Mean Mommy Acadamy Guest Post

I am happy to introduce Jordan from Mean Mommy Acadamy. I visited her blog after she left a comment here and was amazed by her beautiful blog.  You all need to head over there and take a look.  She did it herself!! for free!!  I asked her to write a guest post for us today and she graciously obliged.  enjoy :)
-Lilly J
So you’ve seen ‘em.  Those fancy-schmancy blogs that look so high tech, are different from the rest and have oodles of buttons that you click.  And they actually take you somewhere.  Oh.  I know.  A year ago, I was there.  I surfed the blogosphere drooling over these gorgeous blogs.  I coveted them.  But I didn’t want to pay somebody money when I had a magic card in my back pocket.  That magic card’s name was GOOGLE.

Oh, no.  I wasn’t going to pay someone when I could use my mad question asking skills and figure it out on my own.  I’m kinda cheap that way.  I see something I like and the first question that pops into my head is: “How can I make that myself”.  

It’s a curse, really.  Ask my husband. ;)

So I started out small.  The questions were basic, but essential to growing my blog.  Here are some samples of my first Googled questions:

  • How to create your own header on Blogger (I typed Blogger since that is the platform I use, but just change that to Wordpress, or whatever else you are using, for your questions).
  • How to create my own background in Blogger.
  • How to change the color of the area behind my blog posts on Blogger.
  • How to change my font on Blogger.
  • How to create my own blog button.

And so on.  Just the basics - don’t take on the big stuff just yet.  And get ready to start learning your html code.  It’s a whole other language, but don’t be scared.  You can always fix your mistakes. I little friend of mine is the ‘Undo’ command.  Hold down command Z on the Mac, or control Z on a PC.  This has saved me many times. ;)

(Side note: Blogger is making their platform SO much more user friendly, so you won’t have to search as many things, or go into your edit html code as often as I did back in the day {fyi- I feel so mature and wise using that phrase: back in the day}. I’m not too familiar with Wordpress, but I heard they have many cool features to take out the guesswork when it comes to designing your blog.)

Once you start getting familiar with your html code, get ready to start asking the tougher questions.

  • How to center my post title in blogger.
  • How to create a Twitter button…
  • How to widen the space between my blog posts and sidebar…
  • How to center items in my sidebar…
  • My blog posts directly to reader’s inboxes…
  • How to create an email me button…
  • How to make my pictures bigger…

Don’t be afraid if you don’t know the exact wording.  Experiment around until you find something remotely close to what you are looking for, and go from there.  I didn’t know that blog buttons were called just that, so my first question was something insanely ridiculous like: how to create an image on my sidebar with html code for people to put on their own blog.

No laughing.  This is a true story…

After a few failed attempts, and searching through several Google pages, I learned the actual name of what I was looking for: Blog Button.  I went from there:  How to create a blog button.

It’s all about trial and error, and you have to be willing to learn.  Be prepared for a healthy dose of discouragement, but you will find that, over time, it gets easier and easier, and your blog will evolve into what you had dreamed of.  

Be patient.

Be prepared to look back and say, Wow.  

Be prepared to be embarrassed at some of the stuff you came up with during the learning process.  But just laugh at it.  And then throw it in the recycle bin. ;)

Be prepared to realize that the more you learn, the more you realize you don’t know.  Don’t let it frustrate you.  This isn’t a race -- just go slow.

Don’t be afraid to ask.  If not Google, then your fellow bloggy friends.  Or just search this amazing blog (seriously, I learned so much here).  You will find some valuable resources that you can turn to - you are already on the right track reading I Love The Way She Blogs.  I came across it during one of my Google-terrogations. (Awesome new word, I know.) My blog (www.meanmommyacademy.blogspot.com) wouldn’t be where it is today if people like Lilly didn’t write amazingly insightful blogs, taking the time to teach the rest of us how to make our own blogs better.  Kudos to them! *Dashes to the gold sticker file and starts handing out gold stars* I am so grateful to people who volunteer their ‘secrets’. (And I’m grateful for the technology we have to simply sit down at a big grey box, type in some letters and have any question in the world answered in mere seconds.)

Don’t be afraid to get weird looks from your spouse when tears start to well up because it’s not turning out how you want. (Not that this has EVER happened to me. *cough*).  Stock up on the Kleenex’s and get to work.  You’ll have such an amazing sense of pride when you’re done.  Remember to start out simple, keep it clean (less really is more), and just practice, practice, practice!  

And then keep it real.  Keep it YOU.  -- xoxo

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Thanks so much Lilly for having me guest-post today!  I am so honored and ridiculously flattered! I won’t go into the details of how I giggled like a school-girl and almost jumped out of my seat when you asked me to be here, because that would be embarrassing, and I don’t want to tarnish my reputation. ;)  So a huge, ginormous Thank You will have to suffice… :)
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Jordan is a SAHM of 2 beautiful kids who remind her that ‘stupid’ is a naughty word.  They also get the words ‘burp’ and ‘toot’ mixed up.  Often. She is a Mom by day, a Piano Teacher by afternoon, and a Terrible Sleeper by night.  She blogs over at Mean Mommy Academy (www.meanmommyacademy.blogspot.com) about such mind-blowing excitement. ;)