September 03, 2012

Lesson 43: My Blog Baby Becomes a Toddler

These days, Hudson spends a good portion of each waking hour in an impressive planks position. Arms straight, legs straight, back flat in the air, hovering over the ground.

This boy is in the final stages of sedentary living. He is ready to crawl!

His muscles are strengthening, his form improving, and soon ... he will take off.

Hudson's physical development provides a perfect analogy for the positioning of this blog. "I Don't Have A Clue" has been up and running for five months, but it feels as though all that time has been spent in exercise and preparation. Infancy if you will.  It's only during the past month that I've really begun to see what this thing can do.

Clearly, the amount of posts has increased. July - 5. August - 20.

However, it's not just the writing that has amplified, but also a sense of focus and purpose has entered the picture. I feel as though "I Don't Have A Clue" is finally claiming its identify and that identity is being tangibly fleshed out.

If you are a consistent reader, you are well aware that many stylistic changes have occurred this week on "I Don't Have A Clue." Indulge me a moment as I give you a brief tour around the new space.

* Banner Picture and Colors:

1. The original template and colors of "I Don't Have A Clue" were a generic pattern offered through Blogger. What you see now is my attempt to customize the blog for myself. Someday perhaps, I'll have the option to hire a real graphic designer to further professionalize the space, but for now, my meager attempts will have to do.

2. The picture in the header was taken in Hudson's bedroom. I think it represents the major themes of this blog well. First, it shows pictures of trees. "I Don't Have A Clue" is about growth, and so it is totally appropriate to feature growing things. Second, the pictures are torn from a book. This blog is reflecting upon personal growth through storytelling. Third, the type of tree in each picture is different, just this blog features a range of content and subject matter.

*  Sidebar Changes:

1. New profile pic. Though I would have preferred a straight-on, smile and welcome you picture, this is one of the only photos I have of myself that was taken on the highest resolution. All the other images I had get very blurry when they are blown-up. Thus, "Welcome to my blog. Here I am on a boat. That's my husband, Mark, smiling at me!"

2. Welcome message. I've rewritten this message to hopefully introduce y'all to the theme of this blog. I've centered on wisdom and the acquisition of it! Essentially, it is the easiest way to lump together all the various subjects I cover.

3. Follow by email. The goal of this is to make it super easy for you to know when a new article has been posted.

4. Archives. I've decreased the archive space. It no longer includes past titles. Across the top of the blog, you can find all the various posts categorized in their proper folder. Example titles include "Blogger," "Storyteller," "Christian," and so forth. Hopefully, this will enable readers who enjoy particular types of posts to find those easier.

5. Cleaned-up Advertising Section. Here's how advertising works on this blog. I am an affiliate of the various companies you see listed in the advertising section: Amazon, Groupon, Swagbucks and Adsense. If you click on any of these links ... and make a purchase, I will make a percentage. My advertising is still a work in progress. For now, this is what we're at!

* Post Body:

1. READ MORE. Each post now includes a page break. This means that what you view on the home page is simply part of the article. In order to read the whole thing, click on READ MORE at the bottom of the post. It will send you to a full-length page. The hope is that the home page can list many more articles, and readers will be able to scan through quickly to find the specific articles that interest them.

2. "You might also like." At the bottom of each post is a line that says, "You might also like:" Clicking on the picture or title featured in this section will send you around the blog to that post.

3. My online signature. I hope you enjoy the personalized salutation at the end of each post. I delved into the world of html code in order to get this up there! I'm mostly pointing out this update, because I can't believe I accomplished it.

4. PIN IT button. Each page now includes a small PIN IT button on the right. If you see anything that you deem pin-worthy, pin away!

5. Post a comment. I love comments! I love knowing who's reading, and I love knowing what you've thought about it. I'm still working to figure out how to contact you if your comment has been commented on. Did that make sense? It's beside the point, because I don't think I've figured it out yet. Also, hopefully, non-google-account owning people can comment, but I'm not sure if you can. If you are unable to comment still, will you leave a message on my facebook wall. That would be really helpful!

Well, that about sums it up! As you can see, it's been busy around here. I wonder if any of you checked in at a point when the background happened to change from large blue squares to wooden planks in the middle of reading. I apologize if the construction was distracting!

Hopefully, what I've landed on is an easily readable, accessible site. As it says in the welcome message, the blog is a work in progress. Thus, I will be continually working to improve most aspects of it! Thanks for sticking around!

Lesson Learned: When I started this blogging adventure, I did not have a clue about blogs. But slowly, I am finding out.


  1. "I'm mostly pointing out this update, because I can't believe I accomplished it."

    I laughed out loud at that one! That's the way I feel about EVERYTHING I figure out on my blog. I am not a professional at this by any means, so I am ecstatic when I learn something new! I was recently delighted to figure out the 125x125 boxes in my sidebar, and the Facebook social plugin too. It's so hard when you're teaching yourself as you go!

    Otherwise all the changes look great! The only thing I would try to fix is for some reason your blog is too wide for my screen, and I have to scroll to the right to see all of it. Great work though, and I'm sure you've already learned a lot more about writing, blogging, linking, affiliates, html, etc than you ever knew before. :)

  2. Hi Katherine,
    I already have an Amazon account and order books for myself or CDs for Tyler about every other month. Will you still receive some kind if credit and will I receive a discount if I use your blog as my entry portal?

    1. Hey Dad, I'm trying to figure out whether or not I will receive some sort of income if you get to Amazon through my blog even if you already have an account, so after someone makes a purchase, I will be able to better gauge this. You will not receive a discount (as far as I know). The point would be that in doing your normal purchasing, you would also be supporting this blog!


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