How to Start a Blog
You have heard others talk about it, and you have been toying with the idea yourself: starting a blog, sharing your own ideas, thoughts, stories and adventures. Getting started is much less daunting than you think, and it’s even easier if you’re going to host the blog on Wordpress.com*. Let’s go through the steps.
Start at Wordpress.com
Using Wordpress.com to host your blog makes it easier, because you don’t have to worry about dealing with web hosting. They handle all the difficult technical details for you. Ready? Click on the big “Get Started” button.
Now you will need to fill out the form. Pay particular attention to the blog address, as that's what you will share with your friends so they can read your writing.
The part you want to spend some time thinking about is the name of your new blog. A name like “Hillary.Wordpress.Com” is a lot easier to share with friends than, for example, “Hillary452.Wordpress.Com”. It might take a few tries before you find a name that’s available. Have patience; it’s worth it.
The next step is to go through the blog configuration options. There are two fields: title and tagline.
Your blog title is what people will see at the top of every page, and spaces are okay. Have a bit of fun—creativity is good!
For this demonstration, we will use “Intel Tech Tips” for the name of our blog.
A tagline is a four or five word slogan or description of your new blog. For example: "Learn to dance like a star" or "Everything wrong with politics" or "My life, my views, my brilliant ideas". We will use “Better Living Through Technology” for the tagline of this blog.
Click “Next Step” to proceed.
Choose your theme
Now this is the fun part: Choose a theme that makes your blog look really cool. If you don’t like any of these free themes, you can just scroll to the bottom, and there is a button to show more themes.
You can choose themes that cost money or stick with a free one without a price tag by clicking on its preview thumbnail image.
Next you will see options for customizing the theme you have selected. In fact, customization is one great benefit of using Wordpress for your blog—but let's defer that to later so we can keep moving forward.
Click on "Next Step", and you are ready to create your first post!
Create your first post
Your first post. Now is a good time to talk about what makes a blog really popular. One thing is good writing, but another factor is consistency.
It's hard to build fans if you write four articles in a day and then ignore it for two months, so think about some sort of consistent schedule for your blog. Maybe one post a week, and more if the inspiration hits or you have an amazing experience? That's plenty.
Let's go back and write a post about the Ultrabook™.
For this example blog entry, we will post a photo of the computer and write a bit about our first impressions, which can be done by clicking on “Text” for the first post. This is the most common type of blog post, so it's something you will doubtless get quite familiar with as you proceed.
Once you’re at the composition page, start by typing in a title for your post, something that’s short, witty, and hopefully piques the curiosity of your reader, so they will click through and read what you have written. The main part of your blog entry is the main text, which can be multiple paragraphs—as long as you would like—and can include links, bold, italics, and various other typographic elements.
Ready to add a photo? Click on “Insert Photo”. The photo of the Ultrabook is saved in the “Pictures” folder, so it’s easy to navigate to that spot, select the photo, and click "Open". If your photo is on your camera or smartphone, you will need to copy it onto your computer before you upload it. If it’s a photo you have found on someone else’s web site, you can enter its URL, but it’s recommended you check with them to gain permission first. Lots of images are protected under copyright and can’t be republished, even for a casual, personal blog. Better to be safe than get into trouble.
Once you have all that straightened out, select the photo file, and it will be uploaded to the Wordpress server. After a moment or two, it will appear in the edit window at full size, which can be rather startling, especially if it’s really large. Click on the image, and you will have the option of scaling it down if it seems too big.
Done writing and adding photos and other images? Terrific. To publish a new blog entry, click on “Publish Post”, and after a few moments of behind-the-scenes work, the post is up, and you will be looking at a confirmation page. It worked. You are a blogger.
Blog created, theme chosen, and first entry already published. Make a note of your blog's new address, and you're ready to tell your friends about it!
Congrats on joining the ranks of bloggers. There are millions of us. And don't be shy sharing your work with others.
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