Start Blogging With a Page or a Post?
Congratulations, you’ve decided to start blogging. You have read blogs for years. Incognito, right? Now it’s your turn to blog.
You have your account. Now what?
Unlike any other form of communication, blogs connect writers and readers. Blogging is reciprocal.
You have to take the first step.
So fill up that blank screen. Learn what will help you start blogging like an expert even if you blog for a hobby.
If You Start Blogging with a Post
The left column of your new WordPress blog has lots of menu choices. The most important choice is whether to start with a page or a post.
While trying to make sense of posts and pages, I’ve come up with a solution as to which comes first based on years of blogging experience (mine and other experts).
Posts are the chickens, and pages are the eggs. The WordPress Reader doesn’t publish your pages. Until you create a post or start advertising yourself, no one will know your blog is there until you publish a post.
That could be a good thing! All experts tell you they improve with time.
BUT, if you are the fly by the seat of your pants kind of writer like Stephen King, start blogging with a post.
Or Start Blogging with a Page
If you are a planner like J.K. Rowling, you might want to start with a page. Remember you are invisible to the public right now as you stumble. A page stays in place and does not roll along with time as a post does, but it helps define why your website exists. So maybe the page is the chicken.
When I first started blogging, I wanted to jump in with both feet and write a post, but I couldn’t do it. I started with a page.
Why Start Blogging with About Me Page?
Start blogging with an About Me page to get yourself oriented as to what you wanted to accomplish. Besides what is one topic you know better than anyone else? YOURSELF!
Be honest! No matter how much you know about yourself, you need to think through your About Me page carefully.
And you may need to update it from time to time. When I started blogging, I thought I had created a pretty good page. Fortunately, I kept learning and made many revisions.
Recently I found a fabulous article by Janice Wald, How to Write a Killer About Me Page That Will Attract New Followers. In this post she lays out eight tips to improve your About Me page – YES you CAN revise it! I’m only going to share the four I revised on my page. Please visit her blog to discover the others.
Start Blogging with These Four tips
1. About Me
You may have two About pages.
About Me and About This Blog
The default setting in WordPress is About. Personalize the name of your About page based on its purpose. Is the page About Me? My products? My hobby? My Collaborators? My Organization? Change the name of the page from About to About _____.
Took me four years to learn this and two seconds to make it happen.
In the process of blogging, a side benefit is that bloggers get to know themselves better. As soon as we start blogging, we begin to deeply understand who we are and why we are blogging. Some of that information should be on the About Me or the About _____ page to stabilize the ship as it steams into the blogosphere.
2. Include your name.
That sounds like a no brainer but I added my name to my About Me page after four years of blogging. When I first started blogging, I worried about giving information about myself. As I built relationships – and that was my goal, I lost that fear. Now it seems silly to hide my name. My name is on Facebook and all over the internet anyway.
Even shy people like me have their names everywhere (except on their about page!) Make it easy for your readers to get to know you.
3. What will your blog do for readers?
This suggestion came as a bit of a shock for me. I thought, “My amateur blog has to DO something for my readers?”
I read Janice’s examples and made changes so that readers would know why they should read my blog over the 152 million other blogs. I added a purpose section to my about page.
4. Include a picture or yourself or your main focus.
Oops, is that a problem?
Humans brains recognize photos faster than computers can find words. Facebook proved that fact and changed communication forever. For better or worse, humans develop trust in people based on looks.
When I became president of California Council for the Social Studies in 2013 our past president told me to get a professional picture because I would use it so often. I followed his advice. That picture helps me communicate with others. My smiling picture should tell people that I am friendly, open and want their friendship. I hope it also tells that I am professional and trustworthy.
It is fine to include snapshots of yourself too. You are a human worth photographing. Chris Brogan advises recent snapshots of yourself in real backgrounds. That way if you go to conferences or interview people on Skype, they will recognize you.
When I go to a blog about the best horror movies because they followed me, one of us messed up. I hope I don’t look like a horror movie person. Put your picture on your About Page.
Click here to read the rest of Janice’s tips.
NOW Start Blogging Posts
If you want to get more publicity about your new page, write a post about the process. It could be several posts, including one like this one.
Maybe like Sally Cronin, a nutritional expert, you’ve already written lots of articles in your field of expertise. There’s no need to recreate the wheel. Start with what you have.
Or you could elaborate on each point in a separate post – like each promise you make to your readers. Tell readers, “I’m going to help you with…” This process will steer you towards creating categories.
If you are inclined, create a video about what your blog will do for your readers. There are gazillions of blogs out there, but when you start blogging, your blog will be the best yet.
The Technology of Creating a Page
- Creating Pages by Bluehost has a simple video to follow for the mechanics of creating a page.
- How to Use Photos on your blog.
So how did you start to create your online presence? Tell me your story. Share your advice with neophyte bloggers.