Click here to start at the beginning with Part 1 of My Blog Migration Story.
(It’s a very good place to start.)
Before I get overly emotional, let’s review. In Part 3, I introduced you to the two lovely ladies behind my new blog design and migration, and I gave you a tour of the new digs. Then, I left you with this unanswered question:
- So, you migrated. Now what?
Today, we’ll tackle that one head on, along with these scintillating questions:
- What did you learn about yourself through this process?
- What has been your high point since migrating?
- What has been your low point?
Are you intrigued? I sure hope so. Let’s dive right in, shall we?
Q: So, you migrated. Now what?
A: I started wondering the same thing! And then, I paused long enough to realize, “I’m exhausted!” So, I took a long winter’s nap, woke up, ate something, and then slept some more.
But after my hibernation, I knocked some items off of my to do list.
Here’s a list of little housekeeping things that one might like to do after a blog migration once the site has gone live:
1. Click on everything. From your header to your nav bar to your sidebar to your footer…click away. Click on all the pictures in your project gallery. Click on old links and new links and see that they take you to the right place. Since the coding takes place before you have your new url up and running, you can’t really “test” the links until the site is live. Just yesterday I clicked on my category buttons and realized they led to the badlands of 404 Error: Page Not Found. Oops! Situation remedied.
2. Replace your old url with your new url on your social media platforms. Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn…wherever you may find yourself sharing, posting, tweeting, snapping, and linking. Share your new deets with your followers.
3. Get your blog verified on Pinterest. Pinterest is the number two referrer of my traffic after search engines, so I’ve been wanting to add my blog url to my Pinterest profile for a while now, but because of the limitations of being on WordPress.com, I couldn’t complete the verification process until now. I read several tutorials before I finally found one that spelled out the Pinterest verification process in a way I understood. Here it is: Verify Your Website on Pinterest by Ask Jaime.
4. Add your blog to the WordPress app. I don’t know about you, but I love my WordPress app. It’s free, it’s fast, it’s easy…I use it to reply to comments when I’m out and about or check things on my site without having to jump on safari. By simply entering my WordPress.org username and password, I now have access to my current site as well as access to my old WordPress.com site…all on one app. Super convenient.
5. Create a list of the things TO DO before & after hitting publish. Now that I’ve broadened my social media horizons and now that I’m working on the Genesis framework, there are a few new steps I need to take before and after publishing posts. For example, before I hit publish, I can now use the SEO tools built into my theme. Click here for a helpful how-to on that. And after I hit publish, I not only share on more forms of social media, but I add my project to my Project Gallery, which leads me to…
6. Start taking photos for square layouts. With my posts now truncated, I have square photo thumbnails that pop up on my homepage. And if that wasn’t enough to motivate me to move toward a square layout for my feature photos, just look at instagram, craftgawker, looksi square, and link parties. The square is so hot right now. And when putting together my project gallery, I quickly learned that most of my photos aren’t really square-friendly; in fact, they’re more like square-haters. So, I’m now taking my photos with “square awareness.” Here are two great articles I recommend on taking square layout photos: Reasons to Crop Your Images Square and The Money Shots for Square Layouts.
7. Claim authorship of your new blog. One of the blogs I follow for blogging tips is Blogging with Amy, and Amy recently did a series called What is Author Rank and Why You Should Care. I highly recommend you check it out, but basically, because I already have a Google+ profile set up, with a few simple steps, I was able to connect my blog to my Google profile and “claim authorship.” Now, my face appears next to my blog posts in search engines, and I can start to build what is known as Author Rank. See:
8. Prepare to do your own blog back-ups. Right now, I’m set for manual blog back-ups, but I’m looking into automatic back-ups through free plug-ins or paid ones like Backup Buddy. Here’s a great post on The Importance of Backing Up Your Blog by another one of my favorite blog-tip-bloggers, The Blog Maven.
Q: What did you learn about yourself through this process?
A: That I am impatient. That I hate feeling out of control. That migrating can be stressful, in part because there is so much waiting involved. I spent most of the day last Thursday waiting for things to come through. Waiting for my new url to kick in…waiting on WordPress.com to transfer my subscribers so I could share my first post…waiting on Google Analytics to start working. Turns out, waiting wears me out and gives me a tight feeling in my chest. I don’t like it much. I guess it speaks to my New York ways. I like things to be quick and easy. And the funny thing is that I’m learning that most things in life aren’t quick and easy…so there’s that.
I also learned that I have an incredibly supportive blogger community. So many of you expressed your care and concern throughout this whole migration process…many of you whom I’ve never met in real life. That takes bloggy love. Thank you for that. It helped to know you were rooting for me!
Q: What has been your high point since migrating?
A: The moment late Thursday night when I realized that not only had all of my email subscribers transferred over, but so had all of my WordPress Reader followers. That just doesn’t happen. I mean, according to everything I had read, it can’t happen. My blog migration story breaks all of the rules in that regard. I don’t know why or how, but I am so grateful.
Q: What has been your low point?
I went to my Pinterest board where I pin projects From My Blog and clicked on the most recent pin. No problem. Second most recent pin. No problem. Third pin and bam! I was hit with the evil message.
All pins after that one came up with that same evil message, and I realized that they were the pins originally linked to my WordPress.com site. The tightness in my chest cropped up along with a knot in my stomach. I did some google searching and quickly learned WHY this was happening. Because my old links redirect to my new ones, Pinterest flags it as potential spam or inappropriate content. Even though I’m not spammy or inappropriate, and even though redirects are commonly done by folk who migrate from one url to another, apparently it’s a practice done by some spammers and inappropriate sites. Thus, Pinterest flags all redirected links as evil.
Of course, as the reality of this situation sunk in, I started freaking out. I realized that now hundreds of pins of my projects would pop up with the evil message when clicked. And it wasn’t even just the blow to traffic that worried me, it was my reputation. I hated the idea that my projects and my name could be linked to spam or innappropriate content. I sent Pinterest a desperate message explaining my dilemma and requesting for their help to take away the evil message. Then, more waiting.
I was grumpy the whole next day. Also, my site was “down” or coming up with an error message for a whole half hour, and I didn’t know why. All of a sudden, I wanted my safe WordPress.com back. I felt like little red riding hood, away from the safe confines of home and lost in the woods with no clear path to follow and a big bad wolf staring her in the face. Low point.
Then, this little conversation happened between me and my husband:
Lauren sits on the couch staring at her computer screen, forehead crumpled, arms crossed. Mark plops down next to her.
M: “What’s wrong?”
L: “I don’t know. I guess I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed today.”
M: “Do you think you’re burnt out on blogging?”
L: Pause. “No. I love blogging. I think I’m burnt out on migrating and all of the problems that are out of my control.”
M: “Hmmmm….I see….” A lightbulb turns on. “I know what you need!” Mark grabs the laptop off of Lauren’s lap and pulls up the following video. They watch it. The ice starts to melt….
Lauren pulls up another video she had seen recently. They laugh out loud. Or as the youngins like to say, “lol.”
And just like that, the cats started to heal me.
And I was reminded of the quote that my mother has repeated to me more times than I can count:
“In the light of eternity, it ain’t that big a’ deal.”
Puts it all in perspective doesn’t it? It really isn’t the end of the world if my pins are blacklisted forever. I’ll survive. I’ll probably even live a happy and fulfilled life. A little over a year ago, I wasn’t even on Pinterest. It wasn’t even on my radar. Nor was blogging.
And then, when I woke up yesterday morning, I got an email from customer support at Pinterest apologizing for the problem, assuring me that they’ve removed the redirect block from my site, and that it should go through within 24 hours. As of publishing this post, I’m still waiting on the evil message to be lifted, but I have faith. And if it doesn’t, I have cat videos to comfort me.
Along with the reminder that in the scheme of God’s great plan for me and my life, this is so minor. Ultimately, He is in control, and I am not, and that is oh so right.
As I prepare for my last and final installment of My Blog Migration Story, I’d like to turn the questions over to you:
Q: What questions do you have about blog migration that remain unanswered?
Is there anything that remains unclear or uncovered that you’d like me to share about? Anything that you’re curious to know more about? If so, write your questions in the comments below, and the grand finale of Part 5 will be a post solely dedicated to answering your questions, friends.
Click here to jump to the grand finale of this series, Part 5 of My Blog Migration Story!