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Technical Frustration!

I have been dealing with so many issues lately I haven’t had the time to blog.  Imagine my surprise and frustration of trying to log on only to get a 404 site not found error!

Normally, I log on to Hostgator and then click the link to my site from there.  That will usually bring me right where I want to go – the control panel. I have no idea why there are 2 control panels for one site, but there’s one from Hostgator and one from WordPress.  While there is some duplication, I have found that some things can only be done on one or the other.

According to the Hostgator help website, the 404 error can be corrected by returning the permalink to default.  This is done by going to c-panel -> settings -> permalinks.  I logged into my site via WordPress, only to find the settings on that c-panel didn’t have a permalink option!

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Option 2: modify htaccess file. Yeah, right. Click on that link from the help page gives me the same problem – I can’t access the Hostgator WP c-panel.  Thus, I contact support via chat.

Carlos, the chat representative, didn’t seem to understand what the problem was.  He gave me a  /wp-admin link to try to log into which didn’t work at all.  Then he asked for my login credentials so he could try it on his end! Seriously?! After an hour of him “checking into the problem” he tells me that my site is accessible from around the world. No kidding – the site itself is active – the 404 error occurs when I try to access Hostgator WP c-panel!  I told him (repeatedly) that I had access to the site from WordPress.  That only seemed to confuse him more.  Finally, he tells me that the tech people at Hostgator have confirmed there is a problem with the link to WordPress and they are working on it.  They have no idea how long it will take to fix.

I supposed I will try to access it again tomorrow.  At least my site is up.

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Pinterest – the next step

Most of my mornings before going to my day job are spent online researching how to make this website better.  One of the suggested strategies to get more views is to link to social media.  Connecting to Facebook and Twitter was pretty easy as I already had accounts with them.  Pinterest, however, is proving to be a challenge.

I get the concept of pinning images on a board so other people can see and share them.  Yet I couldn’t even create a board to pin to without googling for help!  I have spent the past couple of hours trying to set things up.  Hopefully I did it right.

The reason Pinterest is so important is that it is almost entirely visual.  With a majority of people shopping online now, a good  product image must be seen so that consumers can decide whether or not to buy.  Another reason is, if you have searched for something on google and clicked the images tab, a majority of the first page images are from Pinterest.

If I set things up correctly, I can now use some morning time to browse Pinterest and like things on other boards.  From what I’ve read, this can increase followers and subsequently, sales.  We’ll see what happens!

Do you have any experience with Pinterest?  I’d love to hear from you!

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Where did it go? My products disappeared!

In the ongoing effort to build this site, I started working on linking it to Facebook.  This required going back to my old site to click on the Facebook link there to get to the Cogger Crochet page.  Luckily, my laptop remembered the login credentials.

I haven’t used Facebook since something like 2013, so I had a little updating to do.  I discovered the “add a button” feature which is needed to link to my shop page.  To make sure the URL was correct, I brought up this site and went to the shop page.

That’s the point my blood ran cold – the page was there, but there weren’t ANY products!  I went to my dashboard, and the products were there.  The product pages were there to edit.  But there were no products on my shop page.

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Photo by Lukas from Pexels

I made this discovery about 15 minutes before I had to get ready to go to my day job.  Imagine the frustration!  Frantically speed reading woocommerce help websites – it’s a minor comfort to find that this has happened before – only to find answers like ‘re-install wordpress’ and ‘add this code’.  These are very scary options!  What if it messed things up even more? I didn’t have the time!

In desperation, I opted to edit the shop page and then re-publish it.  It was a quick, simple solution that appears to have worked!  My products came back!

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November Crochet – a look at what I accomplished

It seems pretty crazy that November is almost over. Yet, looking back, it has been a very productive month.

There were four calls for design submissions from magazines, and I somehow managed to get a proposal in for every one.  The ideas are just flowing – lets hope the trend continues!

I went through and rewrote  a pattern for an ear flap hat I made years ago and posted it both on this site and on Ravelry  In going through my old notebooks full of original designs (in my own shorthand, of course) I realized how much I missed crochet design. Somehow I had managed to drift away from it, ignoring my google site and blog. I felt Etsy had become too crowded, and commuting 45 minutes each way to a full time job left no time for any social media.

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Photo by energepic.com from Pexels https://www.pexels.com/photo/design-desk-display-eyewear-313690/

It’s kind of funny, actually.  I was so disillusioned with my day job that I started researching making money online.  That’s when I discovered various websites by people who insisted you can earn a living with crochet. Knowing that magazines are highly competitive and only pay as often as they publish, I was intrigued.  Apparently internet shopping has increased dramatically, which opened up the door not only for online sales and advertising revenue, but affiliate marketing as well.

I’ll admit, I am still learning how to use the tools on WordPress and relearning Adsense.  It’s frustrating at times, but it feels right.  I have been burning the candle at both ends, so to speak, to reach the ultimate goal of working from home full-time, but I’m happy doing it.

This site has earned a whopping 11 cents in its first month, but I consider that my own fault.  I haven’t been posting anywhere near enough, and who wants to visit a website with no content?

What have you done this month?  Are you making gifts for next month?  I’d love to hear from you!

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Taking up where I left off (sort of)

I took a few minutes this morning to read my old website, CoggerCrochet and realized that I was actually on the right path towards crochet as a career.  Unfortunately, money wasn’t coming in fast enough and expenses were coming due too fast, so it became apparent I needed to get a job.  Crochet was put on the back burner, so to speak.  I only made things for family and friends, and sometimes even myself.  I had a HUGE stash to work with, which was good as I didn’t have any money to purchase yarn.

Even though I am still working full time outside the house, so far this month I have managed to get 4 magazine submissions in and rework my ear flap hat pattern and get it posted both on this website and Ravelry.

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Ear Flap Hat

That particular hat was a big hit at craft fairs!  I came across the pattern I had written for it (for my personal use) years ago and used that to work up a sample.  I played with the gauge a bit and realized I could make it in many different sizes quite easily!  Then it was simply a matter of typing it all out, changing it from word to pdf format, and uploading.

Here’s hoping I can pick up the crochet business where I left off.  There are many more social media sites now than there were then, and I’m not very familiar with them.  If anyone has any suggestions, I’d love to hear them!

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I think I finally did it….

I just created my first virtual downloadable product on this site – one of my designs, the ear flap hat.  I guess time will tell whether or not I did it right – hopefully someone will comment and let me know if a purchase for immediate download of the pdf file works or not!

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The Muse

When the muse comes to visit you have to go with it!  5:30am found me trudging through the snow in the dark to my studio.  I had to skein yarn for my newest project!  The happiness I felt at having finished that quickly turning to disappointment when I realized it was time to get ready to go to my (for now) day job.

I know this project was meant to be because for once I didn’t have to search for anything I needed – yarn, hooks, notebook – everything was right there waiting for me.  I am not an extremely organized person, so this is a very unusual event!

How has the muse inspired you?  Have you ever had things line up as if it was all meant to be?  I’d love to hear your story!

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E-commerce

With all of the available apps and plug-ins and such, the point-click-create a store sounds easy and implies minimal time.  That’s not really the case.  I just spent two hours learning about and setting options in Woocommerce.  While I am certain that is a fraction of the time it would have taken to code the entire thing, I still think advertising is misleading.

What takes time is product listing, setting up sales tax, payments and shipping zones.  I’m still researching exactly what API credentials are and exactly how to go about getting them.  I’ve opted to use Paypal for payments, which I hope will make things a bit easier.  I’ve been using Paypal for years and have never had any issue with them.

The next big test will be to see if I can successfully download photos to my newly upgraded laptop, or if yet another app will be required.  I’ve been using either stored images or royalty-free images from Pixabay up to this point.  I hope to go out to my crochet studio to get some pictures of finished products to upload into the shop this afternoon.

Then I will dive into learning all about web statistics and driving traffic to your website (another app?)  I don’t know if I will get to that today or not.  I have learned that a website is not something you can really put up and forget about.  It’s more of a constantly evolving work of art you hope the world will take the time to look at.

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a little trial and error

Sometimes knowing a little about something is worse than knowing nothing.  One tends to muddle through rather than allowing a wizard to guide.  That was the case in creating this site.  I was happy to have it up and running, but did not want the blog to be on the landing page.  It took 3 days for me to figure out that one!

While I know how I want to monetize this site, the mechanics of it are going to take a little research.  I have the shop up and running, but need to add more products.  I need to learn how to add links for affiliate marketing.  I also need to learn when/where/how to insert product ads for pay-per-click (PPC) revenue.

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I research such things in little pockets of time – waiting in line, at the doctor’s office, on breaks, etc.  I have a full-time job that is currently required to pay the bills.  To make this experiment work, I am carving out one-half hour a day to commit to working on this site.

Another area I need education in is site stats.  For example, yesterday the site received 16 views from 6 visitors from Ireland and China.  What brought them here, a site that’s only been up a couple of days and really has very little content?

Thus the outline of my educational needs.  As I don’t want to mess it up and have to go back and figure out how to fix it, I’m going to have to slow down and do it one step at a time.