An excerpt from the beloved children’s book, “If You Give a Pig a Pancake.”
“If you give a pig a pancake, she’ll want some syrup to go with it.
You’ll give her some of your favorite maple syrup.
She’ll probably get all sticky, so she’ll go take a bath.
She’ll ask you for some bubbles.
When you give her the bubbles, she’ll probably ask you for a toy.
You’ll have to find your rubber duck…”
And on and on it goes for pages and pages. One thing leads to another, and by the end of the book, the house is trashed and everyone is exhausted.
And, finally, on the last page, the pig sits down to eat her pancake.
This is me. I am the pig.
Except my story is called, “If You Want to Give a Free Download to Your Blog Subscribers.”
Ok, so, a few months ago, I decided I wanted to give a nice little free something-something to my subscribers. You know, like a little “Thank you for subscribing” type thing. I had some old posts most of you haven’t read or wouldn’t remember, and I recalled them being fairly interesting and somewhat well-written. I assumed it would take me a couple days to pull them together into a viable download. I gave myself the week of spring break to get it written and out to you.
When I started reading through my old posts, I realized they were not nearly as interesting or well-written as I remembered. In fact, they were seriously outdated and kinda bad.
So, “a few days” turned into “a few weeks.”
At the end of those weeks, I asked my friend, Ana, to proof read it. You know, to catch typos.
Turns out, Ana is an editor. Ana is a really good editor. Ana found typos. Ana also found numerous formatting errors and entire chapters that didn’t flow.
So, I updated some more.
She edited some more.
I updated even more.
She edited even more.
Since this was now officially “an e-book,” and not simply “a little download,” I needed a book cover, right?
So, Ana helped me create a cover.
When I got everything exactly the way I wanted it in my new e-book, I realized I had to create a link to it somehow. I had no idea how to do this.
So, I researched “creating and sharing files.” Turns out, I needed to create a pdf and then find a place to host the pdf and then link to the pdf. (Did you know all this? I did not know this.)
I saved my new e-book to pdf and uploaded it to several free hosting sites.
All the free hosting sites messed up the formatting of my exactly-the-way-I-want-it book. That meant I had to pay for hosting. For my free e-book.
When I finally found a ho$ting site and got my e-book uploaded and ready to go, I went to send it out to all my subscribers. (Yay!!!)
That’s when I discovered my mail service (Feedburner) does not allow me to attach downloads to my mail list. (Boo!!!)
That meant, I needed to switch mail services.
Since I have had three different blogs with two different blog hosting sites since 2008, I had multiple subscribers in about five different places. Thus, I was entirely freaked out that, if I tried to migrate them to a new mail service on my own, I would screw it up.
So, I asked a profe$$ional for help.
The professional (whose name is Carrie, and she is A-MAZ-ING!) discovered several things in my blog that were sorely outdated. Even though I had everything updated in 2012, apparently, four years is like four-hundred years in tech time. Not only that, my blog did not have the ability to sell e-books from my site, which is something I am hoping to do this summer.
That meant I needed a whole new updated blog theme.
I had to $hop the available theme$, each one having different feature$ and capabilitie$.
Carrie said she could transfer my existing logo and colors to the new theme. But, what’s a new theme with old logo and colors?
So, I asked her to create a new logo with new colors and new fonts.
This meant I had to choose new colors and new fonts.
Upon transferring everything to the new theme with my new logo and new colors and new fonts, we discovered that someone had hacked my site and placed some bad code in there. This was causing Google to issue a warning that says, “This site may be hacked.” (By the way, if you see this warning, don’t be afraid. My site is totally fine. Google just needs to verify this and remove the warning.)
That meant I needed to call Go Daddy, who hosts my blog, and spent lots of time removing all the bad code. I also bought something called “$ite Lock” (because I’m made of money, apparently), which will prevent this from happening again.
When Carrie completed the transfer of all my blog posts to the new theme, we discovered that all my links leading to any post written from 2008 to 2012 no longer work.
(I am sorry if you discover dead links. I have not even begun to tackle that issue.)
Finally, Carrie was putting the finishing touches on my blog design, when she pulled my old profile photo to place it in the sidebar. That particular photo is about five years old, is blurry, and has my kids cropped out of it. It was like placing a dirty, worn sofa in the middle of my brand new living room.
I decided I needed a profe$$ional photo of myself for my profe$$ional new blog.
So, I $hopped for a profe$$ional photographer.
While trying to decide if I should take out a second mortgage to finance the updating of my profile picture, my friend Stephanie—who blogs and writes books, too—suggested I make my husband take pictures of me in the back yard—for free.
Except my husband is a horrible photographer (Sorry, honey. You know it’s true.)
My 17-year-old daughter, though…she knows all about getting a perfect picture for social media. So, this morning, my daughter and I spent several hours taking photos of me around the house and yard. As you can see, some turned out better than others.
Today, I spent the day placing all the new (good) photos in my new blog, updating all my social media sites and formatting everything in my new email service.
I wanted everything just right so I could reveal it all to you.
Introducing, my first e-book:
If you are currently a subscriber (you received this by e-mail if you are!), I will send the link to you directly by separate email.
Update: I am having technical issues with Mail Chimp. They temporarily suspended my account when I tried to send the e-book to you. I’m so sorry. I am waiting for my blog to be reviewed so they can reinstate my mail service. Office hours are M-F. So, this may take a while. Uggghhh. (If you give a pig a pancake…right?) You can wait until it’s resolved or you can email me and I can send the link directly to you. firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are not a subscriber, you simply need to enter your email address in the sidebar or the bottom of this post. You will receive a confirmation email with the link.
It is absolutely free.
I’m going to take a nap.