NCDA TechLab: Blogging Basics for Career Services Professionals


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Presentation for hands-on workshop at the National Career Development Association Conference - 2013

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  • I have been working with WordPress since late 2008 when I set up my first blog (Design Doc) as a creative outlet and way to represent myself as an independent professional in the field of instructional design. I have been employed as a full-time Education Writer/Blogger since April 2011, writing the Inside Online Learning blog (a site with around 2000 visitors per month), which draws on my background as an instructional designer and online instructor,
  • Why WORDPRESS?Free account optionsEasy and intuitive administrative sideFuture options - pro version, self-hosted version, custom optionsBlogging communityKeep in mind that everything we do today can be edited, revised, modified, and fully deleted! As I mentioned in my email to you before the conference, I just want you to get comfortable with the platform and have a few writing ideas when we are done .
  • If you’ve already set up a Wordpress account, go ahead and sign in! These steps are in your handout also! So, let’s look at the screens …If not, we’ll do that now.
  • Go to email and click on “activate blog”Then to wordpress to login with your new account info.
  • Set up Your blogCan change blog title if you like – always an option in your account settingsTagline – default included, but you can edit this later Choose a languageNextChoose a them – we could spend the afternoon browsing – I recommend just selecting one for now, can go back and experiment later on. Some themes have customization options – layout number of columns some color tweaks, font choices, etc…. Let’s keep moving!
  • Create your first post – choose Finish and we’ll move on to the Dashboard
  • Different ways to get to the dashboard
  • Quick tour of some of the Dashboard menus you will likely need to use first, and more frequently moving forward.Go to Privacy – select: I would like my site to be private…. Save changes = if you don’t want the site to be ‘live’ while you are working on it this morning.Settings:General - blog title, email, time zone, …Reading – page display, # of posts, …Appearance:Themes – colors, columns, features, custom options, …Widgets – drag and drop to add to interface (Recent Posts, Search, Twitter, …)
  • Go to Privacy – select: I would like my site to be private…. Save changes = if you don’t want the site to be ‘live’ while you are working on it.Helpful setting – you can build the blog adding lots of content before you launch it for public view!
  • - Initiate new post- Type in a draft title – you can change it later! – this will be part of your automated URL
  • This should look like a familiar set of tools – formatting, etc. Highlighted the ones we are going to use.
  • Upload/insert – Media – Polls - Forms
  • Goal Setting Worksheet
  • Example Categories and Ideas
  • Example Editorial CalendarWP Editorial Calendar plug-in Templates out there - simple or as complex as you want it to be – use something you are already using – excel, calendar system, planner…Two very important decisions taken care of at the beginning of each month:What?When?Of course changeable, this is your blpg, but gives you a starting point.
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  • NCDA TechLab: Blogging Basics for Career Services Professionals

    1. 1. TechLab IV: Blogging Basics for Career Services Professionals Melissa A. Venable, PhD Education Writer/Blogger – National Career Development Association - 2013 #NCDABoston
    2. 2. We’ve got a lot to cover! Part 1: Create a live blog site with Perform basic administrative tasks Publish a blog post Part 2: Determine writing goals Find your blogging “voice” Develop content ideas Align with other career-topic bloggers
    3. 3. Part 1: Getting Started (vs. Account Set-up Dashboard and Main Menu Publishing a Post You should have: • Ideas for a blog title • Draft document (.doc, .docx, .txt) • Image file – optional (.jpg, .jpeg, .gif, .png)
    4. 4. Account sign-up 1. Choose a blog address. All accounts will end with "". Since there are millions of WordPress blogs, your first, second, and maybe even third choices may be taken. Keep trying until you find a name that you like, that is available, and remember you can change it later if you decide to do so. 2. Choose a Username and Password. These will not appear on your blog anywhere, but will allow you to access the administrative side of your new site. You will also need to enter your email address here. 4. Click on "Create Blog" to open your free account. The next screen will prompt you to check your email to complete the registration process. You will also be prompted to enter information to create your profile, you can complete this now, but you'll also have the opportunity to do this later. 5. Activate your blog. You can do this from your email (you will receive an activation message from WordPress). Once you activate your blog, you will be taken to the next steps…
    5. 5. Dashboard and Main Menu
    6. 6. Main menu to access comment tracking, statistics, spam, etc. Add new, categories, tags, view list of all Add new, view list of all Themes, widgets, header, background, etc. General, privacy, social media sharing, etc.
    7. 7. Before we go any further … check your new blog’s privacy settings! Mark it as “private” so that the site won’t be “live” while you are working on it.
    8. 8. Publishing a New Post 1. Open new post draft 2. Enter title 3. Copy/Paste from existing document 4. Upload image 5. Add a link 6. Save draft 7. Preview 8. Publish!
    9. 9. From the Dashboard: > Posts > Add New 1 2 The “Kitchen Sink” icon opens/hides the full list of editing options.
    10. 10. Add media files Edit HTML code Paste from document Insert Link Undo!
    11. 11. 3
    12. 12. 4
    13. 13. 5
    14. 14. 6 7 8
    15. 15. Let’s check in … How is it going so far?
    16. 16. Part 2: Content Creation What is “content, exactly?” • Determine writing goals • Find your blogging “voice” • Develop content ideas • Join the career blogging community
    17. 17. Set Your Goals: Find a creative outlet Journal your thoughts Learn something new Address a burning issue Share your knowledge Build authority Join a community Start a business Think about purpose. Year / Month / Week / Day Put your goals in writing! Draft your About Page
    18. 18. Find Your Voice: Where is your expertise? What are you interested in? What do you have to say? Be authentic. “Brainstorm 10-20 personality attributes – narrow to 3-5.” -Problogger “Love your reader.” – Don Miller
    19. 19. Able Active Adventurous Alert Attentive Bold Brave Brilliant Busy Calm Careful Cautious Confident Daring Decisive Dependable Diverse Encouraging Energetic Excited Fearless Funny Happy Honest Imaginative Independent Intelligent Loyal Mature Nice Optimistic Positive Proper Responsible Satisfied Serious Silly Skillful Smart Strange Talented Thoughtful Tolerant Trustworthy Useful Warm Wise More here:
    20. 20. Content ideas: What will you write about? Topic Categories Post ideas Be realistic. Use Categories: Identify 3-5 Try an Editorial Calendar. Create idea “pitches.”
    21. 21. Job Search Process Resume Writing Formatting Dos & Don’ts Social Media Options Interviews Common Questions Questions You Can Ask
    22. 22. SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT 1 2 Resume- 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Intvw-1 12 CovLtr- 1 13 14 15 16 Resume - 2 17 18 19 20 Fair- 1 21 22 21 22 Intvw-2 23 24 Fair -2 25 26 27 Resume -3 28 29 30 31 CovLtr-3
    23. 23. Add a Category to your new post! Dashboard > Posts > All Posts > Edit
    24. 24. Join the community: New bloggers Established bloggers All-star bloggers Look for similar: • Topics • Audiences Connect via Social Media Set up a new reader (e.g., Feedly) Read as much as you write. Leave thoughtful comments.
    25. 25. Time for Q&A!
    26. 26. Thank you!! Contact me: Melissa A. Venable, PhD @Melissa_Venable Inside Online Learning Blog: #IOLchat: Resources: