Having now posted consistently for a full month I have some insight into what it takes to be a regular blogger. I would like to share some of what I have learned so far.
I had no idea what I was getting involved with to start. I thought to myself “I need a way to archive my work, a blog sounds like a good idea”. I started out by trying to think of a clever blogging name. I decided on WRNTYVOID, phonetically spelled for Warranty Void. I came up with this name as I have been voiding warranties all my life. I looked around the internet and did not find anyone else using that title. I had made up my mind and started to create accounts using that name. @WRNTYVOID became my Twitter handle, I created a Youtube channel, and I also created an Instagram account. I wanted to create a presence on the Internet not just get buried amongst everything else.
After speaking with my wife I discovered that she had no idea what WRNTYVOID represented. I am guessing she will not be the only one confused by the name. Oh well, the ball was already rolling down the hill, no stopping it now.
After I settled on the name I registered that name with GoDaddy and created the domain WRNTYVOID.com. I figured $14.00 was not a lot to spend to get the domain name. I also wanted to get it before someone else did. Then I realized that the domain name does not include any way to post. You have to link your domain to a website. GoDaddy offered web hosting services but I felt the need to look elsewhere. I did not want to spend a lot of money, after all I had no idea what I was getting involved in. I thought that I could find a service that was free. I looked into Google Sites, Wix, Weebly, and a few others. In the end, I selected WordPress to host my site.
WordPress seemed to provide the best overall package and a lot of creative themes. I ended up buying the personal plan that cost $2.99 per month billed annually for a total of $35.88. Now the cost of this blog has reached about $50. That is $50 more than I thought I was going to spend, but I wanted to have a custom domain name. In hindsight, I probably should have started off with the basic WordPress package and lived with the non-personalized domain name. I will tell you this though since I have made a small investment in this project I am going to stick with it.
It takes a bit of time to figure out how WordPress works. They have two editors available and an Admin access page or directly through WordPress.com. Once I got familiarized with the navigation I needed to get some things configured. I wanted a Favicon, that is the little image that shows on the tabs of your browser. I had to try out several themes to find something that I liked. I had to tie my domain name WRNTYVOID.COM to my WordPress account. I wanted an easy way to get pictures onto my blog, fortunately, WordPress has a way to integrate your Google Photos.
Once all the configuration was finished it was time to start writing. I needed to come up with articles to write about. That is not the hard part I have lots of projects I work on. The hardest part for me is finding the time. I decided that I would try to take it easy and only post once a week. After all 10-15 minutes of writing is not that hard. Well having two young children, and a full-time job does not make that easy.
I have found that there is a lot more research, and preparation required before making a post. One thing I did not consider was looking up pictures for each post. The pictures have to relate to what is being discussed. I don’t want to violate anyone’s copyright so this takes a little more time than expected. Another thing I discovered is that I wanted to make complex topics understandable. Doing this requires revision so my expected 10-15 minutes to write ends up taking considerably longer.
I also wanted to include Youtube videos to support each post. I think these would also help to explain complex topics. I have not found time to create those videos yet. I am also going to need a way to film these videos. Currently, the only camera I have is on my phone. I think this will work for the time being. Maybe I can create a Tri-Pod mount for my phone, this might end up being another post now that I think of it.
Through my research, I have also discovered that I am going to need some kind of video editing software. I thought I would get away with using the built in Youtube Editor, but it is limited in what it can do. I also discovered that I am going to need a way to record my desktop for some of the coding projects. I think I am going to go with Screencast-O-Matic. It will allow me to do video editing and can upload directly to Youtube. This is going to cost a minimum of $15.00 for 1 year. I think it will do everything I need and it looks like it is simple enough to use.
I have also discovered that my punctuation is not all that great. I found a cool Chrome extension called Grammarly. This has helped me out quite a bit. It scans as I type and provides suggestions for proper punctuation and spelling. They offer a paid product also but I am happy with the free one so far.
Now that I have written a few blogs about my experiences with Raspberry Pi I am finding that I need to purchase additional equipment to support them. If you have read my previous post “Adventures In Raspberry Pi” you will have found the shopping list I created to support each chapter. I have so far invested about $70.00 toward this project. I do not mind this so much though as it will support the work I do in my full-time job also. I suspect purchasing items to support additional posts is going to be more common than I expected.
Everything so far has been a great experience. I realize now that I probably should not have been so ambitious but that is water under the bridge. Keep reading my blog to stay up to date. Subscribe to my other social media accounts listed at the top of this post also. I will eventually get them populated with great content.
PS. This post came out of the necessity to give me more time to work on another post for the Adventure in Raspberry Pi series.