Upcoming Class: Mastering WordPress for Business & Blogging

When I first started blogging in 2007, it was for an employer. I was working for a nonprofit and didn’t know the first thing about running a blog. I went to a class to learn the basics of blogging and did my research. I knew a blog was a great way to drive traffic to our website and to get the message of our mission out to the world. I pitched the board of directors, and they gave me their vote of confidence.

Eight years later, I still help maintain that blog.

Prior to starting the blog you are reading now in 2010, I wrote a private blog for family and friends. It was mainly updates of what me and my family were up to. Nothing too earth-shattering or inspiring. Another Jennifer was created when I realized I needed a creative outlet than was entirely my own. It has certainly grown since my first blog post five years ago this month (clearly I’m not good at remembering anniversaries, as I had to look that up!).

I’m not kidding when I say this blog has changed my life dramatically, taking me to amazing places, connecting me to world changers and helping me get published, among other things. I’ve written more than 800 posts and have over 10,000 comments on this blog. It has gone from a thrown together free WordPress.com blog, to a self-hosted WordPress.org blog with a free theme, to two re-designs with a professional web developer and graphic designer. I’ve had different hosting companies and experimented with countless plugins.

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I’ve used WordPress from the very beginning of it all. On Wednesday, March 4th and Thursday, March 5th, I will be sharing my knowledge of WordPress and how I maintain my website and blog for my business when I teach a special class with Samuel Strickland of Vesica Design.

Mastering WordPress for Business & Blogging will cover everything you need to know to build and maintain a WordPress website and/or blog. From the wpcoach.co website:

WordPress is powerful platform that can give the smallest of businesses and blogs a powerful marketing punch. An easy to use blogging and website content management system, WordPress powers about 19% of all self-hosted websites. The problem is that many small business owners, entrepreneurs and beginner bloggers don’t know where to start when it comes time to manage an effective WordPress site.

This 2-day interactive class will take you through every step of the process of operating and maintaining a WordPress website and/or blog. Taught by a professional web developer and a copywriter / blogger, Mastering WordPress for Business and Blogging students will learn the technical side of WordPress along with the practical side of creating content that is search engine friendly. Students are required to bring a laptop so that they can work on an actual website in real-time.

We will dive deep into each topic and cover every aspect with hands on (this means you!) training in a live WordPress environment.

Day 1:

  • WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org
  • Your Working Environment – The tools you will need to maintain your Wordpress site
  • Your Site Environment – The basic components of a self-hosted WordPress site
  • The Basic Site – Designing and branding your site

Day 2:

  • The Content – The text and images that make up your site
  • Extending Functionality – Taking your site further
  • SEO and Analytics – Becoming search engine friendly and tracking site stats
  • Monetizing (Advanced) – Making money from your website/blog

This class will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn in Freeport, Maine. To get all the details and to register, visit wpcoach.co. I hope to see you there!

What is your experience with WordPress?

Wordless Wednesday: #1000Speak is Friday!

My good friend Chris Carter eloquently introduced the #1000Speak for compassion movement that is taking over the blogosphere a few weeks back. This Friday, February 20th, the goal is for 1,000 people to share awareness of compassion in their own unique way. Will you join us?

#1000speak for compassion

Wordless Wednesday (2.18.15): #1000Speak is on Friday!
Photo credit: The Qwiet Muse

What does compassion mean to you?

Living in the Moment and Trusting the Process

In my most recent newsletter, I shared a writing tip that included two key pieces of advice an accomplished author received as an aspiring writer: allow yourself to write badly and trust the process.

I couldn’t help but think this was great advice for life in general.

Too often writers get so caught up in producing a polished piece that they don’t write at all. They forget about the fact that they can always go back and edit later. That bad writing – though, in my experience, what we think is bad is often not the case – is exponentially better than no writing at all.

How often do we caught up in what we think the end result is supposed to be in life rather than just living in the moment and seeing what happens next? How often do we get stuck in the perceived plan for work, family, love and relationships? How often to we get paralyzed when we should take action?

It can be a scary process for sure. To put into action the things we want to happen without knowing if our goals are actually attainable or even right for us.

You have to trust the process. And we each have our own process that is unique to us.

I’ve been told countless times that I will “get it done” and that I always do. This is true for me. When I look back at some of the things I’ve been fortunate enough to do in my life, I’ve simply found a way to do them. This is not to say I haven’t failed, because I certainly have. Those things that didn’t go my way? There was usually a reason they did not come to fruition because something better was around the corner for me.

We forget how to live in the moment at times. The countless amount of storms we have endured in Maine this winter have affected my plans. While this can be a burden, sometimes we just have to accept that our plans need to change or that we need to just stop what we are doing completely, even for a short period. Sometimes we don’t get to where we want to go and that’s OK. Sometimes we need to focus on whatever is happening at that moment and forget the other things that haunt us in our brains for attention.

Last Friday, I found myself having trouble with my deadlift again while working out. I can do squats and pushups all day long, but the bane of my existence in my workout regiment is the deadlift. I don’t know what it is, but it seems like every time I am introduced a new version of this exercise, I have trouble. It’s not that I don’t know the proper form or that I can’t lift the weight, because I can and I do. My trainer makes sure of this and I have plenty of encouragement from my workout buddies.

My brain gets in the way, telling me I’ve had trouble in the past. That I’m just not built to do it. This, of course, is not true. I keep on pushing myself to get past my reservations and I do it. Eventually. Much like writing, I get the bad deadlifting out of the way so that I can celebrate the good lifting later.

We make decisions every day of our life, some small and some big. They all affect us in the grand scheme of things. When I look back to the times I’ve stuck with what I wanted and what felt right to me versus what was perceived as a better plan, I am thankful for doing so.

I may not know what next month brings or even what tomorrow brings, but I have to trust the process. I know there’s a plan, and that I can figure things out along the way. After all, I always do. Things work out, even when I am faced with an unexpected route or when my own thinking sidetracks me.

It’s invigorating to get away from the plan and what looks good on paper, to live in the moment and trust the process, knowing you can always edit and make changes later. If we don’t allow ourselves to do so, are we really living to our full potential?

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Philanthropy Friday: WE’VE

Disclosure: I received a Half Moon Necklace from WE’VE to aid in the writing of this post. All thoughts and opinions expressed, as per usual, are my own.
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WE’VE features consciously crafted artisan goods from around the globe. All of the products from WE’VE are collaboratively designed, consciously crafted and honestly produced. Independent makers and artisan communities are provided with a sustainable and fair way of doing commerce, while WE’VE shares the compelling stories behind their craft. This collaborative way of working promotes job stability, strengthens communities and ultimately changes lives.

photo credit: WE'VE

photo credit: WE’VE

Eve Blossom founded a unique for-profit social venture called Lulan in 2004, which supports over 650 weavers, spinners, dyers and finishers in weaving cooperatives in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam and India. The success of Lulan progressed to the creation of  WE’VE. As a trained architect and social entrepreneur, Eve is passionate about the maker movement and doing business for good, not just for profit. She started WE’VE  because she believes a “business as usual” model is not good enough. Her believe is that a company can be profitable while also honoring our humanity.  Eve is also the author of Material Change: Design Thinking and the Social Entrepreneurship Movement.

Half Moon Necklace (photo provided by WE'VE)

Half Moon Necklace (photo provided by WE’VE)

WE’VE offers handcrafted jewelry, beautiful silk scarves and accessories, decorative pillows, alpaca cases for your devices, cute stuffed animals for kids and more. Each product has a story behind it. I received a beautiful Half Moon Necklace made from recycled coins by a US artisan named Sarah Alice Britton. Britton has honed her skills in metal crafting to make unique jewelry designs featuring recycled metals like brass, copper and sterling silver. The purchase of a piece of Britton jewelry supports local job creation, fair wages and recycled materials. You can read more about the creators for WE’VE here.

You can find WE’VE products online at wevebuilt.com or at various pop-up shops and events around the US.

Each Friday, the another jennifer blog shares stories of those who incorporate philanthropy into their everyday lives – personally and professionally – in a creative and unique way. If you have a story you’d like to share, please contact Jennifer. Read past stories here.