Before you start a blog, you must take a look at yourself and ask, “can I make this commitment?” It’s an important question, because if you want to develop a constant flow of readers, you need to commit to posting regularly. If you have the ability to stay loyal to your readers, there’s a good chance you’re ratings will go through the roof; this is the first step to having a successful, popular blog.
I’m here to help you begin your blog, give you little pointers and take some advertising tricks from my blog to help you publicize and grow popular in a matter of weeks. I can only push you in the right direction; the rest will be up to you.
Let’s go into some basics first. Sign up for an account at WordPress.com and fill in your personal information. Don’t leave things out, make it sound professional, add your picture and change your domain name to something easy to type. You can do most of this under personal settings (in the tab labeled “Users”).
The “My profile” tab will show up under author information boxes after your posts and on your “Author” widget when it’s clicked, so make it sound professional. Go ahead, talk in the first person!
To tweak the design and setup of your site, go to “Appearance” and select your page theme and featured image. Theme is a very important setting to consider; you have to analyze what type of content you plan to have in your website and how to best showcase it, so go ahead and try a few themes on for size. (See the image below to understand your dashboard better.)
I found editing my background to be a lot of fun. I went into Google, typed in “black and white pattern” and found an image of a circular star. There’s an option in WordPress that lets you upload images and have them repeat behind your blog. If you select something that’s a pattern of sorts, you’re well on your way to making your website look more professional! I chose a small thumbnail like this —>
When you are through, you end up with a flowing background that looks both intriguing and advanced for a user of WordPress; it’s an easy attention-grabber. Remember, the more professional-looking a blog is, the more inclined readers will be to keep reading.
My site looks like this —>
Now, there are many aspects to WordPress.com that take a few weeks if not months to understand (I am still learning), but I’ve walked you through setup at a basic level. Now you need to add content. Content is what you should really focus on; the more content you have, the more readers you are likely to attract. How, you may ask? Through categorization and tags. These options allow your readers to search for you based on your content … so have at it, give your article three or more categories and at least 10 tags and you’ll see the results!
Another “key” to WordPress that will help you publicize and strategize for your audience are your blog stats. Here, you can track hits per day, per week or per month; you can see where your viewers come from; and you can identify whether you’ve been indexed by the major search engines.
How might you make your blog more search-engine friendly? Post a link of your blog on your Facebook as your status, then post it on a few friends’ pages … get annoying, because most people only pay attention to their News Feed. You may feel like you’re attacking your audience, but you’re really just making sure that your posts hit people’s News Feeds as much as possible! After Facebook, you can link your WordPress blog to Twitter to send updates automatically. WordPress.com will ask you if you wish to do this, and will link your profiles after they are authorized, so it does half the work for you!
Remember: post, post, post, re-post, as friends to re-post … and keep up with your content. You are well on your way to starting and keeping a popular blog, so have at it! Go to http://www.wordpress.com, use this article to get you started and contact me for any tips and pointers you may need along the way. I’m on wordpress.com at http://ravenbrockriede.wordpress.com.
I look forward to reading your blogs, new bloggers, and have a BLAST!
Check out other works by this author on her blog: http://bit.ly/9NuIKD.