So, you’ve finally decided to make your own blog? Good decision! The blogging world is very fun; although there’s a lot of drama you get to make new friends and have the joys of helping people out. Below are some helpful tips that you want to do before you blog regularly! *These tips are based on blogs made from WordPress only.
1. THE BASICS
Step 1: Decide on a good URL
The URL, or website address, you choose is going to be your key blogging content. Try to choose one that is wide and will fit many subjects, so if you do change your mind it’s not a problem. Make sure it’s catchy but meaningful!
Step 2: Make your blog’s title and phrase
After choosing your website address, choose your title and the phrase that will describe it. The title is most often the address itself; for example, in the address brownies.wordpress.com the title will most likely be “Brownies”. You can alter it as much as you like, but make sure it is still in tact with your URL! Then, choose your phrase. This should describe what goes on in your blog in a 2 or 3 catchy sentences that makes the viewer excited to stay.
Step 3: Make your pages
This will require quite some planning. Stick to your theme (title), and make pages accordingly. Be sure to add the necessities, such as “Contact Us”, “Rules and Copyright”, “About Us”, etc. Make some fun ones too, that will engage the viewer into participation! You’ll want these kind of pages to make your blog fun: funny, entertaining, shops, games, clubs, and fun options for your viewers to enjoy your blog. Add XAT to have your viewers interact with each other (explained below)! Other than that, don’t make too many nor too little. Below will explain what you can do to a page:
Make a Sub-Page: Make a sub-page, a page below a main one, by completing your page first. Then, to your right, there will be a column that says “Page Attributes”. Your first option will be “Parent”. Scroll down until you find the page you want to put it under (make sure it is relevant to your main page first).
Make a Page: To make a page, go to your Dashboard. Scroll down until you find “Pages”. Under Pages will be “Add New”. After filling it out, click the “Publish” button.
Make a Sub-sub-Page: Similar to a sub-page, find the sub-page you want to add it under in the “Parent” option.
Make it Private: Whether it’s for Staff or just private stuff, you can easily make it private or public. In the column to your right, under the “Publish” tab there will be “Visibility”. Click edit. Then, click the “Password Protected” option. Make your password and click Publish.
Step 1: Make your header
Your header will appear under your title and phrase, and will describe with vivid pictures and colors the awesomness of your blog! You can make it yourself with Paint. Add pictures and words to describe your blog. Be creative! To add it to your blog, visit your Dashboard. Scroll down to “Appearance”. Click on “Header”. Upload your picture, save, and voila! *Depending on your theme, you may have to crop your header. Adjust it accordingly.
Step 2: Choose a theme
Your theme will display your blog’s pages, widgets, and more! Be sure to choose a nice, colorful theme that displays all your content nicely. Recommended themes are Twenty Ten (our theme), the Spectrum, and Ever After. To add your theme, go to your Dashboard’s Appearance section and click “Themes”. You will be taken to a page with all of WordPress’s available themes. (Some require purchase). You can click on the “Popular” tab to see the most common themes that are used.
Step 3: Add your background
Your background will be a backdrop behind your entire blog. You can choose a simple color or a pictured one! You can design it yourself or you can search it up on Google Search. My recommendation is to search “fun blog backgrounds”. Choose ones that appeal to the eye, such as soothing flowers, cute polka dots, and more! Don’t make it have too much detail, or it will take away your blog’s attention. To add your background, in Dashboard’s Appearance section click “Background”. Upload your file. You can choose for it to repeat or not.
Step 4: Add widgets
Widgets is your sidebar or the bottom of your blog (depending on the theme you chose). Click Widgets under the Appearance section, and drag your widget over to your sidebar. Recommended widgets is a search bar, a hits counter, a follow option, a “Blogs I Follow” grid, and possibly a Gravatar profile. You can add top pages and hits, top comments, and more!
Step 5: Adding a XAT Chat Box
A XAT is basically a chat box in which viewers can chat amongst each other! Below is how you can add a XAT box to your blog:
1. Go to any XAT box available (Go to ours here.).
2. Click “Get a Chat Box” located in the bottom right corner.
3. Click on “WordPress” in the “Quick Post” page that should pop up.
4. Fill in the information needed (username, password, URL). Don’t worry about the password; I do not think XAT saves it. If it does, it must be owned by WordPress.
5. Click “Post” after you are finished.
6. On your Dashboard, under “All Posts” (under Posts) on the top post there should be your XAT HTML code. Copy it and then delete that post. If wanted, adjust the size (height, weight) before copying.
7. Sidebar:Add a “Text” widget by going to Dashboard>Appearance>Widgets. Paste the HTML code and click save.
Page: Add a new page and paste the HTML code. Publish.
Sticky Post (Home Page): Make a post and paste the HTML code. Make it a sticky post by clicking the right column Publish>Visibility>Stick this post. Publish.
It is advised to make rules with your XAT box! People tend to misbehave (bad language, spamming, insulting, etc.). To fix that, you need to either be online all the time or make a trustworthy person a moderater. That person holds the power to ban and make viewers a member. You can even design a background for it accustomed to your blog!
Step 1: Appearance
Everyone likes to read fun, colorful text with helpful pictures. To add color, simply extend your editing bar so that there are two lines. On the second line, there is an “A” that shows your color. Highlight and choose your color! You can add characters (omega symbol), bold (B), italicize (I), underline (U), strikethrough (
ABC), and more! Upload a lot of pictures that will help your viewer to follow along; pictures are examples that they follow.
Step 2: Slang
Do not use slang, obnoxious emoticons, annoying abbreviations, or excruciating misspelling. No one appreciates speech that sounds like you’re a baby, too lazy to type out everything, or don’t know how to spell. I cringe especially at that. An example of what not to do:
OMGGG tonite was shooo aushum. Niek, sho kewl! :3 ^_^ Niek, ish wuz off da houze rofl rofl rofl rofl 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Spell out everything. Emoticons and “LOL” are fine, but don’t use them to the point that they are repeated. Don’t use bad language either; you will encourage your viewers with cussing and they will cringe of your anger. Keep in mind, some viewers can be as little as 6.
Step 3: How Much?
In blogging, you want to be thorough and even. You don’t want to drag it on, but you do want to make sure the viewer gets what you want to share. Don’t make short, two-word posts. Those spam and get people annoyed. For pages, make sure it is worthy of having its own page. Some pages are much like permanent posts; short but not exactly important enough to have a page to itself. Also, in comments, address your viewer’s concern. You’ll want to sound professional about it; after all, they came to you to help! Do not approve any comments with bad language, spam, advertisements, or comments that might offend another viewer. You might want to edit a slang comment to make it sound more… humanly. If it is unfixable, don’t bother.
How to Screenshot Pictures:
1. Move accordingly to the picture you want to capture.
2. Press the button “PrntScr” or anything similar to this. You will not be notified that it was captured.
3. Open Paint and edit accordingly.
1. Open Accessories (All Programs>Accessories).
2. Scroll down to “Snipping Tool”.
3. Crop the photo from your screen.
How to Make a Sticky Post:
1. Make your post. This will have to be done in your Dashboard.
2. In the “Publish” column, click “edit” in visibility.
3. Check the box that says “Stick this post in the front”.
Have fun in the blogging world! After you complete all of your blog’s content, be sure to advertise as much as you can to get more hits and follows. Go to all the blogs you can think of! Some of them have “Advertise your Blog Here” and you can comment your link. Someone will bound to click on it!