Why did I start creating wordpress tutorials and how did I get there? I think now is probably a good time to introduce myself and talk about why I’m doing BlogInABlog.com
It Began Back In College
I started designing and developing for the web in the mid 1990’s when everything was new and shiny. Well it was new, but it wasn’t actually shiny to look at, but the internet changed my life in a major way. I was a music student at the time at the University of North Texas. I remember getting my first email account and was pretty amazed at the wealth of potential and reach the internet had. You could share something with some guy in Japan – 2 complete strangers with like interests. It was an exciting and fruitful time for the web. The technology pretty much sucked compared to what we have today, but we were amazed and it was Xanadu for all I cared.
Rockstars and the Internet
A few years later the blogging craze came into the mainstream. I started looking into various content management systems – the first one I built a blog on was MovableType. I still think MT is a fine publishing platform and its got some performance aspects that still top even WordPress, but at some point they changed their open-source structure and pretty much everyone was switching to WordPress.
I made the leap as well – don’t remember which version, but WordPress made sense. It was well designed, user friendly, light-weight if you know how to set up a server. It made it easy to create a blog and make content. Unfortunately these were the days where I was formally studying graphic design. I had gone back to college a second time and I spent most of my time building my own themes and spending literally hours getting everything to work right.
This was a long process and in some ways kind of a waste of time, but I learned WordPress inside and out.
My Years As A Professor
Fast forward to 2003 and I found myself as an adjunct professor at Brookhaven College in Dallas. I really loved that place and loved teaching, but we were doing it wrong. We were all teaching the same way we learned and technology simply doesn’t evolve the same way for everyone. We were doing things like teaching HTML 4 in semester 1 then switching to XHTML the next semester. This was a waste of time for students. HTML is wonderful, but its hard to make a living at anything learning the boring intricacies of something so basic. I wanted to be teaching WordPress and PHP. In my opinion, HTML is a few weeks, not a whole semester – let alone 2.
But as I developed my curriculum material, I started working hard on video tutorials for my students. Even with classes I physically taught, video tutorials are key to learning material as they can be reviewed on the student’s own schedule for repetition outside of class. I got known as the tutorial guy and these videos became very successful with my classes.
In 2012 my job had changed to teaching online students only. I hated this for 2 reasons. 1) I wasn’t teaching the material they really needed and 2) I never met them face to face. It was all leaving assignments in this god-awful backed courtesy of the folks at Blackboard. It was a joke. Blackboard was the worst.
So in 2012 I quit. Leap of faith – walked away. I wanted to do education by my rules and I wanted to do it better. The funny thing is at first I was scared of the $700 a month no longer coming in. But if I’m going to teach students how to make money online, I should be doing it myself right? I landed on my feet. I’m fine.
This is how BlogInABlog started. Its about WordPress and how to make it work for you. Its about knowing how it works so you can spend time creating beautiful content for the internet and not wasting time trying to figure it out on your own. Its about me teaching the material that’s important and the way it needs to be learned. And its about you learning it all for free and not paying money for some class that’s not giving you the tools you need.
WordPress is an amazingly simple platform on the surface, but under the hood it can get pretty wild. I’m here to clear that up for you and save you time while we have fun learning.