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How to Blog


How to blog

Wordpress - icons that help you format you blog

I’ve started this blog with a shot of part of my screen when I was editing my Neodigital Art update. I am writing this using Microsoft Word and I’ll paste it onto a screen like that later.  I obviously use WordPress.com and you can see I have three menus to choose from. The top menu from left to right is upload/insert and they are picture, video, music and then the icon that looks like the sun is media; this allows me to upload files for people to download. I haven’t done that yet. The circular one is a poll and finally a custom form.

The next line of icons is more familiar and starts with bold, italics, strike through, bulleted list, numbered list, block quotes, left justify, centre justify and right justify. The next icon is to make a hyper-link. To use that icon, you highlight a word and click the icon and you enter the URL of where you want the link to go. I put a lot of links to previous blogs and other pages; these are listed and I just select the one I want. Some links are automatically generated and you can see some on the graphic; most are to Wikipedia. You can see the ones I clicked on and used; the one to Fotosketcher and Windows Live Photo Gallery. I shall probably use them again! The next icon looks like a broken chain link – it removes a link. The next icon to the right is the more icon. I shall position my cursor at the end of the first paragraph and click that. That will put “read the rest of this page >>” at the end of the first paragraph when it’s displayed on the home page. This gives users the option of clicking that link or the title and seeing the blog displayed on its own page. The ABC icon is for proof reading and that is followed by a toggle full screen icon and then a show ‘kitchen sink’ icon. The ‘kitchen sink’ is the next row of icons. The next row is for formatting and the same as you would get on a word processor. The first format icon is a drop down and you should use the heading icon for you headings. This gives you h1 to h6 tags in HTML; I just switch to HTML and put those in. I mainly use h2 and h3.

You need a name for you blog and I have used Mike10613 since being on the internet and so I kept with that. If I put a WordPress blog on my own web space in the future then I’ll probably change to something else; preferably memorable. When I go to my blog, I see another menu on the screen (assuming I’m logged in) and that allows me to read the Home Page, post a blog, read the statistics on blog, etc. The statistics show search terms, page views and referrals. The page views comes up as a bar chart. I was doing well and doubling my page views each month but they weren’t so good in April because I posted less blogs; posting regular is important if you want to keep readers.

I have posted three blogs in the past few days, thrifty, frugal and Farmville and they each have their own ‘pages’. Having their own pages makes them easier to find but the blogs is like one long blog as I keep updating rather than one on the home page with a permalink.

People ask how to write a blog and what to write about. The original blogs were like diaries and about people’s personal lives and sometimes I write about my life; but not often, the basic rule of successful blogging; don’t be boring…

You can write about anything you know about and to get the construction right, you could try using keywords, this will help the search engines find your blog. You can just write about things pertaining to your first keyword and then on to the second and so on; write the keywords doing word association like in psychology. Start with a word, for example kitchen and then one associated with it like cooking and so on…

I am writing this in the kitchen and I have been cooking. I could tell you about cooking dinner, about my whole day, defrosting the freezer, cleaning the cooker and writing.  My friend did show me some photographs online and ask if I would like to go out and take some photos; it hasn’t stopped raining since. I think life has its ironies and they can be funny; people appreciate humour and they are the most popular blogs. I hope I can take some photographs for my Neodigital Art blogs tomorrow; I have a large railway station in mind. It is a good idea to mention previous blogs and add links, particularly the popular ones.

I wrote one blog a while ago that was popular, A Sunday rant and I just had a rant about what was bothering me. That appeared to be popular judging from the page views. You also need to make up good titles; if they like the title there is more chance they will click the link.  Daylight Robbery seemed to capture the imagination and of course by putting a link here I’m likely to get a few more page views form a blog without any extra writing.

I’ll write another blog about advertising and publicising your blog so you get readers and page views some other time. One way is to read an article on somewhere like the Reuters website and comment, they moderate your comment and if you keep giving good comments it’s like micro-blogging and you get a sort of VIP status. You can then read an article, write a blog in response and then go back to the article and post a comment with a link to your response blog. You add to Reuter’s content and get some of their readers to read your blog. You may like to check out these pages; Thrifty, Frugal and the Neodigital Art update.


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6 responses

  1. Mike, I’ve been SO BUSY teaching my two classes AND taking two classes that I have been pretty “quiet” re: conversations with you — quite a change when we we talking every day.

    Any way, I have a question “bothering” me as a result of an assignment for the online class I’m taking regarding Teaching Online Classes AND this blog post of yours How to Blog.

    My teacher wants us all to start a blog on Blogger. Ich! I’ve already got several on WordPress. Why do I have to “learn” Blogger. My teacher says if I don’t use Blogger, I don’t get credit for the assignment.

    So tell me, what on earth does Blogger offer that WordPress doesn’t?

    14, May 2011 at 8:08 pm

    • Blogger is owned by Google and so you can put adsense on it and make money. It’s not as easy to format as WordPress though. I think it may have improved, I’ve seen some better blogs lately. I don’t trust Google though and although I use Google chrome and Google alerts wouldn’t actually do business with them again – email me if you need more.

      14, May 2011 at 10:03 pm

  2. Blogger is a poor substitute for WP. It is limited in capability and scope – the only thing it has going for it is the fact it is owned, and therefore promoted, by Google. However, for anyone serious about blogging, it is ludicrous; little to no ability for XHTML or CSS. It would seem to be only another attempt by Google to own another piece of the Internet. IMHO, of course.

    15, May 2011 at 12:47 pm

  3. Pingback: Neodigital Art | Update Five « Mike10613's Blog

  4. Hi Mark, thanks for the very helpful post! I have two different screens to draft posts: Visual and HTML, but I am on wordpress.org, not .com. My icons for adding and deleting a link are shadowed in Visual so I must to to HTML to add a link. Kind of a pain but I do appreciate the great features and how easy it is to use.

    I need to remind myself to perform a spell/grammar check when I’m ready to publish. Inevitably, if I forget, there will be something I missed.

    18, May 2011 at 8:17 pm

  5. Hi Carolyn,

    I have just started using Windows Live writer to blog with. I can’t do ‘pages’ with it. I still paste those from Microsoft Word; but normal blogs I can post and then add the ‘more’ tag. For self hosted WordPress blogs – the instructions are here – http://explore.live.com/windows-live-writer-blog-wordpress-remote-hosting-faq

    Mike (not Mark :))

    18, May 2011 at 10:13 pm

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