- Let’s get a blog. Go to WordPress.com and click the orange icon at top right, SIGN UP NOW.
- Your username should be your last name followed by your first name, e.g. if your name is Brad Pitt, your username will be "pittbrad" Review the terms of service and click the boxes for “I have read…” and “Gimme a Blog”. Write down all your info (username, password, etc) so that you won’t lose it!!!!
- Check your domain to make sure it matches your username, choose a Blog Title (can be changed later), select your language, and decide whether or not you want your blog to be public and available on internet search engines and public listings (this decision is up to you and can be changed later). Ok, your account should be active now. Check your email to click the activation link. (Note: Next you’ll see a page asking you to fill in any profile info – no need to do this).
- Let’s choose a cool template: After logging in at the front page and clicking on your blog name, you’ll see the dashboard (left menu). On the dashboard, choose APPEARANCE. Browse the templates and click any of the styles to see a pop-up screen preview. Either click the X at the top left to close the preview and view another, or click ACTIVATE at the top right to use that template. You can change templates as often as you wish, and many of them are customizable. (Note: You will need to choose the WIDGETS that will appear in your side column – widgets are things like CATEGORIES, PHOTOS, CALENDAR, LINKS, etc. Generally, changing your template will also change your widgets. We’ll talk more about this in class).
- At the top left of the page, click on your blog title. You’ll notice that when you are logged in and viewing your blog, the “My Dashboard” link is always present at the top of your page to help you add links, change your theme, add or edit entries, or write a new post to your blog, etc.
- Let’s make an ABOUT page…Go to PAGES in your dashboard, and then click on ABOUT. Replace the default text with a 2-3 paragrpah description of yourself IN ENGLISH. Please also upload a photo of your face (don’t have one? take a photo with your phone, computer webcam or digital camera) by using the icons to the right of UPLOAD/INSERT at the top of your text editor (you’ll need to have a photo saved somewhere on the computer you are using in order to retrieve that file). Once you’ve chosen your file, choose the size and the orientation and then click INSERT INTO POST. The photo will show up only on this page. Remind Marlen to walk you through this in class once or twice!
- Let’s add links: Click LINKS in your dashboard menu. It’s that easy! Delete the existing links, add our class website: http://marlenharrison.com, and add 5 links to places on the web that you like to visit such as your facebook page, favorite band, etc.
- Let’s change the page title or tagline and add a photo for your profile/comments: Click SETTINGS in the top right dashboard menu. Note: Not all blog templates have taglines. You can change basic info about your blog here and upload a photo of yourself that will appear in all of the comments you leave for classmates. NOTE: This photo will not appear in any of your blog posts, only in your comments.
- Congratulations, you now have a blog and are ready to start exploring the blogosphere! I recommend you spend about 15 minutes exploring the dashboard and trying to create posts, pages, etc to get the hang of the blog.