Learn to Use WordPress and Start a Website Today

Posted OnJan 1, 2014     CategoryQuestion & Answer     CommentsNo comment

Want to easily start your own website, be it for musing or to build your online portfolio? There’s no better time than the new year to get started on your venture no matter the driving force. Here’s our guide to getting started with WordPress, including creating your first website, posting articles, changing the layout, and writing advice.

If you’re just getting started we recommend you read our introductory article How to Get Started with WordPress in the New Year.


In this guide we’re going to give an overview of steps you can take to get setup with your very first WordPress website, and how you can start writing.

Grasping the Essentials

Read through and complete our Boot Camp series. It will take you through getting a WordPress website, and introduce you to the dashboard, teach you about posts and pages, themes and plugins, and more.


Writing

Writing is a fun way to share your knowledge, experience, and opinions with others, and it can also be very rewarding. Writing about a topic that’s new to you may help solidify your own understanding of it. Or, writing may serve as an avenue for you to become more involved in the community; writing successful articles and blog posts can give you confidence to submit and present a talk at any number of professional conferences held around the world. No one knows exactly what the future brings, but the skills you cultivate and the friendships you form through writing have the potential to open up many opportunities.

But unfortunately, writing can also be intimidating and frustrating for some people. Perhaps you’re not sure how to explain a particular topic. When such things happen, it’s important you don’t grow discouraged. Believe in yourself, accept reasonable criticism, and persist onward.

With all of this in mind, this was prepared to help minimize the frustration and self-doubt that new writers (and even experienced writers) can experience. It provides practical suggestions for finding inspiration, structuring your content, building a positive working relationship with your managing editor, avoiding plagiarism, and growing your self-confidence. Hopefully it’ll help you to write awesome articles, realize the many benefits of writing in your life, and minimize any anxiety or stress you may experience along the way.

Finding Inspiration

There will be times when you have the urge to write but you’re not sure of exactly what to write; indeed, coming up with a good topic can be challenging. Here’s a little secret, though… inspiration is everywhere.

Ideas can be found in a variety of places, some of which might seem counter-intuitive at first. You can learn to identify them more easily by always being on the lookout as you go throughout your daily activities. For example, think about the project are you working on at your day job or in your spare time. Is it something others might find interesting?

Reading the work of others can also be a source of inspiration, new sites are only ever a quick Google away, and then there’s community sites such as Reddit which no doubt hold something catering to your interests.

Before You Start

Some authors prepare an outline to organize their thoughts before writing, and others write from the hip with only a vague idea beforehand of what they want to discuss and in what order its elements will be presented. You don’t necessarily need a formal outline enumerating each talking point, but you should have some plan of attack before you start writing. Writing blindly is never a good idea.

Article Goals

An article should have one solid goal. Once you identify what your main point will be, all content in the article should be leading towards that.

Develop Your Writing Style

All authors come to develop a style, a “voice”, that is distinctly their own. As you develop yours, keep in mind that understanding technical concepts can be hard enough as it is, so it’s best to use simple language; it’s easier to read and understand than flourishy prose.

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is including the work of others in yours and passing it off as your own, either intentionally or unintentionally. Plagiarism has been viewed differently throughout history, but the modern view perceives plagiarism as dishonest. If you want to use someone else’s work, always cite.

Proper citation lets the readers know what are your words and what are the words of another. Giving credit where credit is due is not only fair, but it also makes sure that your unique voice is heard, not the voice of another author under the guise of yours.

Battling On

Following a tried and true writing structure can sometimes be the easiest of part writing; the biggest challenge as an author can be to overcome self-doubt. Have you ever said to yourself any of the following?

  • I can’t write that much.
  • I can’t explain concepts so others can easily understand them.
  • People aren’t interested in what I have to say.

Yes? Stop it! You’re only setting up obstacles for yourself on your path to success, and self-made obstacles are the hardest of all to overcome.

Yes, You CAN Write

It may help to think about how much writing you already do on a daily basis – writing emails, chatting over instant messenger services, even updating Twitter and Facebook statuses. You’ve already proven you are capable of communicating effectively with others through writing without even realizing it!

Writing is Fun!

Writing is supposed to be fun and rewarding. These guidelines offer you a way to minimize some of the frustration that authors often experience when writing. You’ve learned about developing your voice as a writer, article goals, and how to stay steadfast through self doubt.

Committing to Writing

With this new knowledge under your belt, it’s time to make a commitment to writing. The commitment you make is entirely up to you, but you should try and write at least three times per week.

There’s going to be times where you’re not sure what to write about, but if you push through, the words will start flowing before you know it!

Writing contributed to by successful author Timothy Boronczyk

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