How to Set Up a Blog with WordPress

Oh, happy day, Quillers and Thrillers!

You’re about to start your very own blog! Few things are more exciting than publishing writing you’re proud of to the internet and sharing it with your friends and family.

Before you create a blog, please make sure you’ve turned in the Ten Commandments of Digital Citizenship permission form so I know that your parents have given you permission to publish your creations online.

Step 1: Create your very own blog using wordpress.com!

WordPress is the blogging site I’ve used for the past few years, and WordPress powers the website you’re on now. While there are many other blogging platforms on the interwebs, I’m most familiar with WordPress and it is the only blogging platform I will teach you how to use. If you’re absolutely dying to use a different platform, go for it! Just know that I’m not likely to be able to provide technical support.

Want to know more about WordPress? Check out this five-minute video explaining just what WordPress is, and why I decided to use it over other blogging platforms.

Step 2: Learn all about the dashboard!

Everything you do for your blog, you’ll do through the dashboard. The dashboard to your blog is like the backstage to a play. It’s where all of the hard work happens in order for your website to actually look like a website. Before you can become a fantastic blogger, you need to understand the tool you will use to blog! To get to your dashboard, simply type in your blog URL, and add /wp-admin to the end. Then, watch the video below to learn all things WordPress Dashboard!

Step 3: Write and publish your About page!

Whenever people visit your blog, they want to know who you are. While you should never reveal identifying information about yourself online (such as your full, address, phone number, school, city, age, etc), you still need to give your readers a feel for who you are and who you stand for. Watch the video below to learn how to create a page on your blog. Keep in mind the creator of the video below uses Edublogs, which uses the same platform as WordPress.

Not sure what to write in your About page? Check out Quills and Thrills Writing Prompt Week Two for inspiration!

Step 4: Create a blog post with tags and categories

You will write and publish blog posts more than anything else on your website. In order to attract new readers to your blog posts, you need to make the most of tags and categories. Tags are like keywords that will attract others to your blog posts based on their interests. If I want to read posts on cooking, for example, I can type “cooking” into my WordPress reader search engine for all posts about cooking. Categories, however, only sort posts on your individual blog. I have a Quills and Thrills category, a teaching resources category, a writing category, etc. Watch the video below to learn more.

Step 5: Learn how to embed links, pictures, and videos

You can embed pictures, links, and videos into both pages and posts, which is great! It’s very important to know how to add hyperlinks to your text because that’s how bloggers cite their sources and give credit where credit is due. Always hyperlink to your source of information, or to the websites in which you find your images to avoid copyright infringement. Remember, Google Images is not the source of an image! To find the source of an image you find on Google Images, simply click on the image and you’ll be redirected to the original site. I like to turn my images into links to their source site, which is something I can show you how to do in class.

Step 6: Menus, Widgets, and More Pages!

You know how my page has all the cool links, images, Twitter feeds, etc. on the right-hand side? Well, those are all widgets! Widgets make your website look fancy pants. Menus, on the other hand, create shortcuts to pages, posts, links, and categories. Both will make it much easier for your readers to navigate your blog.

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