Friday Fun is a group post from the writers of the NHWN blog. Each week, we’ll pose and answer a different, get-to-know-us question. We hope you’ll join in by providing your answer in the comments.
QUESTION: This week’s question comes from reader Kernan Manion, MD. He writes, “I’d love to see a post about how you (as in “youzall”) have mastered the art of WP blogging – e.g. the insertion of graphics and video etc. Not the technical aspects of “how to” but rather how’d you learn it …”
Lee Laughlin: I have a background in communications and technology. Back in the dark ages of the Internet (read the mid 90’s) I taught myself HTML and Photoshop and eventually ran a successful web design business. That knowledge comes in handy when working with WordPress. Is it required to start or maintain a blog? Oh HECK no! It does however make it a little easier when trying to trouble shoot the quirks. When it comes to technology I personally learn best by doing. I tinker and when I get frustrated I consult Google. When all else fails, I have a few trusted people who will let me pick their brains.
Lisa J. Jackson: I learn best by doing, and WordPress is one of those tools where it’s sorta kinda easy to figure things out. There are a lot of folks using WordPress, so Googling a topic or searching YouTube for some instructional videos gives back more help than you can imagine. I figure I can’t really break anything; most horrifying for me is publishing something before it’s ready, so I learned QUICK that when I go in to do a post, that the FIRST step is to set the date/time of the post, so even if I forget to click ‘save as draft’ and click ‘publish’ instead, the post won’t go live (because the date/time is at-a-minimum a couple hours away).
Diane MacKinnon: I like to do some research before I start, although I usually start researching, learn just enough to be dangerous, and think, “How hard could it be?” and start doing things. I wanted to start a blog years before I actually started my blog (Healing Choices,) because I had so much fear about putting my writing out there. While I was dithering about whether or not I would start my own blog, I took a course through Writer’s Digest University called Blogging 101, with Dan Blank. It was great! I created posts, started an editorial calendar, etc. The course finished and I still hadn’t started my blog. But I did get instructions on how to add a (WordPress) blog to my website, which I did. Then I finally started my blog. Dan is still doing that course for Writer’s Digest University, and he also has a newsletter. You can find him at http://wegrowmedia.com/.
Deborah Lee Luskin: Blunder, at first. I was so lucky to be brought into this particular fold of knowledgeable, generous and kind writers. They gave me hints along the way. (I don’t think even they could imagine how clueless I was.) And I have to say this: WordPress is so easy that even I could catch on. That was back in 2011. More recently, I updated my website and added a blog, all of which is now on WordPress. For this, I had professional help from Codewryter, who happens also to be a neighbor and now a friend. As part of the deal, she’s taught me how to make rudimentary changes as well as some slick moves – like turning that SEO light green. I pay her for her design skills, technical expertise and tuition – all money well spent.