Tutorials, Tips, and Resources

for Creating a Better Blog



About

Hello I’m Dana, welcome to my site! I Can Build A Blog was designed to help others who are new to blogging and website creation find their way and take the confusion out of the internet!

I am a graphic artist, web & product designer, app creator, and blogger… but I just like to call myself an internet entrepreneur. I’ve spent the last handful of years making a living online. When I wet my feet in the web industry over fifteen years ago, there wasn’t much out there to help me figure out what I needed to do.ย  I was a young teen, the internet was a new “thing” and our modems made funny noises while billing us per hour. Corel Draw was used to design – everything – and work was usually saved via floppy disc. Regardless, during that time I discovered it was possible to make my own website and dedicated every minute of available internet time to learning how to do it.

I was an arty girl, but constantly fascinated by technology. There weren’t internet classes or many books to read and web design wasn’t even really popular yet. We had Angelfire, a free online website creator, and later, a self-install version of Blogger — if you could find a web host that didn’t charge you an arm and a leg for hosting. Through trial and error, I learned how to change font colours and get my images onto my freebie website via Yahoo searching (“Googling” had not yet existed). Eventually, as the internet grew and became popular, more tools started appearing at my disposal. Photoshop, Photobucket, Google, Macromedia products, and actual computers that could handle the internet. By then I was addicted to designing and creating websites and was getting quite good at it for someone at my age who was completely self taught.

setup-wp-blog

A couple years passed and I finished high school. I had decided that I wanted to continue with my creating, but wasn’t sure if I could actually make a job out of it. I had looked into colleges for website design, but by that time I had already taught myself a lot of what I would have learned so instead of attending school again I decided to try my hand at creating a web business.ย 

Thankfully, with a ton of hard work and dedication, I managed to build a successful internet design company that supported me for a good 6 or 7 years.ย  Back then, Myspace had just emerged and I immediately saw that there was a void. They gave us the proper tools to create awesome looking profiles, but nobody was taking advantage of this niche. I started creating custom designed profiles and pages (for bands especially) and soon enough my company became a corporation with over 500 profiles under my own belt and big name clients like artists from Universal Music, Warner, and television celebrities. I was at the top of the game at the time.

There came a point when it stopped being fun and started being a chore. I knew Myspace was dwindling and their tech department whom I regularly corresponded with gave me little encouragement that they were going to last. I turned to blogging and creating websites for small businesses after Myspace officially fell apart. That’s the tough part about the internet… One day you’re the hottest thing and the next it all falls apart. I wasn’t upset, but instead took it as a realization that I needed to make some changes myself. I had worked my butt off for years and felt it was time to do something different… something that I could get excited about once again.

I now create blog templates and other graphic content in my design shop, run Wonder Forest — my personal blog, create iOS apps, and design phone cases. I wrote a short ebook titled Blog Wonderful a few years ago which documents my blogging journey over the course of a year and offers tips on what works and what doesn’t when it comes to getting noticed. I also released 365 Blog Topic Ideas in late 2014 to help bloggers get “unstuck”.ย  My most recent project involves blog help video content, located on The Blog Beautician YouTube channel. With the freedom to create content I love, I’ve found new meaning for my work. I’ve found that I can share what I have learned over all of these years and maybe make life easier for somebody else… and that gives me the most pleasure of all.

What is “I Can Build a Blog”?

I made this website for you. YOU can build a blog too. Coding and techy terms are frightening to some people and they don’t have to be. I really want you to understand how things work and how to excel with your blog. I wanted to create a website that contained everything I didn’t know how to do when I was starting out and hand it to you on a lovely silver platter. This is the kind of website that I wish had existed when I was new to web creation and I hope you find it helpful! If I can do it … so can you!

  • Peter Block

    saw you on FB and came by to give you support. Great idea. I am actually preparing my first ebook on a similar subject geared to Food Bloggers like me. So it is great to see people out there helping other. Thx Peter @Feed Your Soul Too

    • Dana Fox

      Thanks for stopping by Peter! Glad you like the site ๐Ÿ™‚ Best luck on your ebook too!

  • Gladis

    Im excited and nervous to start nut thanks for this great site! Also do you know how I can create an e-book for my recipes?… !

  • Great material. Love your story Dana! I sent you an email regarding possible sharing of traffic. I have the resources and you have the tech savvy talent! Look forward to hearing from you.
    Kindest regards, Chako

  • Joan Austin-Kaneshiro

    I am heartened. Tip toeing, painfully, into my sixties and no longer working, I have longed to build my own creative body of work aka a blog. Having been in corporate America and a single mom for many years, I have not had the time to learn all the nuances of CSS, website building etc. I have many domain names with GoDaddy and have let them roll until I can get the technical jump on them, which has felt like ‘never.’ I signed up for a WP class starting Friday. When my FB began to look more like a blog than a mindless “like and pass it on” adventure, I decided it’s time. Maybe you can help learn what I need to get up and running!
    Thank you for giving of yourself to others.

  • Samantha Duguay

    Wow! You’re so much like me! I am a graphic artist as well and I have a passion for creating — art, fashion, beauty, photography, web design, and have been blogging about all of that for nearly a year now and love that too! Oh, and Canadian also! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I absolutely love your blog, Wonder Forest, but how could I not?

    Samantha (The Creative Glow)

  • Kassandra Tamminga

    Your story really inspired me! It gave me an idea of making my own blog about my current internship experience ^^ (Graphic Design)

  • Love your blog, I find it so useful. Just a quick question – do you have a tablet that you use for blogging out and about? I have been debating between getting an ipad

    • Generally my blogging happens at home so I just use my computer or laptop!

  • jessicaarcenas

    Hi Dana ๐Ÿ™‚
    This is really great stuff, both the written and the layout of the site; truly appreciate your work. I was wondering if you knew some statistics that might help me. I’m an aspiring journalist who is thinking about starting a blog just about life in general (possibly writing about past experiences and factual rants). Is there a big market for people to want to read blogs that they could relate to rather than those they can get something out of i.e. fashion blogs, food blogs, how – to blogs.
    Thanks a bunch! ๐Ÿ™‚
    x, jessica

  • You blog is the coolest. Every time I google how-to-something-blogger, your blog appears, and every time, my problem gets solved. Thank you so much for this amazing blog.

    • That makes me happy! Thank you!

  • Epris

    I think I may have discovered my design twin! I’m an artist/techie which is how I discovered my love for graphic design and I enjoyed creating Myspace profiles for others although I didn’t let that transform into designing websites until recently. I, too, am mostly self-taught with a degree that was a waste of money (not completely). All that just to say the I’m sure I’ve just found my new favorite designer/blogger/entrepreneur to follow.

  • zeeshan

    Hi Dana!
    You are really very impressive and skill oriented. Can you help me?

  • Fiona Tischik

    Hi Dana, I’ve been thinking about getting started in the blogging world for a few months and while I have many ideas outlined (on paper) that I’m itching to put online, one of the biggest blocks for me is whether or not to blog under a pen name. I feel like I could write with a bit more freedom, even if my blogging identity could be easily revealed. Lol, I highly doubt someone would be prompted to investigate from reading any of my topics. Just a little shy I guess!

    Do you have any advice on the pen name subject?

  • mystical lion
  • Harjeev

    Hello Madam,

    i am Harjeev , apparently beginner, but yeah net savvy , so you all blogger amazed me to start my own blog even if i say i never wrote any short story,nor articles but yeah i so active at social media, this is what i am so please suggest me how and what should i write in my first blog ,my searching for content please help,

    please dun take me as your competitor please Madame.

  • Nice blog ;D

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