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The Writer’s Guide to Overcoming Tech Problems

Who do you go to for technical support?” – Rob

Today’s question is from Rob and it’ll be addressing a major problem most writers face – getting tech help.

Since I’m still very young, I believe I’m not far behind when it comes to handling basic tech issues online, but I’m also not a genius who’s always churning out codes. In other words, I have my own challenge as far as technology is concerned.

Here’s what I do when I have a problem with my hosting, design, or when I need help resolving tech problems online – in the order I do them:

1. I Use Google

I’ve received countless emails and questions from people on several occasions asking me a particular techie question, when all that was needed was a Google search. The first or second result naturally solves the problem.

When I have a problem with this blog, my email or anything else online that can influence how I work as a writer, the first thing I do is use Google.

Of course, some people prefer other search engines like Bing or Yahoo but Google always does the trick for me.

Whether it’s finding a plugin to resolve a certain issue or whether it is to solve a problem I’m encountering with my blog – Google addresses it for me.

2. I Contact My Service Providers

I currently use Google apps to power emails for all my domains since I don’t like the default interface that comes with my host. I’m also not used to using email clients.

Installing Google apps for WritersinCharge was complex, and installing it for the new domain name for the purpose of the blogging challenge was also complex. By contacting my host, however, they were able to help me out with this.

I also experienced an issue with installing the default theme I wanted to use on the new blog for the challenge. I was able to resolve this issue by asking for help on the theme support forum.

In other words, there are a lot of people willing to help you resolve your problems if you ask. In fact, in some cases – such as with your host – your service provider will be willing to personally help you resolve the issue.

3. I Outsource

Who says you have to do it all yourself?

You only have 24 hours in a day; we all have the same 24 hours. Why spend 8 hours doing something another person will easily accomplish in 10 minutes?

A lot of writers are “bad at maths” or I’d rather say – are unwilling to spend. After all, why spend money on something you can do, right? Unfortunately, things don’t work like that.

It’s about calculating how much your time is really worth and if you can save money by outsourcing some things.

For example, all the nice graphics you see on this blog were done by someone else. Instead, of wasting 8+ hours designing an eBook cover in Photoshop I was able to outsource the task and get it done for around $60 on oDesk.

Was it worth it? I know that 8 hours of my time is worth a lot more than $60.

You’re not a graphic designer and you don’t have to be. You’re also not a web designer.

When you have problems with technology, outsource things and don’t think about it in terms of how much you’ll be spending but how much you’ll be gaining. You might spend $50 to accomplish that 8-hour task, but if you lose 8 hours you’d most certainly have lost more than $50.

4. I Learn

While this might sound contrary to my advice above, some things are worth learning. It’s about asking yourself if it’s really worth it.

I can set up a new blog myself. I can install and configure my theme myself. I can install and configure plugins myself and I can publish and format my posts.

I can easily outsource these things things but I didn’t because they are tasks I have to perform almost every day.

How many times will I have to get someone to install a new blog for me, help me install plugins I need or publish my posts for me?

It’ll obviously take some time to do this, but the time it takes is a form of investment in yourself. Once you learn it, you’ve learned it and it becomes easier over time.

I can easily install a new blog in 5 minutes now. It took me over an hour the first time I tried. Same thing goes for formatting and publishing a new post, as well as installing plugins.

It’ll be of greater benefit if you can learn some things.

How Do You Resolve Your Tech Issues?

I’d love to hear how you resolve your tech issues online. Kindly share with us below!

Category: reader questions

2 Comments on "The Writer’s Guide to Overcoming Tech Problems"

  1. Kingsley Agu says:

    Right write up Oni! Well for me I’d go with step one – that’s majorly the one true way I resolve nearly all my tech problems; recently, I forgot how to make a link open in a new window, and instead of asking around – I just Googled it and got the answer in no time.
    Step 4 also works for me; I’m a fast learner, I seriously don’t believe in letting someone do something I’m not good at twice for me.

    Thanks for this wonderful post!

  2. Stephanie says:

    I’m mostly a do-it-yourselfer when it comes to tech support. I’m also the main source of tech support for certain family members, but at least they’ve finally learned enough that I don’t have to solve a lot of problems for them anymore. People ask me how I do it, and the answer is usually “Google.” I have to agree that it’s a great tool for dealing with problems.

Onibalusi

Welcome! I'm Bamidele Onibalusi, a young writer and blogger. I believe writers are unique and highly talented individuals that should be given the respect they deserve. This blog offers practical advice to help you become truly in charge of your writing career.

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