I don’t run.

People know this about me only too well. Marathons frighten me, jogging makes me reach for the guardrail within 20 seconds and even brisk walking beyond 30 minutes makes  my heart  believe it will stop pumping blood on any given day. So, obviously, jumping over hurdles doesn’t figure anywhere on this list.

Dramatics aside, I mean to say I’ve never jumped over an actual, physical hurdle.

Jumping over hurdles, Life lessons, The Moving Quill

But, visual ones? Metaphorical ones? Oh, those I’ve tackled in plenty. To explain exactly how I come to terms with the fear and the anxiety that accompanies these things, I’m going to talk about something that happened this past week.

Remember the change I spoke about in my last post? Well, in case you didn’t know it yet, I’ve successfully moved my parenting blog from Blogger to self-hosted WordPress.

Big deal, you think. What’s so frightening about that?

Here are the various things that you lose/could lose when you move from a blogging space that you’ve occupied for 9 years.

Page views:

I had crossed 200,000 page views on my blog when it was hosted on Blogger over a period of 9 years. When I moved to self-hosted last week, I started with the grand total of zero. That’s right. I started over from scratch.

Why is that a hurdle, you think? Well, page views are a good indicator of how Google will index your blog. The better the page views and the higher the engagement on the blog, the higher up on search results you’ll appear. Again, the only reason this is necessarily important is because for me, blogging is also a source of income in addition to being a personal, favourite way of life.

How I handled it: I told myself it’s a fresh start. Freshness is a novel process and exciting by itself. Nothing else can quite give you that high (except maybe 300,000 page views. I kid, of course). Take the step with energy and passion and this hurdle is easy to get past.

Followers and Subscribers:

Since most of my subscribers were following my blog through the original RSS feed on my blogger site, I believe I have to start over from scratch here as well.  Risky? Perhaps.

How I handled it: I told myself that if I write good content and believe earnestly in the power of the content, people will come back to read what I share and subscribe anew. It doesn’t actually solve the problem, if you notice, but it does reduce the stress on me, which is infinitely more valuable in the long run.

Social media share counts

I remember writing a post in February, 2015, on how I survived depression and bipolar disorder and came out stronger. In the space of one month, the post had crossed over 1,100 shares on Facebook and it’s the closest I’ve come to ever going viral, as people call it.

In late March 2015, I switched to a custom domain and noticed that I’d lost all the social media counts on my posts. But re-sharing the post with the new URL still resonated among so many people that the share counter began to climb again. I don’t remember how many it garnered this time around, though.

Last week, the switch to self-hosted did the same thing. So, for the third time I lost my social media share count on a post that mattered to me.

How I handled it: I let it go. It can be constantly exhausting if you obsess over numbers and stats but if you shift your focus to the now and look at the road ahead instead of what lay behind you, the scope for improvement is much higher and more rewarding.

Your new blog:

On Thursday, August 25th, I launched the new blog and sent it out into the world to be seen by friends and family alike.

On Friday, August 26th, I got a notification that the blog had been deleted.

Yes, the new blog. It had disappeared; vanished into the vast world of cyberspace, without a trace! A complex piece of code for a particular plugin went wrong and resulted in the blog’s deletion.

My friend worked overtime to help restore the blog and retrieve whatever he could to get it back and up running.

I’ll be frank. I actually cried a bit, for about two minutes.

Okay, to be honest, this doesn’t always happen but it’s a very real possibility. So what did I do?

How I jumped over this hurdle: I took a deep breath and told my husband. He looked at me calmly and said two things:

“First, relax. Maybe it’s not all gone. There must be something that you can recover.

Second, even if it’s gone, you can write it again, can you not? You’re still here.”

Taking this in the best way possible, I checked and realised that  I hadn’t deleted my Blogger blog. So all the posts written there were still intact. I’d just have to migrate it all over. Vishal stepped in and helped me move everything once again.

But I had lost the new post, the one with the announcement and the giveaway. Fortunately though, by a sheer stroke of luck, I had written that draft as a backup on this blog, so I could transfer it to the new blog and work on adding all the images once again.

Over the next 3 hours, I watched my blog take shape again and felt a curious sense of achievement. It wasn’t so much the blog coming back online as much as it was the way I had bounced back after a seeming disaster.

So, remember, hurdles always exist. They never really go away. What matters more, though, is how you respond to them, grow from the experience and learn how to tackle each new hurdle as it appears on the horizon.

32 thoughts on “Jumping over hurdles: How to do it

  1. You are a fighter and though those issues are scary, you are sailing through. We need to believe in ourselves and I want you to know that your readers will be around you – on FB notes , blogs (either) or where ever you write. So, keep on writing. Hugs!

  2. I so agree Shy. Hurdles are strewn along the path we walk. We need to just learn, and get habituated, to jump over each one and move on. I loved what your hubby said,” You are still here!” Why DO we forget that? Things will get lost, or ruined, but we are here to begin all over again. And for all you know, we might end up doing those things better than we did the first time around!

  3. Another way to tackle the problem of the lost social media shares is to think about the many lives you have influenced through your posts. Then the stats won’t matter that much!

    The blog deletion would truly freak me out if it ever happened to me. It’s good that there was a backup, but the initial scare is just scarier than the scariest horror movie!

    All the best on this new journey, Shailaja 😀❤

  4. Aww thanks Darsh! I know. I’ve got years of practice, facing disappointments and bouncing back. Life does turn out to be a great teacher all the time.

    Thank you so much for the warm wishes!

  5. I can do what you suggested for the ones who have signed up now. No way of finding out who signed up when it was on Blogger 🙁 Hope I figure it out soon.

    Thanks Indy! 🙂

  6. You know I am going to be calling you now just to get you to walk me through it 😉 See what you’ve done.

    Thanks Vidya, especially for taking that late night call the other night and listening to me and helping me out with the URL issue. Big big hugs!

  7. I can understand the anxiety but trust me, making the move sooner than later is always a better bet. Don’t put it off any longer. Plus the blog deletion was an extreme thing. It won’t happen to you, don’t worry 🙂 Good luck and all the best!

  8. Aww I know what you mean. With the move to custom domain, right? Sigh, that’s going to take some getting used to. Always a better bet to start with wordpress I guess, even the free site.

  9. Mess is the right word! I can restore any of my blogger posts any time but not the new ones on the WP platform if that ever happens again. I must check out this RSS feed magic as you say. Thanks!

  10. Agree Uma. As we’ve already discussed over whatsapp, you know why page views and stats do matter at some level. I hope your words are true, that the effort and energy that has gone into blogging sees some rewards 🙂 Thank you!

  11. Thanks Tulika! I was just glad my husband was around when it happened so I could pull out of my despair quickly. Else it would have been a different story!

    Hugs and thanks for always being there.

  12. Trust me, it’s a freak incident and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, not even those who really hate me and there are a few of those too 😉

    This blog’s migration was seamless and like you said, .com to org so there were no issues whatsoever. Blogger to WP does seem to be jinxed at some level though. Thanks, Debbie. Onward and upward, as they say.

  13. True that. I did have a moment of absolute shock when it happened though 🙂 I am still tackling some issues. The 301 blogger redirect plugin is not working and neither are my jetpack notifications. Sigh. Ah well, shall wait and watch.

  14. Wow; I’ve not heard of a website getting deleted! 🙁 Plenty of other disasters, yes, but not that. Glad you were able to salvage it! Changing from Blogger to WordPress must be more difficult than my experience, which was going from WordPress.com to Wordspress.org. I paid for a redirect and all the views and followers came with. It’s a pity you had to lose yours! Here’s hoping things go smoothly from now on.

  15. Three cheers to your positivity Shailaja. This is a hard move. The stats wouldn’t bother me much but losing posts or followers – that would be a huge hurdle to get through. Glad you could handled it so beautifully. And cheers again to the new space and to friends who are ready to lend a hand.

  16. Like we discussed, all these numbers are great but I’m not sure if they weigh higher than the reader network you’ve already built and the content quality you deliver. For instance, my blog page views are over 3,00,000. Not sure how that has helped me in blogging if you understand what I mean. Yes, sure, my blog appears second in the Google search index but again that doesn’t mean anything if readers do not comment.
    So, to cut my boring story short, I’m only reiterating that these stats will build up in no time and in the meantime your position in the blog world will remain affected.

  17. What a mess! The bright side is that you have a backup, right? So your blog can be reinstated at any time. Your organic ranking will stand as you already had custom domain. But you will see that the pageviews reduce when you move from blogger to WP self-hosted. And as Vidya explained you don’t lose your RSS feed subscribers. So cheer up. 😃

    Good luck.

  18. For sure mentally you are ninja strong. Just reading about losing the new blog gave me anxiety. Thank God it all worked out… Losing the numbers is always a bit dampening. I thought I didn’t care until my views started coming down. I am still losing sleep over it. I am sure with the content you write and the way it connects with the readers, your blog will start climbing the charts. Wish you good luck.

  19. I’m nervous now, Shailaja. I don’t know when and how I’m going to do the move. Still the process hasn’t been started and after reading your post, I now understand what you were talking about last week. But I guess it’s better to make the move now with all the side effects because sooner or later, we have to.

    God! What will I do! I think I’ll freak out 🙈

  20. Shailaja, congratulations again! 🙂 By the way, you do not have to lose your original RSS feed subscribers. Sign up for a Mailchimp account and transfer the RSS feed there. Those people will receive your latest posts via email.

    We live and learn, that’s the most beautiful thing about life. With each step, we realize that if we can handle this, we can handle anything. Then along comes the next one, and we grow stronger. You’re a champ you know!

    Sending you love and hugs.

  21. Gosh!! What a scare!
    For the blog subscribers, you can download the csv format/ file of the people who signed up and then manually add their name and emails to MailChimp to send them a mail from this new blog.
    Do take a look at it.
    All the best.

  22. Ohh, I can imagine the shock when such a thing happens. That is so scary. But the way you’ve overcome it with such calmness is amazing. Of course you’re still here, it is your writing that defines you, not the place where it’s written. Congrats on the shift, and wishing you much more blogging success ahead. 😀

  23. When I switched from Blogger to WordPress, I felt something similar. In my first post when I said I hope my followers follow me to my new home, someone aptly commented, ‘The home is where you are. You make it.’
    I really loved the way you handled the whole matter. You cried but also succeeded in getting the job done. This itself means that you started off with a bang! 😀 Your followers will find you Shailaja. Always. All the best!

  24. I know the pain of losing stats and all the things that can go wrong with a migration, But yes, the person who did all of it originally – she exists. So nothing really goes away.

    Congrats on the move, and it seems like at the end of the day, you tackled it all well. So that’s definitely some food..no wait…dessert for thought.

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