An Ode to Fiction has gone through some major construction and beautification.
I am so happy to FINALLY return to blogging by relaunching the new and improved version of An Ode to Fiction. It took approximately a month to plan and execute to finally getting to this point of my journey.
As some of y’all might know (if you follow me on Twitter) I announced around the start of May that I will be taking a hiatus to transfer my .wordpress.com site to becoming a .com site. I’ve shown this site to my partner, my family, and a couple of online friends already. Now, I feel like I am ready to show it all to you.
If this is your first time visiting An Ode to Fiction, Hi-Hello-and welcome! My name is Lia. I run this wondrous blog that is dedicated to everything bookish, from recommendations, lists, author-interviews, reading challenges, and anything in between. Though that is the main focus of my blog, I wouldn’t limit An Ode to Fiction to fitting one niche. I also talk about any sort of media (i.e movies, anime, music, manga, etc) that I’ve been enjoying recently, lifestyle, and a little bit of blogging.
A Recap on My Blogging Journey
When I started An Ode to Fiction in the midst of a global pandemic (in August of 2020) with complete honesty I had very low expectations for myself *. I did it impulsively, in a #YOLO sort of way, to info dump my thought about the books I was reading.
I picked the name An Ode to Fiction after a few days of brainstorming with my partner. Then it took me a full day to make a logo that I was content with on Canva. After that another full day of figuring out WordPress in general to get the look I wanted with a very limited selection of blog themes.
For some time I was okay with my minimalistic blog and yet.. I wanted MORE. My blog was gaining traction and I had a steady income at that time so I commissioned a local artist to make me a logo and graphics.
During my .wordpress.com era I felt content because I didn’t know yet if this blogging thing will be a permanent fixture in my life. I thought that the custom logo and graphics was enough. Again I felt that tingling to become something .. MORE.
Fast forward to January of 2022, I started thinking about getting a new domain and becoming self-hosted. Reading blog posts from fellow bloggers about going self-hosted pushed me to take the plunge.
*I didn’t want to start this with depressing tone but that was genuinely what I thought of myself at that time.
The Makeover Process
Taking the plunge required a lot of research on my part to understand the process of becoming self-hosted. I have zero knowledge about what I have to do and prep for this move. Thankfully Kal from Reader Voracious shared about their experience in a very detailed post, “Making the Move from Paid WordPress to Self-Hosted”, that really helped me during my research.
The first step I took to start the move is finding a good host for An Ode to Fiction. This host will be the new home for my blog. Not knowing which host is best, I reached out to my friends in the blogosphere, Sumedha from The Wordy Habitat, Amanda from Bookish Brews, and Kal from Reader Voracious. They all have different hosts and they have kindly explained the pros and cons of each one. I would like to thank them for taking their time to explain everything in detail for me and answering my questions.
In the end when I was talking to my in-laws about my blog they offered me to join their plan on Site Ground. They have an account that already hosts multiple websites for their business so they generously asked me to join for FREE. This cut a huge chunk of the expensive costs to become self hosted.
I understand that I am VERY lucky to be offered this opportunity. I am so grateful that its possible for me to be able to make this move with minimum costs because of my in-laws.
The second step is buying a domain and beginning the process of transferring everything from my “.wordpress.com” domain to my new “.com” domain. This step was surprisingly quick and harmless for me. Thank you to the Site Ground staff that helped me for hours to make this process painless.
The third step is the most painful of them all. It is rebuilding and redesigning everything from the ground up. As someone that has zero knowledge about what it takes to build a website it was hard and I had to learn A LOT. But thankfully there were a few things that I learned from my “.wordpress.com” days that was quite helpful.
The fourth / fun step is deciding on the aesthetic of An Ode to Fiction. Since I already have graphics and a logo I already have a general idea of what vibe I want my blog to have *. I love the colour of a muted green so I decided to go with that. It also effortlessly ties in with the header designs that I was already using.
Special thank you to my partner that have supported throughout the rebuilding process. He saw my blog at it’s ugliest and have heard me grunt, rant, sob; witnessed countless mental breakdowns to get my blog where it’s at now.
*Though this will likely to change with the course of time, I am content with what I have right now.
The decision to going self hosted wouldn’t have been possible if I didn’t have anyone to look up to that inspired me to take this huge step. With their word of encouragement and all around support behind the scenes An Ode to Fiction wouldn’t reach this point of time.
Here are the blogs that became my source of inspiration that I frequently visit for reference throughout the time of transformation :
- The Wordy Habitat. Sumedha’s blog is a HUGE inspiration for me. The aesthetic of The Wordy Habitat is exquisite to see every time I visit. She thought me everything I need to know about going self-hosted and helped me when I’m in a blogging crisis.
- Bookish Brews. Amanda’s blogging content is what aspire to do with An Ode to Fiction. She is a wonderful person in the community that tirelessly promotes diverse reads.
- Reader Voracious. Kal’s going self hosted post is the recipe I followed to the tea and that I repeatedly refer to every time I don’t know what to do.
- Your Tita Kate. Kate’s BRAND IS JUST EVERYTHING!
- The Quiet Pond. The pond is a peaceful place that I love to visit. CW is an icon. No arguments needed.
- Shut Up, Shealea. The OG blogger that made me decide to start blogging.
- Word Wonders. Another OG blogger / booktuber that made me want to do YouTube and blog.
The *NEW* An Ode to Fiction
I am so happy to see this blog slowly become the blog I have envisioned for a long time. Though I am still learning and adjusting some things that was changed drastically because of the move.
That being said if you open my old posts and see that the formatting is a bit wonky, I am still slowly editing every single post to fit the new theme. Just know I am just one person so it will take while for every post to look the way it suppose to look.
Another added feature on the blog is monetization. Back then I discreetly added a Ko-Fi button on my blog but now I want to announce that I am open to receive compensation for my work. I am in the process of applying for affiliate links so hopefully the next time you click a link on this blog I will receive a small commission.
The “.com” really solidified my seriousness and commitment to blogging. I have stayed on the border for a while, questioning and doubting myself. I am glad to be able to be here with a made up mind.
What to expect & future plans
If you have followed me since my “.wordpress.com” days there will be no change in what I posts (reviews and monthly wrap ups). Though there will be more variety in content such as Fiction Digest, a series I started in January as a way to feature authors, interviews, etc.
There will be no change in my posting schedule. I post once a week, if I’m in the right mood maybe expect two to three posts a week.
YouTube will still be an active pursuit of mine. Making videos has always been something I wanted to do for a long time. It will be a different kind of outlet to help me break up the kinds of content I post to keep me interested.
English isn’t my first language so I have a harder time writing, so I can’t write everyday and it does take longer for me to write things. I also read a tad slower depending on how I am. So, I hope in the future I’ll try posting more discussions and recommendations as I build up and develop my reading.
I will be reposting a lot of my old reviews on my socials to promote them again. This move have wiped my history clean. Likes and views on this site is reseted to zero, so please spare a like when you see me post it on Twitter or Instagram.
Life has become a distraction since I moved to a new country and now I feel I have adjusted enough to finally get back into blogging fully.
If you’re curious about the new things in An Ode to Fiction please take a few minutes to take a tour with me!
- The new theme gives my blog a fresh new look. It makes the blog look good on desktop, phone, and tablet.
- I added a lot of plugins on to this blog. One plugin that will surely be helpful for a lot of readers is the accessibility plugin. You can see on the sides on every page the ‘wheelchair emoticon’ to adjust the settings to what is comfortable for your eyes.
- Check out my refreshed About Me page.
- The links are now highlighted to make them pop. I liked seeing it on Sumedha’s blog – The Wordy Habitat – so I wanted to do it for my blog. It is a simple CSS code that I copied on to An Ode to Fiction, such a small change but gives a big impact.
- A new page dedicated to Featured Books. I am still building this page to make it look better and add more to it but for now you can find everything there from reviews, monthly reviews, recommendations, etc.
If you have followed me from the start, thank you for being part of An Ode to Fiction and for enjoying my content.
For the new fiction dwellers that just visited this dwelling, welcome everyone! Please take a tour and have a look around. I hope you find something to your liking.
If you like An Ode to Fiction, please do share, comment, and like my posts—both old and new. I am currently trying to get back where my old blog was at and hoping to get my SEO ranking back.
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*phew* I am so relieved to be able to relaunch An Ode to Fiction. I am so in love with everything on this blog. NOW, I want to know what y’all think about the transformation? Please share your thoughts in the comments below and like this post while you’re there.
I would love to catch up with y’all too! Let me know what you’ve been up to, what you’ve been reading, and let me know how you are.
Do you have a post or video you want to see? Share your ideas in the comments.