I wish I knew more about computers and the Internet. Even though I make my living working on these darned machines, I probably only know about 25% of what they are actually capable of doing.
Some people make it look so easy. Last week at our Gypsy Gathering rally, Tom and Barbara Westerfield were in charge of the technical side of things, making sure everything worked like it should. I was having problems getting my Dell laptop computer to communicate with my Epson LCD projector. Barbara pushed a button or two, and in seconds she had everything up and working. Left to my own devices, I’d probably still be standing there scratching my head.
It’s the same with the Internet. I have three websites – www.gypsyjournal.net, www.motorcycletravelonline.com, and www.publishing4profit.com, so you would think that I’d know something about building and tweaking websites. Using a program called FrontPage, I can build a simple website and do the basics of uploading data to the sites.
But when I need anything more complicated than that, I call on my pal Chris Guld from Geeks on Tour. Chris and her hubby Jim are fulltime RVers who give computer seminars at RV parks and rallies across the country, as well as offering tutorial CDs and other computer education tools for RVers. Chris designed the new look of my blog, and right now she is busy putting together a new website project for me. She can take the most complicated task and make child’s play out of it.
I’ve read a lot of books and websites about search engine optimization (SEO), which is basically getting more visitors to our websites, but I really don’t think I have learned enough to do us much good. More visitors is a good thing. More visitors mean more readers who can learn about the things I write about, and hopefully that will help make their RVing, motorcycling, and self-publishing activities easier and more fun.
Of course, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t hope that at least a few of those visitors would order a subscription, buy a couple of our books, or click on some of the Google ad links on our websites to check out the offerings. There are several websites like Digg, Technorati, and StumbleUpon where readers can recommend their favorite websites and blogs to others. Again, I really don’t understand exactly how they work, but I know that they do. Last week somebody put a reference to this blog on StumbleUpon and we got 780 visitors from that one link! We normally average about 1,000 unique visitors a day to the blog, so that was a nice bonus.
I think every RVer should consider having a blog. Very few blogs ever make any money, so don’t think having one will buy you a new rig anytime soon. But blogs are a great way to share your travels with your friends and family, to network with other RVers, and to create a record of your travels.
Today’s blogging software makes it easy, and there are many free options out there for creating a blog, including WordPress, TypePad, and Blogger. The Geeks on Tour, whom I mentioned above, present an excellent seminar on blogging for RVers, and have a lot of information online to get you started.
To see a great collection of RVing blogs, and to have your blog listed for free, check out The RVing Blog Directory.
And if you do create a blog, and learn all of the secrets to navigating your way through the blogosphere, maybe someday we can sit down together, and you can explain it all to me!
Thought For The Day – All those who have achieved great things have been dreamers.