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We have moved!!! September 8, 2011

Posted by pacejmiller in Blogging, Websites.
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Hello there, lovely subscribers.

I have finally successfully migrated my blog from wordpress.com to my own domain at http://pacejmiller.com.  Everything on this old blog has been automatically redirected to the new and improved website (lookin’ good).

Unfortunately, I don’t know how to automatically move my subscribers to the new site (it might not be possible), so if any of you would like to continue your subscriptions, please check out pacejmiller.com and subscribe using the buttons on the sidebar!

In any case, I would really appreciate it if you could please visit the new site and let me know what you think!

Cheers

PJM

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Moving from WordPress.com to WordPress.org September 2, 2011

Posted by pacejmiller in Blogging, Misc, Technology, Websites.
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1 comment so far

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I’m finally doing it. At last. Well, not me specifically, but someone at WordPress.com is doing it, for a handsome fee.

What am I talking about?

Well, in Feb this year, after consulting my blogging guru friend, I purchased my own domain name at pacejmiller.com. This friend told me that my blog had potential but was been kept in shackles because it was being hosted by the free and wonderfully user-friendly WordPress.com. However, being a free blog, there are of course restrictions on what you can do with it, including how it looks and operates, and the big killer, the inability to advertise. Accordingly, it was time for the blog to break free and soar to new heights.

So I purchased a domain (on special) at Siteground for a very very cheap price and it appeared as though everything was ready to go.

However, being a complete tool at the Internets, I got a bit overwhelmed by the numerous step by step instructions (which weren’t step by step at all!) on how to migrate my current site over to the new address. After all, my current blog is where everything is at — I lose the content I have on it and I lose everything. It was, frankly, a tad frightening.

I tried to use the supposedly simple migration process stipulated in the help articles at WordPress.com, which involved ‘exporting’ everything on my blog into a single file, which I would then take over to the new blog and ‘import’. Sounds easy enough, right?

Not quite. I made several attempts to create the export file, but perhaps it was because I had too much content or something, the system kept crashing. After a frustrating struggle, I finally obtained an export file, but the import process just wouldn’t work. The export file was corrupt or incomplete or just plain evil.

And even if it was successful, I’m not sure if everything could be moved over smoothly. For starters, I read somewhere that the embedded videos will not make the migration. Secondly, is it just the posts or do my numerous pages get moved over as well? What about all the custom drop down menus I painstakingly created? What about all the widgets (including the text ones I created myself)? Do I have to do everything again myself? And more importantly, what about my existing visitors and my Google rankings and what not? Will they become innocent victims in this seemingly innocuous move?

It was blowing my mind, and in any case I wasn’t in any particular rush. I also had a bunch of other things I had to take care of, so the migration almost entirely slipped my mind.

More recently, I started getting quite a few requests for advertising, which rekindled my passion for the migration. I had already wasted 6 months and who knows how much that has already held my blog back? But with a massive move on the way, job applications, freelance work, freelance work seeking and other crap, I just wasn’t prepared to go through all the time and effort of relearning how to migrate the blog and doing it myself again.

Thankfully, WordPress.com offers a ‘Guided Transfer’, which can be found in the ‘Store’ tab towards the top of the left side menu when you log in to the WordPress dashboard. In short, it’s $119 bucks and you work with an expert to do everything for you — seamlessly, of course. You agree on a date and time for the migration and they even stick around for a couple of weeks afterward to answer any queries and guide you into the world of WordPress.org.

Anyway, there’s no turning back now because I have just purchased the Guided Transfer, so the move will be imminent. I’ll keep everyone updated and informed on how things go, but in hopefully it will all go smoothly and visitors to the current address will automatically be redirected to the new one.

Moving forward, I think I will start a series of posts on the actual experience of migrating from WordPress.com to WordPress.org — including whether this Guided Transfer was worth it, any obvious differences between .com and .org, the impact of the migration on my visitors, rankings and stats, and (fingers crossed) my foray into running advertisements on the blog, in particular the best options for bloggers and the effectiveness they have in generating revenue.

So if you’re interested in any of that crap (told from a web moron’s perspective), stay tuned, and if you haven’t already, subscribe!

On a final note, having tried a couple of other blogging platforms, I can honestly say that WordPress.com has been absolutely fantastic and I would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone thinking of starting their own blog.

E-Book Millionaire Gives Hope to Aspiring Writers March 6, 2011

Posted by pacejmiller in Blogging, Misc, On Writing, Websites.
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4 comments

Source: smh.com.au

A friend of mine recently sent me a link to an article about 26 year-old Amanda Hocking, who is apparently making ‘millions’ in the e-book market on Amazon.

Being an aspiring novelist, I was intrigued by her success, especially since there’s been nothing but depressing news lately on the publishing front with the collapse of RedGroup Retail, the owner of both the Borders and Angus & Robertson bookseller chains in Australia.

Can a writer really become successful selling e-books on Amazon?  Well, Hocking has.  She prices her books between 99 cents and $2.99, but gets to keep 70% of all sales.  She reportedly sells around 100,000 books a month, so by my calculations that would net her between $70,000 and $210,000 a month.  Those are numbers any writer with commercial aspirations would die to have.

Anyway, I looked up Hocking’s blog here, and learned that she is American, and she writes paranormal romance, which means that she probably owes some of her success to that person who wrote a love story between a human and a vampire (and a werewolf).  Hocking’s the bestselling author of Trylle Trilogy and the My Blood Approves series.

However, what I found most interesting came from her post on March 3rd, which really put things in perspective for me.  I’ll just quote her directly:

Everybody seems really excited about what I’m doing and how I’ve been so successful, and from what I’ve been able to understand, it’s because a lot of people think that they can replicate my success and what I’ve done. And while I do think I will not be the only one to do this – others will be as successful as I’ve been, some even more so – I don’t think it will happen that often.

Traditional publishing and indie publishing aren’t all that different, and I don’t think people realize that. Some books and authors are best sellers, but most aren’t. It may be easier to self-publish than it is to traditionally publish, but in all honesty, it’s harder to be a best seller self-publishing than it is with a house.

I don’t think people really grasp how much work I do. I think there is this very big misconception that I was like, “Hey, paranormal is pretty hot right now,” and then I spent a weekend smashing out some words, threw it up online, and woke up the next day with a million dollars in my bank account.

This is literally years of work you’re seeing. And hours and hours of work each day. The amount of time and energy I put into marketing is exhausting. I am continuously overwhelmed by the amount of work I have to do that isn’t writing a book. I hardly have time to write anymore, which sucks and terrifies me.

I also have this tremendous sense of urgency, like if I don’t get everything out now and do everything now, while the iron is hot, everything I’ve worked for will just fall away. For the first time, I truly understand why workaholics are workaholics. You can’t stop working, because if you do, it unravels all the work you’ve already done. You have to keep going, or you’ll die.

Or at least that’s how it feels.

How about that?  I admit, I was one of those people that thought, maybe this is just some girl who got lucky riding the Stephenie Meyer wave, pretty much like how she described it above.  But of course, while she must have had some luck along the way (as most successful writers do), she succeeded because of hard work and persistence– not just in writing and editing but also in promoting and marketing her books.

While I do envy Hocking’s success, what I envy most is her determination and sense of urgency.  She’s not an overnight success, even if that’s what the media is painting her out to be.  She has been writing for years, written 19 books, with 8 novels and 1 novella published.  She didn’t get e-published until April 2010, and since then has sold 900,000 copies across 9 titles.

That’s the mental stuff I need to develop — that burning desire to work every waking moment I get, continuously striving to perfect my craft and work.

Kind of like what Charlie Sheen is doing right now — making the most of his life (and winning!).

Help: My Blog Needs a Makeover January 23, 2011

Posted by pacejmiller in Blogging, Websites.
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2 comments

I think it’s time for this blog to have a makeover.  It recently celebrated its second birthday using the same theme it had one DAY ONE — Regulus, which I chose at the time primarily because of the colour scheme and the header.

Right now, at the very minimum, I am thinking of changing themes and give the front page, and in particular the messy categories (on the right column), a complete makeover.  When I started this blog I had no idea what I was doing so I came up with too many categories and sometimes threw a single post into two or three different categories.  Now I have 25+, with only a few sub-categories, making the category function almost worthless.

So apart from reducing the number of categories (which would take a really long time I think), I would like to have them on a drop down menu on the header, which unfortunately, I don’t think Regulus allows.

I’ve had a look around and I don’t really know what new style I should go for.  Should I continue the colourful ‘amateurish’ look or go for something cleaner, sharper, a little more professional looking?  It’s actually quite annoying that most of the WordPress themes have fixed widths, which always give them a narrow look that wastes all the space on the side.

Or should, with the traffic I get daily, I bite the bullet and finally get my own domain (ie pay for it) and start hosting advertisements?  Would that cheapen the blog?  At least it would give me a lot more freedom with the look and feel of it, except I’d probably need someone to help me since I have no idea how to do it all.

Anyway, WordPress themes that have stood out include the following (in alphabetical order).  Please vote below — you can choose more than one response.  Thanks in advance.

Bueno

Enterprise

Fusion

INove

Journalist v1.9

Mistylook

Neat!

Ocean Mist

Pilcrow

Sapphire

Structure

Tarski

Twenty Ten

Unsleepable

About Writing: 2010 in review January 2, 2011

Posted by pacejmiller in Blogging, On Writing, Websites.
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Got an email from WordPress today about how this blog did over the last 12 months.  Here it is!

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 380,000 times in 2010. If it were an exhibit at The Louvre Museum, it would take 16 days for that many people to see it.

 

In 2010, there were 342 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 599 posts. There were 837 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 452mb. That’s about 2 pictures per day.

The busiest day of the year was January 22nd with 3,948 views. The most popular post that day was My European Adventure Round-up.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were stumbleupon.com, en.wordpress.com, google.com, facebook.com, and search.aol.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for neuschwanstein, neuschwanstein castle, prague, manny pacquiao, and neuschwanstein castle pictures.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

My European Adventure Round-up April 2009
17 comments

2

The 20 Most Rewatchable Movies of All-Time February 2010
21 comments

3

Travel Update: Prague is Overrated! April 2009
62 comments

4

Prediction: Mayweather Jr vs Marquez September 2009
8 comments

5

Movie Review: Ninja Assassin (2009) April 2010
4 comments

That’s it!  Here’s to another great year for About Writing!

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