This is a powerful quotation to me for two reasons. One, is that I started using WordPress to blog about my travels as a college grad and flight attendant. That was where I started gathering followers and people began to engage with my writing.
Second, is that I now make part time income working in WordPress for a Non profit called National College Resources. So here I will explain how I got started, the technical side, and what my day to day looks like in earning money with website design.
I started as an office assistant for National College Resources Foundation in 2014. I was answering calls, trying to get vendors to buy booths at the College Expos, and regular office assistant work. I have a background in Cinema Arts, and was constantly needing time off for my production assistant gigs. It became apparent that the company was looking for a person in house to take over their website and make it more user friendly.
My background is in photography, sound design, and Photoshop. I have been using slight coding since I was a kid on MySpace but never anything as big as a company website. However, the owner had a meeting with me, and because I was out of the office often, and I was not into making calls or chasing sales, she offered me the chance to take over the website. I was a bit hesitant because it was definitely not my strong suit, but I figured why not!
We established that I would come in 2 days a week and focus on taking all their old content into a new template they had purchased in WordPress, and make it clear, concise and informative.
I was good at taking pictures, but then uploading, editing, resizing and designing a webpage? That was new! I had to teach myself how to do Web Design. I am grateful I had the opportunity to take on such a stressful task, because I learned a whole new skill set with the guidance of flexible leadership.
If you are a technically savvy person, this may seem easy for you but all I knew how to do in HTML prior to this task was how to change font color and size, make links, and add a new text line. I relied heavily upon YouTube tutorials. Sometimes it would take me 2 days to do a simple task I had been emailed, because I would be troubleshooting and struggling to understand why WordPress seemed to hate me.
The generic WordPress Support was not as helpful as w3 schools or various plugins that came with tutorials. I really liked to use the basic cherry plugins that allowed me to insert buttons, columns, and tabs to make everything more organized. This site has a LOT of information to sift through.
Okay, enough with the tech side.
My day to day has gotten much, much easier. In 2014 I was starting with a blank template. On a 2009 Dell laptop. I was copying, pasting from the old site, saving pictures from their server, and trying to make it all look good for Sponsors, and be easy for the youth to understand. It was a hot mess at first. But with hundreds of revisions, dozens of meetings, and lately, a whole lot more communication the website has become much smoother, and easier to use.
My supervisor even told me someone emailed her positive feedback on my latest addition to the site. The skills I have learned allowed me to start this website with ease. A huge performance helper has been upgrading to a Macbook Air! What a difference from my old high school graduation present. I will admit Squarespace was way smoother to learn how to use but the basics I learned in WordPress helped so much.
Do you do web design? I would love to see your work!
These days, I don’t really go into the office unless there is a meeting, which is rare. I get emailed updates and can work from wherever I have internet. Places like Panera Bread, Starbucks, my house, and my new cafes have the perfect set up. I like to people watch and make my updates, then I usually work out. It is good to have a skill set that I can use in between freelance jobs. It becomes harder to make the required updates when I have a full time job, but I am lucky to work with a very flexible company.
I am currently in the process of training someone else to use WordPress, so that I can have some assistance if I am unable to make an update quickly.
Thank you to those who stuck it out through this semi-boring post. I wanted to share yet another aspect of what I do and what I know!
Send me your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment! Do you do web design? I would love to see your work!
Much of the lifeblood of blogs is search engines - more than half the traffic for most blogs. Matt Mullenweg