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How to Set Up a WordPress Blog for Your Business


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Set Up a free WordPress blog to start sharing your story with prospects and customers. As presented by Bull's-Eye Writing at Blue Ridge Community College on January 25, 2011

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How to Set Up a WordPress Blog for Your Business

  1. 1. How to Set Up a WordPress Blog
  2. 2. Why Blog? <ul><li>Pros: </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstrate your expertise & passion </li></ul><ul><li>Attract new prospects with valuable content </li></ul><ul><li>Engage with customers & get valuable feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Increase visibility </li></ul><ul><li>Cons: </li></ul><ul><li>Time consuming </li></ul><ul><li>Requires decent writing & editing skills? </li></ul><ul><li>Requires patience & commitment </li></ul>
  3. 3. Choose Your Platform <ul><li>Free resources: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogger </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Blogger <ul><li>Owned by Google. Created by Evan Williams of Twitter. </li></ul><ul><li>Free. </li></ul><ul><li>Simple. </li></ul><ul><li>No hosting account required. </li></ul>
  5. 5. WordPress. com <ul><li>Again, free, simple, and no hosting required. </li></ul><ul><li>Great for the “technically challenged.” </li></ul>
  6. 6. WordPress. org <ul><li>The download is free, but you must pay for hosting and domain. </li></ul><ul><li>Requires some technical expertise to install. </li></ul>And the winner is...
  7. 7. WordPress. org <ul><li>Why? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You own the blog. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The URL = not . </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More professional. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More versatility and control. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Better search engine rankings. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hosting is inexpensive (<$20/month) </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Setting Up WordPress <ul><li>First, you need a domain name: </li></ul><ul><li>Or, you can use your existing domain and add “/blog” to the end of it: </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure you have a link to it on the home page of your business site (and elsewhere, such as your Facebook or LinkedIn page). </li></ul>
  9. 9. Setting Up WordPress <ul><li>Next, set up a hosting account if you don't already have one. </li></ul><ul><li>I use, but there are many other options out there. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>GoDaddy includes many useful tools, including the option to automatically install the WordPress database. </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Setting Up WordPress <ul><li>Once hosting is set up, download and install the Wordpress database on your hosting server. </li></ul><ul><li>GoDaddy will help you do this with the press of a button. </li></ul><ul><li>Otherwise, you'll have to use a FTP program to transfer the files to your server and run the install program. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Note: I use the free CuteFTP program that you can download from . </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Setting Up WordPress <ul><li>Use the instructions on the home page of to help you: </li></ul>
  12. 12. Log-in to Your “Dashboard” <ul><li>Go to your “admin” page (set up during installation. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Usually: </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Enter your username and password. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Welcome to Your Dashboard <ul><li>The man behind the curtain. </li></ul><ul><li>This is where you'll write blog posts, create pages, customize the look of your blog, change settings, add plug-ins, and more. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Choose Your Blog Template <ul><li>Under the Appearance menu, click on themes. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Install a Template <ul><li>Your blog comes with a standard WordPress theme by default, but you'll want to change that. </li></ul><ul><li>Click the “Install” tab at the top. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Install a Template <ul><li>Use the search form to find the template that suits you best. </li></ul><ul><li>For templates you'd like more control over, select “Custom” features. </li></ul><ul><li>Preview and install the template you like. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Upload a Header <ul><li>If you want your header to reflect the look and feel of your company's marketing literature, be sure that your template allows for a custom header. </li></ul><ul><li>Upload your header image. </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure that the image fits based on the dimensions set by the template. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Customize Menus <ul><li>Each template has different appearance options, but generally you'll have a navigation menu on your blog. </li></ul><ul><li>You can customize the menu choices. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Adjust Your Settings <ul><li>Access the Settings menu on the right to adjust the formatting of the site and determine how users will interact with it. </li></ul><ul><li>Most importantly, enter the site title and tagline. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Preview Your Site <ul><li>See what your blog looks like at any time. </li></ul><ul><li>Click on the link at the top left of your dashboard. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Write Your First Blog Post <ul><li>Click “Add New Post” and start using the WYSIWYG editor just like a simple word processor. </li></ul>
  22. 22. Write Your First Blog Post <ul><li>Add images, movies, and music. </li></ul><ul><li>Podcasts and video are great alternatives to written articles (as long as you allow comments). </li></ul><ul><li>Insert hyperlinks into your text. </li></ul><ul><li>Use styles to format headlines within your copy. </li></ul>
  23. 23. What Do I Write About? <ul><li>Start with your passion. </li></ul><ul><li>Think about why you do what you do. </li></ul><ul><li>Read! </li></ul><ul><li>Comment on other blogs. </li></ul><ul><li>Make a running list of blog topics. </li></ul><ul><li>Set a publishing schedule. </li></ul><ul><li>Use posts for generating feedback or getting answers/advice. </li></ul>
  24. 24. How Do I Write It <ul><li>Keep it short (600-800 words at most). </li></ul><ul><li>Be concise: short sentences, short paragraphs. </li></ul><ul><li>Use subheadings (great for SEO). </li></ul><ul><li>Use keywords. (Google's Keyword Tool.) </li></ul><ul><li>Write your headline last. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Insert keywords, but make sure it's catchy. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Starting with a number always works best for me: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>5 Reasons Why Independent Publishers Are the Future of Publishing </li></ul></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Categories & Tags <ul><li>Assign categories and tags to your post. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Choose tags based on your SEO keyword research. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make sure that the words appear in your blog post. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Helps readers navigate your blog </li></ul><ul><li>Boost search engine visibility. </li></ul>
  26. 26. Preview & Publish <ul><li>Save and preview your post. </li></ul><ul><li>When you're ready, go ahead and publish it for the world to see! </li></ul>
  27. 27. Plug-Ins <ul><li>Add plug-ins to improve the functionality of your site. </li></ul><ul><li>Add plug-ins sparingly. Too many can slow down your site. </li></ul><ul><li>Must haves: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>All-in-One-SEO Pack – Helps with search engine rankings. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Google Analytics for WordPress – Metrics are vital! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Light Social – Inserts social media buttons at the end of every people can spread the word! </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. Good luck! <ul><li>There are tons of bells & whistles. Don't get carried away with them. </li></ul><ul><li>Set a publishing schedule (a realistic one). </li></ul><ul><li>Share your articles in multiple venues around the web (, stumbleupon). </li></ul><ul><li>Send a link to every post out through Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn—at least! </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage friends to comment. Remember that it's all about generating a conversation. </li></ul>
  29. 29. For More Help... <ul><li>Find me at: </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>828.290.9314 </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook Page: Bull's-Eye Writing & Editing Services </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter: @BullsEyeWriting </li></ul>