Today I’d like to introduce you to my friend and fellow Baby Boomer, Kaye, one of my Twitter friends/followers. Kaye is a Christian, a mom, a grandma, a widow, member of the Sandwich Generation, a multi-generational caregiver, a writer, a blogger, a tweeter at Twitter, a bit of a computer geek, a real estate investor, and a bookworm, among about a zillion other things. Follow Kaye on Twitter @SandwichINK.
If you have a WAHM topic of interest that you’d like to share and be a Guest Blogger on Moomettes Magnificents, please contact me.
Greetings from The Sandwich Generation! And a big thank you to Cindi for inviting me to do a guest post. For the past ten years I’ve been caregiving for my sweet aging parents and my adorable grandkids, as well as just plain enjoying all nine of my wonderful grandkids. As a Baby Boomer widow, I pretty much hit all the grand clichés of this season in life, including those marvelous heating opportunities called Hot Flashes. :)
I decided to make good use of all that I’ve learned from these widely varied experiences by starting my blog, SandwichINK My goal for SandwichINK is to provide information and encouragement for fellow Sandwich Generation caregivers, and others, sharing tips about elder care intermingled with fun crafts and projects for grandkids.
While I’ve been writing for work and pleasure for decades, I officially started this business almost a year ago, in August. Then again, my plans for this site actually started taking shape six years ago. At that time, I began doing the research and was in the process of beginning, when my dad’s Parkinson’s Disease started progressing faster and one of my daughters was put on bed rest with a difficult pregnancy. Eight grandkids, one set of twins, three special needs, one NICU, one hospice, and many new lessons later, I finally began. I’ve discovered blog technology has gotten much easier in the last five years which makes me quite happy. Still, there’s been a lot to learn, even for a geek grandma who has been using computers since the early 80’s.
I thought I’d share some of the resources that helped me most when starting. Hopefully there will be useful information here for everyone – both the newbies and those with plenty of experience under their belts.
My three favorite resource sites, in addition to Cindi’s, include:
1.Problogger – This site is extremely informative and very encouraging. I especially recommend going over his series,31 Days To Building A Better Blog, which he’s done three times. Each series is different and full of extremely valuable information for building and improving your blog, as well as promoting it. If you go to the 31 days archives, it seems to have all the different series intermixed. When I began, I would print out a few and take them with me to read while standing in line, babysitting grandkids, or waiting in the doctors’ offices. It’s a wealth of information, including many of the comments as well. In addition, Problogger’s Darren Rowse has also written an excellent book aptly titled, Problogger. I highly recommend it as well.
2.Copyblogger – Brian Clark’s site is another valuable resource with an emphasis on the art of writing and promoting your blog. I especially appreciate his series on headlines, including Magnetic Headlines. At the bottom of this article, you will find the links to the rest of the series, such as 10 Sure-Fire Headlines that Work and 7 More Sure-Fire Headline Templates That Work.
3. DoshDosh – Maki’s site is another that I turn to weekly if not more often. He saved my blog big time when I decided to change my permalinks from “site name/date/category/post name” to the simpler and easier to remember “site name/post name.” It’s great for SEO and easier for people to remember. Unfortunately, by changing the names of existing articles, I created massive 404 page headaches for myself. DoshDosh came to the rescue with his article, How to Survive a Category and Permalink Overhaul on your WordPress Blog. I had to add one software plugin he didn’t mention, and since then things have been fine. In addition, by having these tools in place, I have saved myself headaches many times since when I’ve had other 404 page errors I might never have known about, thanks to one of the plugins he recommended.
My two favorite software resources include:
1. Thesis! I tried several other themes and kept getting so confused. I’m a great end user but have never been able to do much programming. When I bought Thesis, I was able to get my site up, running, and looking good with minimal tech “coding.” I’ve actually started learning little bits and pieces of CSS and HTML – enough to center a photo in HTML, but still not enough to get too fancy. Since I love simple designs on blogs, I’ve been fine without digging too deeply into its guts. I also love that if and when I have the time and inclination to want to do more, they have a wonderful forum with some really talented gurus to help me. There is a cost for this theme, but to me, it’s been well worth it. I have signed up to be an affiliate, as I like it so much, however this link is NOT my affiliate link :)
2. Windows Live Writer – It is so much easier to write my posts in Live Writer and then upload it to WordPress. One of my biggest frustrations when working directly with WordPress is that I could never figure out how to add photos and clipart to my posts. I discovered Windows Live Writer and somehow, when I use it to add the pictures, WordPress accepts them. I’m sure there’s a good reason behind the issue, but with Live Writer, I can spend my time writing instead of problem-solving. On top of all that, it’s free! That’s my favorite price for anything! :) It’s not perfect, nor is it as easy as using Word. It’s close though and easier than anything else I’ve tried!
All in all, the past year has been a definite learning curve, but I’ve enjoyed it so much. I love computers, the internet, and writing so it’s the kind of work I really enjoy! Do pop over to visit SandwichINK and say howdy. We’d love to see you and share caregiving tips with you! And again, Cindi, thank you so much for sharing your site with me. It’s definitely another one of my favorite resources!
BIO: Kaye Swain is a work at home Grandma and caregiver. In between taking care of her mom, four of her nine grandkids, and visiting her other grandkids and extended family, she is busy at the computer, writing, researching, and writing some more. Be sure to check out SandwichINK’s first ever contest – a lovely designer banner for a beloved’s walker or rollator (rolling walker).
Disclaimer: Guest Post opinions are strictly those of the author.
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