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.” You cannot change your user name later, so choose an appropriate one.

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 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).

–A theme with a 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. But don’t  steal images you have don’t have the rights to or permission to use. Always give credit to the photographer. See the About page of this blog for an example.

3. Adjust Your Settings

Click on Settings.

Under General Settings:
a. Give your blog a title and tagline.
b. Timezone – Set it to UTC-5

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. Delete the WordPress.com placeholders.

Creating a blog roll is a two step process. First add the Links widget. Save. Next go the Links navigation on the left hand column. Add a new link here. And save it to your blog roll.

b. Archives – so the reader can see what you have posted.
c. Blog Stats (so I can get a quick sense of your traffice).  This is different than the Blog Stats function in your dashboard, you have to add it.

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.

Create a hyperlink. Highlight a word or phrase that you want to link to another Web site or blog. Then click chain link icon. Add the address to the Link URL. WordPress puts http:// in the field so make sure you don’t put it in again. In the Target field, always select “Open link in a new window.”

Delete the “Hello World” post that WordPress gives you.

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. Or you can add some text to the sidebar of your blog using the Text Widget.

8. Spend some time exploring your Dashboard and learning how to use it.

9. Double check it.

Go back, look carefully at your blog. Look for typos, misspellings, weird things. Always use the spell checker before you publish a post.

For more info, check out the Getting Started help page

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This entry was posted in blog, Blogging Tips and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Setting Up Your Blog

  1. cruzgary says:

    thank you. very helpful.

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