When your life doesn’t feel blog-worthy

For me, August was a whirlwind — one I’m not sorry to say goodbye to, and one I’m honestly still recovering from. It was one of those months where all I could do was try to put out the fire closest to me and hope it didn’t consume me first. September is shaping up to be more of the same, and, to be honest, I felt a little defeated when I realized this blog post was on my to-do list — so much so that I’m actually writing it late!

If you’ve been blogging any length of time, I’m sure you’ve felt the same at some point or another. That’s the thing about blogging — there is no completion date. And so it’s subject to the ups and downs of our everyday lives. Some days blog posts will fly out of our fingertips, and other days, it’s the last thing we want to do.

When there are fires all around you, you start to wonder why you blog in the first place. It’s easy to say that it’s not important, and move on with the next item on your to-do list. That’s why it’s so important to know why you blog — write it down somewhere if you need to.

Here at <em>press, we wanted to build more than just a shop — we wanted to build a community. Blogging is a part of that. It’s how we start conversations, share our thoughts, and connect with customers and readers. And when I remembered that, suddenly writing this post didn’t feel so daunting. I’m simply starting a conversation and sharing my own experience — an experience I know you’ll be able to relate to.

I have met so many people through blogging (Hi, Victoria!), and blogging led me to build two businesses in the last six years. In other words, blogging has helped me make some pretty major things happen in my life. But the thing is, it didn’t happen overnight. It happened post by post, pushing through the times when writing was the last thing I wanted to do. Hitting publish even though it didn’t feel like my best work, or even blog-worthy. (I’m writing this to myself as much as I’m writing it to you — some days it’s especially hard to press that publish button!)

And you know what I’ve found? Those posts, the ones I didn’t feel like writing, the ones I almost didn’t write, are usually the ones people connect with the most. Because they share something real, something we can all relate to. They also usually serve as little reminders to myself, that it’s ok to share your rough drafts.

What do you do when life doesn’t feel blog-worthy? Do you write anyway or give yourself a break? If you take a break, how do you pick up blogging again? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Everything You Need to Know About Plugins

One of our favorite features of WordPress is that you can find a plugin to do pretty much anything you need for your site. In fact, we consider several (free!) plugins to be essentials additions to any blog! But, as they say, with great power comes great responsibility.

We know how it goes: you have a new feature in mind, and you find several in the WordPress plugin repository that just might fit the bill. But you won’t know for sure unless you try it out! So you install a few plugins, play around, get everything to look and work how you want, and move on with your life. Then, one day something breaks — and you have no idea what or why.

Spoiler alert: it probably has to do with your plugins. We’ve seen it time and time again — when something isn’t working as it should, 9 times out of 10, it’s a plugin issue. But that doesn’t mean all plugins are bad! It just means you need to be smart about how you use them. Today we’re teaching you everything you need to know about using plugins on your blog.  Keep reading “Everything You Need to Know About Plugins”

How to style our Shop the Post plugin with CSS

While all of our plugins are built to display beautifully in any of our themes, we know many of our customers use themes from other shops — and have put a lot of hard work into getting that theme to look just right. By the time you discover us, your theme is sitting pretty, and while you still long for that extra bit of functionality our plugins provide, it’s a bummer they don’t match your current theme perfectly. Sound familiar?

Today, we’re showing you how to style our popular Shop the Post plugin to blend seamlessly with your site. Consider this post a great jumping off point for adding styles to our other plugins, too! This tutorial will be helpful if you’ve added the plugin on to a theme you bought elsewhere, OR if you’ve customized an <em>press theme with your own brand fonts and colors, and need the plugin to match.

Whether or not you use <em>press plugins, this tutorial is worth a read for any blogger, as this process applies to many other WordPress plugins! And if you’re not sure how to use CSS to style your site, be sure to check out our post on CSS basics before reading this one.

Keep reading “How to style our Shop the Post plugin with CSS”