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Posts tagged with Blog

cats reading

How blog page design & layout can destroy readability

No matter how good you are at the words, the sentences and the grammar, no matter how often you run your florid prose through the Hemingway app, there are some elements of an article page that can scupper everything.

Here are the most important.

7 comments

12 elements of a user-friendly blog page

With high quality content playing an increasingly important part in search rankings, blogging has become a key part of almost any company’s marketing strategy.  

But writing interesting content is not enough in itself. You might have the best article in the world, but if it isn’t presented in a user-friendly format then nobody is going to read (or share) it. 

7 comments
Black Ballad homepage screenshot

10 lessons I learned from starting a niche lifestyle website

It’s amazing what you can learn in eight months.

In the middle of June last year, I got together with a few writers and creatives to start a niche lifestyle blog. 

0 comments

How to make blogging for photographers more than a photo shoot

It's hard for some photography businesses to picture what they might say on a blog, but to succeed with inbound marketing, they must!

Photographers must work very hard in order to establish any real difference between their work and the services offered by the other millions of photography websites.

0 comments

The complete guide to setting up and running a WordPress site

Earlier this year I embarked on a series of in-depth articles detailing how you can set up your own WordPress blog, using my own relevant experience and expertise. 

This turned into a three-month long 10-part epic with various digressions into other semi-related blogging matters. Imagine Lord of the Rings but slightly less wordy and definitely less ork-filled.

This compendium is as an attempt to condense my own sprawling epic into one handy guide.

Here you will learn: the differences between WordPress.org and WordPress.com, how to set up your blog, advice for writing your first post, using the dashboard and content management system (CMS), essential widgets, themes, plugins and customisation tips, advice for SEO best practice, how to move your blog to a self-hosted WordPress.com site and lots more. 

This guide should be used for a general overview, however links to all the original articles will be included with each relevant chapter, as they will be necessary to read for more in-depth detail.

Are you ready? Let’s begin…

3 comments

A look inside Amtrak’s excellent content marketing strategy

Amtrak is the intercity train service run by The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, connecting more than 500 US destinations and three Canadian provinces.

According to The Make Good in its piece on content marketers that are ahead of the curve, Amtrak has seen a rise in train ticket sales that perhaps goes against the dominance of air travel in the USA. 

This is in part thanks to its recent content marketing push. Amtrak has redesigned its blog, including an archive of photography that stretches back over four decades of its existence, upped its social media game and has begun sponsoring trips by writers and photographers in order to create engaging content for the company.

Let’s take a closer look at the best of Amtrak’s content and channels.

2 comments
wordpress logo

20 essential WordPress plugins

This is the eighth and final instalment (for now) in a series of posts discussing how to set up and run a WordPress blog from a relatively experienced expert, which will feature many helpful and hopefully relevant tangents.

Last week I covered the big move from WordPress.com to WordPress.org. A move that will have now opened up the highly exclusive and endlessly varied world of WordPress plugins.

A plugin is a piece of software that acts as an add-on feature to your website or blog, offering additional functionality. 

These can be developed by WordPress itself or by a third-party company and range in function from social media integration to automatic search engine optimisation to spam comment filtering. There's a huge array of choice.

Only WordPress.org users (those who host their own site and who don’t mind getting their hands dirty with coding and other technical matters) have access to these third-party plugins.

So this week I’ll be recommending the most vital of these plugins for your brand new WordPress.org site.

3 comments
house moving

How to transfer your blog from WordPress.com to WordPress.org

This is the seventh in a series of posts discussing how to set up and run a WordPress blog from a relatively experienced expert, which will feature many helpful and hopefully relevant tangents.

This week: the big move!

If you’ve been running your blog happily for the last year or so, picked up some fairly positive comments and attracted some healthy organic traffic you may be thinking: what next?

Is there more I can do? Perhaps you’d like to dig around in the code to improve the look and usability of your site. Perhaps you’d like to ditch the .WordPress part of your URL. Perhaps you’ve discovered there’s a whole world of fancy plug-ins available to WordPress.org users to customise their site in ways you can’t within your blog.

Here I’ll look at domain name registration, finding a web host, installing WordPress.org and importing all of your existing content.

2 comments
typewriter journalist

A blogger’s guide to setting up a WordPress site: 10 great responsive themes

This is the fifth in a series of posts discussing how to set up and run a WordPress blog from a relatively experienced expert, which will feature many helpful and hopefully relevant tangents.

In the first article I discussed the first few steps involving sign-up, the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org, and your social media presence.

Then I looked at writing your first post using the WordPress content management system (CMS), in which I gave some helpful writing advice for first-time bloggers, and later I delved into the WordPress dashboard and its diverse world of widgets.

Last week I took an in-depth look the art of customising your existing WordPress template, either by using the free options available or with the Custom Designs upgrade.

Throughout the article, I used the same template as an example for guidance on customisation. However there are many other templates available to WordPress.com users, all of which can be customised in the same ways as the above link describes.

Here I’ll be recommending the best of those out-of-the-box templates to make your blog stand out from the crowd. The first 10 highlighted are fully responsive, meaning they will adapt to any screen size the site is viewed on.

2 comments

A blogger’s guide to setting up a WordPress site: 14 vital widgets

This is the third in a series of posts discussing how to set up and run a WordPress blog from a relatively experienced expert, which will feature many helpful and hopefully relevant tangents.

In the first article I discussed the first few steps involving sign-up, the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org, and your social media presence.

Last week, I looked at writing your first post using the WordPress content management system (CMS) and I also offered some general writing tips for new bloggers.

This time I’ll be delving into the dashboard to help you set up the ‘backend’ of your blog, by taking a look at the diverse world of widgets.

Firstly though a quick note about the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org in relation to ‘plugins’.

3 comments
hunter s thompson

A blogger’s guide to setting up a WordPress site: writing your first post

This is the second in a series of posts discussing how to set up and run a WordPress blog from a relatively experienced expert, which will feature many helpful and hopefully relevant tangents.

Last time I discussed the first few steps, involving sign-up, the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org, and your social media presence.

In this article I’ll discuss writing your first post using the WordPress content management system (CMS), but first, here are some general writing tips for bloggers using any platform.

6 comments
marlon brando cat typewriter

A blogger’s guide to setting up a WordPress site: the first few steps

This is the first in a series of posts discussing how to set up and run a WordPress blog from a relatively experienced expert, which will feature many helpful and hopefully relevant tangents.

Firstly I should reveal a little bit of background about myself. I began a WordPress blog a few years ago; it was a little read music site full of rambling incoherent nonsense semi-related to reviewing new albums. 

Inexplicably within six months, the blog had grown beyond its humble beginnings as something to annoy my friends on Facebook with, to something that was doing fairly well in search engine results pages (SERPs) and driving higher than anticipated traffic.

I took the decision to transfer the blog from WordPress (which restricts you to the .WordPress.com suffix) to its own domain (with the much more loved by seach engines suffix .com), hosted by a third-party service, while still using a WordPress template and its various plug-ins.

5 comments