Tag Archives: wordpress

Ten Minutes of Connecting: Day 24 – Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Blog

Yesterday we looked at the options available for educators to begin a personal/professional blog for free.  Today, we hope you will take ten minutes to actually begin creating your personal space for sharing and curating.

Shared under a Creative Commons Attribution - Non-commercial license by Thomas Hawk
Shared under a Creative Commons Attribution – Non-commercial license by Thomas Hawk

We will guide you through the process of starting a blog at wordpress.com.  The process is quite similar for other hosting sites, and all sites have extensive support available to walk you through the process of setting up your blog.

Begin at www.wordpress.com

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Begin entering the information.  Your username will appear when you make comments on other WordPress blogs, so consider carefully what you want that to be, and be sure that it is reflective of you (i.e., your real name or your Twitter handle are good options).

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Consider carefully the “blog address” as this is what you will use to drive readers to your site.  Keep it simple and reflective of who you are.

Take a screenshot, or carefully record the set up information so that you will be able to log back into your site.

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You are provided with a number of options.  For now, we will stick with the free version.  Choose “create blog”.

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WordPress.com will now “walk you through” a number of steps to create your blog.  Consider the purpose of your blog as you create a title and tagline (all of these can be edited later).

 

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At some point in the process you will be asked to verify your account through the email address you originally provided.

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In the email message, you will see an option to follow beginner tutorials.

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You may need to log into your site from the email message.  Use the information you carefully recorded when you set up the blog.

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When you are creating a blog, there are two “sides” or “views” in the process.  There is the public side, which is what others see when they visit your blog at the URL you have chosen.  For example, it’s what you see right now at https://ossemooc.wordpress.com/.

When people navigate to my new blog, they see this front page, but with their own login information on the top black navigation bar.

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The “other” side or view is the dashboard, where you create your posts and design your site.

To access your dashboard from your public view, click on the name of your blog in the top left, and choose dashboard.

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WordPress.com has provided an excellent instructional video to help you understand and navigate the dashboard side of your blog.

Take some time to watch the video and play with some of the features on your new site.

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Access the video here: https://v0.wordpress.com/player.swf?v=1.03

Below are some further resources to help you navigate and learn the dashboard side of your blog.

WordPress.com Get Started Tutorials

WordPress.com Quick Start Guide

WordPress TV: Understanding the Dashboard

Ten Minutes of Connecting: Day 23 – Yes, It’s Time to Start Your Own Blog!

Much of the work we have done so far in getting connected has been about where to find information on the web, and how to share the valuable information with others.

Shared by Dafyd Jones under a Creative Commons Attribution - Non-Commercial - Share-Alike License.
Shared by Dafyd Jones under a Creative Commons Attribution – Non-Commercial – Share-Alike License.

But what if nobody created any of the resources you are sharing?

Your presence online is valuable because others are creating and sharing with you.  You are a valuable part of your own PLN.  Creating and sharing back with your colleagues is an important part of the process, and a valuable aspect of your own professional learning.

Today we start supporting you in the process of creating your own blog.

Shared under a Creative Commons Attribution - Non-Commercial - Share-Alike License by Dekuwa.
Shared under a Creative Commons Attribution – Non-Commercial – Share-Alike License by Dekuwa.

You can’t create a blog in ten minutes, so we have broken the process down into a series of easy steps.  Our goal is to have your blog live online before the end of this 30-day series.

Are you ready?

First, what do we mean by the word “blog”? We need to have a shared understanding of what a blog is.

Edublogs, one of many possible platforms for your blog, has created this instructional video that will give you the basics of what a blog is in under four minutes!

The next step in setting up your own blog is making a decision about what platform you will use to host your blog.  Many educators use one platform for student blogs and a different platform for their personal blog.  How should you decide?

Edublogs recently did a survey of bloggers, asking about their platform of choice.  Reading their comments might help you with your decision.

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Of course, asking your PLN on Twitter what platform they use and why is an awesome use of your Professional Learning Network to support you in your work.

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If your friends are already blogging, ask them what they use and why.

Once you have made your decision, it’s easy to sign up for a free blog.

(OSSEMOOC is currently using a WordPress.com site, and as we work through the components of blogs this week, we will be using examples from our own WordPress.com site.  If you are really new to Web 2.0 tools, you may want to start with a WordPress.com blog and follow our tutorials.  Once you understand the fundamentals, you can switch to any hosting site of your choice.)

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If you are already a blogger, what tips can you offer new bloggers?

Resources:

Personal Blogging – a fantastic step-by-step guide by Edublog’s Sue Waters.