Monday, May 18, 2015

3 Reasons to Consider Moving Your Blog

Blogging has really evolved over the last five years. Although there are still many who blog for purely hobby or family, most blogs today are an affordable way to begin creating a platform to reach others who need the information you already possess. If you started blogging years ago for personal, family, or as a hobby, you may find that your current efforts to build a regular readership, find new clients, or recruit new business partnerships seem to be limited by the noise from these previous efforts. It may be time to consider a move.

courtesy of Nathan O'Nions at flickr

When I began writing here nearly six years ago, my journey was much like that of Hansel and Gretel. I was wandering through the dark wood of my childhood, leaving breadcrumbs in case I lost my way. There were many times I came back here to revisit my journey, rechecking that I was not, in fact, lost along my way. Somewhere along my journey, however, I realized that I was no longer headed toward the witch's gingerbread house. I wasn't looking back as often to see if the crumbs were still there. My focus, my needs, and my goals for writing have changed tremendously.

I find myself considering doing something intimidating: MOVING my blog. I realize that this little blog doesn't fit the big dreams that I have today. It has served a purpose, and it will continue to serve that purpose for other COHs looking to find a place to feel understood. I won't obliterate it, just as we don't tear down houses because we've found a new place to live.

So how do you decide if you should move your blog? Here are several points to consider:


Is your blog currently filled with anecdotes about your family and hobbies? Although I am a huge advocate for some appropriate crossover between the business self and the non-business self, posts about your family vacation including pictures of Aunt Bertha with sunburn on the beach last summer are probably best shared with family and close friends only. If you are attempting to establish professional credibility and set yourself apart from the crowd, you may want to consider a move to a new, business-focused blog setting.

Is your blog running under a cookie-cutter hosted blog site? Although there is nothing wrong with these types of blogs (this is, in fact, one such hosted blog), they have some significant drawbacks. Among these drawbacks are such limitations as:
  • Long site addresses: If you look above, my site is One Wee Spark, however the address is http://1weespark.blogspot.com. If your purpose for blogging is to establish your personal brand, you want the power of a custom domain name.
  • Limits to customization: Even with a myriad of templates available, your hosted blog may feel bland. Moving to a self-hosted blog allows tweaks, customizations, and add-ons that a hosted blog may thwart. (Be wary of some of the low-cost business website building programs as well for the same reason--lesson learned the hard way!)
Has your topic changed dramatically? If you are like me, you've entertained many different paths in your journey. Some were good, some were not. If your focus topic has changed dramatically, it may be confusing to new readers, as well as established ones, to read on widely varied topics. This might be another time when a move, or expansion to separate blogs, is necessary.

But wait!!! you say. 

If you have established some business-related readers on your current blog, consider a period of transition. Write and post to your new blog as well as to the established one for a period of time. During this time, close each post with the address of the new blog. Be sure that once readers click from one blog to the next, they receive a request to sign up for updates at your new location. The length of time necessary to post at both blogs is variable based upon how often you posted at the original blog and how often you plan to post at the new one as well as how many readers you had at the previous location. 

Like a move from one beloved home to a new one, there is a period of adjustment, some fear, and probably also some anticipation. A move may be necessary, however, to get you to your goals.

What is your biggest reason for considering moving to a new (self-hosted) blog? Share your reasons in the comments.

Oh, and before I forget, check out my NEW BLOG, Hoarding Hope. When you get there, please don't forget to sign up to get new posts in your Inbox!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Looking Back, Growing Forward

When I first offered the Buried in Treasures Workshop in May 2012, I had a shortsighted view of what we were doing. My goal initially was to educate myself on hoarding behaviors and learn to help my mother. I fell into the group process accidentally--because the structure for help was a group format, and because as I tried to make sense of my life in relation to my mother's hoarding behaviors I had gone public. I became the most accessible point of hoarding information in Spokane.

My focus was on the "now," and did not extend beyond the 20 weeks it would take to hold the workshop by much. I knew I needed to make ongoing, long-term support after the workshop available but my vision into the future didn't extend very far.
(Borrowed from the Internet, original source unknown)

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Does it matter? Do I?

That old question came back to me today: Why am I here? Is there a reason for this life of mine? It's not a question rooted in anxiety or depression today, but rather is rooted in a perspective of looking back, reflecting on what has been so far.

Borrowed from InnatCascade.com

This life, my life, has not been easy. I suppose, most of us would say that if we were asked. It's not something special or unique to me. Life, it turns out, is tough for most of us in some way.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

What Do You Want?

In my quiet time this morning, I was reading from Mark 10, the story of Blind Bartimaeus. It is a very short story considering what happens. As Jesus enters and then leaves Jericho, a crowd follows Him. This is a pretty common experience for Jesus and His disciples. (Jericho is the same town that Jesus passed through and happened upon Zacchaeus, the story is found in Luke 19).

Besides the fact that both Zacchaeus and Bartimaeus encountered Jesus in a meaningful way as He passed through Jericho, both men were seeking Jesus. Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus but found the crowds were too big, and being short in stature, decided to run ahead of the crowd. When he got ahead of the crowds, he climbed into a sycamore-fig tree.

Have you stopped to think about that?

Imagine for just a second that you are at a political rally in your own neighborhood. There's a candidate who seems to offer true hope for your community, your life, your neighbors' lives. But there's a huge crowd. You really want to shake this man's hand, but between being short and the crush of the crowd, it seems hopeless. What do you do? If you're like me, you give up hope of shaking the man's hand and shrink back. Maybe it was silly to think you could reach out to him and shake his hand. Would he even want to shake your hand?

Wait. It doesn't cross your mind to run ahead and climb up into a tree so that you can see the man as he passes by? It would probably cross my mind, but I would quickly dismiss it. How crazy would I seem if, as an adult, I climbed a tree to see this guy as he passed by? Really?

But Zacchaeus didn't seem to care about how his actions might be perceived by the crowd.

Bartimaeus, the blind man, wanted to see Jesus. Who wouldn't? Jesus had healed many who were sick. He'd healed lepers, the paralytic, and the blind. He and His disciples had cast out demons. Certainly, Bartimaeus recognized his best chance for healing, for regaining his sight came at the touch of Jesus. Like Zacchaeus, Bartimaeus put himself into the mix as Jesus was passing by.

But Bartimaeus had a distinct disadvantage without his eyesight. He needed Jesus to see him, to come to him. Bartimaeus was likely stepped on, kicked by the crowds. His seat at the side of the road and his inability to see where Jesus was right now, let alone the path He would be taking meant that he was not able to run ahead and climb a tree.

But these facts of life were not going to dissuade Bartimaeus. He wanted to SEE Jesus, so Bartimaeus began calling out. "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"

Really? This guy thinks among the crowd that Jesus is going to hear his voice, pause, and actually look for him as he sits beside the road? Ridiculous. People in the crowd yelled at him. Like the homeless beggar in the park panhandling for spare change and facing public ostracism, Bartimaeus is being verbally ostracized by the crowd.

But this doesn't stop Bartimaeus, and quite possibly, it encourages Jesus. Bartimaeus begins to shout out louder. Like Zacchaeus, his concern for what others think about him is not going to stop him from meeting Jesus.

In both stories, Jesus SEES these men. Jesus sees the unpopular Jewish tax collector, and He sees the blind man who begs. And Jesus asks them, He asks us today,

What do you want me to do for you?

Bartimaeus knew exactly what he wanted Jesus to do. "Make me see!" And with Jesus' blessing, Bartimaeus is healed and follows Jesus.

But what do YOU want Jesus to do for you today? Are you willing to run ahead of the crowd and climb a tree, no matter how ridiculous you look? Are you willing to yell out even amidst the rebuke of society, friends, and family members? Jesus is still asking each of us, "What do you want me to do for you?"

Well, what do YOU want?

Ask Him.