Apr 292012
 
wordpress-logo

This post follows on from Day 1 and Day 2. If you have been following along, I hope you are happy with your results. If you are not, then consider testing out other themes, you can always revert back to your first theme if you need to, and your settings will still be there.

Today we will look at writing your first blog post, how to find a readership and some genealogy blogging resources.

 

Task 1: Write your first post

Your first post might be introducing your blog or your family, or if that has been adequately covered on your About page, you might want to dive in and write about anything you like.

To get started, go to to to Posts in the menu on the left of the dash board and select Add New. Your cursor will be positioned in the Title box, so type a title for your first post (you can change it later if you need to). WordPress will assign an address to your post based on the title which you can edit later if you want (just under the title box).

Click in the main text area and you are free to start writing. Before you start, I recommend that you hover over each of the small icons above the text area to see what they do, and I recommend you click on Show/Hide Kitchen Sink to bring up more icons which will be useful for formatting your post. Use the drop down Format menu to Format your sub-headings in a consistent way across all your posts.

Many of the icons will look similar to those that you are probably familiar with from other software, but one which will probably be new to you, is the Insert/edit Link. Have a practice inserting  some links, by typing some text, highlighting it and then clicking on the link icon and setting up a link.

You can use the Save Draft and Preview buttons to see the effects of your work. Don’t press publish , which makes your post live on the blog, until you have finished, previewed and proof read your post!

You may have noticed that the box you are writing in has two tabs on top, Visual and HTML. You will have started off in Visual and you will probably find it easiest to continue to use this method for writing and editing until you are familiar with writing posts. Be aware that you can also write/edit your post in HTML and can switch between the two on the same post (save first), there are instances when it is easier to use HTML.

You are likely to want to upload photos to some of your posts. Use the Add Media icon, next to Upload/Insert above the other icons.

On the right hand side of the screen you may see a Format list, leave Standard selected for your post. Later, experiment with the other post formats to see what they look like in your theme, or read this wordpress guide.

Read my first post on MyHagger Ancestors.

Time to get creative! Good luck crafting your first post – hold off from hitting publish until you have completed the tasks below.

 

Task 2: Tags & Categories

I don’t want to say too much about Tags and Categories, except that they should be useful in enabling your readers to find the content they are interested in, whilst you only have a few posts it won’t matter what you do. One of my pet hates is seeing a massive list of tags in a side bar each attached to a tiny number of posts.

If you want to be able to have menu items take you to particular types of post, then use categories for this. Otherwise, set up at least one category, as it looks better than having your posts listed as Uncategorized. For My Hagger Ancestors I have decided to try using tags for people.

 

Task 3: Set up share options

Go to Settings and select Sharing. Ignore the publicize section for now, go straight to sharing buttons. I like to add the sharing buttons that I think my readers are most likely to use, Facebook, Twitter and Google+, and put all the others behind the more button. Make sure you check the Show buttons on Front Page, Archive Pages, and Search Results box, as well as the Posts box, so that share buttons are shown on the front page.

Here is my selection:

 

 

After saving your sharing settings, the share buttons will appear on all your new posts. Now take one last read through your post and Publish! Send me a link to your first post.

 

Task 5: Publicise

Over the next few days and weeks, experiment with your blog as you write more posts and you will learn what works best for you.

When you have got around five posts, this is the time to start actively seeking a readership. Firstly, share your work with your social networks, if you don’t participate in any, consider setting up a Twitter account, as it is a great way to share your work and to learn about interesting resources. This is the time to return to Settings – Publicize and set up automated links to your social media, if you want to.

The very best way to find a readership for a genealogy blog is to join Geneabloggers. Every Saturday, Geneabloggers highlights the new blogs that have been submitted that week, I guarantee you will get readers. When you are ready go to Geneabloggers – suggest a blog.

 

Conclusion

I hope you have found this guide useful. Of course, this is just the start. The more you write on your blog, the more confident you will get. Experiment with different features.

There are some great resources online available to help you, I recommend The Big Genealogy Blog Book by Amy Cofin of  The We Tree Genealogy Blog, which is available for download. You may also find Blogging Genealogy helpful.

Don’t forget to send me a link to your blog, and if you have any suggestions to make about this guide please send me those to.

Good luck!

 

If you enjoyed this, please consider leaving a comment or consider subscribing to The Genealogy Workshop to receive future posts in your feed reader or by email.

Comments close two weeks after posting but you can still get in touch via the contact page.

NOTE TO SPAMMERS: Please don't bother as it wastes my time and yours. I moderate all comments and spam will not get published.

  8 Responses to “Start a WordPress Blog: Day 3”

Comments (8)
  1. Enjoying your WordPress series, very clear and easy to follow. How about those of us that started on Blogger? Any chance you might post about transferring a blog from one platform to another? Thanks!

    • Thanks Jenna. Interesting idea about a guide for transferring between platforms. Would you be thinking about transferring to a free wordpress.com blog or to a self-hosted wordpress site?

  2. Nicola, What a delightful series on one of my favorite topics. As a matter of fact I’ve just begun a WP series too. It will be fun to compare notes. I see we have the same taste in themes too. I’m using the Modest and Magnificent themes on two of my blogs. –Denise

    • Hi Denise. Thanks for reading. I just popped over to your blog for a look, I really liked your WordPress 101: Why WordPress? post, I’m looking forward to the rest of the series.

  3. hoorah .. at last someone that speaks in my language!! well done Nicola this is so easy to follow. I’ve only had my blog for 3 weeks so this is great to finally find a site that I can understand – I have subscribed and hoping that you can talk me through all these cool things that WordPress can do.
    Cheers Leigh (from New Zealand)

    • Hi Leigh, thanks for your comments. I just popped over to your blog for a look – I love your projects. The blog looks good, nice header image.

  4. I hope you will soon cover off how to set up the ‘subscribe’ piece so that I can get a list of email addresses together. Thanks again for your help!

    • Leigh, I notice you have your own domain name is your blog at wordpress.com or self hosted? Thanks for the suggestion about email subscriptions, I’m sure I can do something!

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.