Having just set up this WordPress blog, it’s all very fresh in my mind. It doesn’t take that long to set one up, until you get to the plugins!
The basics are fairly straightforward, providing you are methodical about it. You need to sort out the appearance (obviously) but it’s surprising how little you need to do in that department in order to be up and running. Choosing a theme can take ages, or no time at all, while using the widgets to change the lay-out of the columns is fairly quick, depending how fussy you are.
It’s useful to make sure you’ve taken a look at the ‘users’ set-up, even if just to decide whether you want to be known as ‘admin’.
The settings are important too. They affect what people see at the very top of the page. For instance I have changed the default ’just another wordpress blog’ to Janeplewis Online.
But it’s uploading and configuring the plug-ins that take time.
It’s a while since I set up a blog from scratch, and some of the plug-ins I used originally are no more. There are also some amazing new ones, like the Viddlercomments one, which allows people to post a comment using video vai their webcam.
Currnetly I have about 12 ‘essential’ plug-ins uploaded and activated. Akismet and One Click Installer are essential (and by the way, if you are using Akismet, it’s worth setting up an email account dedicated to this blog. Gmail will do.)
Then there are plugins to manage your SEO, Feedburner links (that one took a bit more time than most), something to generate a sitemap and let Google know when you post (essential for rankings) and something to link your blog to Twitter. My personal favourite is Twitter Tools.
If anyone knows a way to upload plugins in bulk, I’d love to know about it!
Because after you’ve gone through the work of uploading them, one by one, you then have to configure them. Well, some of them at least. So it’s back to the Settings tab, to work your way through what is sometimes real gobblydegook.
And then there’s Twittollower, to start building the traffic. You need to be blogging and tweeting to keep your followers satisfied, though. Martin Avis, publisher of the ezine Kickstart, reckons a minimum of 5 tweets a day. (And if you haven’t subscribed to Kickstart yet, it’s a great read even if you have no interest at all in Internet Marketing.)
And the great things about Twitter Tools is, you automatically create a Tweet from a blog post. And you can even create blog posts from you Tweets, if you want to.