Why I moved from a self-hosted blog

You may have noticed my blog was gone for a while and then it was back and then it might have been gone again, but I’ve finally managed to move from my self-hosted site back to (mostly free) WordPress.com. It took me a while to move since I’ve been traveling quite a bit (I’m in Indiana right now)!

I thought I had paid for an extra year at my blog host, but it turns out I hadn’t. 😦  They switched off my blog for a while in August and since I was traveling and didn’t always have time or internet to check my blog I didn’t realize right away.

Why I had a self-hosted blog

When I moved to a self-hosted blog I wanted to challenge myself to learn something new. I wanted to see if I could figure out how to set things up and how to design various elements for the blog. I was able to do most things myself though I sometimes had to ask my kids for assistance…lol.

I did find that some things were frustrating to figure out. Even moving from WordPress.org (my self-hosted site) to WordPress.com took some time (because I didn’t always have a large block of time to do it all and because I didn’t want to make a mistake), but it’s finally done. Yay!

Why I moved back to WordPress.com

I loved the control I had with the self-hosted site since I had a theme with lots of options for colors and fonts which are two things I like to control (and change sometimes)! I could also choose from hundreds of plugins to make the blog even more personal.

More expensive

However, having a self-hosted blog kept getting more expensive and I decided early in my self-hosting adventure I didn’t want to monetize my blog. (This was a personal choice and I don’t mind other people making a different decision). Now that my husband and I are retired I decided my self-hosted blog was an unnecessary expense especially since it seemed to get more expensive every year.

Frustrations

If I had problems on my self-hosted blog I felt like I had to figure it out myself and even though I googled my problem and read tutorials I was often frustrated because sometimes I couldn’t find answers to my problem or sometimes the tutorials were older and the information they gave didn’t work anymore and/or didn’t use the same menus anymore. My kids were great at helping me, but I got tired of asking for help and I think they got tired of me asking…lol.

Kept blog name

By paying $5 per month I am able to keep the name of my blog the same–NotesfromaReaderholic.com–so most people won’t notice a lot of difference in the blog.

What I’ve done since the move

I’ve tried several different themes since I moved, but haven’t found one that allows me to make my work space background the cream color I was using for the last few months. I really liked that color, but the content is more important and that will stay mostly the same. The theme I’m using right now has quite a few options so I’m quite happy with it.

I updated my twitter and facebook headers so they now look very similar to the header on my blog. I finally did a Gravatar profile. I’m working on new posts plus a few drafts that I had started before my blog went “kablooee” and wouldn’t start since my hosting site was expired!

What about you?

Do you have a self-hosting site? Are you still happy with it? Are you happy where you are?

I know that I often cause my own problems by deciding I have to try something new! Well, I accomplished my goal of challenging myself and now I can challenge myself to do what I can design-wise and content-wise with WordPress.com!

Audiobooks aid my card creation

Last year I listened to more audiobooks than ever before and it was all because I made a lot of cards last year. Usually I only listen to audios when I’m in my craft room. I don’t use headphones. I like to just listen using my phone as the audio plays loud and clear while I decide what kind of card I’m going to create and then get busy and create it. I guess I must use two different parts of my brain when I listen and create, because I do really get into a good book while making my cards. (I do sometimes listen outside my craft room when I’m close to the end of a really good book.) I love that I can create the cards I send to family and friends while I listen to audiobooks.

Some of my favorite 2017 cards

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Audiobook numbers for 2017:

Total audiobooks: 38

Total books of all kinds read: 100

I listened to 12 new-to-me authors as I listened to audiobooks last year.

Audiobooks and cards

Audiobooks really kept me on track in 2017 to reach my reading goal of 100 books. I find it really satisfying to create something. Another reason I spent a lot of time working on cards and listening to books–I calm down when I listen and work on cards. I stopped worrying so much about the state of the world and regained calmness…lol.

Do you like listening to audiobooks? If you do, when do you listen? Did the state of the world bother you last year? If so, how did you cope?

My return to blogging with slightly new directions

My return

I realize I’ve been absent from this blog for a while. I lost my desire to blog plus I’ve been busy. November and December are always the busiest months in our family. And I love all the family time and activities. I’ve spent January thinking about what I want to do with my blog and now I’m ready to begin again. I’m reinventing my blog just a little.

February is a good time to restart. It’s a cold day today (9 degrees at the moment), but a beautiful blue sky day just like the one below showing our backyard on New Year’s.

January 2018 backyard

I’m eager to return to my blog and blog friends. I’ve read some blogs during my hiatus, but not done much commenting. I’ve read books during my time off and that’s always a good thing. I managed to meet my 2017 Goodreads goal of 100 books which makes me happy. My 2018 goal is to read 90 books and I’m on-track for that.

New Directions

I plan to take my blog in a slightly new direction. I will keep my name, because let’s face it–I am a Readerholic! I don’t feel quite right unless I have a book I’m reading and thinking about.

However, I plan to talk more about some of my other interests–making greeting cards–usually using paper, rubber stamps and die cuts while listening to audiobooks while I create; my genealogy and family history research; perhaps some cooking and baking; and whatever else catches my interest.

A watercolor in progress on a pre-stamped card

I still plan to talk about books, but I probably won’t review the books I read though I may write a few lines about why I liked or didn’t like the book. That will be my goal anyway. I plan to participate in a few memes to talk about books and I want to write more opinion pieces–sometimes about books and sometimes not.

I’m going to see how it all goes. I’m giving myself permission not to review books and go in whatever direction I feel like going. I want to get the joy and fun back in my blogging. I hope some of my blogging friends come along with me, but I realize I’ve been gone–and never said I was stopping or whether I was returning. I just stopped communicating and I’m sorry about that. I understand if you’re not interested in returning or in following my new directions.

Plan to Reevaluate

I plan to reevaluate after about six months and see what I’m enjoying and what isn’t working for me, because at the end of the day this blog isn’t a business. I’m not making any money from it (no affiliates or advertising). I’m no longer accepting free e-Arcs from NetGalley. (I stopped that nearly a year ago in 2017.) I love having followers and people comment just as I love to read and comment about what other bloggers are doing, but I need to do what makes me happy–otherwise I won’t continue blogging. If people stop following and commenting I will either have to find a new audience or continue for my own enjoyment!

What do you think? Are you still enjoying your blog? (I hope so!) Can you tell if a blogger is enjoying what they’re writing about?