Setting Up Your Blog

Set up your blog and get started. To see exactly what I am looking for, visit the Assignments Page. Here is how to begin…

1. Sign Up

Go to WordPress.com and “Sign Up.” Pick a URL that fits with the title or subject of your blog and follow the step-by-step instructions.

2. Pick a Theme

Pick a theme that fits with the subject and tone of your blog.

Tips:
-Two or three column themes are probably best. Check out some of the other features that each theme has to see if it will fit what you want to do.

-“Press Row,” “Cut Line” and “The Journalist” are three simple designs that will work well if you want to give your blog a more “journalistic” look.

-Once you pick a theme, explore some of the options (i.e., some themes will let you create additional blog pages).

–“Custom Header” means that you can put in your own image. If you have a “Custom Header,” put in an image that sets a style and tone for your blog. You can take your own photo. Or if you are looking for free images, try Flickr Creative Commons, Openphoto or some other free photo services.

3. Adjust Your Settings

Click on Settings.

Under General Settings:
a. Give your blog a title and tagline.
b. Make sure that Membership is NOT CHECKED.
c. Timezone – Set it to UTC-4

Under Settings Discussion:
-Make sure your blog allows comments, but select the level of security that you wish to have.

Under Privacy Settings:
-Select the box marked “I would like my blog to be visible to everyone, including search engines (like Google, Sphere, Technorati) and archivers.”

4. Add Widgets

Click on the Design tab. You can pick from a bunch of widgets –

To begin, you are REQUIRED TO HAVE:
a. A blogroll with a list of at least 5 blogs that related to your beat. The more the better.
b. Archives – so the reader can see what you have posted.
c. Blog Stats (so I can get a quick sense of the number of hits – this is different than the Blog Stats function in your dashboard)

You can add others if you wish. Suggestions are RSS feeds, tag cloud, or delicious.

For more on widgets, see What is a Widget?

5. Write Your First Post

Write an initial post to introduce your self, your blog, what you hope to cover over the course of the semester.

You can view your blog post in Visual or HTML mode by clicking on the tab.

Click here for a list of basic HTML code.

6. Create Categories and Tags

Tags – a list of keywords that describe your post (5 tags for each post is a good number).
Categories – are broad areas within your blog topic.

For example, a post titled “Last Night At Burger King” might be filed under the “Dinner” category, but could have tags like, “burger, chicken fries, chocolate shake, dr. pepper”.

For more, see the difference between tags and categories.

7. Take responsibility for your publication.

Your full name must appear on your blog. You can create an About page. You can add some text to the sidebar of your blog using the Text Widget.

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