Published on February 28, 2014
Beginners Guide to Blogging And Wordpress
What’s the difference between a website and a blog? Blog’s enhance the look and feel of a website while also adding fresh content regularly Blog’s help to build traffic to your website Blog’s increase your credibility in your industry and establish you as an expert Blog’s create a better customer service platform Blog’s give you a voice Content is published in a chronological fashion Content is updated regularly Readers have the possibility to leave comments Other blog authors can interact via trackbacks and pingbacks Content is syndicated via RSS feeds
Why do I need to blog? Site’s that blog get 55% increase in website traffic Site’s that blog get 97% more inbound links then those who don’t 40% of US companies are already blogging to promote their business 2/3rds of marketers say that blogging is critical for your business B2C companies that blog generate 88% more leads per month than those who do not B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads per month than those who do not
Getting started – Domain Names When choosing a domain name think about keywords surrounding your business Make sure it’s easy to type Make it easy to remember (short and snappy) Create an expectation for you to fulfil Avoid copyright infringement Adjectives Hot, smart, cool, hot, fast, fresh, sleek, first, daily, best, sharp, light, classic, fast, great, quick Business Buzz Words Media, direct, access, ez, easy, info, interactive, biz, buzz, bit, byte, up, tech, on, out, auto, pulse, x, venture, trend, life, retro, secret
Getting started with Wordpress- Settings After signing up for a Wordpress account and choosing a package and domain you will be able to login to Wordpress using yourdomain.wordpress.com/wp-admin Start by going to ‘Users’ in the left hand panel and ‘My Profile’. Fill in all the relevant information, add an image to be included. This will be your logo if this is a business blog or your face if it’s a personal blog. Now in the ‘Settings’ tab on the left hand panel click on ‘Sharing’. This is where you can link your blog to all of your other social profiles. When you click Facebook for example you will be prompted to login. Just click OK until you are taken back to Wordpress. You can also customise the sharing buttons on each of your blog posts here. Now go to ‘Settings’ again and click on ‘General’. This is where you can edit the name of your site, your tagline and date and time formatting. Add another image to show up as the favicon in the browser tab. This can be the same or different to your profile. Your call! If you’re feeling adventurous take a look at the other settings tabs and see if there is anything else you feel you would like changed.
Getting started with Wordpress - Themes Making your blog look beautiful is another important aspect to keeping your readers interested. You want a theme that suits your brand but also remains professional and clean. Some themes are free and some cost money. For an extra cost you can have complete customisation ability on your blog, meaning you can change the colours and images of the header! Go to ‘Appearance’ and ‘Themes’ to find a theme. Then go to ‘Appearance’ and ‘Customise’ to customise this theme. Last but not least go to ‘Appearance’ and ‘Widgets’. The widgets section is important for adding personalised sections to the sidebar of your blog. You may notice on some blogs a ‘Follow us’ section or Twitter and Facebook integration.
What’s RSS and How do I Add the Widget? RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. Many website’s out there update content on a regular basis and RSS was created as a way to get rid of the hassle of checking a website every day for updated info. As a reader I can follow your RSS feed and receive email updates every time you post something new. I can also use your feed URL to add to the blogs I follow. When you have a Wordpress blog your RSS feed is always located on: Yourdomain.wordpress.com/feed
Add an RSS Widget
Getting started with Wordpress – HTML Editor When writing blog posts or editing pages you will have to deal with the Wordpress HTML Editor. Luckily Wordpress have made their editor very easy and friendly to use. Here are some tips to help you along the way… The ‘Add Media’ button allows you to add images, galleries and videos to your posts. Make sure to add a title and ALT text for all media. Also credit the original image if you took your image from somewhere else on the web. When writing your posts you can also add a read more link. This creates a gap in the text so the homepage of your blog only displays the first paragraph with a link to continue reading. It is also important for HTML purposes that when creating subheadings you use the pre-sets provided. Start with heading 2 (because the title of your blog will be heading 1) and then work your way down depending on how you format your blog.
Image Alignment and Advanced Settings
Read More Link
Getting started with Wordpress – Menus & Pages When writing your blog you have unlimited pages and menus available to add. As time passes and you write more and more blog posts you will have more need to organise your blog in a different way. Start by going to ‘Pages’ and ‘All Pages’. Now is the time to personalise your ‘About Me’ page. Make sure you include an image. You can add pages and create menu items to place these pages in your blog. Go to ‘Appearance’ and ‘Menus’. You will notice that one of my menu items is a link to sign up to my newsletter. I have also added a screen shot of the creativeashford.org blog to see how they have created menus.
How do I write a blog post? - Audience Consider who you are writing to, what kind of interests they have What is your business about? And why is your business unique? What are you an expert in? What do you know about? 1. Start by researching other blogs in your industry 2. Look at the types of post they write and how much interaction they get 3. Think about the kinds of problems your product or service is solving (Ie time saving, ecofriendly, cost effectiveness) and incorporate this into your blog post writing. GOOD TIME FOR A BRAIN STORM!
How do I write a blog post – Writing posts Plan ahead what you want to write about Now think about what action you want users to take after they have read the post Write your posts as if you are writing to a singular person Keep you blog posts short and sweet Cut out anything that doesn’t need to be there Proof read your post out load at least twice Consider the formatting of your blog posts Be consistent Use other platforms to increase visibility and blog traffic
(Above) Driftwood Décor has a blog on their website focusing on trends home design and individual products they create from driftwood. No a great deal of wording but enough to entice. (Left) Pictures like these work well because you are showing your potential customer what your product will look like in their home.
Here’s one for the counselling services (Linda!). Above we have an article extract from the Turn2Me website. They provide helpful information on decreasing stress, anxiety and improving sleep. Images are a bit more difficult here because you are less likely to be creating your own. You can work on word maps, motivational quotes and pictures of serenity to give your blog posts an extra level of interest.
How do I write a blog post – Formatting If there is one thing that readers hate, it’s long and boring trails of text. Think about using bullet points and numbered lists, adding bold and coloured text, headings and subheadings and anything else that will break the text up and make it easier to read online.
The blog post below might be well thought out and amazingly written but it certainly doesn’t do much when you look at it and can be quite unappealing for users when reading it. Look to the right and you have a leading image, subheadings and bullet point list, making for a much easier read!
How do I write a blog post – Titles How to ___________ – Step-by-Step Guide The Ultimate ___________ List When writing a headline for your blog post you need to think of something to attract readers to read it. The Pros And Cons Of ___________ The Easiest Way to Make Your ___________ Ask yourself why people should read your post. 12 Sure Fire Ways To ___________ The Lazy ___________ Way to ___________ Do You Do Any Of These ___________ Mistakes? Unlock The Secrets Of ___________ The 16 Essentials Of ___________ How To Make ___________ Work For You Little Known Ways To ___________ 12 Cool Tools For ___________ The Complete Guide To ___________ 18 Tips To Jump-Start Your ___________ 14 Things I‘ve Learned About ___________ Be emotive Refer to your audience as ‘You’ Make every word count!
How do I write a blog post – Call to Action Earlier we talked about planning your blog post and having a goal for what you want your readers to do after they read it. Imagine you are a PR freelancer writing a blog post on how to manage your business in a crisis. ‘5 Steps to manage a business crisis’. Now you have a great blog post with potential for a huge readership but why not finish your blog post with a prompt to your readers? For example… If your business is suffering from a potential PR crisis, we can provide an experienced PR consultant at a moments notice to help you in your time of need. Find out more here. Add a link to a page on your website dedicated to your Crisis Management service.
Call to Action (CTA’s)
How do I write a blog post – Review In your Wordpress editor, after you have written your post, formatted it and added a great headline, you now need to create categories and tags so people can find your post! In the right hand side of the blog post you can create ‘Categories’ for each of your posts. When you have built up a prominent blog you will be able to add a ‘Categories’ Widget and allow your blog readers to search for posts based on category. If you are a fashion brand you might have categories like women’s wear which will have sub categories like tops, dresses, accessories (which may also have sub categories like handbags and belts) After you add categories you can now add tags. Tags are how you will be found in search so it’s best to think of this as a keyword tool. For the same example as above you might have tags such as ‘winter fashion trends’ ‘winter dresses’ ‘winter style’ ‘winter fashion’ Now pick a feature image to be included in all online sharing of your post and on the homepage of your blog.
Categories, Tags and Featured Image
Blog Post Checklist Did I read my post a couple of times after writing it? Does the post say what I want it to say? Does is achieve my goals? Did I do my research on other similar posts and keywords? Did I craft my headline carefully? Did I format it simply? Did I add categories, tags and a feature image? Do all my images have ALT and Title tags? Did I link to external sources where appropriate? Did I make sure all of my links are working? Did I credit any sources I may have used? Am I picking the right time and day of the week to post this or should I wait?
How to get people to read my blog? There are several steps you should take in order to increase your blog readership. To make it easier it’s best to think of a blog exactly the same way you think of Facebook and Twitter. When you talk to others on Facebook and Twitter they talk back, the more frequently you post and when you get involved in conversations and topics your engagement increases. The same is true of a blog. Let’s have a look at Wordpress reader. Click the little Wordpress button on the top left corner of your Wordpress dashboard.
Wordpress Reader Here is my Wordpress reader where you can read and follow other people’s blogs. As you can see on the main page you have a feed like Facebook and Twitter. I can chose to reblog (like a retweet), like or comment on a blog post. I can also search other blogs using tags and follow blogs relevant to me. If you reblog something make sure that it’s something your audience will want to read. You can also look at recommended blogs and find some of the most popular blogs on Wordpress!
Increase your blog readership Interact with other blogs Source other people’s blogs posts in your blog Submit your blog to forums and share on social networking sites Link to other popular blogs and relevant websites from your blog Add a link to your RSS feed on your blog Tag your posts and add Alt tags to images Promote your blog everywhere you see fit (online and offline) Don’t be shy
Some online tools to help you… http://www.inboxq.com/ InboxQ is a useful tool to search conversations on Twitter. This will help you come up with great topics for your blog. All you have to do is add a new campaign and enter 2-3 keywords your audience will be looking for. As soon as someone types a question with your keyword in it then you will be notified. The question they ask could make a great blog topic. I entered the words blogging, business and wordpress to find the below
Diigo For the blogger who is seeking a cool way to keep track of interesting articles for later blog posts, check out Diigo. This cool tool allows you to highlight and store interesting content for quick retrieval down the road. You can even embed notes to your saved content. It supports mobile devices like the iPhone, iPad and Android. https://www.diigo.com/
Focus Booster Increase productivity and decrease outside distractions when writing using this great tool. http://www.focusboosterapp.com/
Google Alerts If you have a Gmail account you can sign up for Google Alerts. By adding keywords you’re interested in and setting a frequency for how often you want to be emailed you can receive an email containing top news and stories on the web relating to your keyword http://www.google.com/alerts
Google Trends Google trends is also useful as you can type in the same keywords and find out how many people have been speaking about them over time. Perhaps one keyword is becoming more popular than another? http://www.google.com/trends/
Flipboard Curate and manage a wealth of news from across the web. This is great for finding other bloggers to follow, for thinking of topics and for keeping up to date with the latest news in your industry. https://flipboard.com/
Pixabay Pixabay is a source for royalty free photos all over the web. http://pixabay.com/
Canva Canva is a place where an ordinary person can become a graphic designer https://www.canva.com
Blogs for Blogging! http://www.wpbeginner.com/ http://www.copyblogger.com/blog/ http://www.problogger.net/blog http://www.dailyblogtips.com/ http://www.bloggingtips.com/
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