Hi! I’m Kayla, Jo’s second-oldest daughter. I built this blog in 2009 and have helped with the technical side of things ever since. You can find me at Ms. Pins Media where I am currently booking projects for this summer.
Today I’m dropping in to answer some frequently asked technical questions. Add yours in the comments section and we can make this a regular thing!
I haven’t seen your posts lately. Where have you been?
Mom has blogged at least daily, usually twice daily, for the last 11 years at joscountryjunction.com. With the popularity of social media, we use a program to check for new posts and share them on Mom’s Facebook page. Once in a while the program will reset which means I have to go in and reset the feed. Mom is still blogging and the blog is still up. It is just the program that shares the links that is down. You can find the most recent post by visiting the blog directly.
Ugh. I have never liked this app. I have no control over the blogs you subscribe to, how the links appear, how the pictures are formatted, etc.
The best way to keep up with this blog is to visit regularly or subscribe by email. When you subscribe for the first time you will be reminded to confirm with the email sent to you. This email frequently goes to spam or junk so double-check there. You also have the option to subscribe every time you comment.
I clicked links for you today! Did it help?
Mom’s advertising contract states that she cannot encourage people to click links. In fact, if she gets too many suspicious clicks she could get suspended from her program. The best way to support the blog monetarily is to kindly tolerate the links that you see and only click on the ones that look interesting to you.
An ironically related question… Why all the ads? I hate ads! Are they really necessary?
Websites take money to run and advertising is a way for Mom to pay the bills but keep her content free. We have looked into some other options like Patreon or a monthly subscription but it is really important to Mom that anyone can access the blog for free. That means tolerating ads. We don’t like them either, but are thankful for what they provide.
All blogs have a domain name, kind of like paying for a post office box. We also pay a hosting fee which is kind of like event space rental. As we get more friends we have more people to invite to our party so we have to pay for bigger and bigger spaces.
We also have annual subscriptions for security and comment moderating.
I just commented but I can’t see it.
Mom gets hundreds of comments on each post but only about 10% are from actual readers. I have a spam filter in place that holds comments in moderation if you have never commented before. It also holds comments that have links. Once Mom reads your comment and sees that you are not a robot, she will approve your comment which automatically approves all future comments immediately. It is only the first one that takes a while to post.
I’d like to start a blog…
AWESOME! I love to help people get started blogging because I can see what an amazing community it can build. However, I’m a pretty terrible business person and when people contact me to build a blog I usually give this response:
I would LOVE to work with you! But actually, you don’t need me. I recommend getting started for free with Blogger. If you can run a word processing program you can write a blog. After you get the hang of it, contact me (or someone else) to spice up your design a bit. Then when you REALLY like it, contact me (or someone else) to move to WordPress.
WordPress is the industry standard for “professional” bloggers but it is a little more headache. All of the people I have built WordPress blogs for have become long-term clients because I need to pop in occasionally for technical support. There are also the expenses that I mentioned above. I recommend waiting for WordPress until you have a large enough readership to qualify you for an ad campaign to help with expenses.
That said, you never have to leave Blogger. One of Mom’s favorite blogs, Quiltville, is still on Blogger.
I have a blog but no one reads it.
Community is definitely the best part of blogging so it can be lonely writing and writing with no readers. Every blogger starts out this way. It helps to see it as a personal journal that you are doing for your own records and then be pleasantly surprised when people find you.
That said there are some ways to attract like-minded people to your blog. My favorite way is to comment (authentically!) on related blogs you follow.
Here is a screenshot of Mom’s comment form. In the name section you can put whatever you want. Instead of just Kayla I might say Kayla of Ms. Pins Media. Then put your web address in the website box. This will make your name appear as a link so people who read comments can click your link.
Blog regularly so people want to check back. This is my downfall and why I do better at building blogs for other people instead of maintaining my own. (Ha!)
Do you have more technical questions? Ask them in the comments below and I will answer them in another post.
That information was so interesting and de-mystified some of just how blogs etc work. You are a good “explainer”.
Thanks, Kayla. You did a great job explaining how blogs work. Your mom’s blog is one of the best.
Your mother is a great lady. I follow her blog. She aslo has a beautiful family. Thanks for all your hard work to make it possible for quilters like me to follow this blog.
Thanks, Kayla! I learned a lot about Instagram from your blog. Looking forward to more of your “technical” blogging articles here on your Mom’s blog.
Great info. Thanks!
Kayla, great family pic! Thanks for blog info. Always curious about blogging. Thanks too for helping your Mom and Mary at Country Threads. Way to represent Iowa.
I enjoyed the clarity of your explanation. I love to talk and tell stories, but if I sit down with a blank page mymind quickly matches its blankness. So i enjoy your mom’s blogs instead.
Great info Kayla and you do a wonderful work on Country Threads and Jo’s Country Junction blogs!!
Thanks for the info. I’ve wondered what happens to a blog–free OR paid– when someone stops blogging, for whatever reason. Does it exist in perpetuity, or does it disappear, or what?? And also, what protection is there against being hacked and/or plagiarized? I’ve thot of “dipping my toe into the pool”, but I still have some apprehension…
Thank you for the information Kayla. Would love to start to a blog, just don’t know where to start. Beautiful family portrait!!
I’ve read Jo’s blog for many years and I call it my daily treat. Your family is the best! I love the way you support each other in any way needed. It warms my heart,
Thanks for the info Kayla. I sew lots of crafts, zipper pouches, coin purses, bowl blankets etc. (and quilts) so have been thinking about a wordpress website especially since there have been less opportunities to sell at craft fairs and such with Covid, but i am worried about the cost. Can you give me an estimate as to how much that would cost? I am not sure a blog would work for me but not sure, I have also been thinking of a Facebook business page…any experience with that?
I’ll definitely check out your site. A technical q&a is helpful.
Thanks Kayla for keeping the blog running so smoothly.