Tag Archives: Blogging

The Geeky Guide to WordPress – Sharing Posts on Social Media

As I’ve been doing this blogging thing a little while now and it seemed a good idea to pass on a few of the things that I’ve learned over the five years that I’ve been doing this. In easy and often geeky steps you’ll be taken through the steps and point out the pitfalls of taking your blog seed and growing it into something really amazing.


 

Social Media Sharing

Sharing your posts on Social Media is a really easy way to give your posts greater visibility and get other looking at your blog. The old fashioned way would be to get the link from your blog site and paste it into a post, but there’s a way where every post can go to any or all of your social media sites.

 

Wordpress11

Going back to the my sites page of your blog select sharing. Something like this should now be in front of you:

Wordpress10

The free WordPress domain offers these social media sharing options, to activate a sharing option select the connect button and then sign into the social media account. With Facebook things can happen a little differently. Where there’s a group or groups set up in that account when the sign in has been completed the option of posting to the main site or any of the groups is given.

Every post can be customised so not all social media accounts have to be used every time but it’s there if needed.

 


 

Where sharing to other social media sites is required or some kind of posting schedule is wanted there are some options. If post scheduling or recycling is needed then there’s a number of other sites than can do this. If a free option is being sought then there will be some kind of limitations. Each of the sites will vary – here’s a list of the popular options:

Hootsuite

Buffer

Hubspot

Statusbrew

These will give access to schedule and re-cycle posts that can help promote your blog and it’s content. They’re normally time consuming to setup but save work in the long run. What is often helpful is finding how to get the shortlink to a post. The way to do this is to select admin on the ‘My Sites’ page (at the bottom).

Select posts, then navigate the desired post and select the ‘Get Shortlink’ button:

Wordpress12

This can be copied and pasted into any site or .CSV file (useful to know about this for post recycling).

 


 

Apart from this, for Pinterest, StumbleUpon and and others it’s the old fashioned sharing button. This is unless a self hosted and paid site is being used, where there are more options and if the business option is being used then there are plugins available.

This can be simplified when using a web browser by having the extensions for the social media sites installed, posting then only takes a moment – just make sure the boss isn’t looking if you’re doing this at work!

 

Planet Simon

cropped-3048792-130573943_1-v1


 

Also find Planet Simon on Twitter

Come and visit find me on my Planet Simon Facebook Page

Find some of my pictures on Instagram

Also look me up on: Pinterest      Stumbledupon     Wattpad

 

Advertisements

Manic Monday Number 15 – Out and about

Hi there bloggies, another monday is here and another week of upcoming challenges and opportunities.

IMG_20150316_060956

 

Last week was a week away from work and off on My travels for a couple of days at the end of the week. There will be more about this on escribble this week so make sure you follow and keep an eye out for the post. If you’re following me on Instagram (link below) then you have a clue already…

There was no Great Galactic Service Station last week, I hope to continue that this week. but I made sure I kept the posts coming – don’t say I don’t spoil you guys!

 


 

There’s been another part to the Geeky guide to WordPress

Blogging on WordPress

Last week I covered Security and Backup it’s something we don’t often think about but blogs do get hacked, content is lost and that sort of thing would make any blogger have a heart attack.

What I’m finding interesting is that bloggers are telling me that either didn’t know about some of the feature’s highlighted in this series of posts or snippets of information that’s news bloggies new and not so new. I’m loving this feedback it means that this is useful and it gives me an idea of what bloggies need. So if there is something you want to say – let me know 🙂

 


 

Solar System Exploration

The Solar System Exploration was on it’s second part last week, moving slightly away from the Sun to the scorching Mercury. I’ve updated this series and added sleek new graphics to the posts to help them stand out and have something interesting to use with the likes of Pinterest.

SSE-MERCURY.png

 

 


 

There was also some activity from universe of possibility one of the aspects I’m concentrating on is concepts in Sci-Fi and I looked at the the classic Sci-Fi giants like Star Wars and Star Trek and wonder if they’ve run out of ideas.

I also shared a moving and really good (it has to be said) short video montage of Obi Wan’s story.

 


 

Work is continuing with keeping Planet Simon fresh and easy to use, more content is on the way all I need is time (haha) so keep watching and if this is your first time to Planet Simon why not follow and keep up to date with all the fun?

If you’re on Twitter make sure you follow @BlogBashChat and join us all for a blogging chat on the first Sunday of every month 7pm British time. It’s a great little thing that’s growing and you get to find out more about blogging and Bloggers! The last chat was yesterday and there will be another one next month!

What have you guys been up to?

Keep smiling and blogging!

Simon 🙂

 

Planet Simon

cropped-3048792-130573943_1-v1


 

Also find Planet Simon on Twitter

Come and visit find me on my Planet Simon Facebook Page

Find some of my pictures on Instagram

Also look me up on: Pinterest      Stumbledupon     Wattpad

 

 

The Geeky Guide to WordPress – Security and Backup

As I’ve been doing this blogging thing a little while now and it seemed a good idea to pass on a few of the things that I’ve learned over the five years that I’ve been doing this. In easy and often geeky steps you’ll be taken through the steps and point out the pitfalls of taking your blog seed and growing it into something really amazing.


Securing your Blog

Securing your blog is mega important, all these hours put into your blog, making it amazing, building your network. The last thing anyone wants is for your site eo be hacked and the content lost.

The first step is to create a really strong password. Don’t use password AT ALL! Password is the first thing hackers try. Use something you can remember, a phrase from a book is best, the next thing is to use two step authentication.

Get to this by going to your site icon at the top right and going to security, then go to the two step authentication tab.

Wordpress11

I’m not going to show what’s in the tab, I’ll leave it to you bloggies to find out and set it up, but trust me it’s worth it becasue it’s about keeping your blog safe and if someone tries to accesses your blog somehow you know about it straight away and can stop it!


Backing up your blog

Another thing that can be done is to backup your blog, to do this go to the General tab under settings and select the Export function. Follow the instructions and select what needs to be backed up (keep it simple and export everything).

Wordpress12

Once it’s done an email will be sent to you with your backed up data. Sometimes it can stall though. If this happens go to the WordPress forums and happiness engineer should help in a day or so.

The backup feature is also useful for exporting content to another blog that you might want to create or if you’re moving to a self hosted option. Either way knowing how to backup and export and getting into the habit of it is useful!

I hope this has been useful, let me know if you find this helpful or have issues.

Planet Simon

cropped-3048792-130573943_1-v1


Also find Planet Simon on Twitter

Come and visit find me on my Planet Simon Facebook Page

Find some of my pictures on Instagram

Also look me up on: Pinterest Stumbledupon Wattpad

Manic Monday Number 14 – Shooting into Space!

 

Hello all and happy Monday to you all, it’s the start of another week and there’s lots going on on Planet Simon and it’s little satellites and as usual I like to keep you all abreast of it all and to make sure that I at least get this post out in any week that I’m busy.

 

The Great Galactic Service Station

Ralph and his chums are going through more Great Galactic Service Station shennanigans

The Great Galactic Service Station – Part 13


 

There’s been another two part to the Geeky guide to WordPress

Blogging on WordPress

The Geeky Guide to WordPress – Making a Contact Page

The Geeky Guide to WordPress – Customising a Blog Page

 


 

Solar System Exploration

My Solar System exploration feature is back too, updated with some nifty custom graphics. Starting i the middle the sun was the first piece in this:

Solar System Exploration – The Sun

 

 


 

 

escribble has some new stuff coming this week, like my first attempt at an Apple Tar Tatin. If you’ve not visited the site go and have a look, it’s kind of like the more personal and geeky bits from Planet Simon, a bit of the old and some new stuff too! Look out for a new post on Universe of Possibilities this week, how does Sci-Fi make you feel when you read / watch it and how have the big names carried this on over the years?

 


 

If you’re on Twitter make sure you follow @BlogBashChat and join us all for a blogging chat on the first Sunday of every month 7pm British time. It’s a great little thing that’s growing and you get to find out more about blogging and Bloggers! The last chat was yesterday and there will be another one next month!

What have you guys been up to?

Keep smiling and blogging!

Simon 🙂

 

Planet Simon

cropped-3048792-130573943_1-v1


 

Also find Planet Simon on Twitter

Come and visit find me on my Planet Simon Facebook Page

Find some of my pictures on Instagram

Also look me up on: Pinterest      Stumbledupon     Wattpad

 

 

The Geeky Guide to WordPress – Customising a Blog Page

As I’ve been doing this blogging thing a little while now and it seemed a good idea to pass on a few of the things that I’ve learned over the five years that I’ve been doing this. In easy and often geeky steps you’ll be taken through the steps and point out the pitfalls of taking your blog seed and growing it into something really amazing.


 

Knowing how to customise a blog page helps your blog stand out to those that find or navigate to it and if done well guides the reader to look at more of your content. This is normally a good thing because that why we blog right – to create posts that other will read.

Wordpress_09

To start customising your site hit the customise button on the bottom left.


 

Wordpress10

Now we see this – every theme will customise slightly differently. There’s a few helpful pointers that WordPress helps you with. Icons next to the profile picture, the header picture and menu’s shortcut straight to those options.

  • The header image is usually taken from the media library and scaled to fit, this is the main image for your site. Make it relevant, cool and catchy.
  • The profile picture is simple enough and can be scaled to fit how it’s wanted.
  • The menu’s options are really varied, the menu’s can lead to a page, blog post categories, tabs… almost anything needed can be done. The order of the menu’s can be messed with too – have a play!

On the right it gets a bit more advanced where all the options can be accessed. I would like to detail all of these, but it would a HUGE blog post to do all of that. Most of it is pretty simple and it can be worked out. Have a play too and see what happens, that’s the fun of this and I’m sure I can help if not the happiness engineer’s will definitely be able to.

The customisation for me is the fun part about creating a site, it’s fun and makes a huge difference to your site. As with anything that’s creative don’t just copy what I’m saying. Have a play, anything that goes wrong can be undone or put right.

Planet Simon

cropped-3048792-130573943_1-v1


 

Also find Planet Simon on Twitter

Come and visit find me on my Planet Simon Facebook Page

Find some of my pictures on Instagram

Also look me up on: Pinterest      Stumbledupon     Wattpad

 

The Geeky Guide to WordPress – Creating a Contact Page

As I’ve been doing this blogging thing a little while now and it seemed a good idea to pass on a few of the things that I’ve learned over the five years that I’ve been doing this. In easy and often geeky steps you’ll be taken through the steps and point out the pitfalls of taking your blog seed and growing it into something really amazing.


 

Creating a Contact Page

A contact page is a secure way to let your readers contact you without them knowing your email address. Giving your email address freely on your blog can invite all kinds of uninvited messages. Creating a contact page is easy, there should be a standard contact page already in your pages when you create your blog, but in case you need to create one this is how you do it.

Go to ‘My Sites’ and select site pages.

Click ‘Add’

Wordpress_Contact Page1

On the new page click ‘Add’ and Select @Contact Form. This will bring up the fields and settings box.

Wordpress_Contact Page2

This is all set up for you, so unless you want to add or remove or edit any fields leave it as it is.

To change the settings, select the settings tab.

Wordpress_Contact Page3

Then this appears with the email address for your blog and the subject line is blank, the email address is a hard setting that can’t be changed but the subject can be what you want.

Click insert.

Personalise the contact page and publish it, link it to your site andthat should be it. Anyone wanting to get in touch can send you an email and they didn’t have to have your email address.

Credit: The third image in the blog was taken from the WordPress help page

 

I hope this has been useful, let me know if you find this helpful or have issues.

Planet Simon

cropped-3048792-130573943_1-v1


 

Also find Planet Simon on Twitter

Come and visit find me on my Planet Simon Facebook Page

Find some of my pictures on Instagram

Also look me up on: Pinterest      Stumbledupon     Wattpad

 

Manic Monday Number 13 – With Eggs and Bunnies

 

As this post goes out the UK is enjoying a public holiday and that includes me too. I hope everyone yesterday had a good Easter. I’m still not sure how eggs and bunnies have anything to do with the resurrection of Jesus Christ but there you go.

So what’s been going on here on Planet Simon, well have a look at the blog roll, But The Great Galactic Service Station Part 12 was posted on Friday, the there was 10 Things to know in the Solar System This week10 Things to know in the Solar System This week and The Second Part of the Geeky Guide to WordPress.

Blogging on WordPress

What’s interesting about writing the Geeky Guide to WordPress is that it’s obvious that there’s bloggers out there with problems and are being quiet about it. What I would say is ask… Not just me but other bloggers that have been around a while.

Universe of Possibility saw some action last week too, a post on Sci-Fi Moments – When Machines Die that was originally posted here on Planet Simon. Despite the fact hat they’re just machines or robots, in the scifi world we can get very attached to them and maybe shed a tear when they’re trashed.

Another thing I’ve noticed this week, was the presence of a troll going about leaving not nice comments about, nothing nasty just annoying and not necessary. If you get this and it bothers you, let someone know. I’ve told this person to do one and they turned on me. Meh, whatever. But if you’re the person and reading this, save your time, mine and anyone else’s and just bugger off.


 

I’ve know I’ve promised to get some posts going about using InkScape and Gimp for the budding artists out there, patience, it’s taking a bit longer than I hoped to get this started but I’m hoping it’s going to be really good once I’m there.

Solar System Exploration

Also watch out for the solar system exploration series returning, with some snappy graphics and updated information I hope this will turn into the project I originally envisioned.

escribble has some new stuff coming this week, like my first attempt at an Apple Tar Tatin. If you’ve not visited the site go and have a look, it’s kind of like the more personal and geeky bits from Planet Simon, a bit of the old and some new stuff too! Look out for a new post on Universe of Possibilities this week, how does Sci-Fi make you feel when you read / watch it and how have the big names carried this on over the years?

 


 

If you’re on Twitter make sure you follow @BlogBashChat and join us all for a blogging chat on the first Sunday of every month 7pm British time. It’s a great little thing that’s growing and you get to find out more about blogging and Bloggers!

What have you guys been up to?

Keep smiling and blogging!

Simon 🙂

 

Planet Simon

cropped-3048792-130573943_1-v1


 

Also find Planet Simon on Twitter

Come and visit find me on my Planet Simon Facebook Page

Find some of my pictures on Instagram

Also look me up on: Pinterest      Stumbledupon     Wattpad

 

 

The Geeky Guide to WordPress – Adding Content

As I’ve been doing this blogging thing a little while now and it seemed a good idea to pass on a few of the things that I’ve learned over the five years that I’ve been doing this. In easy and often geeky steps you’ll be taken through the steps and point out the pitfalls of taking your blog seed and growing it into something really amazing.


 The First Blog Post

Your first blog post is a milestone for you and your blogging adventure and if you do it right needs a little thought.

WordPress gives you a first post, I guess to show you what it is you can do. There are a few pictures in your media library so you have what you need to create your first post.

Here are some ideas for your first post:

Hello World : Based in every programmers first program say hello from your blogging world, let people know who you are, what you’re about.

“Your Story” Part One : Some people use blogs to write their story, start at the beginning.

Just Dive In : It might be that your blog is a planned out ‘go to’ site for information or you might just start as you mean to go on. This is diving straight in.

 


 

Writing and Setting up your post

On the top right of WordPress there is the ‘Write’ button, clicking on this brings up a blank canvas, the start of an exciting new post!

Wordpress8

At the top there is a panel of tool options, much of it my be recognisable from MS Word and other word processors. But there are a few extras that will be covered later.

 

Wordpress7

 

There will also be the post settings panel on the right. This can be toggled on and off with the black setting cog button.

For now let’s keep this simple: Categories and tags were covered in the first Geeky Guide to WordPress post. As it stated more Categories and Tags can be added here.

The Featured Image option allows an image to be featured at the top of a post. If a post had a book cover this would be it and it can be effective in attracting a reader’s attention.

The featured image can now come from Google and the media library on your WordPress.com site. Adding media to this is easy and will be covered next.

Allowing comments and pingbacks allows other bloggers to talk to you and to link to your post. Generally this is a good thing so keep them ticked.

If there is already a published post that is similar in format to the post being written Copy Post allows this post to be copied and edited to make it a new post.

 

 

 


Media

With the words sorted now the pictures and media need some attention. Uploading pictures from your phone or camera, or stock pictures from the like of shutterstock or Canva is fairly easy. On the top left of your Screen there’s an Add icon, use this and select media to bring up your site’s media.

Wordpress9

On the top left use Add New to navigate to the media to be used and depending on the upload speed the images will be available for use pretty quickly. If using a free wordpress.com site then video’s cannot be uploaded, but it is easy to add them with a link.

A note on pictures that I tried once, copying them and pasting from the internet kind of works, but becasue they don’t get added to your media library they have a habit of randomly vanishing. The best way to add pictures is without doubt from the library.

Adding online Video’s

This is as basic as it gets, copy and paste the link into the post. WordPress sorts it all out so that the video can be played within the blog post.

 

Adding Music

I’ve not tried adding music to the media library, I don’t think it works. What is worth knowing though is that adding a soundtrack or audio file from YouTube or other online sharing site like Soundhound is easy. As with video’s copy the link and paste it into the post.

BUT this isn’t so easy with Spotify, if the person at the other end of the blog post doesn’t have a Spotify account or it’s not installed on their device they cannot listen to it. I didn’t know this and I had been posting music for weeks, it was a bit of an epic fail!


I hope this post has been useful. Let me know about any experiences you’ve had which I could add to this.

Planet Simon

cropped-3048792-130573943_1-v1


 

Also find Planet Simon on Twitter

Come and visit find me on my Planet Simon Facebook Page

Find some of my pictures on Instagram

Also look me up on: Pinterest      Stumbledupon     Wattpad

 

 

Manic Monday Number 12 – Is Spring Finally Here?

 

Dare I say that Spring is finally here in the UK? The clocks Sprung forward yesterday (see what I did there) so if you got to work this morning and found that everyone had already been there ages you now know why.

With Spring comes more outdoors stuff and less time for sitting around writing blog posts, I’m not sure how my blogging and writing will be affected. What about you guys? How does it change for you and what (f anything) do you change in your writing schedule?


 

Last week saw a bit more activity on Planet Simon, I didn’t around to the next part of The Great Galactic Service Station but I did post my review of Ellie Maloney’s 329 Years Awake. Read the post and then read the book… that’s all I will say!


 

Planet Simon is still undergoing reorganisation, I’m getting pages and Menu’s sorted so that all the great content on here that you want to find CAN be found. The Titan Mystery and The Great Galactic Service Station have got nicely laid out menu’s making it really easy for you readers to find posts…

Blogging on WordPress

There’s going to be the next part of the Geeky Guide to WordPress, if you missed it Part 1 is here: The Geeky Guide to WordPress – Part 1

I’ve know I’ve promised to get some posts going about using InkScape and Gimp for the budding artists out there, patience, it’s taking a bit longer than I hoped to get this started but I’m hoping it’s going to be really good once I’m there.

Solar System Exploration

Also watch out for the solar system exploration series returning, with some snappy graphics and updated information I hope this will turn into the project I originally envisioned.

escribble has a new post up this morning a found poem on Mad Mike the Rocket man and hopefully a bit more as well this week. If you’ve not visited the site go and have a look, it’s kind of like the more personal and geeky bits from Planet Simon, a bit of the old and some new stuff too! Look out for a new post on Universe of Possibilities this week, how does Sci-Fi make you feel when you read / watch it and how have the big names carried this on over the years?

 


 

If you’re on Twitter make sure you follow @BlogBashChat and join us all for a blogging chat on the first Sunday of every month 7pm British time. It’s a great little thing that’s growing and you get to find out more about blogging and Bloggers!

What have you guys been up to?

Keep smiling and blogging!

Simon 🙂

 

Planet Simon

cropped-3048792-130573943_1-v1


 

Also find Planet Simon on Twitter

Come and visit find me on my Planet Simon Facebook Page

Find some of my pictures on Instagram

Also look me up on: Pinterest      Stumbledupon     Wattpad

 

 

The Geeky Guide to WordPress – The Beginning

As I’ve been doing this blogging thing a little while now and it seemed a good idea to pass on a few of the things that I’ve learned over the five years that I’ve been doing this. In easy and often geeky steps you’ll be taken through the steps and point out the pitfalls of taking your blog seed and growing it into something really amazing.

 


The Start

Let’s say for argument’s sake you’re starting on a free wordpress.com site domain. YOu’ve taken the bold step of registering your site name after much searching through names and you’re here. You have these options.

Wordpress1

Naturally the first thing you want to do is make the blog / site look and feel how you want it to. So where it says themes, hit Customise.

Wordpress2

You’re then presented with this, loads of different and wonderful templates to make your blog look the way you want. Naturally the best ones cost so if you want pick one of those and pay or in the top right there’s options to filter and you can view only the ones that come for free.

The next bit is down to you, select the one that you think releases your creative blogger in the way you want. Follow the instructions, and if needs be keep changing until you’re happy.

If you’re not back onto your ‘my Sites’ page hit that button in the top left and then scroll down to settings.

 

 


 

Setting up

This is the basic set up for the blog that you want. You don’t have to do it like I have if you don’t understand anything use Dr Google to help. There’s loads of Web help for WordPress and if you get really stuck Automattic’s Happiness Engineers really do try to make you happy by getting you going, it just might take a day or so for them to answer your question in the forums.

Wordpress3

Here is easy. Get a goofy picture and upload it for your profile, set a site tagline which will describe your blog to all that find it in the blogosphere and set the title. With the title it’s important NOT  to use the web address of the site, many have done this and it seems to screw with things so that people can’t get to your site. This is a name only and can be anything.

 


 

 

Wordpress4

In the writing tab are all the settings for writing your blog posts. Most of what’s set in here is fairly self explanatory and it’s each to their own preference. What is worth noting is that Categories and Tags can be entered here.

I got really confused on what these were for when I first started blogging but Categories help the blogger organise their posts, a default category can be set and as many can be set up as desired. The best way to think of categories is to treat them as drop down menu’s on your blog site. So keep the number to a minimum and make them relate to your site becasue later when we get to site customisation these can be used to help with menu’s and organisation.

So that leaves Tags, these are used for readers and bloggers to help them find your content. So if you’re posting on how to set up a WordPress blog then tags like WordPress and Blog and Setup or Starting out might be a good place to start. Both Categories and tags can be added while writing blog posts but if there’s an organised plan to your blog site then this is the time to start.

 


 

Wordpress5

The discussion tab is a load of settings on how interaction is meant to work between yourself and other bloggers. It should be straightforward and I think this is pretty much the default setup. Basically go nuts and do it how you want it!

 


 

Wordpress6

Lastly there’s the Traffic tab, I’m not going to say much here as it’s all fairly well set up anyway. The Google site indexing and all that I haven’t shown becasue this is more complex stuff to cover later.

What the blog needs now is content.

So get writing!

Planet Simon

cropped-3048792-130573943_1-v1


 

Also find Planet Simon on Twitter

Come and visit find me on my Planet Simon Facebook Page

Find some of my pictures on Instagram

Also look me up on: Pinterest      Stumbledupon     Wattpad