Getting started on your Areavoices blogHow to log into your account-Go to your web address (http://YOURBLOGNAME.areavoices.com)-In the upper left corner of the page, you’ll see a log in button. Click that and enter your log-in information.Remember that your username will be lowercase with no spaces (not your email address).-This will take you to your dashboard, where you’ll be doing most of the work on your blog. Remember: Only blogadministrators see the dashboard; it isn’t visible to the public.How to write a new post-In your dashboard, go to the posts menu on the left side.-Click add new.-Type or copy/paste your post into the large white text box. Enter your blog post headline where it says enter titlehere.
-Remember to tag your post with words that will help it show up in search engines. While on the new post page,scroll down on the right side. Type in your tags, separating them by commas. Also add or choose a category (atopic you’ll be blogging about often) for your post.-Remember to save your post periodically, just in case.-When you’re ready to publish, hit the big blue publish button in the upper right corner.How to add a picture to your post-Place your mouse cursor in front of the paragraph where you want the picture to go (if you don’t have any text inthe post, simply click in the white text box).-Right above the white text box, you will see an upload/insert button with an image of a camera. Click on thatimage.-Select your image from your computer and click open.-Choose a size for your picture and decide if you want the picture center, left, or right of the text. The text willautomatically wrap around the picture.
-Click insert into post.-If you want to resize the picture, click on the picture and select the edit image option. Scale the picture bychoosing a smaller image size (60%, 70%, etc.). You can also change the alignment of a picture here.-If you decide you want to delete the picture, again click on the picture. Click the graphic that says delete image.How to add a link in a blog post-Select the link or the words you want to link.-At the top of the white text box, you will see a lot of options (bold, italic, etc.). Click on the image that looks like achain (it will say insert/edit link).-Type in your link with the http:// in front of it (for example: http://areavoices.com).-If you want the link to open in a new window (which is recommended so that people stay on your page instead ofbeing taken to a new website), check the box that says open link in a new window/tab.-Click add link.
How to set up a post to publish in the future-While writing or editing your post, go to the publish box in the right corner.-Next to publish immediately, you will see an edit option. Click on that.-Select the date and time you want your post to publish, and click OK. You can also backdate posts.-Click the publish button.How to add a page to your blog-On the left side of your dashboard, go to the pages option.-Click add new.-Type in your page exactly how you would a blog post. If you do not want to allow comments on that page,uncheck the box that says allow comments below the white text box. (Some people allow comments on theirpages, others don’t. It’s really a matter of preference. This won’t affect whether people can comment on youractual blog posts).-Click publish when you are finished. Depending on the theme of your blog, pages will show up either at the topof the page or in the blog’s sidebar.
Tips for Beginning Bloggers When it comes to blogging, there are no rules. What works for one person may not work for another. In general,though, there are a few key points to keep in mind when you first start a blog. Write about what you know. If you have a passion for a particular topic, you will find it much easier to write on that topic than something you don’t really care about. Blogs can be very specific. For example, instead of trying to write about sports, you could center a blog entirely on Minnesota teams or even one particular team. Post often and consistently. Blogs that are updated frequently and at the same time every week generally have higher traffic than bloggers who post infrequently. If you don’t feel you have the time to commit to blogging right away but still would like to try it, shoot for updating once a week on the same day. You may find that once you start, you enjoy doing it and make time to update more often. Use pictures, graphics and videos with your posts. Visually interesting blogs are more likely to have a larger audience than those with only text. Pictures and graphics don’t have to be your own, but make sure if you take them from another website that you credit and link to where you found the picture. Link, link, link. Link often to other blogs, websites or news articles that either support your opinion or further the point you’re trying to make. Blog posts with more links show up more often in search engines such as Google or Bing. Speaking of search engines, tag your posts. These tags categorize your posts so people can find them more easily. For example, if you’re writing a blog post about hunting, you may wish to tag your post “outdoors,” “hunting” and “game.” When people search for these terms, it’s more likely that your blog post will come up and be read more often. Create an “about me” page. When people first come to your blog, it’s likely they will want to know a little more about you. Creating an about page lets you connect with your readers and gives them a glimpse into the person writing the blog. It doesn’t have to be long – just a few sentences or paragraphs about who you are and what you’ll be blogging about (and why!). Ask questions and encourage reader input. The best blogs are those that actively engage their readers and spur additional comments and discussion among a community. It helps to end your blog post by asking what your readers think about what you wrote. You can also use polls to get a sense of your readers’ opinions on a subject. Cross-promote your blog. If you don’t have them already, create a Facebook and Twitter account and use them to post links to your new blog posts. You can also use these social networking sites to join discussions about your blog topic and learn from others who are interested in that topic. At the same time, make sure you promote your social networking accounts on your blog. Set up an automatic Twitter feed and have a clear link to your Facebook page prominently displayed on your blog. Have fun! Blogging isn’t meant to be a chore. If you don’t enjoy doing it, then something isn’t right. Refocus your efforts and see if you can make it fun again. The best bloggers are the ones who come across as sincere and passionate about their topics.For additional help with your Areavoices blog, contact:Ashley WhiteCommunity Content CoordinatorWest Central Tribune LIKE AREAVOICES ON FACEBOOK320-214-4308 (office)605-940-4871 (cell)Twitter: @Ashley_WCT FOLLOW @AREAVOICES ON TWITTERawhite@wctrib.comsupport.areavoices.com