Thanks to those of you who have sent e-mails about your blogs. Great work! I’ll be happy to take a look at these and others anytime during this online class, but you can also feel free to share anytime the summer. I’ll always try to get back to you promptly, though when I am traveling, it may take a bit longer.
Read this WordPress document that explains how to start a new post. My GDS tech colleague, Laura Loftus, discovered this blog post, Advice for New Bloggers: 12 Tips on Writing for Your Blog. While this document was originally written as advice for not-for-profit agencies that hope to blog build up a large readership, many of the tips are great for beginners.
Tips on PostsWhen an individual begins to write a new post on a WordPress blog, it’s important to keep three things in mind — items that will make your post look inviting to readers.
- Write succinctly.
- Use words, bullets, different fonts, images, and videos.
- Include links.
The WordPress editing panel, called the visual editor (see image above), is user-friendly and easy to use. Mouse over the above icons and and a label appear telling you what the icon does when you click on it. I expect that only a few of these symbols are different from those you have used in the past.
The More Icon
One of the icons that may be unfamiliar is the more icon. Use this when your post is rather long and you only want to show the beginning of the post and then encourage readers to click of the “read more” link. I use the more function in most of my posts, but you can take a quick look in lessons # 6 and #7 to see what they look like.
As much as possible look for places in your writing where you can add links – WordPress makes this really easy. For instance, if you write about your child’s camp, put in a link to the camp. If a child’s school has just participated in an assembly, link to the school’s web site. It is possible to link to just about anything these days whether you are writing about interesting articles, dance recitals, new puppies, summer vacations, birthday and anniversary celebrations, family reunions, or all those other subjects that you include your blog. That’s why blog really stands for WEB LOG.
Understanding the Dashboard
To help you get started with your posts, check out the overview of the WordPress dashboard. Dashboard items to get to know first (more on the others later):
- Making new posts
- Making links
- Comments (including the Askimet spam filter)
If you decide to start adding images, videos, music, etc., look for this graphic, just above the visual editor. The first three are the items that bloggers insert the most — images, videos, and music. The others, media, polls, and custom forms are used as a blogger becomes more comfortable and experienced with the medium.
As always, questions and comments are always welcome!