What Makes a Good Post? Lesson #8

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 Posts Continue reading

Your Blog – Getting Started: Lesson #7

Look for this image and click the get started button.

It’s time to start your blog. At WordPress.com look for the illustration on the right to help you start building your site. Before setting up the blog, however, please read through the following steps.

Step #1

Your blog needs to have a name to use as a part of the blog’s address (or URL — letters that stand for universal resource locator). The words you choose will be a semi-permanent part of the address. For this course our blog address is https://familyblogclass.wordpress.com. Think carefully about what name to use for your blog site’s address. For instance, if you are making a family reunion blog, personalize your address just a bit. (I expect that FamilyReunion.wordpress.com was taken long ago). In a web address you seek a combination of short and descriptive. It’s possible to edit this later on, but that means notifying your readers of a change of address. Continue reading

Parts of a Blog, Lesson #5

Blogs come in all sorts of shapes and forms.

Some contain only posts with no other content, while other blogs feature all sorts of bells and whistles — calendars, archives, copyright info, pictures, and more. Check out these links to learn a lot more about WordPress blogging and find out more about the seven essential parts of a blog.

Take some time to examine our course blog, and you’ll observe a number of different parts with different purposes.

Our Start a Family Blog course blog has the following parts:

  • center section features our blog posts. The most recent post always appears at the top, and the older posts are below, going backwards by date. I’ve set this blog to show the seven most recent posts on the home page. As we accumulate more and more posts, links at the bottom of the blog page (at the end of the seventh post) will direct readers to move back and forth to see other posts (older or newer). Continue reading

Welcome to the Online Class! Lesson #1

Welcome to the first GDS online technology class for parents.

In this Start a Family Blog course we will begin by learning some basic facts about blogs, move on and learn about the blog for this class, and then — finally — each of you will begin to create and develop your own blogging site. We will spend the month of June working together. This course site will be up and available all summer long for consultation.  At this time we have 28 participants.

For the class, as well as for your blogging assignments, we will be using WordPress.com to create blogs and add free features. WordPress has some excellent options as a part of the free package, but an advantage of this site is that additional features, upgrades, and a privacy upgrade are available for small fees. The WordPress community also has excellent technical support and a more protected environment, though the blog is still easily available to your readers.

To help you understand more about how blogs are structured, I will add explanations, features, and new bells and whistles to the class site as we go along — the class lessons. Continue reading