I would like to introduce you to Jeni from The Blog Maven. I have had the great pleasure of working with her while she migrated my blog from Blogger to WordPress a few weeks ago. Jeni is wonderful at what she does. I had been thinking about moving my blog for a while and was a little nervous about the whole process as you can well imagine. Once I spoke to Jeni, she put all my fears to rest, giving me detailed answers to all my questions and she responded to each and every email promptly. I was so impressed with her support and service that she offered and I am very happy to be able to share her story here with you. I love my new blog home and I also know that if there is anything that I need help with on my blog, Jeni is just and email away.
Tell us about your business, how did it come to be?
I started out several years ago in marketing. I was a consultant for small businesses, helping them get set up with a smart internet marketing strategy. I managed Facebook pages and advised business owners in the huge task of creating a website. When I realized how badly several of my clients were being overcharged for a simple informational website (by thousands of dollars!), I decided to start building my own websites, and that’s how I discovered the magic of WordPress. I’ve been creating with WordPress for almost four years now and love that it allows me to stay home with my children.
I’ve always been an avid reader of blogs – mostly lifestyle blogs, since I’m a creative spirit and we’re Waldorf inspired homeschoolers ourselves. When Ginny of Small Things was having problems with Blogger last year, she asked if I knew how to move a blog to WordPress. I’m always up for a challenge, so I said yes!
Moving Small Things was very much a learning experience for me – I think I spent over 18 hours just on the migration part. I was very conscious about preserving all of her links, so that all of her incoming links from Ravelry, Rhythm of the Home and other blogs around the web would still work…not to mention her Google Rankings, which she has spent so many years achieving! Because she wanted the exact same look and feel as she had on her old blog, I considered it a success when her regular readers arrived at her new WordPress blog and didn’t notice the change! And Ginny was thrilled with her new blogging home.
Since moving Small Things, I’ve migrated over 40 blogs to WordPress (and helped fix a handful of other designers’ broken migrations, as well…) and I truly love being able to introduce bloggers to this tool that can carry their blog and their readers into the future.
WordPress is an amazing tool that is continually evolving. Since it was created as “open source” (meaning, anyone has access to the code), there are over 10,000 developers worldwide that are working to make it even better. And over 2 million websites and blogs are powered by WordPress. To save some space, I’ll just give you a bullet list here of my favorite features. 🙂
- The software itself is FREE. You don’t pay for a monthly subscription.
- You can build any kind of website on WordPress – including E-commerce stores and multi-author news magazines. That means that if you’re a blogger, the possibilities for where you can go with your blog are wide open.
- You own all your own files. With a self-hosted WordPress blog, you pay a monthly fee to a hosting company (usually under $10/month) for server space and all your photos, images, and words are in your control. No more Blogger blackouts, and there are actual tech support people that can help you if you ever do run into problems.
- Beautiful design possibilities. You can choose a pre-made WordPress theme or hire a blog designer (like me) to give you a custom look for your blog.
- Plugins. Plugins are like apps for your blog that you install with just a few clicks, and they can make your blog “do” just about anything. From advanced search engine optimization (SEO) to integration with Facebook to discussion boards, if there’s something you want, there’s a plugin for that.
What do you do when you migrate a blog?
Before the migration starts, I set up a test blog for you with your web host and install WordPress there, so your readers will still be viewing all your new posts on your main blog. If you’re the do-it-yourself type and want to handle the layout yourself, that’s when I’ll install whichever theme you choose and let you style the blog yourself. If I’m doing design work for you, we’ll go through the design process together (developing a layout, headers, backgrounds, textures, fonts, colors, social media buttons, etc.) and I’ll install the design on your test blog.
When the layout is set, I’ll move your posts and comments to the new blog and fix all the broken links (which used to point to Blogger), preserving your links both within your blog and from various places on the web – and, critically, maintaining your search engine rankings. When everything looks right to you, I’ll complete the move, point your domain name to the right place, move your Feedburner feed, and you’ll be in business!
::whew:: That sounds kind of technical. But from my clients’ end, it can be completely painless. I really work hard to make your transition as seamless as possible, so you and your readers will feel right at home on your new blog.
What is your inspiration?
I always thought I’d be a career woman, growing up – it’s something I never questioned, really. But when I first held my son, I looked at Matt and said, “I don’t think I’ll be going back to work.” And I haven’t looked back. I am so blessed to be able to say that my children’s smiles are the sunshine I wake up to, and I miss them terribly whenever they’re asleep. My oldest is 5, so I thought I’d be past that stage by now, but each new day brings the adventure of leading and growing with these little people, and I love it.
But my true inspiration is my husband Matt. I’ve never met a harder working, more devoted man. He puts in 40 or 50 hours of hard labor each week, and then he comes home to cook dinner on the grill, play ball with our son, or take our daughter out to the garden to harvest the fruits of his labor. And when he’s too tired, he’ll lay down and let the baby climb all over him. He’s selfless, loyal, and honest – and definitely my hero.
Jeni is offering 1 reader a custom designed blog header (a $150 value), either for Blogger or WordPress – or if the winner is interested in moving to WordPress, she is offering a $150 credit toward the cost of migration, for any of her packages.
For all the other Natural Suburbia readers, Jeni is offering a 10% discount on any design or blog migration work they book before August 15th. To gain this discount, you will need to mention Natural Suburbia when you contact her.
Each reader can have up to SIX entries for this giveaway. To enter this giveaway, please leave a comment, leave a separate comment each time you share and gain more entries.
- Leave a comment below with the name of your blog;
- Follow Jeni on Facebook (facebook.com/theblogmaven);
- Pin the image of Jeni’s Ready to Move to WordPress page on Pinterest;
- Share this giveaway on your Facebook page (linking to this post and mentioning @The Blog Maven);
- Tweet about this giveaway and send people to Natural Suburbia to check it out, mentioning @theblogmaven;
- Pin any other image from one of the posts on Jeni’s new blog.
I will announce the winner of this giveaway on Saturday the 11th of August in this post.
Rachel August 8, 2012 at 12:02 pm
Just liked her facebook page!
Thank you so much for sharing here with us today Jeni and for offering such a generous giveaway:)