August 28, 2019
Your new blog needs a place for readers to find out what it’s about. You could do this as a first post, but over time, this will get hard to find – nobody likes scrolling, after all (well, kind of). Instead, you’re going to create an About page. Have a look at this read from blogtyrant on what makes a terrific “About Us” page – they include examples, too! With those ideas in mind, let’s get started…
Your about page should include the following sections IN THIS ORDER:
- What’s the blog about? Well DUH. But this means you’ll need to know that yourself, and that means spelling out the specifics of what readers can expect. You might add some links to similar blogs (while explaining what will make yours different)
- Who’s the author? Tell us your background. What are you studying? What are your interests and accomplishments? (note: Readers don’t want to hear about YOU until they’ve heard about your blog!)
- Where can I find you? You’re cultivating an online presence, so let interested readers know where they can hear more from you. You needn’t use an email if you don’t want, but at the very least put up your Twitter handle.
In addition to these sections, you’ll need to include the following:
- An image: Images encourage engagement. This can be a personal photo or something otherwise relevant, but don’t just give us a wall of text.
- Links: At the very least, you’ll need links to some contact information (Twitter, LinkedIn), but you might also include links to your work so readers can get a sense for you.
But how do I MAKE a new page??
It’s easy! In your dashboard:
- Pages > Add New
- Title: “About” or “About This Blog”
- Write some appropriate “about” content (you can update this as your blog grows)
- Create an About page on your blog and post the link in a comment to THIS post. Once it’s up, I’ll add your blog to the blogroll on our course blog.
- Add the Calendar widget to your blog (Appearance > Widgets), then drag the Calendar widget to your sidebar). This is required for grading, so if your blog theme does not display the calendar after you’ve added it, you’ll need to select a new theme (Appearance > Themes)
Due: 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 1 (must post your link as a comment TO THIS POST by that time)
August 28, 2019
We set up our WordPress blogs in class, but it’s helpful to have a guide available for troubleshooting, so here you go! Follow the handy steps below to get started – feel free to stick with me or dash ahead.
- We’ll be using WordPress (http://wordpress.com)
- Click the “Sign up” link (at top) – you want the free version!
- Enter the required information (username, password, email)
- Give your blog a name
- The format is YOURNAME.wordpress.com (unless you’ve got a killer name in mind, using your real name is just fine)
- May take a couple tries to find one not taken
- Once you’ve got a blog …
- Log in & in the top infobar click “New Post”
- Important! To access the main menu, enter your blog’s URL and add “/wp-admin” after it (example: interactivejournalismwvu.wordpress.com/wp-admin). There should be a BLACK bar at the top, not a blue one.
- Enter a title in the top box, enter your text in the lower box (we’ll delete it later)
- For more detail, go to your dashboard (link in top left of infobar > WP Admin) – in left menu, Posts > Add New
- It’s preferable to compose your posts in a word processing program then paste them into the blog box
- Add value! (in dashboard view only)
- Images: Make sure you know where the image is, then click Add Media > Upload Files > Select Files. Find your image, and decide where you want it in the text (left, right, or center). Make sure you have permission to use the images you do, and include a source credit!
- Links: Select the text you want to make into a link. Click the little chain link icon above the text window and enter an address (or cut and paste) – it MUST begin with http:// (your links should look like this)
- Tags and Categories: Tags and categories (in the right menu) help index your posts. Just type a new one and click “add”.
- Click the big blue “Publish” button in the right menu
- If you want to save a post for later, click “Save Draft”
- Log in later and publish manually
- Set a specific time for it to publish automatically
- This is a great tool for writing posts on your own time to post during our 10a – 4p Monday-Thursday requirement
- Don’t like what you have? Open the post in its own window (click the headline), scroll to the bottom, click “edit” and make the changes you want.
- Publicity (Publicize > Settings)
- You can link your blog to your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and Path accounts
- Linked blogs can publish automatically to these
- NOTE: Whenever you make an assigned blog post, be sure to check the assignment for where to post the link (typically as a comment to the assignment post but sometimes as an email or tweet)
Your first post should not be published until Thursday, Aug. 28 (between 10a and 4p). Regular blogging hours are from 10a-4p, Monday through Thursday. Posts (one required every week) must be made within this time to receive credit! That doesn’t mean you have to write them then – write when you want and save it as a draft to post later – but they MUST be posted then.
Any special requirements for your week’s personal blog will be included in the previous week’s Thursday post, but in general posts need a minimum of three meaningful links and three relevant media content (pics, video, social posts) embeds. Headlines should be specific and relevant; first-paragraph leads should be about 25 words.