10 Simple Steps to Start your WordPress Blog Today

Do you want to start a blog, but find it hard to get going? I began blogging several years ago, when blogging was all

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Do you want to start a blog, but find it hard to get going? I began blogging several years ago, when blogging was all the rave. Back then, as a new artist, I wanted to get the word out about my unique, soulful modern paintings (that I still paint to this day) and blogging was the best way to do it. At first glance, it was a little difficult to understand WordPress, but through trial and error I learned how to create this blog and other blogs with ease. In doing so, I found these ten simple steps to be the easiest and quickest way to set up a new blog on WordPress.

  1. Go to wordpress.com. Create an account using your email address. Check your email to confirm that you just created an account with WordPress.
  2. Pick a WordPress theme for your blog. Choose any theme you like, because you can always go back and change it later. I chose Twenty Sixteen.
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    Update Settings

    Open My Sites’ tab at top left (if not already), scroll down and click ‘Settings’. Set the name for your new blog and add a catch phrase that tells in one short sentence what your blog is all about. If you want to brand your blog, upload a site Favicon/image (usually modified to 16 x 16 or 32 x 32 ico. file) which will stand out at the top of browser tabs, so your blog can be identified amongst other open tabs. https://www.wpsuperstars.net/add-a-favicon-in-wordpress/

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    Share on Social Media

    If you’re on social media, you can link your blog to your accounts. Allowing your family and friends to get a notification every time you make a post from your blog. To do this, go under ‘Configure’ and select ‘Sharing’. Connect with as many pages as you would like to share your posts with. For example, if you want to share your posts to Facebook, click the ‘Connect’ button and a new window will pop up (make sure you are logged into Facebook first). Choose the profile page you want to give permission to and click connect again, now all posts will be shared automatically.

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    Update Profile

    Let everyone know who you are. In the top right corner, click on the little “round avatar”. This is where you’ll update your profile information. Include the name you wish to display publicly. Write a short and sweet bio and upload a nice profile picture of yourself. This information will be included under every post, so write something quick, fun/witty and interesting about yourself.

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    Add About me page

    So, you can stop here and start blogging now (go to step 7) or you can add your own “About me” page. Under ‘Manage’, click on the ‘Add’ button next to ‘Site Pages’. Title your new page and write a bit more about who you are, what you do, where you are from and why you decided to start a blog in general. Or you can include any information you would like for your readers to know. Then, hit ‘Publish’. The “About” page will show up in the main menu of your blog site.

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    Publish Blog Post

    Now, that your blog is all set up. It’s time to publish your first blog post! Click on the ‘Write’ button at the top. You’ll want to come up with a catchy title. Next, write your content (essay, poem, article, etc.) which should be approximately 250 words (equals one page for my English 1201 class) or more. You’ll find your post settings on the right. If it’s not showing up, click on the little “faucet knob” symbol next to ‘Preview’. Right click the arrow under ‘Categories & Tags’, then go to ‘Add New Category’ in blue. Here you can create main categories and sub-categories to keep your posts organized. To add a Parent Category, just give your new category a name and click ‘Add’. You should see the new category in the list. To create a second level category for your posts, go back to ‘Add New Category’. Make sure the ‘Top Level’ check box is deselected, and this time, select a Parent Category from your list for the subcategory to go under. If you would like to delete one of your categories, go to ‘Settings’, click on ‘Writing’, next ‘Categories’ and delete from there.

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    Add a subcategory
  8. Be sure to tag your post with words related to your content. Choose keywords or tags that you think people would search for on Google to find your specific topic. You can use words already in your post. But not too many, cordially nine to ten tags will be sufficient. Next, write a short excerpt under ‘More Options’. You can take the first couple of lines from your post. This will be the “description” used when your post is shared across the web or to your followers in the WordPress reader. Readers are more likely to visit your blog when they have a good idea of the content it contains. Also, adding a ‘Featured Image’ to your blog, along with a few relatable pictures throughout your post is a great way to gain new readers.
  9. Read over your post to make sure it is free of mistakes and reads smoothly (use the spell checker).
  10. Now, you’re all done, so, hit that pretty, blue ‘Publish’ button at the top, then the green one. You can also choose to ‘Publish Immediately’ which allows you to set a time and date for your work to be published. Then, you’re ready for the fun to begin…Enjoy Blogging and Good luck!

I hope you found these ten simple (but long :) steps to be an easy and quick way to set up your new blog on WordPress. If anyone in my English 1201 class, would like help setting up their blog and tips on how to manage it, please let me know, I’d be happy to help. Also, if you’re reading this post, please leave a comment below if you thought these tips were helpful or you have any questions.

Thank you for reading!

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Blogging for Beginner’s

When was the last time you read a remarkable blog post, news feed or article that left you feeling

When was the last time you read a remarkable blog post, news feed or article that left you feeling motivated, wanting more or just plain smarter than before you clicked the link? Like some of you, I’ve read (and seen) quite a few interesting articles online that made me feel more inclined to hit the like button, subscribe, share, comment, connect, buy or DIY something new. Since starting my blog, May 2017, I wondered how could “Mrs Melodrama Mama” get in on some of that creative interaction, lol? After doing some intuitive thinking and a little research on ‘how to blog successfully’… I found out these five simple tips to attract, engage, intrigue, motivate and cultivate your new blog which will in turn inspire like-minded people across the world to follow your path.

  1. Successful bloggers know how to attract readers. You can attract readers by including a relatable, but catchy title at the head of your post. Also, people love to see pictures, so be sure to upload a captivating photo that really relays what your story is all about. Then hook them with an attention-grabbing intro and a great story.
  2. Successful bloggers know how to keep the audience engaged. One way to keep your audience engaged is to write about topics that you’re interested in or passionate about. You’ll want to keep your grammar fresh, smooth and error free. Soon, you’ll attract like-minded people to your blog like bees to honey, who’ll want to read, like, follow and share your work whole-heartedly. 
  3. Successful bloggers gain new followers by keeping their posts consistent and interesting. To gain new followers, you’ll have to do a little self-promoting to get that big beautiful blog you just created out into the world. The best place to shamelessly promote your blog for free is on social media, but don’t overdo it. Share your link with family, friends and followers and ask them nicely to check out your new blog and pass it on if they’d like. Be consistent with your blog and choose a posting schedule you can adhere to, so readers know when to expect your updates. To keep folks interested over time, just be yourself when you write, write what you want to write and how you want to write it. I know…I know… but yea… how’s that saying go, “It’s better to be yourself, than a copy of someone else” (err something like that).
  4. Most importantly, successful bloggers have a niche blog. A niche blog is a blog created for a special purpose to promote one type of subject which may motivate others. For example, if you’re an artist, you could make your blog all about making your art, post behind the scene pics from local events you attend, or write about how to become an artist or how to make a certain piece and other hot art topics. There are tons of ideas out there. You just have to utilize them.
  5. Lastly, to have a successful blog, you must define what a successful blog looks like to YOU. What do you want to get out of it? What is your end goal? What do you want others to know…to teach them? For me, as a new writer, a successful blog would entail a devoted network full of avid readers, writers, editors, teachers, artists, students and other creatives who are genuinely inspired, supportive and helpful. 

I hope these five simple tips will help you create a successful blog that will attract, engage, intrigue, motivate and cultivate an audience who’s more geared towards your specific content. My vision for this blog, is to share my creative writing endeavors, short stories, poem, lyrics (maybe) and give some insight into my novel that I’m currently working, including my writing process, helpful tips and inspiration. I’ll also share some of my artwork and photos and I’m even thinking about doing some DIY’s videos on the weekend and so much more. 

Do you have any helpful blogging tips that you’d like to share? Or did you find this information useful? If so, please don’t hesitate to leave me a comment below.

Thank you so much for reading!

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DIY: Inspirational Poem Plaque

Hello, today, I have a quick and artsy Do-It-Yourself project that will help keep your….

Hello, today, I have a quick and artsy Do-It-Yourself project that will help keep your favorite poem or quote engraved nicely in glass for you and all to admire. I also shared how-to create my inspirational poem plaque on my Instagram page @melodycolegates -a couple of months ago, but I thought I’d share it here too, just in case you would like to try my “nifty” DIY project for yourself :)

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YOU WILL NEED
1- 8″ x 10″ picture frame
1- small tube of mars black acrylic paint
1- small tube of gold acrylic paint
1- med flat paint brush
1- small round detail brush
1- pointed metal object (like a butter knife)
1- damp cloth

TO BEGIN
Take the glass out of the 8″ x 10″ frame and brush one side of the glass with a thin layer of black acrylic paint (two coats may be needed). Let air dry.  20170625_094917Then, use the tip of a metal object and carefully etch your poem into that painted surface.  Lightly scrape off the black paint until all of your letters show up clearly from the front. When you have finished etching your favorite poem into the painted glass, wipe off any excess paint chips and/or fingerprints with a damp cloth. Now, you should be ready to fill in all those little letters to make your poem stand out beautifully. So, on the same side (you just painted and etched your poem into), dip your brush into the metallic gold acrylic paint and completely fill in each letter of your entire poem. After it dries, for a good 15 minutes or so, turn it over to reveal your own special poem etched in glass for years to come.

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TIP
Write your poem backwards on the glass in order to read it forward when you turn it around. Hope that makes sense :)

I wrote my ‘Success’ poem back in 2001 and created this plaque as a memento right afterwards. It is still hanging on my living room wall till this day and looks as though I made it yesterday.

Tag me on Instagram if you try my DIY poem etched in glass! I’d also be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Thanks! Happy Sunday 🤗

xo melody

success poem with books