Blogging for beginners
I apologise to many of you now – these posts are not at all useful to those of you with blogs already. I do, however, know that there are several people who read my blog and would like to start one themselves but are not that sure where to start. So I thought that I would share some of the knowledge that I have accumulated over the last year (nearly).
There are a few things that I wish to make clear from the start:
1. I am no expert so I may not get everything right or have all the answers.
2. I only know how to use wordpress although there are other platforms to use (such as blogger).
Over the next few weeks I thought that I would share tips that I have picked up (mostly from other people), try to explain terms such as widgets as well as some basic know – hows. If anyone reading this has any questions then please do ask.
This brings me to my first ‘lesson’.
Commenting on blogs such as this:
At the end of most blog posts you will find a comments box looking something like this:
The labels you cannot read beside the smaller boxes are: name (required), email (will not be published) (requires), website (optional). Firstly, to put your mind at rest your email will not appear anywhere publicly. Secondly, although you have to put something in the name box it does not have to be your name if you do not wish to share it (although I am not totally sure I should be writing this!) It just has to be something that is recognisable as a name so it does not get mistaken as spam (unwanted comments by machines). As an example I usually comment as knitnrun4sanity although sometimes just knitnrun. Other people just use their first name. The website box does not have to be filled in at all.
So there you go – you can now ask questions and not worry about any unwanted consequences.
Sometimes you may get this instead:
This allows you log in via an existing WordPress, Twitter or Facebook account. If you wish to do this you can just click on the icon corresponding to the account you wish to use, type your comment and click on post comment box. Your identity on the platform you have chosen to use is the one that will be shown.
Naming Your Blog
The last thing I am going to write about today is your name. When I started blogging I was very nervous about exposure online. As I know that I am not totally unusual in this – let me tell you that it is possible to have a complete presence online without ever having to disclose your real identity. The first thing you need to do is to choose a name you like. I came to my name because I knew that I was going to write about knitting, crochet and running on my blog. I tried to combine the words knitting and crochet but didn’t like what I came up with. I then hit upon knitnrun but found (though Google) that this already existed hence I then added the 4 sanity. (It is also very true!)
When creating a WordPress.com account (free I promise) you are asked for an e-mail. In order to keep my online identity cohesive I set up an e-mail account: knitnrun4sanity@…….. This meant that there is no link to my personal e-mail which involves my name. I also like that this side of my life is kept separate from school e-mails etc. As well as using my chosen name on my blog I was also keen to use it for a Facebook page and Twitter account. It all links together nicely making it easier to be found.
So to summarise:
When thinking of a name – 1) think about what you will be writing about (it doesn’t have to be linked but is definitely a good starting point).
2) Check to see if the name is already in use through Google, Facebook, Twitter etc.
3) If you wish to keep your real identity a secret then consider opening an e-mail account under your chosen name.
4) It may also be a good idea to set up a Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr account under the same name at the same time. It depends what you think you will use but it saves your name being taken by someone else in the meantime. You do not have to do anything with them to start with.
Next time I shall be talking about choosing themes and Gravatar’s. Hopefully a similar time next week. If you have any questions or subjects you would covered then do please let me know