sponsored by ThermoFisher Scientific. I think this is a banner affiliate link. That means that if you buy something from ThermoScientific through this website, the Farmers’ Almanac gets a percentage. This is very appropriate since I spent all day yesterday trying to put affiliate links on my WordPress blog.
The first thing that happened was that the Amazon Affiliation group could not get a call through to my mobile phone to verify my existence so that affiliate sign up went nowhere. Then the Mailchimp marketing platform that is supposed to be free costs $10.00 a month, and after paying the price and setting up a popup, placing the code for the popup on my website, I’m not sure it is working. Then I signed up for another affiliate link with the Catholic Company and added Abe Books, and Highlights to my request through the CF Link Connector. This was a much easier process but still they could not confirm ownership of my “DNS.” So I had to add a code to a page in the blog and have not heard back yet.
Looking back at Justin’s video on the Thermo Scientific page, the first thing he says in his video is, “A bad day is nothing works.” Yesterday was my bad science day in my website adventure. I learned a lot, but nothing worked. And because I am tenacious when I can’t get something to work, I never give up and spent all day in this “not working” frame of mind. The Justin video says that when he hits a wall in his scientific research, he plays in his band so that he can fall asleep at night with a smile on his face.
My choice of diversion was to eat at the Wooden Spoke with my husband; drink a glass of merlot; eat a grilled cheese sandwich and broccoli; and come home to read a chapter or two of Hank the Cowdog by John R. Erickson. It was the Hank the Cowdog that did the trick. How can you not smile when an arrogant, not too smart, sewer-smelling, cowdog, who is all too human in his arrogance and appetites, and his cowardly little buddy, Drover, mistake the milk cow for a chicken-killing monster slobbering green slime in the dark. Drover runs for the machine shed, but Hank engages her in battle, limping off on “all four paws” after receiving a scolding from his master.
DNS? Roots? Persistence
The worst part of doing this type of IT work yourself is you don’t know which part of the technology is not working: the website, the link connector group, your computer, or the internet connection. And, then of course there is your own ignorance: What in the heck is a DNS? And, do I have access to my website’s “root?” I honestly don’t know. I think they don’t expect grandmothers to be launching a blog site. HA! Grandmothers came up through Fortran punch cards, PC Write shareware, and Word Perfect; have survived a million “New” management approaches and theories that look eerily like those they have seen in the past; and are masters of the Google search. Despite the day of failures, I’m kind of having fun on this adventure. The days pass very quickly. No yawning at mid-morning like I did at my old job. This is engaged life.
So, what went right yesterday? I did get two of the three widgets added to the footer of my page. I added page navigation and a cloud view of tags that appear in my posts, even if the mail chimp popup might not be working. I learned about search engine optimization (SEO) which for an old hand at indexing avian diseases is not much of a mystery. I also made a logo doing my own artwork with charcoal and pastels, my phone, and the Paint program. I like the logo a lot, but it does not really go with my header image, so I haven’t decided whether to add the logo to the blog.
I’ve also noticed that the Farmers’ Almanac Blog has affiliate links or ads for Dell Inspiron Desktops, the postal exam, and for 800ezmicro.com selling microbiological lab solutions. So, if the old Farmers’ Almanac can master the affiliate world, I surely will with a little more effort. One last thing I saw on their blog is a bar at the bottom of the first page of “Home and Garden” posts that says, “More Home and Garden Posts >>.” I’ll have to explore that one when I have more than one page of posts.
Thinking like an Entrepreneur
I see that the Farmers” Almanac has a link called “Sell the Almanac” in a footer widget. I opened the link and it is offering bundles of Almanacs, one even with a floor stand at wholesale price to sell in your place of business. Idea! My business will open an office in December. I live in a small community with lots of farmers and gardeners. Maybe I could sell 20 or 36 of these books as a promotion in my new office around Christmas time. It is the new edition of the 2019 Almanac. A perfect example of selling your own work on your website. However, there is competition in the area, and it is more likely than I am to get the farmer and gardener foot traffic …. the hardware store.