I finally did it, you guys. I moved from the free WordPress.com platform to a self-hosted site on WordPress.org. And since family and friends have been asking why I went to all this trouble when I had a perfectly good blog before, I figured I’d spill all the details at once in the form of an interview.
You read that right. I’m going to interview myself using the exact questions I’ve been fielding lately from all directions. In some cases the questions are the real deal. In other cases I’m capturing the spirit of people’s questions. It’s going to get revealing up in here. (And I mean that in the most PG way possible. This is a family blog, people.)
For the sake of coherence, I’m going to refer to the interviewer throughout this post as “Stephanie.” And that’s because in the 80s when I constantly watched Grease 2, I wanted my name to be something “normal” like that movie’s main character, Stephanie, instead of one of Christopher Columbus’s ships. (Please know: I now give my parents kudos for the name Nina, which is easy to say, easy to spell, and original without trying too hard. My detailed thoughts on modern baby names is here.)
Let’s get to that interview. Watch out for Stephanie though. She can be harsh.
YOUR BLOG WAS FINE THE WAY IT WAS, NINA. WHY DID YOU SWITCH?
Here’s the deal, Stephanie: When a blogger uses a free website like I had before, the blogger has little control. He or she does not own certain elements like the potential advertising space, or even the email subscriber list. As I saw my number of email subscribers growing and the daily clicks increasing on new posts and even old posts, I realized that it would only get more difficult to start over. I figured better now than later. I knew the process would be painful, but I was ultimately going to be happier with the results. Just like laser hair removal.
EDITED TO SAY: There has been some confusion about this in the comments. You can transfer the people who followed your blog when they pressed the “follow” button on wp.com, but not the people who had received posts via email.
NOT TO DWELL ON THE NEGATIVE, BUT YOU REALLY LOST ALL OF YOUR EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS IN THE SWITCH? ARE YOU SURE SWITCHING IS WORTH THE HASSLE?
I basically went from renting an already furnished studio apartment in a cheap part of town to owning my own luxury place and getting to decorate it any way I want. And whatever I gather here (email subscribers, etc.) I get to take with me if I ever move again. People who want to resubscribe, or, sign up for email updates for the first time (I promise those emails only come once a week) can do so in the little box to the right under my picture where it asks you to enter your email address.
YOU MENTIONED AD SPACE. DOES THIS MEAN THERE WILL BE ADS ON THE BLOG?
I have no plans for ads now, but if I ever change my mind, I want the freedom to collect money from my blogging efforts. Within two days of this site going live, I already had an offer to host ads from Adam and Eve.
ADAM AND EVER FROM THE CREATION STORY IN GENESIS?
As in the sex toy site. Don’t worry, Mom. I declined.
HOLD ON, YOU DON’T MAKE MONEY FROM BLOGGING? BUT YOU SPEND SO MUCH TIME DOING THIS. YOU HARDLY WATCH TV EXCEPT FOR THAT NEW SHOW “BUNHEADS” THAT NOBODY LIKES. YOU WRITE MOST OF YOUR POSTS WHEN NORMAL PEOPLE WOULD BE SLEEPING. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?
I sometimes get paid for guests posts on big websites. But for the most part, no. I do not make money doing this.
IF YOU’RE NOT MAKING MONEY AND YOU DON’T HAVE A BOOK DEAL, THEN WHY DO YOU BOTHER?
I’ve been asked different versions of this question before and want to say for the record, Stephanie, that I find it highly offensive. I will first direct you to a piece I wrote called “Hobbies and Happiness,” which addresses why anyone does anything without getting paid. But beyond the facts of how much I enjoy everything about blogging, I also consider the writing and networking I do here an important part of the career I’m developing. I have no idea where it will take me, or what kind of larger writing projects I’d like to tackle next. For now, with four kids ages eight and under, the small assignments blogging provides me is the perfect outlet.
THE PERFECT OUTLET FOR WHAT?
It’s the perfect outlet for the ideas that spin around me all day long. It’s the perfect outlet for my racing mind that needs a place to unwind. I see the blog as a landing spot during this time of my life that is otherwise scattered and mostly dedicated to my husband and the four most precious blessings of our lives. Blessed as I am, I get a pretty big kick out of having this virtual space that is mine, mine, mine.
SPEAKING OF PARENTING, ARE YOU A MOMMY BLOGGER?
DON’T YOU HAVE TO PICK ONE TOPIC WHEN YOU START A BLOG.
Short answer: NO. Long answer: Depends on your goals.
WHY DO YOU WRITE SO MANY POSTS ABOUT TWITTER?
Because I completely get Twitter and Twitter gets me. That’s not the case for all Twitter users so I try to help.
WHY DO YOU WRITE ABOUT FRIENDSHIP?
Every woman I know from age 20 to age 95 has had trouble making new friends from time to time, keeping friends, losing friends, etc. Women of all ages talk about the art of friendship all the time. Furthermore, other than the Twitter posts, the posts I’ve written about friendship are among my most visited. What can I tell you? It’s one of my favorite topics, and it’s not going away.
WHY DO YOU MENTION JUDAISM ALL THE TIME?
Jews are like that. Well, not all Jews. But I’m certainly not the only Jew who can’t get through the day without uttering or thinking the word “Jewish” in some capacity. Though I do admit I’m particularly Jewey. I don’t know why that is. I’d tell you to ask my parents, but I think they’re just as mystified by my all-consuming Jewiness as you are.
WHY DO YOU TALK ABOUT PARENTING ISSUES “IN GENERAL,” BUT NEVER SAY THAT MUCH ABOUT THE KIDS IN DETAIL? I MEAN, YOU DO HAVE FOUR OF THEM, RIGHT? YOU MANAGE TO MENTION THAT FACT IN JUST ABOUT EVERY POST.
I DO talk about specifics sometimes, but you’re right, I tend to stick to the broader parenting issues. Also, part of the reason I blog is to think about something OTHER than the daily details of parenting.
WHY DO YOU WRITE ABOUT YOUR HUSBAND SO MUCH?
Because he’s a good sport. And because he’s a “character” in all the best ways.
PINK? SO, SO PINK. WHY?
I like the lightness it adds to what I’m doing here. And what am I doing here? Well, I’m not solving world peace, that’s for sure. I think the look reminds ME to keep my sense of humor and sense of levity when necessary.
THIS INTERVIEW IS GETTING REALLY LONG AND YOU HAVEN’T EVEN MENTIONED YOUR DESIGNER OR PLUGINS OR ANYTHING HELPFUL LIKE THAT. WHAT KIND OF BLOGGER ARE YOU ANYWAY?
Good point! The woman responsible for my blog transfer and ALL the design elements is the wonderful and patient Kayleen. As for plugins, I’m figuring a good chunk of that out for myself, and it’s a grotesque, horrible work in progress. If you have favorite or least favorite plugins, please for the love of everything good in the world LET ME KNOW. I’m drowning in options here.
I’M NOT A BLOGGER AND I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT A PLUGIN IS?
That’s okay. I don’t know what you’re talking about half of the time either.
Thanks for humoring me through this post everyone! I hope you like the new look. Kayleen and I tried to capture the playful and the serious sides of this blog with the bright colors, but clean no-nonsense layout. I’d love to know what you think. (Except for Stephanie. She’s not allowed to make any more comments.)
OH–and regular readers will notice I got rid of the avatar I’ve used for TWO years. Two years! I had to get rid of that scarf. It was time. I’m not 100% settled on the new picture even though every “good social media maven” knows not to keep switching photos as it gets confusing.