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      Getting Started Blogging

by Joe Nassise

WordPress Login

 

If you haven't logged in yet, please go to the blog administration page and log in at:

http://www.ninc.com/blog/wp-login.php

Put in the username and password you selected when registering and then click the Log-In box.

Follow these simple steps to write a basic post:

  1. Login to your Word Press administration panel

  1. On the Dashboard page, select Write A New Post from the right hand side of the screen

Dashboard

  1. Simple enter the title of your post in the box provided and write the content of your post in the big white box below that box (if you’ve ever used webmail, the post box looks just like an email form)

Write a Post
  1. When you are done, click Publish.

 

Publish

That’s it in a nutshell.  There are a whole slew of other fun things you can do in your blog post, however, so we’ll cover those one at a time in more detail.

Title

This is where you enter the title of your post. It’s a bit like the subject of an email. For search engine purposes I tend to make my titles catchy and interesting as to attract visitors to read them.

Tip: Try not to use the same title more than once as that will cause problems with internal links and search engine optimization.

Wordpress uses the same title for the post-slug (we’ll discuss post-slugs in a moment) so you don’t want to make them too long.  Be creative but don’t go overboard.

Post Area

The big white box is where you enter your content, links, images and whatever else you want inside here. This is your main body just like in an email. Because it’s visual rich text editor you can highlight, format, use bullet points, add hyperlinks and so on.  (see formatting options)

Posting Options -
“Visual” or “Code“

Visual Code

At the right hand corner of the post content window, you will see two options – Visual and Code/HTML.  These are the two options you can use to write your post.  Nine times out of ten you will use the first one, the Visual option.  Occasionally, you might want to hand code something in HTML, which is what the Code option is for. 

The Visual window is the default window for writing new posts so if you don’t know HTML than just ignore the other option.

Formatting Options

Formatting options can be found above the white text box where you write content. They are displayed as picture icons and if you use any Microsoft application you will recognize most of the symbols, i.e. bold, italic, bullet points and so on.

Formatting Options

One important symbol to know is the More tag, which is the 4th icon from the right and looks like two rectangles over each other.  If you have a long post, you can insert this icon anywhere in your post and it will split it in two – the top half will show up on the main page with a Read More link, which will take the reader to the full article on its own page.

Adding Media to Your Post

You can add pictures, audio and even video to any of your posts quickly and easily from right inside the write post page.  On the right hand side of the toolbar you’ll notice a section entitled Add Media which looks like this:

Adding Media The first icon is to add images, the second to add video and the third to add audio.   

 

The process is the same no matter which one you choose.  Put your cursor in the post box where you want the file to appear.  Then click the appropriate icon and Wordpress will call up a secondary screen that looks like this:

Media Browse

If the file you want to upload is on your computer, you simply hit the Browse button and follow the steps just like you normally would when selecting a file.

If the file you want to upload is on the internet, you can add in the URL in the box provided and Wordpress will retrieve the file for you.

Because Google uses image links as an additional way to search and drive traffic to a site, you will want to add in a description for the file.  So if I am adding an image of a laughing boy, I’d put “laughing boy” (without the quotes) into the description box.

To align your file, you can select any of the options listed.

Finally, click the Insert into Post button and you are all set.

Status

Status

To the right of the post box is a section that identifies the status of your post.  It will look like this: 

If you want to save your post as a draft, you can hit the Save button and come back to it later.  If you are ready to publish you post, you can hit the Publish button and that will automatically upload the post to the website.

Categories

Categories are one of the ways search engines help identify your posts (the other is tags.)  When the blog goes live there will be a set selection of categories to choose from.  As having too many categories is an excellent way to dilute the blog’s search engine ranking (something we DON’T want) please try to find the SINGLE best category that your post fits into.

The Category section looks like this (Note – as the categories are being set-up still, this example was taken from my personal blog)

Categories

All you have to do is put a check in the box you want to choose as your category.  The default option is Uncategorized.

Tags

Tags are the second way that your post is categorized and identified by search engines.  You can have as many tags as you like, so be creative.  To use tags, all you need to do is type them into the box provided, separating them with commas.

Tags

Write Now – Post Later

Publish Status

Say you want to write your post now but publish it later.  No problem – Wordpress can do that for you too.

By default WordPress automatically writes a time and date on each of your posts when you publish them.

If you look closely at the Post Status option window however, you’ll see a line that reads Publish Immediately (this is the default option) with the word Edit in blue next to it.  Clicking on edit calls up a secondary screen that lets you set the time and date that Wordpress should publish the post. 

Click Publish when you are done and Wordpress will release the post at the appropriate time and date.

Returning to a Draft / Editing a Post

Edit PostIf you have saved a post to a Draft form or need to edit a post you’ve already published, you can do so by clicking on the Manage link near the top of the page.

This will take you to a page that allows you to manage all of your posts – published and drafts.  The main screen will look like this – (note this example is taken from my personal blog, not our NINC blog)

Post List

As you can see, the posts are organized in an easily accessible list by Date, Title, Author, Categories, Tags, and Status.

Clicking on the post title will call up the editing screen for you to make whatever changes/additions need to be made. (The editing screen looks just like the Write Post screen, except it will contain the work you have already done to date.)  When you are finished, click the Save or Publish button to save/upload your work.

Comments

One thing that sets a blog off from a regular old website is the interaction it generates with the community that visits the site.  Every post includes a Comments feature, which allows readers to leave their thoughts, questions, etc beneath the post.  It is a VERY good idea to respond to at least some of the comments left on your post – this encourages people to come back and increases the effectiveness of the site itself.  Normally I’ll try to respond to several comments at once by simply listing the commenter’s name in my response and then skipping a space between them.

The easiest way to respond to comments is to simply visit the blog itself without logging in, find the post you want to comment on, and click the comment button.  This will bring you to a page that shows you the post and all the associated comments.  Any comment you leave (by filling in the form at the bottom of the page) will show up as the next comment in the list.