Won’t you please, please, help me

For some reason, I’m in a Beatles mood, thinking about writing this post about the wordpress.com help page.  I have certainly gotten by with a little help from my friend the help page, so I decided instead of creating another help word document, this one geared toward peer mentors, that I would create a hyperlinked post that archives the help pages that I think will be most popular for you.  The help page is wonderfully searchable, but here is a handy list of a couple of actions that will almost definitely come up.

How to change the order of your pages – As of now, the peer mentor ePortfolios are set up with a Welcome page as the front page and then a couple of other pages, including the blog.  The default order of the tabs is alphabetical.  If you’d rather have those tabs ordered by importance, and especially have the welcome tab show up first, this page tells you how to do that.  (If you forgot how to make the welcome page the home page or somehow reset it to having the blog up front, click here)

How to insert a hyperlink into a post or page – Remember to click “open link in new window/tab” so people don’t navigate away from your site.  I wrote an old post about hyperlinking if you want to check it out – since then wordpress has made hyperlinking easier and more intuitive, so ignore the technical tips, but it explains why hyperlinking is way cooler than just cutting and pasting.

How to insert an image – You can insert a picture from your computer, or straight from the web.  You can also upload a bunch of images and make a slideshow, which will scroll and change while people read the post.

How to embed a YouTube video – It’s really easy to embed a video that is already up on YouTube, but if you use a different video site or don’t want to upload something on YouTube first, there are other ways (check out the related links column on the right side of this help post).

How to play audio files – Audio files are slightly more complicated than other types of files, but definitely still doable.  I wrote a post on SoundCloud last fall, but since then the site has cracked down on sharing, so you might have to have a couple of options for songs since some may not be able to be cleared because of copyright issues.

How to work with widgets – This page gives you the basics of using widgets, but the support page also has individual pages for each widget in case you are wondering what they do or how to use them.

This should get you started on tricking out your posts and pages.  Here are a couple of really informative help pages that discuss some theories of blogging, just to get you thinking about more advanced questions:

Introduction to WordPress.com – A good general info, with video

Categories vs. Tags – Once you start blogging regularly, you should think about how to categorize and tag your posts.  This page gives you one view on the difference between the two.  Tags are also a way to bring more traffic to your site, which I discussed in October.  As peer mentors, you need to decide how much you really want to court an outside audience once you start blogging regularly, but it’s something to think about.

And now, for even more fun:

How to link your blog to your facebook page – You don’t have to do this, but it’s an easy way to get readers and a great way to spread your influence to friends of friends of friends of friends.

How to post by email – If you don’t have access to a computer but have an urgent piece of information to get out to your blog’s readers (or if you find yourself with a few spare moments and a smartphone) you can update your blog via email.

Hope this helps.  Happy blogging!


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