I realized recently that I still love my website and making websites, doing web work, and figuring out how systems work. I kinda thought that once I became an author, I would stop being a web developer. But it turns out that I do both all the time!
There is so much to being a self published author. I need a website, blog, newsletter, social media presence… And all of these things call upon my web development skills! There are lots of things I love doing: finding a new plug-in for WordPress that saves me time or is just really cool; coming up with a landing page template for newsletter subscribers; installing and tracking the Facebook ad pixel on my website; backing up and upgrading my website; redirecting traffic from old posts to new ones; etc. etc. With each new skill I learn, my love for web development grows. I keep thinking that my skills are old and invaluable, that I know nothing (much like John Snow), but I always find a way to make my skills work. I would still like to be a better PHP programmer, just like I would like to speak Japanese fluently, and yet finding the time is always hard. Maybe next year?
Recently I got really excited about the changes I made here to my website and blog. I added a plug-in that shows popular posts over on the right sidebar. I like this new feature. It brings forward posts that may be a few days old but are still popular and getting views. If you come to my site through Facebook and miss the front page, these links will help you find interesting and engaging content. I also added a related posts plug-in to the bottom of every blog post. Hopefully this will help people find content that they would be interested in should they come to my website through a Google search. I also took a few weeks, since I wasn't writing due to kitchen construction, to go back and update old blog posts. It's my intention to run ads to get people to those pages! I'm interested in showing visitors content they'll appreciate.
I realize that I am in a very fortunate position to be able to do all of this without help. Many authors struggle with their website, and I try to help those I can, but often enough, things are way out of my control. I can't reprogram someone else's site for them because that's just too much work. I still love being a web developer, but only for myself. :) I'm much happier when I'm the only client. LOL.
Every now and then, I think about going back into web development as a full-time job. Right now, I don't have to do that. I can continue to be a web developer just for myself. But the option remains open, and that makes me really happy.