Blogging Tips / Tips

Basic Tips for New Bloggers

question marksBlogging involves a learning curve and when you are new you may not know where to look for the answers to your “how to” questions, or you may experience difficulties of a technical nature. When it comes to getting the help you need at you will find both bases are covered.

Now and then you may experience  situations when you click and expect a specific thing to happen and something else presents.  When your issues are technical such as being unable to upload images or being unable to insert links, it’s always best to do some troubleshooting before seeking help. Support Documentation

If you are looking for “how to” answers you can easily search the support documentation.  The support documentation search box  will display results not only from the documentation but also from support forums threads.  Links to the documentation are found in 5 locations:

  1.  Admin bar (blog page top, dashboard top): My Account > Get Support
  2.  Dashboard upper right corner: Help
  3.  Dashboard bottom bar: Support
  4.  Forum header:  Support
  5.  Forum bottom bar: 24/7 Support

document search box

Posting to Support Forums

red question markIf your searching proves to be unproductive, then some issues that you encounter with your WordPress blog or account may be resolved with  assistance from your fellow bloggers in the support forums.  Volunteers answering support forum questions do not have backend access to blogs and cannot apply technical fixes, only Staff can do that.  Links to the support forums are found in several locations including:

  1. Dashboard bottom bar: Forums
  2. Support documentation: bottom bar: On Forums
  3. Theme Showcase bottom bar: On Forums
  4. home page bottom bar: On Forums

On the main support forums page there are links to sub-forums.

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Public answers to your support requests. Staff Questions Forum

staff questions

On the front page of the support forums at the bottom of the column you will find a Staff Questions Forum link. Staff experience a wealth of duplicate support requests and hope with this Staff Questions forum will increase the collection of searchable answers on an already public platform.

Users now have a way to mark their support request (on the contact page) as either public or private. Private requests will continue to be directed to Staff via the ticketing system, but public requests will post to a new Staff Questions forum section. These public support requests will be visible to everyone, but only Automattic ( employees are able to respond.

Contacting Staff

support search box

blue question markUse the searchbox first

After you use the searchbox at the top of the page,  on bottom of the page there will be a section that says “Have you found the answer to your question?” You can choose either “Yes I found the answer to my question.” or “No I didn’t find the answer to my question and I would like to contact support for help.” The no option will reveal the contact form.

Creating a support ticket

When contacting Staff in order to avoid a time delay in finding a solution and applying it please do not forget to include details in your support ticket.  In addition to a clear description of the problem Staff need to know:

  1. Your browser and  browser version.
  2. Your FULL blog address of the blog in question (not the blog name, the actual URL that begins http:// Please note: there is no “www” in any url)
  3. Your FULL username.
  4. Your role (Administrator, Editor, Author, Contributor).
  5. The email address that you registered at with for the blog in question;
  6. A clear description of the exact problem.
  7. If the problem is with a specific page, post or image then provide the URL for whichever is in question.
  8. If the problem occurred when following instruction in support documentation then a link to it is helpful.
  9. Screenshots can also be helpful.

Supplying these details up front  in your support ticket means Staff won’t have to employ back and forth email exchange with you in order to obtain relevant information. That means they can identify the source of the problem and provide a solution quickly.

Note:  Whitelist support in your email program so email from Staff does not end up in your spam filter.

34 thoughts on “Basic Tips for New Bloggers

  1. I’ve only been blogging for a couple of months and really wish I’d found this site when I first started out! I still think it’s going to be really useful in the future. I like how you have designed it and that you’ve considered accessibility.

  2. Hi TT,
    I have a doubt. What exactly does ‘Clicks’ on the site stat page mean? If I see a URL there, does it mean that the person whose link appears has visited my blog?

  3. Thanks, TT. I’ve been thinking about switching to WordPress, but I’m fearful of the learning curve. This really helps! Still not sure about taking the plunge, though. :)

    • Hi Janane,
      Provided one is not pervaded by a sense of urgency and is willing to pace themeselves while they learn, then all the resources they need as well as all the help they need to master the software is avalibale. Those who who have expectations based on the use of other software struggle. But those who are open minded learners may experience some frutration from time to time but as I just said the help they need is avaliable. Have a wonderful holiday.

  4. First. Thank you for the good information! I will reread all you have explained. Some of us- me- just need to be led by the hand one time and then it all makes sense. Thank you.

    As for the link to my site. That was the original name. I went through Gravatar and WordPress to change the link and it does work on ither sites. I logged out and will relog to see if that helps.

    In any event thank you and forgive my ignorance.
    I did get the flag counter working!

  5. Thank you for such a great site to help others. I’m learning a lot! I’m new– really new– to wordpress and blogging. Could you lead me through how to add coded add-ons to my site?

    For instances: the visitors Flags. I’ve looked and looked and feel dumb that I can’t find it in simple terms. I tried quick post and there it is as a post. That’s not what I want. I want new buttons and the like to the side where they will stay and not get in the way.

    Speak slowly and I will follow along, Ha!

    And thank again for your site. It’s great!

    • Hello there,
      The placement of sharing buttons is not something you cannot manipulate on blogs, if that is indeed what you are referring to.
      enable sharing buttons on your posts, pages and index pages >
      Some themes have their own unique Facebook, Twitter etc. icons and some don’t but we can all have sharing buttons on our posts.

      By visitor flags if you mean a flag counter then see here > you get the code and place it in a text widget in your sidebar > versus The Differences IMO ought to be mandatory reading for all new users.

      The bottom lineis if you wish to have complete control over a blog, FTP access, the ability to upload themes and plugins, and to edit themes and templates then your option is to hire a web host and get a free software install from WordPress.ORG and self host it.

      P.S. Your username is linked to a deleted blog is no longer available.
      The authors have deleted this blog.

      Here’s how to link your username to your blog in your blog Dashboard -> Users -> Personal Settings -> then scroll down to Account Details. Then scroll down to where it says ‘Website‘ select the URL for your primary blog and then save changes.

  6. Hi, Timethief

    Great resources; clear and to the point. I wish I had these tips when I was first getting started. It’ll really help new WordPress bloggers who have questions on getting additional help.

    Hey, I might even refer back to this if I need to find something fast! Thanks for the info.

    • Hi there Allysson,
      Thanks for the praise. I have been asked by some new bloggers who emailed me to cover some WordPress basics and I’ll be doing more articles like this one in the future. I hope you are enjoying the summer weather. It’ finally stopped raining here yesterday and when I say stopped I’m being optimistic as it could start again anytime.

  7. I’m a complete newbie at this game, only found your site today and in a couple hours, i have already learnt so much. I’m now looking foward to calling myself an experienced blogger at some point in the distant future. Thank you, thank you, i can’t wait to try out all your suggestions, and hopefully make my blog one of the best in the business. :)

    • Hello there and welcome,
      I’m happy to hear you find my blog posts to be information. There are 583 posts in this blog and you are welcome to read your way through all of them :) Best wishes with your blog.

  8. Another great and useful post TT. As you know, I’ve made extensive use of the forums over time and I like the fact that WP continually works to make it easier and easier to get help. One thing that I’ve always been frustrated with, however, is the search function. Now it could be that I’m just not very good at choosing search parameters, but I get so frustrated by wading through page after page of unusable results that I often just give up.

    Got any tips on how I can better find what I’m looking for?

    • I don’t know how to respond to you as I find the search functions work well for me. That could be because I know the correct terms to type in to produce results. In case where I want and answer quickly I use Google search as all threads are indexed. The format fo a Ggogle search of the support forum threads is:
      Note there is no space following the colon and “keyword” must be replaced by your own word or phrase.

      • Thanks TT. I was going to say that I seem to find other, non WP related things much better when I use Google search. I’ll try your suggestion next time to see if it helps.

        • I strongly rely on Google. They are is the search business and no matter which site I’m on Google search capabilities by far excel the sites.

  9. One of the keys is not to be intimidated when your working with people who know more then you do in certain areas. I was a fumbling novice when I started out and the WordPress community has been essential in my learning process. WordPress definately rocks.

    • Hello Steve,
      Thanks for your observation. I agree with it. It’s important to have the self-confidence it takes to locate answers to your questions without feeling intimidated. I believe the Volunteers who answer support forum questions and Staff clearly recall being WordPress beginners themselves and are extremely helpful. The community here is a supportive one and any beginner who seeks help will find it.

  10. Excellent and thorough, as usual. Your point (and checklist) about including all relevant info when contacting support is an especially good reminder. That’s something even some of us not-so-newbies tend to forget… : (

    Thanks, TT!

    • Hi Mark,
      When we are frustrated we can forget that there’s no such thing as providing too many details. In order to solve technical issues Volunteers or Staff must have enough information to duplicate the problem and resolve it in order to provide solutions. When we begin blogging we may not be able to discern what’s important and what isn’t.. When details aren’t provided an email exchange must follow and that means it takes longer to find a solution.

  11. I know I am not a beginner anymore, but I think this is a really useful post. The sort of post they should Freshly Press imo. Great work TT!

    When I started blogging I would post questions and then I would ‘lose’ them on the forum as I would forget to tick the bit that said ‘notify me of follow up comments by email’ and by the time I got back to the forum my original post would have ‘vanished’ or so I thought. I could never figure out how to bookmark or favourite forum posts in a sensible way either. Filing is not my strong point.

    • Hello Joanna,
      You just pointed out a deficieny in my coverage. I need to edit this post and point out how to mark forum threads as favorites and suvscribe to the RSS feeds for the threads we post. I will also point need to point out that by clicking “member” under our username in support forum threads we can locate our previous posts to the support forums.

      • I know I’m not supposed to gush here, but thank you, thank you! Clicking member under user name – I would never have guessed that in a million years :D

  12. Some excellent information for beginners as well as more experienced bloggers. When I first started using WordPress I made extensive use of the user forums. I found that by searching for specific topics I could often find the answer about something I was trying to do.

    • Hi Mike,
      The forum search box is a treasure chest full of informative threads. There’s rarely ever a question asked that has not been previously answered more than once. Some beginners are self starters like you and others aren’t. We Volunteers strive to teach beginners how to use the search utilities and some do learn but others don’t. Those who don’t learn how to search wait for their answers and those who do are up and running in short order.

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