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Getting Started in WordPress


Slides to accompany a discussion in Prof. Barbara Nixon's classes regarding the students' blog assignment. (Though the some of guidelines in here are specific to Prof. Nixon's classes, most of the …

Slides to accompany a discussion in Prof. Barbara Nixon's classes regarding the students' blog assignment. (Though the some of guidelines in here are specific to Prof. Nixon's classes, most of the information is applicable to anyone starting a new WordPress blog.)

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  • 1. Barbara B. Nixon :: Georgia Southern University & Southeastern University
    Getting Started in WordPress
  • 2. Blogging Do’s & No-No’s
  • 3. Blog Do’s
    Write in short paragraphs
    Use images for visual impact
    Find Creative Commons-licensed images at
    Proofread. Then proofread again.
    Even ONE error is too many in a post
    Always give credit to original sources
    Example: For Reading Notes, link back to textbook
    Review Blogging Guidelines
    Write “enough” posts in each category
    Write posts that are long enough
  • 4. Blog No-No’s
    Never “scrape” another writer’s content
    It’s plagiarism
    Never let reader see a URL (
    Simply hyperlink from the appropriate words
    Avoid tiny text, especially on a dark background
    Makes it hard to read
    Avoid changing text colors from the default
    Makes your blog look “My Spacey”
    Avoid boring or non-descriptive titles for posts
    “TOW #4” will mean nothing to a reader outside of this class
  • 5. Step One: Signing Up for Your WordPressAccount
  • 6. Sign up for an account
    Go to
    Choose account name wisely
    Don’t use your student login name
    Choose a real name
    Either your name or some combination of your initials, or
    A phrase
    Avoid a random-looking combo of letters & numbers
    Your new blog’s address will be
  • 7. Step Two: Setting Up
  • 8. Go to your Dashboard
  • 9. Settings :: General
    Site Title
    Change this to something other than the default of “User123’s Weblog”
    Change this to something other than “Just Another WordPress Weblog”
    Or delete it
    Time Zone
    Choose New York
    for Eastern time
  • 10. Appearance :: Themes
    Try out several Themes until you find one you like
    Then Activate
    Be sure your Theme allows you to use Widgets
    Click Feature Filters, then check Widgets
    Recommended Themes for our class
    Misty Look
    Avoid Themes with dark backgrounds and tiny text
  • 11. Appearance :: Widgets
    To add Widgets, click and drag to the Sidebar on right
    Required Widgets
    Categories (or Category Cloud)
    Recent Posts
  • 12. Create Categories
    From Posts, choose Categories
    Under Add New Category, type category name
    Click Add New Category
    Delete the Uncategorized category
    Uncategorized = “I don’t care enough about my readers to organize my blog”
  • 13. Categories :: Required
    For my PR classes, create a category for
    Class name & number (such as PRCA 3330)
    Topic of the Week
    Reading Notes
    PR Connections
    Blog Comments
    Personal (if you have any personal posts)
    Additional categories as you choose
  • 14. Links (for your Blogroll)
    Blogroll = List of your favorite blogs
    Under Links, choose Add New Link
    Name = Name of the Blog (or Blog Author)
    Web Address = URL
    Target: Choose _blank to open a
    new window/tab (so readers don’t
    navigate away from you!)
    Click Add Link
  • 15. Blog Stats
    Under Dashboard, choose Blog Stats
    Graph of hits
    Top posts & pages
    Search engine terms
  • 16. Step Three: Writing Posts & Pages
  • 17. Post v. Page
    Newest information shows up at top of blog
    As information is added, older posts “sink down”
    Eventually, older posts will move to another place in your blog
    “Previous Posts”
  • 18. Post v. Page, cont’d
    More permanent
    Accessible from anywhere in your blog
    Often shows up in header of your blog or in a sidebar
  • 19. Posts :: Edit Post
    From this part of WordPress, you can see and edit all the posts on your blog
    Trash the default “Hello World” post
  • 20. Posts :: Add New Post
    Create a title for your post
    Type your post in the large text box
    Format the post much like you would in Word
    Click Save Draft often
    Click Publish when
    you’re ready for the
    world to see your post
  • 21. Formatting Posts :: Use Kitchen Sink
  • 22. Using Word to Write Your Posts (Optional)
    Write post in Word
    Copy text
    Click Paste from Word icon
    NEVER paste from Word without using this icon
    Really ugly things will happen. Trust me.
  • 23. Hyperlinking
    Highlight text you want to link
    Choose Insert/Edit Link
    For Link URL, paste URL (website address)
    For Target, choose Open link in a new window
    Click Update
  • 24. Adding an Image
    Only use images that you have the rights to add
    Use to find images
    Choose “Creative Commons Only”
    Choose icon for Add an Image
    Choose From URL tab
    Paste URL
    Paste URL again into Link Image To
    To give credit back to photographer
    Click Insert into Post
  • 25. Resizing an Image
    Click on image in edit area
    Choose Edit Image
    Choose desired percentage
    Click Update
    NOTE: You may need to repeat this procedure
    several times to get image small enough
  • 26. Adding a YouTube Video
    Choose icon for Add Video
    Choose From URL tab
    Paste URL of the video
    Click Insert Into Post
  • 27. Adding a PowerPoint from SlideShare
    In SlideShare, choose the WordPressicon
    Copy the text under Hosted Blogs
    Paste the “shortcode” [slideshare id=…] into your post
  • 28. Adding a PAGE
    Similar in almost every way to adding a Post
    Under Pages, choose Add New
  • 29. Create YourAbout Me Page
    Lets reader know a bit about the blog author
    Keep it professional
    Include information such as
    Your name
    Photo (if desired)
    University affiliation
    Career goals
    Links to other places you can be found online (if desired)
  • 30. Step Four: Blog Comments
  • 31. Finding Blogs to Comment on
    See list of your classmates’ blogs at
    Visit my Delicious bookmarks for PR Blogs
    Subscribe to Ragan’s
  • 32. Tracking Your Blog Comments
    Copy your comment BEFORE you submit it
    Sometimes blog authors moderate comments, so you might not see it posted for a while
    In WordPress, under Dashboard : My Comments, you can see SOME of the comments you have written on others’ WordPress blogs
    It does not always capture all of them, so don’t rely on it
  • 33. Tracking Your Blog Comments
    Create ONE post with
    Comment # (keep a running list)
    Title of blog post you commented on, followed by the author’s name
    Hyperlink to the blog post
    Date of your comment
    Your complete comment
    Comment must be
    100 words or more
  • 34. Attract More Readers: Publicize via Twitter
    From My Account, choose My Blogs
    In row with your blog information, under Publicize column, choose Twitter
    With every post you write, a tweet will automatically publish on Twitter  helps draw in readers
  • 35. Questions?
  • 36. Contact Me
    Barbara B. Nixon, Ph.D. (ABD)
    Public Relations Faculty Member at
    Georgia Southern University & Southeastern University
    Life Member & Past President of the International Listening Association (
    Twitter: barbaranixon
    Skype: barbara.b.nixon
    Blogs: &