Posted by: xeper | August 26, 2008

How To Start Your Very First Blog Using WordPress.Com

You know that deep passion of yours that you don’t talk about that often because you think nobody else cares about it? Well, I believe there are at least 25 other people who are interested in it, but don’t talk about it because they think the same. If you can’t find them because they are so silent, I suggest you start your very first blog and let them find you instead. I did just that, and guess what, it works!

First-blog experiences can be quite torturous, and while you may easily find hundreds of good posts telling you how to boost your blog’s traffic, you can hardly find someone to tell you how to really start your own very first blog, hence this little plan:

  1. Get a sheet of paper.
  2. If stuck on a name for the blog, think of an energizing self-description as your title. Make up a new name, describing something you do often, or that distinguishes you. Uninspired? Get some inspiration from this glossary of names and meanings, check how others chose theirs, or simply use your favorite nickname. If all else fails, let your friends surprise you with a novel description of yourself.
  3. Go to WordPress and register using the name from #2, above. Why WordPress? Simply because it offers the very best free blog hosting.
  4. Log in.
  5. Go to WordPress.Com and start browsing. Check the titles of the posts featured on WordPress.Com homepage. If nothing seems to interest you, start browsing through the tags. Read only what seems to interest you.
  6. Explore the interesting links on the blog you’re checking; comments, tags, categories, archives, auto-generated links on the bottom of the post, whatever. Explore with genuine interest.
  7. On the sheet of paper where we wrote your blog’s name, make three columns: Blogs, Posts, and Tags. In these take note of (A) Posts you would like to revisit (to reread, to follow up on the responses to your comment, or to respond with a post of your own), (B) Blogs where you found more than a couple interesting posts, (C) Tags that seemed quite interesting and promised more interesting posts from other bloggers.
  8. While browsing, and when you feel like it, leave a genuine comment: a thank you (and say why you thank them, what you liked or found useful in the post), a polite disagreement with a point they made, an addition (e.g. a relevant link from an outside site NOT from your blog), ask them about something related they might know about or are willing to write about, etc.
  9. While logged in, repeat #5-#8 as many times as you wish. Enjoy it and indulge. Believe it or not, this is arguably the most important part of your blogging activity for at least 7 reasons: (A) you see the blog design chosen by other bloggers, (B) you see other bloggers’ writings, (C) you gain metaphysical (karmic) assets that will be repaid to you three times or more, (D) you learn which tags you most belong to, (E) you get your mind working, (F) you experience writing on a blog and see how the blogger and other readers may respond to you, this is blogging experience, a commentator is sort of an undeclared co-blogger, and (G) you leave your name, which automatically links to your blog, and depending on how pertinent and interesting your comment is, you will get traffic to your blog (yes, before even your first post).
  10. While still logged in, go to “My Dashboards”, above, and select your blog’s name (it will be the only one now, but you can add more blogs later). From the resulting page, you will find two very important links: “Blog Surfer”, and “Tag Surfer”. (A) if you have interesting blogs, go to Blog Surfer and add them here. Adjust the “Display Posts” drag post to the period you want, not less than 7 days. (B) go to Tag Surfer and add your favorite tags, add more tags you think might tag new interesting posts by any blogger, even those you still didn’t find.
  11. Explore the posts on Blog Surfer. It will now show you all posts from your favorite writers in the specified period. Explore the blogs themselves too. Get ideas, post comments, and take tag ideas into Tag Surfer. Do not hesitate to take off blogs that are not interesting anymore.
  12. Explore posts on Tag Surfer. It will show you posts tagged by your favorite tags from all around the WordPress community. Explore the blogs themselves too and add the most interesting to Blog Surfer.
  13. Write a post. (A) Choose one of your favorite tags and write about it. Remember to tag the post before you publish it. (B) If there is an interesting enough post you found, then write a reply to it as a post. You should link to the original post and give a hint about its content. WordPress will alert the original blogger by adding an auto-generated comment to the original post.
  14. Go again to “My Dashboard”, above, and after selecting your blog, click on “Design”. You now have seen enough to be able to choose your own design, and you have a post or more ready to test the design on. Have fun. Take care that some designs cut pieces from your blog (the lines are not displayed correctly). Choose another design if this happens.
  15. Your blog may still have the default subtitle “just another WordPress.com blog”. It’s not anymore, though, and you are beginning to get a sense of what you like to read and comment on. Go again to “My Dashboard” then on the far right hand you will find the “Settings” link. Go there and adjust what needs adjusting in Title and Subtitle. You can change the Title but not the url.
  16. Repeat #4-#15 weekly, or daily, or whenever you have time for blogging.

The above plan will very soon get you in the community of blogging, without needing to ask your family to read your blogs. You will mention your blog casually when it is relevant. You can promote it more or less subtly using Facebook or other social networking site, or adding its address as an auto-signature to your emails, or when you have a word in relevant electronic forums, etc.. the ways are endless.

People will start reading you. And will leave comments, always answer comments as quickly and courteously as possible. Help them as much as you can in things that interest you and where you can be of real value. If others have talked better about the subject, link to them, it gives them and yourself better ratings on search engines and gives value to your readers.

This plan does not depend on a pre-defined subject of your blog. It is normal in your first blog to be less focused on a theme. However, this doesn’t mean that you write about just anything. In the plan, you should read many posts, be there on many blogs as a commentator. Only choose the most interesting posts, as I told you. This will make you move towards the topics you are most passionate about. My blog is about human Becoming.. about finding a purpose and a way of life.. it’s such a huge topic, check the blog.. but I only write about things I am passionate about.. and some wonderful people read me.. I know how wonderful they are when they comment and we talk.. and if such amazingly wonderful people read me and wait for my next post, I must be doing something right.. I do that plan above, and write about what I am passionate about, and link with something I wrote before, or someone else wrote, and it starts to make sense..

So just stick to reading what really interests you.. never out of boredom.. Write with passion.. write your posts like a message in a bottle you throw to the sea.. that might some day be the only thing left of you.. and wonderful people will start reading you..

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to Ma.gnoliaAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

This post is in response to Teganor’s comment on my post on promoting your blog, and serves as a small token of appreciation for all members of the WordPress.Com team who provide me and many other WordPress.Com bloggers with the very best blogging platform and blog hosting service.

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Responses

  1. This actually works. You’re awesome! I saw your reply to the “boosting traffic” comment I left. I now see this as a plus that I am a young blogger, and the blog can grow up with me! I will have a lot of little things to smile about when reading my old posts. Yay!

  2. There you go πŸ™‚ Glad to be of any help any time πŸ™‚

  3. Thanks for the useful tips, Xeper .

  4. No problem, Sudheer. Judging from your blog, maybe you’d be even more interested by the inspirational stories around my blog. I liked the post I’ve read. Keep up the good work πŸ™‚

  5. thanks alot

  6. You’re most welcome, Ashraf.

  7. Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. πŸ™‚ Cheers! Sandra. R.

  8. hola
    i’m so pleased that i found this blog. that topic was so helpful. thanks again i bookmarked this website.
    are you planning to post similar posts?

  9. @SandraR: Thank you for your kind words! Unfortunately your site is not reachable anymore. If you read this please drop me where you write now. Cheers!

  10. @Gewinne: Thank you, I am glad it was useful, and glad to see you are blogging wonderfully until now, though unfortunately I could not read it as it seems to be in German.
    I would post similar posts, or links to good posts written by others, if they seem needed. Comments are always a big driver of following posts πŸ™‚


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