I started blogging in 2001, when blogging was practically new. Regardless of my shyness and lack of self confidence in my writing abilities, I still wanted to get feedback for my writing. Still a babe to the World Wide Web, I wanted to get my feet wet in the online publishing world. Thus I began my search for an online platform that would help me get started to see if it was right for me before paying any fees for a domain name and a web host.
I found a web site for my writing, but it wasn’t for blogging and I didn’t have a way to receive comments. So, while I did set up a free account and did some writing, I continued my search, not knowing exactly what to look for.
I kept seeing the words, “blog” and “blogging” and read that they were online journals/diaries. I was curious, intrigued and yet apprehensive about going not just public, but public with the chance of getting ignored or getting negative feedback on my writing. I’m so glad those days are over. Well, at least to the point that I haven’t quit. I may take a break now and then, but the muse always nudges me or gives me a good shove that gets me back in the writing groove.
Sometime during that search, I received an email that I later discovered was spam. I don’t know about you, but I don’t normally have contact with the spammer before or after receiving their unsolicited correspondence in my email. I don’t know how they found me and all the other potential bloggers to get us to find their blogging platform.
The email was also fake. An employee wrote it using a fake name. They got us, but good. Hook, line, and sinker. And I am so glad I took the bait.
In the email it said how they had seen my writing and thought that because of my abilities as a good writer that I should sign up to blogging there.
Once I found it and let go of some of my insecurities, I was hooked. Hooked on the blogging and the instant communication with like-minded bloggers. And here I am, still blogging. Still shy at times, but not letting that stop me completely.
Having a domain name and web host isn’t necessary for everyone nor is blogging. For me, when I’m in the zone, it’s almost like a second skin. I can only go so long without blogging before I get that itch again.
There have been and still are many blogging platforms for those who want to blog for fun, for profit or both. You can enjoy blogging without earning an income, but if you wouldn’t or are not enjoying it, then maybe you shouldn’t begin or just stop.
When I finally did buy my domain name and web hosting, it was similar and familiar, and yet different because I can do much more than could when I was blogging on Xanga and Blogger.
WordPress is what I use as do literally millions of bloggers. If you’re reading a blog (like this one), WordPress is most likely what is being used for appearance and content.
People can enhance their blog in an infinite number of ways with all of the plugins that are constantly being added and upgraded. It used to only be for blogging. Now it’s for so much more including earning an income. Some bloggers have made a living from their blogs by blogging and advertising.
WordPress is not just for blogs anymore. There is a plugin that will transform a WordPress website into a full-fledged eCommerce store. It’s probably not the only one and I won’t pretend to know the ins and outs about it. I don’t have any use for it, but so far there have been 916,873 downloads.
“WooCommerce is a powerful, extendable eCommerce plugin that helps you sell anything. Beautifully.” The name of this plugin sounds magical. And it’s funny, too. The eye on the sailboat in the header image is a nice touch, too.
Everything is explained in clear detail, so I won’t repeat much as to not sound like a broken record. I’ll just share a few aspects of the plugin to give you an idea of what you can expect and I’ll share some of my perceptions and observations of them.
It has woothemes that have nice-looking header images. They are colorful and will brighten up a web site without being a distraction. Being customizable, if none fits your fancy you can also build your own theme.
I’m getting an error #403 error message when I try to visit the themes pages and the extentions pages. You may need to contact them if interested.
There is a nice list of features which are mostly for the methods of payments for your potential customers. I believe Paypal is the most popular method, but there are others, which may suit your needs better, depending where you are geographically as well as your needs.
Make it easy for your customers to navigate your web site, add items to the shopping cart and finally to checkout. And make it pleasing to look at. Use your imagination, be creative and have fun!
Last but not least, since it is open source, developers can do there own thing with the source codes. Expand your horizons for your shopstore.
Happy creating and selling!
P.S. Happy blogging! (edited to add)