6 Resources for Beginning Bloggers: Ready, Set, Go

So, you’ve opened your first WordPress account. Now what? Or you’re thinking about finally starting a blog, but not sure what’s involved.

The following blogging resources will help get you up and running very quickly and support your blogging goals along the way, as you continue to advance.

WordPress.com. For a great video introduction to blogging, see Introduction to WordPress.com. WordPress.com is a freely-hosted version of the open source package, where you can start a blog in seconds, without any technical knowledge.

WordPress.org. To learn more about blogging basics, check out the Introduction to Blogging by WordPress.org, at the codex for WordPress.org, the largest self-hosted blogging tool in the world. There, you’ll find the differences between a blog and a Content Management System (CMS), as well as terms and concepts you’ll need to know (such as archives, feeds, blogrolls, and syndication). You’ll also learn about managing comments (including trackbacks, pingbacks, and spam). Other topics include permalinks, blog e-mail, post slugs, excerpts, plugins, and basic blogging tips.

Writing Inspiration. Want writing advice from an expert blogger? Check out Chris Brogan’s Blog Topics Newsletter, a weekly email newsletter, which contains at least 10 topic ideas, plus tips on how to customize these post ideas into something useful to your own organization. Chris invites subscribers “to reply back, comment, and/or share your favorite posts you’ve written with the rest of the community, so that it’s not a one-way street, but a two-way learning experience.” For more information on this subscription service ($9.97 per month), check out A Sample Blog Topics Email or Great Ideas from the Blog Topics Community. (So far, Chris’ service has been very helpful to me.)

ProBlogger Resources. Want to learn about making money online? Check out Darren Rowse’s Problogger Blog: Tips to Help You Make Money from Blogging, or his book ProBlogger Book: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income. For one of the most reasonably-priced, moderated members forums around (subscriptions start at $5.95 per month), also consider joining the ProBlogger.Community, where you can discuss blogging and social media, with like-minded folks.

Twitter Chat. For a real-time community, sign in to #Blogchat, hosted by veteran blogger Mack Collier. #blogchat is a weekly conversation that takes place every Sunday night, starting at 8pm Central (9pm ET), on Twitter. Collier moderates a range of topics, from personal blogging to business.

Blogging Conferences. I haven’t attended either of these conferences–one an in-person event, and the other online, but both are geared to blogging topics and can help you get more involved in the larger blogging community:

  • The BlogWorld & New Media Expo provides an educational experience for all levels of expertise and interests. The BlogWorld Conference, which occurred last Oct. in Las Vegas, is a two-day event that coincides with the exhibits. Topics range from high-end experienced blogger, podcast, broadcaster and social media themes to novice “start-up” topics.
  • Blogging Summit 11 runs from February 1 to February 22 (fully online) and is designed to help you master blogging for business, from 23 leading blogging pros.

So, there you have it. Those are the resources that have been most helpful to me, as I’ve been ramping up my blogging efforts for my side business. (In the case of the conferences, I’d like to attend these events, someday, and of the ProBlogger community, I plan to make the time to become more involved this year.)

If you’re  new to blogging, what are you biggest questions, concerns, or challenges? If you’ve been blogging awhile, do you have any additional resources to share?


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