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!)
In our Blogging for Beginners course, we often see comments like these:
“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
Themes, posts, pages, and blocks, oh my! There’s plenty to learn about how to get your blog looking just the way you want, and/or establishing that blogging habit. To learn more or register, check out our Blogging for Beginners course.
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. Engage with your community
It might feel a little uncomfortable at first, but the single best way to grow your audience is to visit others’ blogs and make thoughtful comments on others’ posts. Giving a like and making a comment are not huge gestures and don’t take a lot of time, but they can mean a lot to those who receive them. People tend to be naturally curious about the person who took time to read their post and contribute meaningfully to the discussion. You never know, they may just follow you in return.