Blogging For Dummies, 7th Edition (1119588057) cover image

Blogging For Dummies, 7th Edition

ISBN: 978-1-119-58805-4
Paperback
416 pages
September 2019
US $24.99 Add to Cart

Introduction 1

About This Book 1

Foolish Assumptions 2

Icons Used in This Book 3

Beyond the Book 3

Where to Go from Here 3

Part 1: Getting Started with Blogging 5

Chapter 1: Discovering Blog Basics 7

Making Yourself Comfortable with Blogs 8

How people use blogs 9

Recognizing a blog 16

Blog anatomy: Dissecting a typical blog 17

Starting a Blog 21

Choosing What to Blog About 23

Creating a Successful Blog 24

Setting goals 25

Writing well 25

Creating a calendar 26

Building community with comments 27

Designing for Success 28

Understanding themes 29

Knowing content types 30

Thinking about audience 30

Chapter 2: Entering the Blogosphere 33

Assessing Your Involvement 34

What level of commitment are you willing to make to blogging? 35

Do you like writing? How’s your typing? 35

What will the blog be about? Is your blog personal or professional? 35

Do you think that your new blog might lead to new career opportunities? 36

How comfortable are you with sharing? 36

What Happens When You Publish? 36

Blogging Ethically 38

Telling the truth 39

Making mistakes 41

Handling dialogue 43

Keeping Your Job While Blogging 44

Blogging without Embarrassing Your Mother or Losing Friends 45

Understanding what’s at stake 46

Protecting others in your life 46

Protecting Your Privacy and Reputation 47

Creating Your Brand 48

Communicating who you are 48

Hitting reboot 49

Chapter 3: Choosing and Hosting Blog Software 51

Having Your Own Domain Name 51

Picking a domain name 52

Registering a domain 54

Finding Web Hosting 57

Doing your research 58

Subscribing to web hosting 59

Deciding on the Right Blogging Software 61

Budgeting for software 63

Making sure you get the basics 63

Upgrading with bells and whistles 65

Understanding Hosted Blog Software 66

Reaping the benefits 67

Living with the limitations 68

Choosing hosted software 69

Understanding Blog Software That You Install on Your Own Server 72

Reaping the benefits 72

Living with the limitations 73

Choosing non-hosted blogging software 74

Installing blog software 77

Part 2: Setting Up Your Blog 79

Chapter 4: Starting a Blogger Blog 81

Starting a Blog with Blogger 81

Creating an account 82

Naming your blog 84

Using the Dashboard 86

Writing a Post 87

Adding a link 88

Spell-checking your text 89

Including an image 90

Publishing Your Post 92

Previewing your post 92

Configuring post settings 93

Launching your post 94

Viewing Your Blog Post 94

Selecting the Dashboard Settings 95

Making basic changes 96

Making comment changes 97

Making email changes 98

Customizing Your Blog 98

Choosing a new theme 99

Using the Theme Designer 100

Editing page elements 103

Chapter 5: Starting a WordPress Blog 107

Choosing between WordPress.com and WordPress.org 108

Starting a WordPress.com Blog 110

Creating an account 110

Using the dashboard 114

Changing site settings 114

Writing a Post 115

Customizing Your WordPress.com Blog 118

Selecting a new theme 118

Installing WordPress 120

Registering a domain 121

Selecting web hosting 121

Getting the software 122

Uploading the WordPress files 124

Setting up the database 126

Running the install script 128

Getting Familiar with Settings 130

Logging in 130

Setting up an Editor account 130

Using the Dashboard 132

Checking out the panels 134

Creating a Post 134

Customizing Your Design 136

Finding Out More about WordPress 137

Chapter 6: Creating a Squarespace Blog 139

Creating a Squarespace Account 139

Selecting a template 140

Choosing a site name 142

Adding Blog Content 144

Uploading images 145

Importing content from other platforms 146

Customizing and Connecting 147

Linking your social networks 148

Using the Squarespace sidebar 149

Chapter 7: Considering Other Blogging Platforms 151

Blogging with Wix 151

Writing with Weebly 155

Checking Out Additional Platforms 156

Part 3: Fitting In and Feeling Good 159

Chapter 8: Finding Your Niche 161

Deciding What Belongs on Your Blog 161

Parent blogging 163

Turning your offline hobby into a blog 164

Talking technology 165

Getting political with it 166

Reporting news 167

Revealing it all 167

Sharing a deal 168

Design, lifestyle, DIY — oh my! 168

Living on less 169

Reading, writing, ‘rithmetic 170

Creating a super niche 170

Examining a new niche 171

Learning from the Pros 172

Lurking on other blogs 173

Participating by commenting 174

Reaching Out to Other Bloggers 175

Meeting in person 175

Attending conferences 176

Using social networks 176

Chapter 9: Creating Great Content 179

Knowing Your Audience 180

Finding your competitors 180

Discovering the secrets of success 181

Profiling your audience 184

Writing for a specific audience 186

Writing Well and Frequently 186

Being yourself 187

Finding rewards in lengthy posts 190

Remembering proofreading and editing 190

Relying on your content calendar 191

Drawing in Readers 195

Hooking with a headline 195

Turning to video and photos 195

Following what’s trending 196

Joining the crowd 196

Listing with listicles 197

Grabbing readers with food 198

Serving the Reader 198

Giving them what they need 198

Giving them what they want 198

Creating content worth referencing 199

Getting linky with it 199

Overcoming Writer’s Block 200

Chapter 10: Building Community with Comments 203

Getting Interaction Going with Comments 204

Getting involved 205

Enabling comments 207

Managing Comments 208

Establishing community guidelines 208

Editing comments 211

Deleting comments 211

Moderating comments 212

Recognizing Spam Comments 213

Fighting Spam with Software 217

Protecting your comment form 217

Screening for spam 219

Dealing with Coverage on Other Blogs 222

Chapter 11: Blogging Anonymously 225

Deciding How Much Anonymity You Need 226

Going Anonymous 228

Establishing a pseudonym 228

Setting up a new email address 228

Choosing passwords 229

Starting your anonymous blog 230

Being time and location aware 230

Approaching Content Cautiously 231

Stepping Up Security 231

Understanding IP addresses 232

Using software safely 233

Keeping up 233

Resources 234

Part 4: Going Beyond Words 235

Chapter 12: Working with Photos 237

Keeping It Simple 237

Getting Equipped 238

Picking a digital camera 238

Choosing photo-editing software 240

Using Google Photos 241

Choosing a photo-sharing tool 242

Choosing Visuals for Your Blog 244

Taking photos 244

Using art from other sources 246

Editing Photos 246

Getting photos into Google Photos 248

Cropping a photo 248

Adjusting brightness and contrast 249

Adjusting color 249

Optimizing a photo for the web 250

Considering other photo-editing tools 250

Chapter 13: Starting a Podcast 251

Deciding to Podcast 252

Planning Your Podcast 253

Assessing the Tools 255

Dressing Up Your Podcast with Music and Sound Effects 257

Creative Commons Search 257

Magnatune 258

Freesound 258

Free Music Archive 259

Publishing Your Podcast 259

Assigning metadata 260

Choosing a format 260

Storing your podcasts 261

Delivering your podcasts 262

Promoting Your Podcast 263

Adding your podcast to FeedBurner 263

Adding your podcast to iTunes 264

Getting listed in podcast directories 265

Chapter 14: Diving into Vlogging 267

Defining Vlogging 267

Understanding why you should vlog 268

Discovering available vlogging platforms 269

Setting the Stage 270

Choosing the right equipment 271

Creating a vlogging space 271

Editing Your Vlog 272

Keeping it simple 272

Keeping it real 273

Promoting Your Vlog 273

Chapter 15: Leveraging Community with Forums 275

Deciding Whether Forums Will Work for You 276

Researching Software Options 278

Choosing between Free and Commercial Forum Software 279

Browsing commercial forum software 280

Perusing open-source forum software 280

Getting Finicky about Features 281

Installing Forum Software 284

Cultivating Community Standards 285

Part 5: Marketing and Promoting Your Blog 287

Chapter 16: Making Your Blog Easy to Find 289

Diving into SEO 289

Understanding SEO 290

Creating an SEO-friendly blog 290

Using SEO tools 291

Understanding SEO changes 292

Branding Your Blog 292

Telling them what you’re going to tell them 292

Showing them what you’re going to show them 293

Reaching Out with RSS 294

Getting the goods on web feeds 294

Breaking it down further 295

Generating web traffic 296

Creating a feed for your blog 296

Making the Most of RSS 297

Chapter 17: Getting to Know Social Networking 299

Thinking Strategically 300

Connecting with your audience 301

Selecting networks 301

Protecting your privacy online 302

Focusing on consistent branding 302

Creating opportunities for conversation 304

Prompting audience action 305

Getting Familiar with Social Networks 306

Friend-based networks 306

Hobby-based networks 308

Professional networks 309

Media-sharing networks 310

Informational networks 311

Location-based networks 312

Sharing It All 312

Chapter 18: Joining the Big Four Social Networks 315

Joining Facebook 316

Creating a Facebook Page 316

Using your Facebook Page 317

Understanding Twitter 319

Getting Started with Twitter 321

Signing up for an account 321

Tweeting 322

Exploring the settings 324

Tying your blog into Twitter 324

Getting Started with LinkedIn 325

Connecting through LinkedIn 325

Creating your LinkedIn account 326

Connecting through Instagram 326

Valuing the visual 327

Using Instagram creatively 327

Chapter 19: Measuring Blog Presence 329

Exploring the Power of Statistics 330

Knowing What the Statistics Mean 333

Hits 333

Page views 333

Unique visitors 334

Repeat visitors 335

Errors 335

Getting Web Stats 336

Choosing hosted statistics software 337

Choosing installable statistics software 337

Part 6: Getting Business-y with It 339

Chapter 20: Making Mad Mad Money 341

Finding Out How Advertising Works 341

Planning for advertising 343

Looking at the formats 343

Assessing business models 345

Joining an Ad Network 345

Putting Ads on Your Blog 346

Getting Paid to Post 347

Participating in marketing campaigns 347

Tying in social media presence 348

Blogging professionally 348

Making the Most of Affiliate Marketing 349

Amazon Associates Program 349

Rakuten Affiliate Network 349

Seeking Sponsorships 350

Negotiating a sponsorship experience 350

Setting boundaries 352

Accepting Gifts, Not Obligations 353

Viewing Your Blog as an Influential Platform 354

Chapter 21: Blogging for Companies 355

Putting Blogs to Work for Your Business 356

Considering the benefits of a business blog 356

Checking out businesses that blog 357

Deciding whether to blog 358

Planning for Business Blog Success 359

Setting goals 359

Choosing a blogger 360

Deciding what to write 361

Generating sales or action 363

Delivering with Technology 364

Enabling comments 364

Creating RSS/web feeds 365

Podcasting 365

Starting a wiki 365

Joining a social network 366

Advertising on Blogs 366

Going contextual 367

Advertising via ad networks 368

Sponsoring a blog 368

Leveraging LinkedIn 370

Part 7: The Part of Tens 371

Chapter 22: Ten Ways to Grow Community 373

Write Often 373

Listen and Respond to Readers 374

Visit and Participate 374

Guest Blog and Invite Guest Bloggers 376

Communicate via Email and Newsletters 376

Get Social 378

Involve Your Readers 378

Connect Offline 379

Go Mobile 380

Diversify 380

Chapter 23: Ten Things All Bloggers Should Do 381

Discover Your Voice 381

Stoke Your Muse 382

Survey Your Readers 383

Find Your Tribe 383

Know Your Traffic Sources 384

Set Goals 385

Define Success 386

Create a Monetization Plan or Not 386

Prepare to Grow 387

Know When You’re Done 387

Index 389