9 Guides for Beginning Your New Blog

blogging tipsCreating a blog is an exciting process but do be sure that you think before you act. Your new blog’s URL, blog title and tagline ought to contain memorable keywords that define your new blog’s brand and make the URL easy to recall. You will find some guidance and advice in these nine posts.

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Creating a new blog – There are as many reasons to blog as there are bloggers and it’s not surprising to find that most bloggers do have more than one blog. This article provides an overview of creating a new blog including determining who your audience will be, blogging under your given name or a pseudonym, and determining your purposes and your goals.

Keyword Power in the Blogging World – Keywords and keyword phrases naturally occur in any speech or writing and in every language. They are index terms used as a means to retrieve documents in an information system such as a catalog or a search engine, so learning correct usage is key to discover-ability and search-ability.

Top 5 Site Title Tag Tips – Title tags are one of the “big three” as far as the algorithmic weight given to them by search engines.  Be sure to Avoid Special Character Use in Titles and Tags.

While it’s true that the site title (blog name) and blog address URL do not have to be the same it’s better for SEO (search engine optimization) as your blog will be more readily discoverable and memorable if they are. The Site title (blog name) and/or the optional Tagline can be changed on the top of this page at any time. > Settings > General. That is exactly where search engine spiders look for the site title and removing it from there can cause issues with getting your content indexed.

If you make a spelling error when registering your blog URL know that you cannot edit it but you can change it. To change the .wordpress.com blog address, you must be logged in as Admin under the exact same username account that registered the blog and the URL you desire must be available.

You don’t need a domain to become a successful blogger but it helps. Blogs on their own domains communicate the message that the blogger is serious about blogging, serious enough to purchase a domain.  In order to purchase a domain mapping upgrade and map to a domain one must have an underlying .wordpress.com subdomain blog to map from and the domain name you desire must be available for purchase, or you must already own the domain URL.

Creating an Effective Blog Tagline – An optional Tagline is a brief and memorable branding message that can be expressed as a subtitle. An effective Tagline defines the blog’s subject matter,  who the blog is for and what’s in it for them.

Why About Pages are Essential – Your About page is a brief description of who you are and what your purpose for the blog is. You can also include information related to: accessibility, archives, subscriptions, translations, image credits, advertising and disclosure.

Creating an Effective Blog Description – If you don’t provide a search description for your blog, search engines will establish one for you based on your blog’s content. Learn how to describe your blog’s purpose effectively by using  keywords to clearly describe your blog’s content and be searchable.

Gravatar, Avatar, Blavatar – A  gravatar/avatar is a small image that represents you online appearing beside your username you publish articles on a blog or comment on articles others have published on their blogs and here you will find best practices for uploading a gravatars and blavatars.

Related posts: 

WordPress.com Username Accounts, Logins and More
It’s About Time

41 thoughts on “9 Guides for Beginning Your New Blog

  1. Hi timethief,

    Do you have any posts explaining how you got your blog posts to display as text links? I want my blog to display a list of posts like you have them on your “popular posts” page. Thanks for the help, great informative site!

  2. Hey :) Been reading your posts lately, and they are helping a lot. I guess i still have a lot to learn about blogging. Anyway, thank you. God bless :)… Stop by anytime if you like

    -Myriad

  3. Hello timethief, I came across your blog this morning (NZ time), in the comments section of the Daily Post. What an eye-opener! I have spent several hours reading and thinking about your material. In a way I wish I’d read your 9 tips for getting started before I ever started. But I don’t think I would have even understood what you are talking about, without first having ventured in to the blogosphere and tried things out for myself. It’s a whole new world with an entirely new, to me, language. I come from an age when there was no such thing as blogs, let alone splogs! And The Post arrived in a letterbox – remember them?

    I learn best from trial and error, mostly error. Having said that, your tips are very, very useful.They have helped me get a bit more focused in my thinking about what I’m doing with my blog. And I’ve thought more about what readers might respond to when they find my blog. I’ve already put some of your tips in place and I’m sure will be back for more. Thank-you!

    1. Hello there,
      Learning how to blog involves a steep learning curve. I am so happy to know you have found my content to be helpful. Best wishes to you.

      1. Hope I do not annoy you with my questions ;), If I have to give credits on my blog, I should include, I learnt every thing related to WordPress.com from you, I knew where to get images from you (I did not know where to get them from, I know Autommatic have a strict policy against images without CC license), I knew a lot of blogging tips from you, Thank you again :)

          1. I know, I was telling you that I learnt that from here too.
            Without the images credits page and this post (The linked one), I would be preparing images (Saving them in folders on my computer to spend less time uploading them to the blog) I do not have permissions to use on for my blog, I now use the images that are licensed under Creative Commons only.

  4. I’m hoping to summon up the timethief. I’ve started a new blog. A day and a half ago I found I could no longer access the dashboard, instead getting the message: ‘no data received’. I’ve found this thread, dealing with a similar problem in June 2012: http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/no-data-received-error-message.

    The solution was to go to user settings and change settings to https. I can’t access my dashboard, so I can’t reach user settings.

    I’ve tried contacting WordPress.com support and received no response.

    Any help would be gratefully received.

  5. Good points. I didn’t appreciate all this when I first started. I really had no fixed focus which is why my blog title is so general, but it suits me. I could change it to a more photography specific title, but I think I’d upset/confuse my followers if I did. :)

    1. Hello there,
      Your blog is already out of the 6 month Google sandbox AKA trust box, the content is being indexed and the blog has a page rank. If you think changing the site title will make it harder for your established readers to locate it and for new visitors to discover it then it doesn’t make any sense to change it. Your optional tagline can be tweaked at any time and you already have the keyword “photographs” in it.

  6. I Love, love, love your blog and often find many usual good hints and blogging strategies that I successfully follow. Thanks for the great posts.

    After reading this post, I went back to refresh some of my earlier knowledge. I had, in fact, been wondering how to change my WordPress address from what I originally registered it as, to one that matched my site title. Thank you for the tip! It worked beautifully, altho I now have 2 account listings for one of my blogs, each with a different site address…. but hopefully I can get some help with that through the forums and work out that flaw.

    Wonderful Post and great tips! : )

    1. Hi there,
      Hopefully, my post prompted you to review everything you did originally. If so then that was what it was meant to do for those with established blogs. :)

  7. Important tips. I’m interested especially in the part about purchasing my own domain, as I have not yet done that. Hope your week is going well, my friend!

    Hugs from Ecuador,
    Kathy

    1. Hi Kathy,
      A domain is yours and by that I mean it’s yours as long as you don’t allow it to expire. It implies longevity and reliability and it’s portable. If you move to another host then you can repoint the nameservers or transfer the registration. In your case I do recommend getting one.

      The sun is shining and though hubby is away today and I’m behind in all things (as usual) I think I’m coping quite well.

  8. Again I learn something new from reading your posts. I had no idea it was possible to change the ‘standard’ URL. And the redirect add-on ensures continuity. Good to know.

    1. Hi David,
      I’m happy to know you learned something you didn’t already know. Being able to change the .wordpress.com URL wasn’t always available to us. I believe that feature became available roughly a year ago now.

  9. Even though I’ve been blogging for a couple of years now, I find myself still involved in a learning curve. Sometimes it feels more like a loop. Thanks for straightening out a few of the curves!

    1. Hi there,
      I think bloggers get carried away with appearance and twiddling and fiddling with themes and widgets. Now you are an experienced blogger you have the value hindsight provides and know how important it is to do your thinking first.

  10. Thanks – I enjoy these. Do you have words of advice or a definitive reference on setting up a wordpress blog to sell art ?

    It’s one thing to setup a poetry blog etc, but it’s daunting to try to collect all the pieces , like pay-pal button etc when one doesn’t have the big picture. Maybe you can post on the big picture. – thanks

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