Blogging 101 and Writing 101 Are Back!

Just in case what we do in class isn’t enough, here are some options for additional practice and improvement direct from the crew at WordPress. Even better…it’s free.

WordPress.com News

You’ve just started your shiny new blog and you’d like some help as you get up to speed on WordPress.com. Or, maybe you’d like some inspiration to write every day. On September 15th, we kick off two free Blogging U. courses: Blogging 101 and Writing 101. They might be just what you need to whip your blog into shape and/or establish your writing habit.

Blogging 101

Each day for 30 days, Blogging 101 offers a bite-sized blogging “assignment*,” geared to helping you customize the look of your blog, start a blogging habit, and find some new blogging friends. Here’s how it works:

  • Assignments fall into three broad categories — publishing posts, customizing your blog, and engaging with the community. Assignments are designed to build on one another.
  • We’ll post a new assignment at The Daily Post each weekday at 12AM GMT (8PM EDT). (Time zone math: 12AM GMT…

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Early Theme Adopters: Pictorico

Great Resource from Cheri Lucas Rowlands.

WordPress.com News

Launched last month, Pictorico is a free theme that combines a dynamic portfolio-style home page with a simple, single-column layout for posts and pages. It’s great for pro photographers, casual photobloggers, and anyone who wants a sleek space for personal blogging.

Let’s take a look at a few sites using Pictorico:

A Feast for the Eyes

British blogger Issy shares recipes at A Feast for the Eyes, a name that perfectly captures the focus of the site: food and photography. Pictorico‘s front-page grid displays her mix of dishes beautifully — her images are crisp and bold, while her plate setups are stylish and carefully considered.

Issy sets featured images on individual posts, adding color and sophistication to the header area. She also takes advantage of the theme’s clean, single-column layout, letting her images shine on the page:

Ubuntu

The traveler and outdoor enthusiast at Ubuntu sets a wide custom header…

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By edreamconsulting Posted in Wordpress

All About SEO on WordPress.com

WordPress.com News

We get a lot of questions about SEO here on WordPress.com, and no wonder — you work hard on your site and want to get the word out! SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO recommendations are intended to help your site rank higher and more accurately in search engines, like Google. Say you write a blog about sailboats. When someone Googles “sailboats,” how many pages of results do they have to scroll through before they see a link to your blog? The goal behind having good SEO is to increase your website’s SERP (Search Engine Results Page) ranking.

many sailboats On the busy internet, it can be tough to make your “sailboat” stand out from all the others.

Ideally, you want your link to be on the first page of results. The best ways to accomplish this are:

  • consistently publish useful, original posts about sailboats; and
  • promote your blog in intelligent ways to people…

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New Themes: Circa and Quadra

WordPress is constantly updating and creating new responsive themes. The following post by Caroline Moore introduces us to Circa and Quadra.

New Themes: Circa and Quadra.

Stats Wrangling V: The Words that Bring You Traffic

Part of the SEO process is knowing your audience and selecting words that they are most likely to use when searching for content. This post by Ben Huberman at WordPress.com underscores much of what we have already discussed. It should serve as a good review for use in your enterprise sites.

WordPress.com News

statwrangling

Every blogger wants to find an audience. While we each have different ideas about the definition of great content, it’s clear that making informed, data-backed decisions can help us connect with our potential readers.

Today, we’ll conclude our Stats Wrangling series by focusing on a key ingredient in any blog’s success. We’ll show you how to look at your stats to determine if you’re using Tags and Categories to their maximum potential.

While tagging can make a difference on its own, be sure to check out earlier posts in the series to form your own, stats-inspired plan. If you haven’t looked at your numbers before, take the grand tour of your Stats tab. Then follow up with a closer look at the data you can glean from analyzing your stats through time, focusing on your best-performing content, and tracing the sites your visitors go to before and after coming…

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By edreamconsulting Posted in Wordpress

Hot Buttons: Make Room for Debate on Your Blog

Blogging is a great way to develop community and WordPress is designed to facilitate that exchange of ideas. The following post re-blogged from WordPress.com will acquaint you with some of the tools at your disposal.

WordPress.com News

Out with the Halloween candy, in with the ballot boxes: today is election day across 50 states! All over the world, in fact, falling leaves seem to inspire the urge to cast votes. From Norway in September to Tajikistan later this week, this is the season for lively political discussions — and what better place to hold them than your blog?

Today, we’d like to show you some of the best tools to encourage the exchange of ideas on your own WordPress.com site.

WordPress.com is already home to some of the best political blogs around, from Andrew Sullivan’s The Dish to Time‘s Swampland. Others, like Dave Pell’s Next Draft, collect the best commentary from around the web and deliver it daily to curious readers.

Many politicians and political organizations choose WordPress.com for their official sites, and every possible viewpoint is present on the grassroots level, too.

Anarchist…

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By edreamconsulting Posted in Wordpress

How to easily Create a WordPress-Powered Sales Page

How to Easily Create a WordPress-Powered Sales Page (via The Blog Herald)

WordPress powers millions of blogs, and is used in a wide variety of situations. Thanks to its flexibility, many companies use it in place of a traditionally designed website, and with the many themes and plugins available, you can do some pretty cool…

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Embed Tweets and YouTube Videos with the Media Explorer

You can now embed Tweets and YouTube Videos with the Media Explorer curation tool.  Paul Gibbs explains the tool and process in this re-blogged post from WordPress.com.

WordPress.com News

It’s easier than ever to add another dimension to your posts with embedded videos or tweets: announcing the Media Explorer, a new media curation tool that lets you add trending content from Twitter and YouTube without ever leaving your post editor!

To access the Media Explorer, simply click “Add Media” while editing a post, as you would to insert a photo. You’ll see a couple of new options below the familiar image tools: Insert Media The Twitter Explorer lets you find tweets by keyword or hashtag, by tweets to or from a specific user, and by geographic location — search for tweets using any of those parameters right in the same window: Insert Tweet Want eyewitness stories on some breaking news? You can pull tweets from people on the ground into your blog ASAP — the geographic search is the next best thing to having someone there: Twitter Geolocation The YouTube Explorer changes the way…

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By edreamconsulting Posted in Wordpress

One Theme, Three Ways: Customizing Coraline

Cheri Lucas Rowlands provides some insight on customizing the “classic” Coraline theme. It’s definitely worth the look.

WordPress.com News

There are more than 200 themes to choose from in the Theme Showcase: themes with sleek magazine-style front pages (like Oxygen and Watson), static business and profile sites (like Forefront and Profile), and portfolio designs (like Gridspace).

Within this mix are free themes that act as blank canvases for your blogs — ones you can use right out of the box, yet also transform dramatically.

You recognize Coraline, right?

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By edreamconsulting Posted in Wordpress

New Themes: Organization and Expound

If you are looking for some new responsive highly customizable themes, check out these from Kirk Wight.

WordPress.com News

It’s Theme Thursday here at WordPress.com, and we’ve got double vision: Organization and Expound!

Organization, developed by our partner Organic Themes, is a sharp, professional-looking theme intended for advancing your cause to the world. A crafted front page template is available for highlighting important pages and post categories, and templates for full-width and two-sidebar layouts are also included. Being fully responsive and a pleasure to read on any device, Organization is also prepared for our mobile-moving world, and ensures your message is loud and clear for everyone. A simple logo uploader and full support for numerous social media accounts are also included, while sidebars and five footer widget areas let you keep your content and calls-to-action easily accessible from all layouts.

Whether you simply need a home for your voice, or a vehicle for delivering your message around the world, Organization will support you every step of…

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By edreamconsulting Posted in Wordpress