Top tips to become a better blogger

Top tips to become a better blogger

How to get the best from your brand new Wordpress blog

Writing your first blog is only the beginning. In our step-by-step guide, we showed you how to create a blog using Wordpress.com. Now it’s time to take your blog to the next level. Here are ten simple tips that will help you add more posts, customise content, embed videos and even chat to your visitors.

1. Add more posts

Log into wordpress.com and go to your blog’s control panel (the Dashboard). Roll your cursor over Posts on the left menu and select Add Post.

2. Add tags

Tags are keywords that help people find content and navigate around the blog. To add a tag before publishing, use the Post Tag module found to the right of the text editor. Enter the tags you want to use, separating them with commas. When you’ve finished, click Add.

3. Add categories

You can also file your posts under general categories. Categories are usually broader than tags. Go to the Category module above Post Tag. Select + Add New Category, and name your Category. Then click the Add New Category button. The new category now appears as part of a checklist, ready for future posts.

4. Add a YouTube video

Click the Add Media icon, select from URL then select Audio, Video or Other File. Copy your YouTube video web address into the URL and add a title for the clip. Click Insert Into Post. The URL will appear as code in the text editor but when you click on Publish, the video will be displayed on your published post in all its glory.

5. Change your blog tagline

Wordpress automatically adds a tagline to your blog’s title. Change it by going to Settings on the left-hand menu of the Dashboard, selecting General and replacing the text in the Tagline box. Scroll down and click Save Changes.

6. Add widgets

Wordpress widgets help customise your blog. On the Dashboard, go to Appearance and select Widgets. Each theme offers slightly different widgets, from calendars of your posts to links to your Facebook or Twitter feeds. Drag and drop the widget you want over to the Sidebar on the right.

7. Likes and shares

Many Wordpress themes automatically allow visitors to share your posts via email or through their social networks. If you want to turn off this functionality on individual posts, scroll down below the text editor on your post and uncheck Show Likes on this post and Show sharing buttons.

8. Add a list

Lists always make good posts. You can add a numbered list by clicking the Ordered list icon in the toolbar above the text editor.

9. Manage comments

Most Wordpress themes allow your visitors to leave comments. When someone leaves a comment, Wordpress will email you, asking you to moderate it. Go to the Dashboard and select Comments from the left-hand menu. You’ll see the new comment. Hover beneath the comment to bring up the options. You can approve it so it appears on your site, trash it or mark it as spam . You can also reply from here by clicking on Reply.

10. Blog on the go

Wordpress offers a number of apps for your mobile phone or tablet that allow you to create new posts while out and about. Click here to download apps for a number of different smartphones. You can also access your dashboard by going to http://m.wordpress.com on your mobile device.