Blogging 101

This project is created using resources created by Chip Boas.  Visit his blog now.  It’s outstanding.   He’s also a great teacher.

Blogging Part 1

Will I have enough things to write about on this topic?

You’ll be writing a blog post just about every class through the end of the semester.  Do you think that you could have enough ideas to do that?  Just imagine if you had to write a post everyday for the next five years – would you have enough ideas around your niche?

Read this blog post about finding a niche (focus) before you move one:

http://www.problogger.net/archives/2006/02/15/how-to-choose-a-niche-topic-for-your-blog/

 Is there an audience for your topic?

In today’s world of specialization, you can find an audience for just about anything.  Yet, blogs are a lot more fun if you get some sort of interaction.  So you need to know that there are people out there for you.  You don’t have to worry about getting a millions subscribers to your magazine about Mountain Biking in Marin – you are looking for numbers in the hundreds or thousands.

You’ll do a few things to narrow this down.   Open up a blank email and address it to rmilstead@tamdistrict.org.  Type the word BLOG in the subject line.  Then start taking some notes and answering questions.

1. What is the niche/focus of your blog?

2. Write a list of five post ideas around your niche

Give me five post ideas below – great posts are informational and give your readers something that they need.  What sort of information would your readers want?

Read this blog post before you write your list:

http://www.problogger.net/archives/2005/11/29/20-types-of-blog-posts-battling-bloggers-block/

Include five post ideas in your email to me.

If you can’t think of at least five ideas for blog posts, move to a different niche . . .

3. Consider your audience through 2 activities

Now, describe your ideal reader – who do you picture reading about this topic? In a few sentences, describe that person:

Now, find at least three places where those people hang out online – forums, social media, and other blogs are all great sources of information about your readers. For each one give me the site name and URL.  Be specific.

Read this blog post about finding readers for your blog:

http://www.copyblogger.com/how-to-dominate-your-niche/

Let’s talk about your ideas before you move on to setting up your blog.

 

SET UP YOUR BLOG

You’ve got your niche, go ahead and set up the blog!

  • Go to http://www.wordpress.com
  • It’s a blog hosting site that we’ll be using to host your blogs
  • Press sign-up in the upper right hand corner of the screen
  • Enter the necessary info and select “gimme a blog!”
  • You’ll need to confirm your registration via e-mail; if you don’t have an e-mail address, let me know, I’ll help you set it up
  • Enter your profile information
  • This will appear online – I would recommend using a “Writer’s Name” instead of your own

Once you verify your account, login – this will take you to your dashboard

  • Click on the “Change Theme” button
  • This will take you to a page to choose the theme for your blog – this can be changed later, justs pick one that looks good to you now
  • Go back to your Dashboard and click on “New Post”

Write your first blog post!

  • This first post should introduce yourself with a few background details (don’t get too personal . . .), an introduction of your topic, what your think is important aobut your topic, what you are planning to discuss around your topic, and an invitation for your readers to come back and visit often!
  • Your post should be 300 – 500 words
  • Once you have written your post, click publish
  • Click the “Visit Site” button – this will take you to your blog
  • E-mail Milstead (rmilstead@tamdistrict.org) with the URL and I’ll check it out!

The Second Post

It’s time to grow your blog.  Revisit the five post ideas that you brainstormed and CHOOSE ONE.  Write about that idea.  Post it.

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