Finally, here’s the part you were waiting for. To pen down your thoughts, experiences, opinions, musings and even empty ramblings, if you so choose… and publishing it for the world to read. This is, after all, the main reason why you set up a WordPress site anyway.
There are, however, a number of things that you should be aware of when you begin publishing. Please allow me to share them with you here.
Before Hitting The “Publish” Button
Step 1: Blog Visibility
Before you go ahead and start creating your posts, do ensure that you have your blog visibility set to “I would like my blog to be visible to everyone”. This means that everyone including search engines is able to view your contents. Chose the other option if you wish to block out search engines.
Step 2: Access New Post Editor
In earlier versions of WordPress, you will need to hop over to the control panel to access the “New Post” link. Now, with the newer versions, the “Add New” link is conveniently located on the left panel in the Dashboard after you login. When clicked, the Add New Post editor screen will slide down from the top of your website, ready for your posting.
Step 3: Create Post
In this Add New Post editor screen, WordPress allows you to enter your content easily just like how you would type away in a Microsoft Word document – in fact even easier! There are toolbars at the top of the editor window which allows you to do simple formatting to your content too. Do make use of these to make your content easier to read!
Step 4: Add Tags
Tags are like labels that you assign your posts. They are little keywords that help you and your readers to easily search for certain categories posts. Examples of some tags include hosting reviews, wordpress themes, 5-minute recipes, holiday destinations and exercises.
Step 5: Publishing Options
You have a few options on how and when you wish to publish your new post. You can choose to password protect your current post by clicking on the Edit link next to “Visibility: Public”. This means that upon publishing, this particular post will be hidden from the public. There will be a box for your readers to enter the password to proceed to read the post.
The other option that you have is schedule your post. You can opt to publish immediately or at a later date and time as specified. Just click on the Edit link next to “Publish immediately”. This is handy especially when you are unable to access your blog for a long while but do not wish it to appear idle for that long, so you can schedule blog posts to be posted while you are away.
Step 6: Publish
Click “Publish” or “Schedule” to have the post published!
After Hitting The “Publish” Button
Here is a list of actions that you can take to “announce” your arrival to blogsphere.
In order for others to find your blog, they must know that you exist. Blog-hop around, particularly to same interest blogs and leave genuine comments. Don’t expect all of them to return your visit but most will, especially if your comments were truly witty and remarkable.
Also, in order for your new found friends to keep coming back, your blog must be attractive enough eg quality contents or runs giveaways. Build a relationship by visiting them regularly and subscribing to their newsletters.
SEO Your Contents
You would have noticed this buzzword “SEO” around and also in my previous articles. And yes, it is essential that you make your blog SEO-friendly, unless of course, you wish to maintain a strictly personal blog for invited visitors only. For the rest of us, improving the search engines ranking of our blogs is the major contribution to the amount of traffic we get. With billions of searches per day on Google alone, there’s sure a lot of competition for attention.
While WordPress comes with good SEO features, there are some additional SEO techniques that you can put in place including choosing the right keywords, linking to relevant posts, and use SEO-friendly permalinks. You can also install WordPress SEO plugins to have more control on every SEO aspects of your blog.
Do check out the recommended WordPress plugins in our previous post.
Marketing Through Social Media
Other than search engines, social media websites are your other source of traffic and I will go to the extent to say that you would probably find more traffic from social media websites than from search engines as your blog is still new and not ranking high in search results yet!
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and LinkedIn are some of the most popular ones with millions of active users. So start sharing your contents and linking your posts in your social media accounts.
Community websites like Squidoo and HubPages are sites that you can leverage on to promote your own blog. But it would need some extra effort. What you would need to do is to publish articles and have them posted at your account in these community websites. You can talk about topics related to your blog and place a link back to your blog or deep link it to a related blog post.
Now that you have completed (and implemented) this 6-step guide WordPress series, you have pretty much lay a good foundation for your blog. So go forth and express yourself. Who knows, you may even be the next celebrity blogger!