Starting a blog means one thing: signing up to WordPress. Yes, other CMS and hosts exist, such as Wix, but WP has the upper hand right now. After all, it’s cheap, reputable, and easy to use even for beginners. And, as a newbie, it’s important not to get lost in the red tape as it’s very confusing. Don’t try and walk before you can crawl, is a motto which springs to mind.
To say WordPress is easy is an overstatement. Although it’s more straightforward than the rest, it’s not a walk in the park. Without the right knowledge, it’s easy to make errors that will haunt your blog for a long time. Considering the competitive nature of the market, it’s best to start as you mean to go forward.
In that vein, below are some of the best tips for blogging amateurs. Some might say the following is the final word on WordPress.
A Sidebar Is A Sidebar
Most of the people who see this will think “duh, that’s obvious!” And, it is pretty self-explanatory. However, it’s worth mentioning because plenty of bloggers treat their sidebar as if it’s a closet. No, they don’t put clothes and knick-knacks in there, but they do stuff in as many widgets and gadgets as possible. It’s almost as if they don’t have any spare storage space left.
For the most part, it might not seem as if it’s a problem. After all, the widgets have to go somewhere, right? The problem is there might be a link or a piece of content in the sidebar which is masked by all the clutter. Anybody trying to find it, or who would normally stumble across it, will float straight on by, ruining the experience.
Like all closets, sidebars need a spring cleaning once the things start to pop out of the side. Go into your settings and get rid of anything which isn’t necessary. For example, the social media icons are essential, but only the ones which get some action. Let’s face it – LinkedIn probably isn’t going to make an impact.
Backup Isn’t An Option
Okay, it is because there isn’t much which is mandatory on the platform. Still, it should be compulsory as it saves a lot of time and hassle. Sadly, blogs have been known to blow up in the past and crash, leaving the blogger without months of content. Granted, it might never happen to you, but there’s no reason to take the risk. Think of it as if it’s insurance: it’s worth the money.
Some hosts don’t even charge for their basic service. Take a closer look to Bluehost plans and you’ll see this platform includes it within the price. And, it’s a host which is recommended by WordPress itself so it will integrate seamlessly. If you opt for a platform which isn’t already incorporated, then it’s a wise move to pay extra. When the worst happens, you’ll be glad of the extra money you spent.
Double check how much storage space is on offer and then make sure you cover your needs. Otherwise, it will be a waste. A couple of gigs should be fine for now, but you’ll have to upgrade down the line.
One Book Per Person
Go to a library and there are hundreds of aisles with different tags and filing systems. Finding the book, you want is tough unless your paperwork is correct. Still, it’s difficult even then. Thank god for the internet as it has revolutionized searching for stuff. Just type in the keyword and scroll through the results. What a piece of cake.
That is unless there are multiple folders to search. At first, it seems like a good move to compartmentalize all of the media. After all, it only takes a quick click to find it again. However, you might forget and not have the first clue where it is.
With one library, the search function on WordPress works much more effectively. It saves time and energy, two of the things you’ll be short on as a blogger.
It’s tempting to focus on the big data, the stuff which seems like it makes a difference, and forget about the small thing. However, tags and permalinks and the like can make a massive impact when used correctly.
The key is to shorten links where possible and to optimize tags and descriptions. Remember that the latter is for the readers and not search engines, so make them legible.
There you have it – that’s the word. Hopefully, it helps you transition and make your ‘Press blog a success.