Getting Started With WordPress Archives

Adding a picture to a post or page in WordPress is pretty simple but are you wondering how to add a picture or image to your WordPress sidebar, feature section or footer section?  Don’t worry, it is pretty simple but you will need to copy and paste some simple code.  Adding pictures to your WordPress sidebar is a good way to jazz up your blog and customize it.

Below is the code to use to add your picture.

–If you want your picture to link to another website address use this code here–

<a href=”http://www.websiteyouwantimagetogoto.com” target=”_blank”>
<img src=”http://www.urltoyourimagehere.com” width=”150″ height=”100″ border=”1″ alt=”title”</a>

–If you just want to add a picture without linking it to another website then use this code here–

<img src=”http://www.urltoyourimagehere.com” alt=”title” />

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you copy and paste this code and you find the quotes are slanted after you paste it then you will need to back space over each quote” ” ” and re-type the “. (quote)

Be sure to watch the video below so you can see exactly where to place this code.

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WordPress Plugins In case you do not know what a WordPress plug in is I will give you the simple version. A plug in is something that runs behind the scenes on your blog to perform a certain task for you.  If you wanted these things done in the past you would have had to know how to write the code yourself to perform the task you want.

Now it’s simple.  Just go to your WordPress dashboard and go to the plug ins section.  Search for what you are looking for and click install.  Activate the plug in and you are all set.  Sometimes there are additional setting you will need to configure but these vary from plug in to plug in.

Here are Ten WordPress Plugins You Must Have:

1. Akismet Spam Protection

This plug in will help you stop a majority of the comment spam that will come through to your blog. Trust me, you need this so you are not going through thousands of comments every other day.

2. All in One SEO Pack

This plug in will help with your search engine optimization efforts. A must have if you want to stay a step above the rest of the bloggers out there. This will allow you to give unique title, descriptions and meta tags for each post.

3. Google XML Sitemaps

This plug in automatically will create a sitemap for your blog and notify the major search engines every time you create a new post or page.

4. Add To Any/Share/Bookmark/Email Button

This plug in make it easy for your readers to add you post to their social networks. This is a great way to get your message out there.

5. facebook like button

Some might disagree with me on this one since “add to any” gives you the option to add to facebook.  The reason I use this plug in is that darn facebook like button has become highly recognized. Facebook is the largest social network around. Make it easy for people to share on it.

6. WordPress Database Backup

This plug in will back up your database and email it to you automatically.  You never know when you will need it so it is better to be safe than sorry.

7. Page Links To

This plug in will allow you to create a new page and link it offsite to some other domain in the tab section.

8. Comment Notifier

This plug in allows visitors to subscribe to the comments of a post and they will be notified when there are any updates.

9. Contact Form 7

Easy to use and easy to set up. This plug in allows your users to contact you through a customizable form.

10. Yet Another Related Posts Plugin

This plug in will give the reader options at the bottom of you posts to continue reading related posts.  This will help keep readers on your site reading your content.

You can get all of these plug ins from your WordPress dashboard. Just go to plug in on the left and then “Add New”.  Type in the name of the plug in you are searching for and you are all set.

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title your blogDon’t forget to give your blog a title before you get started blogging.  You would probably be surprised how many people forget to do this very important simple thing.  I have seen people leave the title of their blog as Home, My Blog, My WordPress Blog, www.domainname.com, and sometimes it is even left blank.  If you do any of these then you are going to be off to a very bad start.  You also need to put in a tag line which is just a brief description of what your blogging about.

The title is important to your readers as well as the search engines which will help increase your blog traffic.  Think about who you are trying to attract and what keywords you will be using to do that.  Now include them in your title, tag line and description.

There are two places you will need to add your title and description. One is from your user dashboard and the other is inside of the All in One SEO Pack plug in, which you have if we set up your blog for you.  If you do not have this plug in then go and install in now since it is one of the most important plug ins you will need.

Now to change your title in your WordPress dashboard just look over on the left where it says settings and click the arrow next to it to open your options.  Then click on general. Once that page opens you will see “Blog Title” and “Tag Line” at the top.  This is the first place you need to add your title and this will most likely appear in your header unless you have customized it.  Click save changes, and you are all set there but you are not finished yet.

Now you have to add your blog title in the All in One SEO Plug In.  To do this just go to setting again on the left in your dashboard and hit the arrow next to it. Look down a little and you will see “All In One SEO”.  Click on it.  On the next page you will see your option for this plug in. First make sure the plug in status is enable by checking the little circle next to enable.  Then you will put in your blog title and your blog description. Remember, who are you trying to attract? If you are blogging about Corvettes don’t just put “All about Cars”.  Put “All about Corvettes”. You get the idea.  Then include those keywords again in your description while telling your readers what your blog is about.  Add your keywords just below that in the next box and your are all set.  Don’t worry about all of the other options there.  They are preset to optimize your blog.  Don’t forget to click “update options on the bottom” and you are done. There is also a spot to make a donation at the top of the page which you can do if you like this plug in.  I would suggest it since this is what enables the developer to keep it updated.

In another post I will be showing you how to add a title to a post with All In One SEO plug in.

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So you are thinking about starting a blog but you are worried about the technical stuff.  Well guess what? Everyone who starts a blog is worried about the technical stuff in the beginning.  Java script, html, php, follow or nofollow,tags,pings and on and on and on.  Sounds scary but don’t let it stop you from starting your master piece.  With WordPress almost all of the technical stuff is done for you with the help of a plug in.  A plug in is just a simple script that lets you do something by keeping it in English.  I mean, you do not have to go behind the scenes and become some coding expert. Believe me when I say this, I no nothing about php.  Why? Because with WordPress you really don’t need to.  This is the great part about WordPress.  If you can send an email and attach a link and a picture to that email then you have what it takes to learn how to blog in WordPress. Of course there is a bit of a learning curve but I would say it is kind of like getting a new cell phone.  You still have to learn the new menu and where everything is and the same is true with WordPress.   All you have to do is get your hosting, and then go here to see how you can set up your blog in under 5 minutes. Then just watch “How to log in to your wordpress blog“. Don’t know how to add a  post? Then just watch “How to add a post in your WordPress blog“.

So in a nutshell I would have to say don’t worry about the technical stuff it’s nothing to lose sleep over.  Take everything one step at a time and you will be a pro in no time but the first thing you have to do is start. So spend a few bucks and get your hosting package and get started.

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Sometimes new bloggers like to make a mountain out of a mole hill.  Remember, with WordPress, things are pretty simple.  That’s why it is so popular.

Below is a tutorial on “How to add a picture to your WordPress blog post”.

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Choose a Domain Name for Your BlogChoosing a domain name for your blog if one of the most important things you will do for your new blog.  You must put some thought and planning into this process to make sure your new domain name covers all the bases.  Don’t just think about the now but also think about the future. Your new domain name is what brands your new blog and will affect how people remember you and your blog.

When the blogs first started becoming popular people always said use the k.i.s.s method(keep it simple stupid) and choose a 1 word domain name like shopping.com, money.com, dogs.com etc but those one word names are long gone now and we will have to improvise a little bit.

You will want to make your new domain name..

  • Easy to remember
  • Short
  • On topic
  • Easy to spell (you would be surprised)

You don’t want your new domain name…

  • To have to0 many dashes
  • To have too many numbers
  • Complicated words to spell
  • Too long with too many words

Dashes are OK, numbers are OK but too many dashes and numbers are not OK.  This will lead to too many mistakes when people are trying to type in your address after you told it to them.  A link on a page really doesn’t matter since you are just clicking on it but think of the big picture here.  If I tried to tell someone to go to my site which is start dash a dash blog dash 101 . com, it could start to get confusing.  Two dashes are probably not that bad but that is probably the most I would use if I had to.  When I chose this domain it states what my topic is and I threw in the 101 to make it appear like a college course like painting101. (I’m sure you get the idea) Hence, showing you the beginnings of starting your own blog.

.Com, .Net, .Org…

The experts will tell you that a .com name is best but .net or .org is second best so if you can’t get it in a .com don’t sweat it too much. Personally I always try and find a .com and then you can always buy the other extensions as well to use for something else.  Maybe you want to start a non-profit forum with your site that you could use the .org for etc.  I would stay away from .info sites since I have heard mixed reviews on them and I am really not sure. I have heard that Google views them as spammy sites but there is no real proof of this yet so I would just take caution and skip the .info.

Shorter is better

You can have up to 67 character for your domain name but imagine trying to fit that on a business card.  Try and put a 67 character domain name on a t-shirt.  What about a yellow pages ad? Good luck with that. So try and keep it short, there will be less margin of error when entering the url and it will be a lot easier to remember.

Trademarked Names

Many people often think it is a good idea to include a popular name in their domain name.  Don’t risk it.  You do not want to spend 3 years building your blog that is now getting a ton of traffic only to get a letter from some legal department saying you are being sued for trademark infringement.  Doesn’t matter if you are wrong or right, think of the cost to hire a lawyer to defend the lawsuit.  So forget yahooblog.com, googleblog.com, nikeshoes.com etc. You get the idea.  I know people do this but I wouldn’t risk it on something you are going to be dedicating a lot of time to.

Misspellings

If your domain name can be easily misspelled you might want to consider buying the misspelled domain and forward it to your main domain.  For example someone looking to get to google.com might sometimes type in gogle.com.  They both go to the same place.

Secure your future

Be sure to think about where your blog is going.  If you start out as a blog but want to switch to a regular website will the domain still fit?  Some people use one domain name and then start several blogs in folders or directories of that domain name.  For example, I have my blog www.startablog101.com and lets say I want to save the money by not buying another domain name.  Let’s just say I wanted to start another blog about cigars and just did in a sub folder of my main blog.  Like this, www.startablog101.com/cigars. The new blog would be in the cigar folder.  Believe it or not a lot of people do this.  I’m here to tell you, DON’T!  Number one, these two topics are not even related. Number 2 you do not want to create all kinds of back links to later find out that you really need cigars.com instead of startablog101.com/cigars.  You would lose most of your traffic.  I know people do redirects and things like that but if you do it right from the beginning you will not have to worry about switching things later.

Expired or used domain names

Be careful here.  You don’t want to purchase a domain name that has already been banned by Google. This would get you off to a really bad start.

Where to buy your domain name

There are so many place to buy domain names now that it makes my head spin.  Most are resellers for some of the bigger companies but I always say go where you get the best price. I usually use Domain Sale! $7.49* .com at GoDaddy.com . Reason being is that they have consistently have had the best prices and when it comes time to renew you can always find a promo code so you should always be getting your domain names under $8 bucks.  If you always buy your domain names at GoDaddy you can always point them to whatever hosting account you have. All you have to do is change your domain name servers. (It’s easy, don’t let the name scare you)

Below is a very reputable  hosting company. I always buy my domain names at GoDaddy


Host 6 Domains on 1 Account

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WordPress BlogSo you want to start a blog and you heard WordPress was the way to go.  Well you are about 75% correct.  WordPress is the best way to go but to really get all the benefits WordPress has to offer you really need to host it yourself with your own hosting account and your own domain name.  What this means is you will own your blog and your space and if you ever want to sell it you can.  Or you will be able to write whatever you want and should not have to worry about getting your account deleted.  Also, you will have a much more professional looking domain name.  When you host WordPress yourself it will look like this, www.yourdomain.com when you host on WordPress it will look like yourdomain.wordpress.com.  I am sure you can see the benefit here to hosting yourself.  If you have no idea what this means don’t worry because here at startablof101.com we will set up your WordPress blog for free, that way you can concentrate on writing great content and let us do the technical stuff.  Hosting is so cheap now days that I really believe everyone should take advantage.  It is only $5-8 bucks a month for unlimited domains.

But once again, just like with starting a free Blogger account, if you want to throw caution to the wind then here is how you set up a free WordPress account.

Step 1: Go to WordPress.com and click on the button that says sign up now.

Start a Free WordPress Blog

Step 2: Once you do this you will be taken to a screen that will let you create a free WordPress account.  If you are going to let WordPress host your blog just be sure to check the circle at the bottom that says “Gimmie a blog”.

WordPress Log In ScreenStep 3: Then just choose your user name and password and put in your email address and hit next.

Step 4: On this page you will choose your domain name, blog title and the language of your blog. Be sure to choose your domain name wisely at this point since it can not be changed later.  Your blog title can be changed later but not the domain name ie yourname.wordpress.com. Also be sure to check that you would like your blog to appear in the search engines. (We don’t want to keep it a secret)

Step 5: Congratulations, your account is active. Look for an email from WordPress confirming your new account and log in information. Then click the activation link and you are all set.

Step 6: Go to WordPress.com and enter your user name and password in the top left. Once you log in you will be taken to your dashboard where you can add pages, posts and change your theme.

Step 7: Take some time to navigate through your new dashboard so you can become familiar with WordPress and all the features it has to offer.

Step 8: Check out the widgets so you can use to customize your blog.  They are as easy as drag and drop.

Step 9: Write your first original post and push the publish button.  Congratulations you are now a WordPress blog owner/author.

Once again, if you just want to get your feet wet with blogging this is an ok way to go but I do highly advise you to host your own blog on your own hosting space. Remember, it only takes 5 minutes and everything you need is right here.

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How to Start a blogSo you are wondering how to start a blog? I can tell you this, starting a blog is the easy part, setting it up is the easy part and even designing a blog is the easy part.  The hard part is providing great original content that will be useful to your readers.  You want your readers to come back often and you want your readers to learn something, be inspired, laugh or in some way gain something from your blog.  If you can do this on a consistent basis the you will have a successful blog.  The good news is you can set up your blog in 5 minutes. Just go here to get started.

You might be thinking that you can get a free blog at blogger, Live Journal, WordPress.org, Type Pad or any of the other free blogging services out there.  You are right, a blog is free at these places but remember one thing, you do not own your blog.  It is hosted on their servers and if they ever want to shut you down or if they go out a business guess what happens to your blog that you just spent years working on? Bye Bye blog.  That’s right, all your hard work will be gone.  Even if you have a back up of your blog you are still most likely going to lose the traffic if something like that were to happen.  The solution is to host your own blog.  It is only $6-8 bucks a month depending on what hosting company you choose.  This charge is an investment in your blog and yourself and will give you all the freedom you need now and in the future so you can do what ever you want with your blog.  Imagine if you ever wanted to sell your blog?  It’s not going to happen with a free blog.  Nobody is going to buy something they don’t really own.  On the flip side, it is fairly easy to sell a well established blog.

So do yourself a favor and don’t waste you time or energy with a free blog.  You will be thankful a year from now that you didn’t.

So take the next step now, get your hosting and set up that blog.

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Here is a short video tutorial on how to add a page to your wordpress blog.

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Here is a quick video tutorial on how to add a post in wordpress.

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