Your first blog may not be your last. If you’re anything like me, then you will begin and shut down several different blogs on different platforms before you find the one that feels “right”. It not only needs to have good (read: free) access to great layouts, tools and navigation – a community is also an important part of being comfortable with your chosen platform. To me, the best platform for writers is WordPress (which, unsurprisingly, is why I’m here).
This month, I will be discussing the benefits of using WordPress for writers and providing hints and tips to make the most of your blog on WordPress. This will not be an all-inclusive “how to set up and use a WordPress blog”, but it will list some of the things I have found key to using WordPress as a platform for my creative writing. Today, we will start with the basics: things that will help you to set up a writing blog you will be happy with, and will therefore (hopefully) use for a long time.
One of the first things you must do when you set up a new blog is decide what to call it. This means creating both a name for the blog (such as Let it Come from the Heart) and an unused URL (such as inspiredstoriesandpoems). The latter can be tricky – somebody may already be using the URL that you want, so be prepared with some backups. You can change it at a later date if you wish, but remember that the long you have the blog for, the more links there will be to it – and changing the URL may mean that these links become useless, and no longer direct people to your blog. Think carefully about your URL and the name of your blog. You want to be happy with them both.
The theme of your blog is also important in the beginning, although it is less hassle to change. WordPress is useful because it provides different categories of free themes as well as themes you can buy, such as portfolio themes and simple themes, which are useful layouts for writers. Pick a theme and experiment with it – you will find out which widgets are most useful to you as you post more, or you can visit a website like wpbeginner, which provides useful hints and tips.
A great way to get your writing blog started is to create an “About the Author” (or “About”) page to introduce yourself. Here, you can let visitors to your blog discover who you are, and it can be updated whenever you have more to add. If you create this as a page rather than a post, then it will remain on your menu at the top of your blog for all visitors to see, and will be easy for people to access when they find your blog. To begin, mention details such as your reading habits, hobbies, and writing history, as well as your personal background if you wish. Lots of people will visit this page and it may be the thing that encourages them to stay on your blog rather than to move on.
These are the first, basic things that I believe new bloggers should consider carefully when setting up their blog. You are now ready to start posting your writing – but we’ll get to that next time.
This month’s theme is WORDPRESS. If you have written something that you would like me to share on this blog that focuses on the benefits to writers of using WordPress, then please post a link in the comments or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject: WordPress.