It has been quite an eventful handful of days around here on Stuff Parents Need. I had a blogging emergency problem, I had out of town company (which was a wonderful thing…just time consuming) and my oldest got terribly sick. Have you ever been in a situation like this, where all signs seem to be pointing to the fact that you need to take a break from your work, like it or not???
It all started Wednesday when I started getting reports from readers that they couldn’t see my blog online anymore. I thought it was so odd because I could see it just fine. I made sure that I didn’t have any hackers getting into my account, and then I just played dumb. I assumed that it would just magically work itself out.
What was I thinking???
Finally, around 3am Thursday (yeah, that’s when I wake up so that I can “balance” a career as a blogger with a career as a mom), I couldn’t see my site either. And I couldn’t even get logged into the back end of the blog to fix it. As far as I could tell, my blog, my 3 years and 9 months of HARD work, had vanished into thin air. I almost threw up, no exaggeration.
I immediately woke up my tech support, also known as my husband Tim, and pleaded with him to please figure out the problem. After an hour and a half, he did figure it out. And the problem was simple, yet confusing at the same time: MY BLOG DOMAIN EXPIRED. You see, to run your own website, you have to pay for your address on the internet. Additionally, you have to pay for a server to host your site. Most bloggers get both things taken care of together through a hosting service. I have always been pleased with my host. But in this case, they had an expired credit card on file for me and NEVER contacted me to let me know there was any sort of problem. They just let my domain expire!
While the problem was fixable, it cost me nearly 24 hours of traffic. I get new visitors every single day, and the folks who were new to my site over that time period will likely never visit again, assuming that my blog is defunct. I also get emails from PR reps every day. Who knows what potential opportunities were missed because the reps couldn’t find my site? And I wasn’t able to get logged in at all for over 24 hours, which caused some significant delays in my posting schedule. Basically, this was a gigantic pain in the you-know-what.
I was very frustrated with my host for not communicating with me that there was a problem, but I also had to “put on my big girl pants” (a phrase I’m borrowing from the Shanty-2-Chic sisters) and realize that I was partially to blame, too. I should have known when my domain was up for renewal. I should have proactively checked on my account from time to time to make sure all my info, including my credit card number, was up-to-date. I should have called my host the second I started hearing that other people couldn’t see my site. Next time I will do better. And I will do that with the help of my Blogging Planner.
The Blogging Planner has been right by my side for the last 3 months, and especially for the last 5 days. Even though I haven’t been able to get much blogging work done, I have been able to quickly communicate delays in postings with my sponsors (all my posts are listed in my planner…they used to just be in my wordpress account, and if I couldn’t get into my account, I couldn’t see them). I also have put reminders in my calendar to check in with my hosting service every six months to make sure everything is in order.
My sister and brother-in-law arrived at my house for a 3 day visit in the midst of the blog drama, and I knew that I would not be able to do much at all to get caught up until they left on Sunday. I quickly scanned over all of my “to do” items for the weekend (which I had originally planned on getting through before they came). And I realized that every single thing could wait. The world simply wouldn’t end if a post went live on Sunday instead of Saturday! And while blogging is a really great source of meaningful relationships and community for me, it doesn’t replace the joy to be found in spending time with my family. I saw my sister’s visit for what it was: a real gift. I think I would have been more harried about the whole thing if I couldn’t have seen my blogging calendar at a glance and easily re-worked post due dates.
Finally, when the time to work yesterday rolled around, my oldest started throwing up. Of course. But as we all know, seeing your child sick will put EVERYTHING into perspective in about 2 seconds flat. All she wanted in this world was her mommy. And all I wanted to do was to be her mommy and cuddle her, tell her stories, and sing her to sleep over and over again throughout the day and night. While she rested I would get back into my Blogging Planner and continue to re-work the schedule and to cut out every task that wasn’t absolutely critical. When you don’t have enough time to accomplish all of your goals you have to go into triage mode, and let go of a lot of things. The Blogging Planner really helped me quickly prioritize what was a must based on commitments and based on my specific monthly goals I had created, and what could wait for another day, or even another week or month.
At first glance, the past 5 days have been really crappy. But as I head into a new week and start to get caught back up with everything, I also realized that my forced vacation from work was a blessing, too. I got to focus on what mattered the very most (my family) and I realized that I am now organized enough to deal with blog problems in an effective way that minimizes my stress level. As a person who is prone to worrying, this is a really big deal. The Blogging Planner played a very important role in saving my sanity. I can’t stress enough what a tremendous tool it is. If you blog, you need one. Period.
I received a complimentary planner and am providing my honest assessment through a review series. This post contains affiliate links, which I only include in a post when I’m SUPER excited about a product. If you blog, this planner is a game-changer.