Your blog is up. The Template is as well laid out as you could make it. You have your books or relevant social media listed in the sidebar. You have the catchiest blog title on the block. Now all you need to do is start blogging!
1. If you are using WordPress CHOOSE A CATEGORY NOW for your post–do it 1st so that you don’t forget to do it. I published this blog in the categories of Blogging, Self Publishing, Books, Fantasy, Literature, Humor, Publishing, and Writing. Each blog post may have a different category. If you should forget to choose the category, it will go into the ‘uncategorized’ pile–the dreaded WordPress slush pile where blogs go to die.
Also in WordPress, chose a few TAGS now so that you do not forget to tag the post. That button is below the Categories list. Chose tags that most represent the core of your post, so that searcher for that subject will find it. For this post I am using ‘Blogging, Writing, Self Publishing, Humor, WordPress, Blogger’. Also, ‘The Girl With the Tolstoy Tattoo.”
If you are using Blogger, PICK YOUR LABELS NOW–Blogger doesn’t use categories, so your labels are very important. On the right hand side, click on ‘LABELS’ and simply type your key words into the BOX, separated by commas. In Blogger, LABELS are what TAGS are in WordPress, so use words that are the core of what you are blogging about so that interested searcher will find your blog:
Now that you have that out-of-the-way, it’s time to blog!
2. Hook me with that catchy blog post title! Today’s post is called “The Girl With the Tolstoy Tattoo” — for a multitude of reasons. I have a tattoo (it’s not Tolstoy) but we are all struggling authors, even those of us who blog on the most random subjects. And if you are ever at a writer’s convention, there is no better icebreaker in the autograph line than to offer to show Tad Williams your Tolstoy tattoo. (If you have one, and if you are insane.) (Be sure to add ‘Tad Williams’ to the Tags or Labels for that post.)
Now there are two paths for you. You can wing it, keying directly into the Post box as I am doing now, or you can write it on a WORD document and copy and paste it into the body of the post. I don’t do that often, because word is rife with HINKY FORMATTING that screws up your blog posts for both Blogger and WordPress, and then you have to use the handy “REMOVE FORMATTING” button that is located in the ribbon (tool box) of both Blogger and WordPress:
Both Blogger and WordPress have spell check functions, and both will save at times as you go, but as in everything, it is up to you to click “SAVE DRAFT” and save your work fairly frequently.
Play around with it. Practice uploading images and inserting them, playing with it until you feel comfortable and know how to ensure the image will appear where you want it, and will be the size you want it to be:
In WordPress, place your cursor in the body of the blog post and click once at the spot where you will want the image. Then scroll up to the left side of the ribbon (tool box) and click on “ADD MEDIA.” This menu will appear:
If this is your first blog post, you won’t have anything in your media library yet, so Click on “Upload Files.” Select the image you want to post, then check your alignment, i.e. left, right, or center. Adjust your size options to fit your need for the image in that post (those requirements vary from post to post.) Then click ‘INSERT INTO POST.”
In Blogger you click on the little Picture in the ribbon (when you hover your mouse over it, it will say ‘insert image’). A pop-up menu will appear, and then you will upload the image, decide the placement and the size. This nearly foolproof simplicity is why most people who have “never done this before” like Blogger.
Now your picture of your Tolstoy tattoo is right there, illustrating your hilarious post where you discuss why getting that tattoo while drinking vodka shots at the “Fans of Great Russian Authors” convention wasn’t as good an idea as it seemed at the time, and that maybe the T-Shirt would have been a better investment.
All you have to do now is post your links to Twitter, Facebook, Tumbler and all other social media you can think of and Voilà! You are a blogger. Do this regularly, and you will build up a following, and you will develop credibility as an author. Your name will be searchable on Google and Bing, and all other search engines.