The blog was overhauled Saturday night when I really just wanted to write a post about Griffin. I was so annoyed with the utter lack of real usability on my blog that I just scraped it all and started fresh.
I’ve thought about digging in and restructuring but that’s going to take a lot of work and time that I just don’t have right now. Maybe in the fall? Probably not. This will have to do.
A clean, minimalist theme with monochromatic flat colors, a responsive design, and enough customization options to personalize it: post-formats (not really utilizing yet but soon), fluid layout, threaded comments, and it’s built on Bootstrap3 which is great for reading the blog on mobile devices. Cost: free.
A front-end, in-line editor that is allowing me to write this post without having to be in the WordPress Admin. I can’t tell you how much easier this is for me! I actually stopped blogging as often because of the clunky WP editor. A few days ago I finally published something on my Medium account and LOVED how easy it was to create content, format it, add pictures, etc. Barley is very similar. Thanks to Chris Ford at Creativity Included for the awesome suggestion! Cost: $12/yr.
For years I’ve used the Editorial Calendar. Between that and the Publicize features that come with JetPack everything was really streamlined. However, after creating content I still had to go Buffer snippets to send out to the social channels. Granted, I don’t really HAVE to do any of this – but I do. The awesome thing about CoSchedule – for me – is that it allows you to create custom snippets for sharing your content across Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. And all from one location.
Granted I may have had my workflow all convoluted and there may be other solutions that resolve this, but I like the UI/UX of CoSchedule. For me, it works. And since I’m the only one writing blogs here, that’s all that really matters. Cost: $10/mo.
From the CoSchedule site: CoSchedule is a drag-and-drop editorial calendar for WordPress that puts your blog posts and social media messages on the same schedule.
Now, WordPress users can save time and grow traffic by scheduling blog posts and social media together on a unified drag-and-drop calendar. It‘s the content marketing calendar that WordPress is missing.
The best thing about CoSchedule is that as you drag a post from one date to another, your social media messages move with it. This allows bloggers to create a series of messages that promote their blog posts on a rolling schedule.
CoSchedule integrates with WordPress, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Buffer, and even Google+ Pages.
Monthly Costs Associated with the Blog
I started thinking – those little monthly fees add up…what is this blog costing me and is it worth it?
- Akismet: $5
- JetPack: $0
- Barley: $1
- CoSchedule: $10
- Buffer: $10
- Hosting: $30 **Free right now, will start billing me monthly in August.
- Domain: $1.50
- Google Apps: $5
$62.50 per month – or $812.50 per year.
Thoughts from the Peanut Gallery
OMG $800/yr to blog?!?! We have to trim that down b/c I don’t monetize this thing….
Maybe I need to monetize it just a bit in order to not eat the cost of this because honestly, $1000 year to journal online?? Not sure that’s really money well spent since it would cost me only around $200/yr on a .com account. That’s quite a savings.
I would move it back to a wordpress.com account and not worry about any of this stuff, but … then I wouldn’t have Barley and would have to go back to blogging in the WP Admin. Blech.
If I’m not monetizing the blog, I don’t sell product or services, and I don’t pimp out my affiliate links…is it worth keeping a self-hosted WordPress blog?
Also – if I WAS going to start leveraging affiliate programs – what’s your favorite. As in: what has the best bang for your buck.