Welcome to the community! Check out five ways to shake off that newbie feeling.
Each week, we’re beyond fortunate to have thousands of new people join the WordPress.com community. (Hi there, and welcome! You’ll find cold beverages right next to the hot tub under the disco ball — make yourself at home!)
“I’m new here and I’m not sure about x…”
“I’m a baby WordPresser and I’d like to know how to x…”
“I just started my blog last week and…”
Being new isn’t always the most comfy feeling. Here are five tips to help you gain confidence and get situated as you embark on your new blogging habit.
1. Establish your identity: get a Gravatar
Your Gravatar is the little photo of you that appears by any comment you make while logged into WordPress.com. Here’s mine. It’s a cartoon likeness of me:
If you haven’t already, go to https://wordpress.com/me to upload an image to represent you. It need not be a photo of you — it could be any image you like. PicMonkey is a great place to edit your images online, if you need to.
If you don’t have a custom Gravatar, your comments show next to one of the default avatars, robbing you of an opportunity to establish your online identity. Another thing to note is that spammers never take the time to upload custom Gravatars and nobody wants to look like a spammer. Here’s what the default avatars look like:
2. Try a self-directed course
Check out Blogging U — you might want to run through the exercises at your own pace for Blogging 101, Blogging 201, Writing 101, or Writing 201. We’re running Blogging 101 again in June, so if you’d like to take the course along with a cohort of friendly fellow bloggers, head on over to Blogging U to learn more and register. It’s free!
3. Jump into the Community Pool!
Starting a new blog and creating a blogging habit need not be a lonely proposition. Every Monday here on The Daily Post, we run a Community Pool feature where bloggers help bloggers.
You might want feedback on your blog’s design, or on a particular post, story, or poem you wrote, or some of your photos. Slip on your water wings and post a comment to the Community Pool! For best results, ask for feedback on something specific. And, while you’re there, you might answer someone else’s call for feedback on their post or blog design. You’ll find a friendly, welcoming community that’s awesome at encouraging and helping one another.
4. Follow your passions in the Reader
What do you love? Rap music? Reading? Dinosaurs? No matter your interests, you’ll find others who share them — from disco to decoupage — in the WordPress.com Reader. In the Reader, you can follow blogs that intrigue you and discover new writers by searching for tags that interest you.
5. Get inspired with writing prompts and photo challenges
Sometimes, your muse runs off to Saskatchewan in the middle of the night, leaving you bereft of creativity. Never fear! If you’re struggling for something to write about, we offer a writing prompt, every day of the week. Into photography? We’ve got you covered. Check out our weekly photo challenge. Every Friday, we provide a photo and a theme to nudge your creativity. Even if you’re not a camera bug, you’ll enjoy perusing other bloggers’ creative interpretations of each week’s theme.