Over the past five years, I’ve had to learn a lot about what constitutes a blog. Some of the questions I’ve ended up answering were ones I didn’t expect to even question in the first place. When I first made the blog, I had a goal: Write a couple of articles, get people to come to the pub with me. I really just wanted to make a community of friends – But as time went on, not only did I want that friendship, that camaraderie, but instead I wanted the website to do well. Over the years, this website has always gone up in views, but now I’m going to share all of the lessons I’ve learned about running a WordPress blog.
Oh sure, scoff if you want, anyone can open a WordPress.com account. It’s free, it’s easy to use and anyone can have a professional looking website in minutes. That’s not just a sales pitch, that’s a fact – The software behind WordPress is simply fantastic and, as an avid user, I’d highly recommend upgrading to get a few of the extras whenever you can. Having said that, to begin with, you should see if running a WordPress blog is for you. Over the years, I’ve thought about the sort of things I didn’t expect to think about – And here is my honest opinion about how WordPress handles it.
How Editable Is A WordPress Blog?
Considering you’re not paying anything, it’s editable insofar as you get to choose a theme, play around with settings, make some pages and some posts. All in all, the content is all down to you, but you can’t edit much – Not without paying a couple of quid for the Custom CSS features. This, admittedly, is a godsend – But if you’re not a coder, the Custom CSS facility might not be good for you, unless you were willing to read into it all.
You can hire people to do this for you, but in all honesty, depending how far you go, you may just need to change the theme. With the exception of changing up the layout of some of the pages and some of the elements on pages, such as sidebar widgets, there’s not a lot you can change without changing themes.
Can I Keep A Regular Schedule?
Those who are close to me will know that sometimes, just sometimes, I struggle with article ideas. For those of you who have been reading this website for years, that may sound a bit farfetched that I of all people could run out of words. Indeed, they say that everyone has a finite source of ideas. However, in 2015, Joel jumped aboard the GeekOut website ship and in 2016, we had Chris join us for his first article. All in all, having a team of people who would provide regular content was really useful.
However, you don’t need to post daily to have a successful website, but rather a dedicated schedule that you adhere to. When you come to this website, you can expect that every day there’ll be an article. However, you might go to another website only on a Wednesday due to the content put out on that day. This is because you’re aware that on that day, something you’re interested in will be published. Remember that schedules are important for running a blog – As seriously, I’d not blame you if you looked elsewhere, if I started to do a random “I’ll blog whenever” schedule.
WordPress gives you awesome features, such as being able to schedule an article in advance. I have some articles typed up which have yet to be published, because they’re going to be scheduled for a future article. WordPress gives you the facilities – It’s up to you to create a way to implement those facilities.
How To Build An Audience?
The content behind your website is your driving force, as opposed to the tools you have. However, what you will need is a bit of social media skill. Whilst WordPress can’t teach you about that, it does have some really cool features, such as Publicize. This allows you to set up a snippet of words, which is published to your Facebook and Twitter feeds. Individual writers can set up their own Publicize feeds, so you can share your content to your personal accounts with ease.
Furthermore WordPress gives you access to special widgets which help people find your channels, such as your Facebook page like button, along with a Twitter feed. You can customise those to a point. All in all, you get a lot of customisability when it comes to joining in your social media channels.