Ie been blogging for almost a month now ?and what a month it been! I initially ran my blog off the hosted WordPress.com options, but the lack of functionality made me make the switch to a self-hosted blog through WordPress.org. I come across the WordPress style of blogging about 2 years ago ?but the dashboard and interface initially put me off, and I preferred to run my websites off a what-seemed-at-the-time to be an easier web management tool. Once you get used to the dashboard, the concept of plugins and the interface, WordPress is much, MUCH easier to use than I ever imagined. With my limited knowledge of coding, I can accomplish far more than I ever did before. Although in truth this is as much a disadvantage as it is a plus ?Ie been zipping around all over the place trying new things (and almost destroying my code a few times)! My progress has been one of trial and error, and often more errors than progress.
For those of you that have followed my blog since it inception, you will have no doubt seen a number of makeovers along the way ?there were a few occasions where I tried up to 10 new themes in a day burberry purses
! It taken almost a month for me to finally settle on my current theme ?which is a free theme called Eleana by New WordPress Themes. The past few days Ie spent a fair bit of time fiddling around with the coding, as there were a few tweaks I wanted to make to the theme before I was 100% happy with it. I still not finished ?partly because there is still a fair bit I want to do and partly because I will only edit the code in steps (I will explain more on this in a moment).
I almost don want to know how many hours Ie spent on the site design and layout. And don get me started on how long it took for me to edit what is now my home page. Still, Ie had fun (when I wasn tearing my hair out in frustration) and Ie learnt so much ?it given me a great deal of confidence to keep going and be a little braver by pushing my coding skill boundaries. With this in mind, I started thinking about how much easier my progress would have been had I known back then what I know now. Ie attempted to create my website with little-to-no-cost on my part, believing that there are some milestones the blog will have to reach for me to consider investing a little more of my hard earned cash into it.
So if youe new to blogging or the world of WordPress, I hope my list of hings I wished I knew BEFORE I started blogging?will come in handy!
1. If you want to learn about creating a blog ?try to read up as much as possible BEFORE you start writing.
In the space of less than one month, I have lost count of the amount of websites I have visited, newsletters Ie signed up for, RSS feeds Ie subscribed to or blog tips Ie read. My Google Reader shows more than 1000+ new items, my Google Alerts have bumped up my inbox to over 50 new emails a day ?all of this whilst trying to write content and design the layout. I do also work and study part-time as well as maintaining some modicum of family life. Ie often been up into the wee hours of the morning, reading and watching videos.
If you want to start blogging or you have just started, take some time to familiarise yourself with the world of blogging ?get to know the terminology, learn about your blogging platform and take the tutorials if available. Trying to edit on the fly can lead to having to make a sacrifice on something ?either quality of content, frequency of posting, design/coding or site promotion. If your blog is in it early days with no subscribers, then taking some time to make your blogging life easier in the long run is definitely a good investment on your part. And your sanity.
2. Find a blogging community, and get involved!
There are any number of blogging forums out there as any search engine can attest to. How to Blog, Blogging Tips, Social Media Marketing ?theye the new industry that blown up just as fast as the dot.com businesses of yesteryear. As a result, finding a community that fits well with your blogging style and approach should be easy to find. I could recommend a community or two that Ie signed up to, but they might not fit well with you. My advice is to find a local community ?and by that I mean either one in your State or Country. The reasons for this are that youe likely to integrate better with a community if youe got more in common with the members, and when it comes to seeking advice about selling/marketing/advertising, youe going to want location-specific information.
3. Be prepared to spend lots of time playing with the design.
Getting to know the interface youe using, your design layouts and options can be lots of fun and very time-consuming! When it comes to Blog Themes, the possibilities truly are endless. I would irrevocably recommend just playing around with the design and layouts before writing any content. That way, if something goes wrong (as it did for me) you don have to extract post content or coding to repair your site. Trust me, it not fun when your design goes horribly wrong, you can figure out what you did and the code starts to look more and more like gobbledy-gook?br />
4. Search outside your comfort zone.
When I first started using WordPress burberry shopper
, I got so carried away with the functionality within the dashboard that I completely forgot to see what else the wonderful www had to offer. When I reached a plateau of what WordPress could offer me in terms of design functionality, an innocent click on a theme designers link opened up a world of WordPress theme opportunities. The standard themes offered within the WordPress Themes, to be perfectly honest ?aren all that. A few searches and you will very quickly see exactly what WordPress is capable of. Whilst there are plenty of stunning buy-to-use Premium Themes out there, if youe just starting your blog you don want to start running up the expenses when you haven even settled on a design layout. I will compile a list of the best places to go for free Themes (I know this topic has been covered extensively, but a lot of the sites don care about quality ?they just focus on quantity, regardless of whether the theme is actually any good. See my ifting through the Haystack?post about the amount of **** on the internet) and post it up soon. The same goes for Plugins on WordPress, but they have rather conveniently compiled a list of official WordPress Plugins which have been tested with every version of WordPress.
5. Don be afraid to make mistakes.
It took me 3 weeks to even look at the WordPress Editor code. Ie just started to get my head around HTML, so I was familiar with terms and tags, but PHP script operates differently, and the way WordPress uses it can be quite confusing at first, because for most design/layout/function options you have to edit two different sets of coding. Yup, wish someone had explained that to me when I first looked at it. You do have inline CSS editing, but often you will need to code two different ocuments? Don let WordPress Support confuse you though, the Codex Support pages aren very well edited in my opinion, and the support forums are eerily quiet. I suspect it because everyone is too busy trying to figure out the Codex in the first place, or they know it all and want to charge people for their knowledge. Earlier when I explained how I approached my coding in steps, I was referring to the process I developed to counteract any mistakes I make. Before editing any code, I would save a copy of the code in a text file (because I knew the code worked) and then make my changes. If it didn work, and removing the lines of suspect code didn rectify the problem ?then I already had my backup at hand. Once I worked that process out, it became a lot easier to be brave, knowing I had a copy of the working code saved. And, it also let me make mistakes ?by playing around with the code and getting things wrong I pretty quickly learnt what did and didn work!
6. Sign up for Social Media tools and understand them before you write content.
Digg, del.i.cious, Stumbleupon, Foursquare burberry australia
, Facebook, Twitter?those are merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the world of social media. These are marketing tools that you are going to become very familiar with, if you want to join the blogosphere. These websites increase your website visibility and drives traffic to your content. Each of them work in their own way, with their own set of rules (scheduling Tweets anyone?), and when youe in the middle of a creative burst of writing you really don want to be focusing your attention elsewhere. Ie just managed to get my head around them now! So take some time to get to know them, how they work, what you should do ?because it will also help you understand how to write your content. If driving traffic to your blog is your priority, then youe going to want to know the parameters that you have to write in. And make sure you sign up to all of these accounts with either the same password or a very memorable one ?youe not going to remember different passwords when youe hit your 5th + website burberry rain jacket
7. The writing will be the easy part!
Seems strange doesn it? When I first toyed with the idea of writing my own blog, I was worried that I wouldn be able to produce enough content. In amongst attempting to finalise my blog design (and yes, it will most likely change in the future when I kick things up a notch ?but that for another day), I haven been able to focus on the content as much as I would like. I was so busy creating the website that I had to utilise a notepad to write down my post ideas for fear of the idea escaping my mind before I had a chance to turn it into an article. I now have a backlog of topics that I want to publish! Which leads me to my next point?br />
8. Plan your Content.
In the early days of your blog you will take some time getting used to the routine of writing content, publishing it, marketing it and making any edits to your site. If youe like me and you don have all day to focus on your blog, then setting up a schedule will help you manage content and ensure that your blog is regularly updated to continue attracting traffic. Following on from a great tip by Darren Rowse of problogger.net; plan your posts a week in advance and work out which days you will publish them on. So if you only have a couple of hours each day to spend on your blog, you can make that time more effective by knowing what youe going to do and actually doing it, instead of getting lost in the blogosphere. Which is very easy to do! I try to write my content for the following day the night before, and then publishing it first thing in the morning. Then I will cycle through the process of marketing it through the appropriate
channels such as Twitter and facebook.
9. Integrate?assimilate?br />
You know the best way to get your website noticed? Get involved in forums, your facebook page, your Twitter list and visit other blogs and comment on posts. The et-traffic-rich-quick?scheme is a slippery slope downhill, and leads to one very empty experience of sharing your content with the world. People will visit your blog if they think it would interest them, and the only way theye going to do that is if the person you present to the cyberworld catches their attention. It not always about killer content, it about giving people something they can identify with ?even if your post is a rant.
10. Lastly ?if youe not having fun, youe not doing it right!
When it 3am in the morning and you can barely make out the words on the screen ?it time for you to put the keyboard and mouse down, and step away from your computer. Blogging is all about you, it your teeny tiny space in a sea of millions of people ?and if youe putting yourself under pressure to deliver, then it not fun for anyone. Ie been guilty of it myself ?rushing out a post when I should be fast asleep in bed, just to publish my post for the day. People who read your blog will keep coming back if you can provide quality and value, and if your posts aren up to scratch you will quickly lose readers. The creative process of writing doesn work so well when youe not in the moment anyway, so don risk sacrificing quality content for quantity. Again, see my post ifting through the Haystack??there is plenty of rubbish out there on the internet, don let your site fall victim to it!
I hope youe found this post interesting ?I love to hear your comments to let me know what you think!
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