From being a teenager social network experimentalist, to a semi-Instagram creator, to adult WordPress scribbler—is this the next logical step? Let me bring you through my journey of purchasing a self hosting plan to host my own WordPress blog and how it will be my final blogging endgame setup.
Having a voice online
eclecticpassions.net is my first foray into hosting my own site and proper long-form writing. I wouldn’t consider myself a complete newcomer though, as I have spent my teenage years on the likes of WordPress.com, Xanga and LiveJournal throughout high school. It was usually just ramblings about personal events that happened in school, sharing some fandom artwork or my reactions to world events. I later transitioned to microblogging platforms like Tumblr, and eventually Twitter.
I find having a public but anonymous voice was important to me. For real-life friends, I had used Facebook, and I kept the two separated. But as I got increasingly busy after high school, my blogging habit has ceased and Facebook was becoming a thing of the past. It is a shame I didn’t continue with maintaining a blog of sorts, and I somewhat regret it. Reflecting, I was writing for the sake of writing at the time, and wasn’t looking for connections. But this has changed as I grew older.
Connecting with others
During my college years, I created an Instagram account. While I enjoyed the ability to share photographic content, learn about product photography and write micro blog posts in the descriptions; but most of the time, it didn’t feel like proper writing to me. To me, it was more social version of Flickr and the writing aspect didn’t fulfil my needs.
I am more old-school and enjoy spilling words onto a blank canvas without the distractions of hashtags, character limits and not being able to search for things within my feed drove me insane. It is getting particularly worse these days, with Instagram pushing towards reels and short form video content. The “algorithm” is also annoying to say the least and takes away the simplicity of seeing content chronologically from people I follow.
Continuing the writing journey
Although my blogging habits has taken an interlude since graduating from high school, my writing habits have luckily continued offline with ink and paper. I remember taking up fountain pens as a hobby during college, rebooting my joys of writing. Since then, I have enjoyed scrawling my thoughts, recording experiences and expressing my feelings with colourful inks, a wide variety of nibs and good quality paper (Tomoe River paper or Rhodia notepads are my favourites). But these ramblings were only seen by myself…
Blogging: a window to the outside world
Today, with COVID-19 raging on in Hong Kong—currently in its fifth wave of outbreaks, the worse one yet with over 50k+ cases/day and over 100 deaths/day, I have made the decision to restart my online writing routine. The idea of resuming a personal blog has been on my mind for quite a while. Having had the joy of meeting lots of like-minded individuals, who share similar hobbies, from around the globe via Instagram; I wish to expand the possibility of connecting with even more people.
Off I went to research the latest platforms for blogging in 2022. I remember wanting a self-hosted site back when I was still a teen, but it looked to be a daunting task at the time. Even today, I was reluctant to go this route because it appears to be a lot more complex than making a free blog on hosted sites like Medium, Wix, WordPress.com. But I was up for a challenge—so here I am. Could I be reaching the blogging sweet spot?
Is self hosting the way to go?
I have chosen the most flexible platform, a self-hosted WordPress, to be my bridge to the public, completing my final writing metamorphosis. Having the flexibility to grow and adapt without worrying about third party issues, the complete freedom that I get from owning my own content and freeing myself from the big companies brings me peace of mind. My web host provider of choice is Hostinger as they seem to have the best feature to price ratio from my research. As a self hosting and WordPress newbie, I was able to set up a running blog within 15 minutes.
Together with my photography portfolio website, I am looking forward to connecting and growing my personal brand. Along with that, sharing experiences with others is a good habit, in my opinion, I have learnt many things this way from others. I do sincerely hope you will find something useful or of interest to you on my site!
I am not a professional writer by any means. Working in healthcare, the only writing I do are patients’ notes, reports and scientific papers. Time journaling in my spare time and writing letters/emails to my friends abroad is another outlet where I write. Lastly, I enjoy writing poems occasionally. I guess these all count towards writing experience!
Footnote: Featured image by Andrew Neel on Unsplash.