Blogging Help [New Series]–Take a Peak at Real Emails from Real Customers from the Build Your Own Blog Inbox

March 14, 2016

blogging help

Every email tells a story.

In one way or other, the questions, thoughts and funny stories you share with me are priceless and definitely something I enjoy and take seriously.

So I’ve decided to share one or two with you each week. I’m already sharing encouraging emails on the BYOB social channels Facebook and Google Plus.

Here on the blog, I thought it would be good to occasionally share an informative email where I provide some blogging help to a customer via email. These emails will be from real people asking a common question or provides insights that will be helpful for any new WordPress blogger.

Peak inside Matthew’s email inbox, where bloggers find answers to complex questions.

I’ll always have an email or three to share. You see, I get lots of emails from new bloggers each day. All get answered.

Some are direct and waste no time asking questions. Like this one from Shirley (first name only).

Email from Shirley:

I recently used your “build your blog” series to get started on my first blog … as someone who is somewhat technologically challenged, your easy-to-follow instructions were much appreciated!

I did purchase a mojo theme, and am wondering if that put me in a little over my head as a first-timer.

I’m finding it a challenge as I begin to customize my site to see the results of my changes. My theme (Lux) has many options… which someday I’m sure I’ll appreciate … but right now, I am spending more time making one change, for example in pixel spacing for the font, then checking my blog to see what the effects are, then returning to the dashboard.

Is there a way that I can more directly work on the blog’s appearance so that I can see changes I make live? I had assumed (hoped!) that I would be able to work right on the page, for example, highlight the title and then change it’s look or position.

Thanks for your help.


Matt’s Reply:

Hi Shirley,

With WordPress all the work on your blog is done via the dashboard but there is usually an option to “preview” the changes from within. Perhaps that is something you can look out for.

I know it seems overwhelming at this point, but a premium theme and the work to set it up will pay off in the appearance of your blog.

Your theme comes with support. See here. You are required to login and then you can search for help or post your own question for the developer to answer.

Hope that helps.


Shirley’s Reply:

Thanks, Matthew. I appreciate your encouragement as yes, overwhelming is a good descriptor! I have spent hours on what seems like should be simple things (like getting the title to fit on my home page, for example)

I have sought support from the theme I purchased, and was pointed to an instruction manual. I will keep plugging through it and will take a look at searching or posting my own questions.

Are you familiar with, would you recommend “Visual Composer”? … it looks tempting in that it seems like it allows the user to work live on the page.


Matt’s Reply:

Hi Shirley,

To be honest I don’t have experience with Visual Composer. I also found this plugin which sounds similar and has a good rating.

It never hurts to give it a try, you can always remove it if it’s not what you want.

Hope that helps,

Shirley’s Reply:

That’s helpful-thanks . Looking forward to mastering this blog setup and getting going with the fun stuff like writing the content.

Have a good day.



Blogging Help Wrap Up

Basically, Shirley is getting acquainted with using WordPress. She is working in the “back end” (dashboard) and would like to speed up the process of seeing how things look as she works. As I said in my replies, there is the Preview button that you can hit, which will open up a new window to show what the “front end” of your website looks like with your updates.

I suppose a faster way of doing this could be done if Shirley had two computer monitors. She could keep her preview up on one monitor and simply hit refresh whenever she wanted to see her most recent changes. Actually though, that isn’t much faster simply clicking Preview from the dashboard.

My assessement here is Shirley is really new to WordPress and the longer she uses it, the better she will get at navigating, which will help her to like WordPress more over time.


Need any help with your blog? Email me at [email protected] and perhaps you will one day see your questions shared in this ongoing series “From the Build Your Own Blog Inbox”.

Want to talk about Shirley’s email? Leave a comment and let’s discuss.


Author Bio:

Matthew Kaboomis Loomis is the owner of Build Your Own Blog. Connect with him on Google+ and Twitter


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  1. Hubert Montamat says:    •   4 years

    Matthew, I tweeted the tweet you have here for the “inbox” and it came up with one (1) character too many so I changed the “inside” to “into” and it posted just fine. Don’t know if this was just me or if anyone else may experience the same glitch, but just thought I would pass it on. Hubert M

    1. Matthew Loomis says:    •   4 years Author

      Hi Hubert,

      Interesting, it works fine for me. There are 12 characters left when I click on it. Hmmm.

      Appreciate the feedback. Let’s see what others say.


      1. Hubert Montamat says:    •   4 years

        Maybe when I copied it I did something to cause this, not sure what happened.