We are excited to announce that Open Studio’s website has moved to a new address!
New address, same wonderful content! You will find the same inspiring and informative, weekly articles, Complimentary Session Sign-up Form, impressive and goal oriented one-on-one sessions, our amazing Visiting Creatives, resources and ME, Andrea Rosenfeld, professional fine artist and wholesale/retail expert!
Come over to our new address and
“open your studio” with Open Studio ~ Creative Mentoring!
*Open Studio Visiting Creative, Susan Newman is the Founder of Susan Newman Design, Inc. Her brand identity design company works with new, small businesses to large corporations and spans the United States. To read her Bio, click here
When you login to your new WordPress blog (*paid hosting for your domain name) you’ll see navigation links down the left side that lead to each section.
The first link is “posts“, this the area where you will be blogging. Each new post must have a title, actual content for the post, and keywords added (relevant to the content in your post). You will have the ability to add video, images, and other media in this area. Always remember to save your post as a draft and look at a preview to proofread before you hit “publish.”
Below posts is “media“. This is where all your images, audio, video, Flash are stored. Every time you upload a file it is placed here, so when you’re writing a post, you don’t need to upload that same image again, just select it from your media files. Be sure when you upload the images, to give it an alternate name that helps describe it and a caption if needed… then whenever you import it anywhere, you won’t need to name it again. If you don’t have an appropriate image but feel one is needed, I suggest using one of the online stock websites, such as IstockPhoto or Shutterstock. Even though these sites are economical, if you feel like using an image that you saw on Google, be sure to credit the photographer and site where it originated from. Even if the image applies to what you’re posting about and you’ve credited them, be prepared for an e-mail asking you to take it down. Buying inexpensive web rights to an image is the safest avenue.
“Links” are here to add a blogroll in your sidebar area. This area allows you to feature certain websites that you think others would like. You add one at a time and always select “open in a blank window” so fans aren’t navigating away from your site when they click to the other website.
“Pages” are important if you want to use WordPress as a website as well as a blog for your online platform. Many sites are built using different templates; one can be used for the pages section and a different one for the blogging section. Pages are static and should be edited and updated on a regular basis, such as a Press page, by adding the latest info and links to the page, and then re-saved.
“Comments” are where people can leave comments on your posts. It’s always important to make sure that in the settings area the discussion part has been set to, “an admin must always approve a comment”. (This is usually the default, but you should check anyway.)
“Appearance” controls what your blog/site looks like. If you’ve hired a designer to build you a custom theme, it’s best to stay away from this area, but if you haven’t and are experimenting, you can search for other themes, by color (such as: black and white), by functionality (such as: custom header or portfolio) and once you’ve reviewed a theme if you like it, you can install it and activate it… you might also have to pay for special themes… or can hire someone to create an original one for you.
“Plugins” are one of the most important areas of your new WordPress blog. There are plugins for SEO (search engine optimization), social media (so people can follow you), sharing on social media(so people can share your posts), and all sorts of widgets that can be used… I’ll highlight more of these in the advanced section. A plugin is something you add on to the functionality of your site, such as adding share buttons under each post, or SEO areas to enter tags.
“Users” is the area where you control who manages your new site/blog. You are your sites’ admin, but you can always add someone to help and make sure you give them admin privileges.
“Tools” is where you import and export information. Let’s say that your first attempt at blogging was at WordPress.com or Blogger, one of the free blog options. Now that you’ve created a new WordPress site and you’re paying for hosting for your own domain name, you can import your past posts from your old wordpress or blogger site. There are some issues though, like the older posts might need to be edited or they won’t work properly with your new theme, or if you had a following via RSS feed on the old blog, it might be a problem getting them over to the new blog. You might need a programmers help with this.
“Settings” is the first area you want to tackle before you even publish your first post! In “General Settings” you want to be sure that you’ve named the title of your blog, added a tagline which helps explain it, and selected the time zone of where you are. You can select the zone by name, so look for that, ie: New York. Then you select “Reading” and you want to decide how many posts should load when someone selects your blog or comes to your blog. I suggest 3-4 posts showing at a time. The reason you wouldn’t want more than 3-4 is because when you measure your blog using “Google Analytics” you can track which posts were read more than others, and the average time spent on that post. If you have too many posts loaded on the same page, there’s no way to gauge which post they’ve read.
“Discussion” is where people get to leave comments. Always make sure you have checked off “an administrator must approve a comment.” This way you can determine if a comment is valid or spam and should be deleted.
“Permalinks” is very important! When you open your new site/blog it will always be set to the default. You must change this from a “numbered page” to another and I usually select the “month and name.” Once this is selected, the title you name your pages and posts will become part of the address to that post and now the search engines can find you. If left on the default (numbers) you will not be found. Check to be sure permalinks is under your settings, if not you may want to rethink your current theme.
*The WordPress application must be installed at your paid hosted space for your domain name, in order to be able to add these plugins and widgets. If you just have a free WordPress site, such as “yourname.wordpress.com”, you won’t be able to use plugins and certain widgets.
Important WordPress videos to watch: