Learning any new skill can take time so focus on the basics and posting content at first. Adding images and advanced features and plugins can come later. I suspect many a would-be blogger got bogged down trying to figure out all the options or how to insert an image or screen capture and gave up before they really got started.
If you’re new to blogging, start here:
- SAVE YOUR LOG-IN URL: It is easy to forget where to log into your blog so many templates leave an Admin link for you visible to anyone. Some do not so if yours doesn’t, save the url where you log into your WP blog somewhere you can remember. If you have a free WordPress blog it will be OR if you have a hosted WordPress blog http://yourdomain/wp-admin. (This can be different IF your hosting company changed it; only they will know what it is so contact them.)
- SAVE YOUR USER NAME AND PASSWORD somewhere you can remember. (I use Tomboy Notes and keep a copy in a PDA.) As long as you can remember your User Name you can easily recover your password by clicking on the lost your password link on the log-in page.
- There are links for Write Post when you first log in or you can click on Write and then Post from wherever you are in your blog’s Admin to get started
- Note that there is a difference between a POST and a PAGE. Remember which one you want to use as you can not easily change one into the other. (There is a plugin to do that if you really need it.) A “page” is something you want to always be displayed under Pages in most WP templates. A “post” will be “filed” under your categories. You will only want to have a small number of pages for your most important subjects. You may end up with hundreds of posts, so most of your writing will be “posts”, not pages. When in doubt, choose “post”.
- Typing in WordPress is very similar to using any Word program. You can format the text in a similar manner. Point at the icons above where you type and you will see their functions. Don’t worry about learning them all at once.
- One new function you will want to use is the Insert More Tag. It is just to the right of the hyperlink and break hyperlink icons and looks like a piece of paper with a dotted line about a third of the way from the top. This is what you use to have just the first part of your post appear on the main page. (Visit any blog including this one and you’ll see what this does.) Simply position your cursor where you want the excerpt to end and click on that icon. It puts a line and the word “more” and splits your post at that point.
- Add tags for your new post. A tag is a word or phrase that your potential readers are most likely to use to find your posts. Give these a log of thought. I prefer to use only the one most specific word or phrase for each post.
- Select a category where this post will be filed. Categories are important to making your posts easy to locate so give some thought to your category selection.
BLOGGING TIP: When writing the most important information belongs in the first paragraph. Writers call this your “hook”. See Top 7 Leads to Hook Readers for some great tips. I like to have my excerpt end at a point that leads readers to want more. Bloggers can also benefit from these excellent News Writing Tips.
- Every blogger can benefit from this excellent tutorial on How to Write Concise, Compelling News Stories. Although written for a high school paper, this is an excellent synopsis on effective writing that applies very well to excellent blogging.
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