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Combining Websites

***Update Edit***
In this post I mention that google searches was how the other site was getting more organic traffic. Upon further investigation, that information is wrong. Many of the submissions, and therefore traffic I had assumed was organic google searches are actually coming from I’m not sure how this got set up, when, or by whom, but I am grateful and credit to them, Diabolic Plots, and The Submission Grinder is definitely due. Check them out if you have stories you want to submit to other publishers. 🙂

Construction work is messy and we hate driving around in it. I’m not enjoying the mess of restructuring and updating my website either. It’s necessary though.

There are a lot of lessons I’ve learned in the process of building this behemoth and writing is my thing, so I’ve decided that I’m going to do a bit of written documentation of the process. I’ve come a long way already, so this first post about it will be kind of lengthy. I assure you, if you are thinking about creating your own website, this post alone will be a great resource for you. If for no other reason than to provide a solid idea of how much time it is going to take and how much and often it is going to change over time.

I’ve been at the process for a couple of weeks now. It’s literally taking a ton of my time to go through, page by page, product by product on the back end, just for this site. If I’m doing it right, there won’t be a lot noticed on the front facing side, but this back end is an absolute mess.

Add to that mess, I’m getting email notifications from WordPress about a website I created a long time ago for Twisted Souls Press that I never actually used or directed anyone to. 100% organic traffic from people simply searching for publishers to submit to, and that site, the site that I spent maybe 2 days building out, is getting all of the attention with no promotional effort on my part. I’m grateful, but it really has me shaking my head. It’s not even got it’s own domain name! This site, the site with the blog and the links I post on social media to gets a lot less with a lot more effort on my part. That can be infuriating! You have to just take a breath and keep going or give up completely. Its just not in me to give up.

That site is what comes up right at the top of google searches, so it’s where submissions are being sent, and I have to take extra steps right now to check it and keep track of it. That has been hard. I forget most of the time that the site even exists. Submissions all come to the same email address and the email doesn’t specify which wordpress account the email was sent from. I had to track it down and figure it out.

The organic traffic it gets all by itself is actually impressive and the last thing I want to do is reduce that by destroying the site and forcing everything to come through this site, but if I’m going to be professional about it, I have to figure out a way to incorporate it into this site that appears seamless to viewers and makes it easier for me to keep track of what happens on both. That is the part that is easier said than done and isn’t happening quickly.

In order to work on one site, I have to log out (or I get automatically logged out) of the dashboard of the other. This has always been my biggest issue with WordPress. Every step gets broken down into a dozen steps, and a simple fix can take over an hour to complete. Even longer if you have to track down where the break is and figure out how its broken and what it is going to take to fix it.

It’s just a little bit maddening and overwhelming for me. That’s for good reason though. You might call me over ambitions or even over zealous when a new idea strikes. If I can draw at least 10 supporting ideas for a single idea, I put the effort into creating and seeing what I can actually do with it.

I have 47 products in the bookstore and essentially 5 different businesses that I manage here (Christy Mann Author, Twisted Souls Press, For Writers, Save Your Sanity Publishing Assistance, and Target Sands Investments). Each business has several of it’s own pages, and at least a few products and or services available in the bookstore.

Mind you, my experience with WordPress is 90% self-taught. I have an IT guy that handles the hosting and licensing side of things. He also helps me when I’ve broken something I don’t know how to fix or how to make something work if I just can’t figure it out. However, the design and how things work that viewers see and interact with, that has all been done by me, learning as I go. Including the affiliate program.

This is not a method that I recommend to everyone, but at the same time, when you are on a tight budget and you don’t have a day job eating your valuable time, you can figure it out. Just be prepared for and accept the fact that it’s a lot of work and there is no such thing as a quick fix. There is a huge side effect in the way of freedom to create what you want, and the flexibility to change it when or if it doesn’t work as expected is built in.

I have to go figure out the combination thing now. It might be as simple as adding a link, like this, to the other site over several posts is all that I can do. I certainly hope not, but I have to just figure it out.

Best of luck with your endeavor to build a website. If all it ever becomes is a single page, be proud of it. I personally know what it took to create that single page and I’m proud of you for doing it. If you need help or see something on this site that you would like to incorporate, but don’t know how, don’t hesitate to ask. I’ll help you through it. 🙂

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