Random Musings: How much do you invest in Hobbies?

Posted April 29, 2015 by Kayla in Random Musings / 0 Comments

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Random Musing Hobbies

I’ve never been big on hobbies in my life. The only thing I ever considered a hobby was reading. Now, I’ve extended my reading hobby to blogging.

Blogging has now become my number one hobby. This isn’t because I planned it that way, but I wanted to have an awesome blog, so much, that I’ve spend countless hours researching, planning, and redesigning my blog. All in all, I was thinking about how much I have really invested in my hobbies, not only in terms of money – yes, it costs me money.

I’ve put together a list of the things I have invested in my blog. It’s two main categories but, under each, I break that down further. For easy conversion, I used Belize dollar and US Dollar figures.

Time

This is the biggest one. Like I said, I’ve invested countless hours on this blog.

Reading Books: I have to read so that I can do reviews. It’s not like before where it didn’t matter how long it took for me to read a book. Now [I hope], people are expecting to hear about what I’ve read.

Costs: Sometimes while everyone’s having fun, I really need to finish a book and so I have to take a pass.

Reading & Commenting on Blogs: Since starting this blog, I have started following many blogs [not as much as some other bloggers]. I try to spend time reading a few of their articles every week, and commenting when I can. I do this because I enjoy their content, but also because I continue to meet and engage with other bloggers.

Costs: Nothing really; except maybe buying more books since I get to learn of some awesome books.

Learning: I’ve spend a lot of time learning how to do things on my blog. This learning has come in many different forms. I use Codecademy to learn the basics of HTML & CSS. I’m also using this to learn the basics of Javascript, JQuery, and PHP. I still have a ways to go, but now I have a fairly good knowledge of CSS. Aside from this site, sometimes visit the WordPress Codex, and forums. I also follow an awesome blog, Nosegraze ran by Ashley. She has plugins and posts that help bloggers to get their blogs the way they want. If those fail, I also have google. This has become one of the best ways to learn.

Costs: More knowledge is never a bad thing. Beside, I’m also using this knowledge to create web-based dashboards.

Designing: Although there are somethings that seem straight forward, when you’re learning it, it’s quite harder to implement on your blog. There’s a lot of trial and error for me. I learn best by applying what I have learnt. I feel proud now to say, I coded my own search button, and my Movie Trial layout. I wanted it to look like my book synopsis and info for my book trials, so I came up with a html template and that’s what I use now. Also, you wouldn’t believe how long it took me to change the colour of my own comments or to choose my colour scheme.

Costs: Frustration and Stress. If my blog were a physical item there, are many times I would have thrown it across the room.

Money

This one is less complex, but more than I expected at first.

Books: The upside to having a blog is that I get a lot of free books from authors. Because of this, I think I only paid for one new book this year. I also learnt about a Secret Santa book exchange. I got 2 free books from her. My hubby also gifts me books and my boss gave me an Amazon gift card which I used to buy … books but, since I could have spent on something else, I am including it in my costs.

Costs: $9.98 + $50 gift card; Total – $59.98 BZD / $29.99 USD.

:Hosting & Domain: This one is a tricky one. When I first started my blog, I wanted freedom to play around with it as I wanted, so I chose WordPress.org. This is technically free but, with it comes the necessity for a domain and hosting. If I had my own server at home, I could have hosted it from there but, that’s much more work on my part. GoDaddy offered an awesome low price, however after buying it, I realised the renewal cost was $85USD. 🙁 I don’t have that kind of money to spend annually on a blog that I make no money from. Needless to say, I am currently shopping around so that when renew time comes, in October, I’ll be moving along. The best I have found, for small blogs/sites, so far, is A Small Orange with plans as low as $35 USD/year without hidden costs and renewal is the same price.

Costs: $24.16 BZD / $12.08 USD.

Design: Ahhh. Here’s the real money hog. There are many themes out there that are free. I initially chose one, but then as time went by, getting help with things was very hard. The owner never replied to my questions. When I asked in the forums, they would point me to things but that wouldn’t always work. After reading in the Codex, I realize my theme didn’t use some best practices {everything in the theme’s CSS had important! behind it}. It was a pain to change things. I kept having to view my page sources to figure out what I needed to change to get the result I wanted. I had to force the site to use my CSS instead. I found lots of sites that had things I wanted but could not get them to work since I had so little knowledge of HTML, CSS and PHP. Eventually, after a lot of frustration, I just gave up and got the Tweak Me V2 Theme by Ashley @ Nosegraze. This theme is super customisable. Now, when I want a change, I normally spend less time. I still have to edit my CSS but with much less code now. It did cost a lot for a free blog, though.

I also don’t have experience with Graphics. I try to dabble and do my post headers, but I still need help with my blog header and a few other things. For this I’m on the waiting list with Hazel @ Stay Bookish. Not sure how much that’s gonna cost me.

And, I am still planning to buy one plugin that will again help me to manage the blog, the Ultimate Book Blogger, but I am waiting for version 3 to drop. Right now, there are some sections I want to add into the blog but I would have to do them manually, like a proper archive. I was doing this but gave up. It was too tedious; each time I do a new review I would have to go and add it there.

Costs: $130.00 BZD / $65.00 USD.

I have definitely invested some cash into this blog. I believe though, that spending money to make something you love to do easier and to save you time, is justifiable. The most I have spent, so far, is on Design and the theme is totally a one time deal. I never, ever, have to pay for it again as long as it’s this site. And the beauty is, I can change my colours, layout and such much easier now. This gives me more time to do things that I enjoy doing, and spend less time thinking of throwing my laptop across the house, because that would ultimately cost much more.

After writing this post, I realise, more than ever, that I really need to have other content so that I don’t have to rely on reading alone. The pressure to finish a book takes the joy out of it.

Have you sat down and thought about how much you invest in your hobbies and how much they are really costing you?

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