Learning the Fundamentals: That’s a wrap!

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Thanks for joining Learning the Fundamentals. We hope these two weeks have been useful, and that your blog, confidence, and audience have all grown!

If you haven’t finished every task, that’s okay! Building a great blog is an ongoing process. Hang on to these emails, and take advantage of all the resources at The Daily Post and on our support site — we’re always here to help.

To wrap up Learning the Fundamentals, make some social calls. Go to the bloggingfundamentals tag in the Reader visit five other new bloggers, and leave some supportive comments. Take some of your motivation and pass it along.

We’d love to know what you thought of this course, so we can keep improving what we offer to best support you — would you mind answering three quick questions?

We’ll see you around the Reader! We can’t wait to see what you publish next.

Happy blogging,

Michelle W. and the WordPress.com Team

PS: Looking for more support and features? Get expert live chat and email support, advanced design customization, more space, and more options to monetize your site with a WordPress.com Plan. Learn more.

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Learning the Fundamentals, Day Fourteen: Create Your Own Feature

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Day Fourteen: Create Your Own Feature

One of the best ways to inspire reader loyalty is to publish consistently. Give your readers something to look forward to!

Today, develop a regular posting feature for your blog.

Here’s how:

  1. First, think of the type of regular feature you can commit to — something you’ll publish weekly, biweekly, or monthly.
  2. Next, start your new post by clicking the button below. This can be the first installment, or an announcement of what’s coming.
  3. Finally, give your post a few tags, including bloggingfundamentals, and publish it.

Regular features are great for readers — and they keep you on track, too. A little scheduling is a great way to develop a blogging habit.

Start a new post

If you’re not sure what a “feature” is, or what kind of regular feature might work for your blog, we’ve got some advice! Learn more in the tools and tips for this assignment.

Cheers,
Michelle W. and the WordPress.com Team

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Learning the Fundamentals, Day Thirteen: Build Your Brand

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Day Thirteen: Build Your Brand

You blog is getting more focused (and more readers!). Let’s reinforce your image.

Today, create a custom blog icon.

Here’s how:

  1. First, choose a little image to represent your blog — a small photo, your initials, or a piece of your header image all work well.
  2. Next, click the button below to reach your blog’s General Settings tab.
  3. Finally, click “Choose File” under the Site Icon tools on the right to upload your image, and follow the prompts to save it.

If you decide you’d like to change this image, you can find the uploading tool by going to My Site > Settings > Site Icon.

Go to your General Settings

Remember PicMonkey? Use it to make your blog icon, too! Learn more in the tools and tips for this assignment.

Cheers,
Michelle W. and the WordPress.com Team

PS: If you have the customizing bug, explore the advanced design tools available with a WordPress.com Plan. Learn more.

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Learning the Fundamentals, Day Twelve: Make Some New Connections

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Day Twelve: Make Some New Connections

Using writing prompts introduces you to a whole new community of bloggers — there are hundreds of other people using them. Reach out!

Today, read six other responses to the prompt you wrote about, and leave comments on at least two.

Here’s how:

  1. First, click the button below to reach The Daily Post’s Prompts page, and look for the one you used.
  2. Click on the prompt and scroll down to the grid. Those are the other responses. Look for post titles that catch your eye, and click on at least six.
  3. Finally, leave comments on at least two of the posts you read.

Skipped yesterday? No problem. Go to the Reader, leave two comments anywhere you’d like, and follow two new blogs.

Head to The Daily Post

Need a push to start commenting, or wondering why you’re doing this? Learn more in the tools and tips for this assignment.

Cheers,
Michelle W. and the WordPress.com Team

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Learning the Fundamentals, Day Eleven: Make a Prompt Personal

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Day Eleven: Make a Prompt Personal

Learn to work with outside inspiration so you never have to deal with blogger’s block. We offer a daily writing prompt to give you a push when you’re not sure what to write about — it’s a handy tool if you’re ever out of ideas.

Today, publish a post inspired by a writing prompt.

Here’s how:

  1. First, visit our Daily Post site and check out today’s prompt — it’s in the dark blue box in the middle of the page.
  2. Next, click the button below to start your new post. Be sure to include a link to the prompt so that others can find your post on the prompt page.
  3. Finally, give your post a few tags, including bloggingfundamentals, and publish it.

Unmoved? Click Try Again to load another prompt. There’s a whole archive of ideas at your disposal!

Start a new post

Think today’s prompt doesn’t fit with your blog? You can personalize any writing prompt. Learn more in the tools and tips for this assignment.

Cheers,
Michelle W. and the WordPress.com Team

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Learning the Fundamentals, Day Ten: Build a Better Blogroll

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Day Ten: Build a Better Blogroll

Today, let’s continue to weave the fabric of the blogosphere using one of the web’s essential tools: links.

Today’s assignment: use a widget to create a blogroll, a list of links you love that you want to share with your readers.

Here’s how:

  1. First, decide what kind of widget you want to use: the Blogs I Follow widget, or a Text widget.
  2. Next, click the button below to open the Customizer, then select Widgets, and add the widget you want to use.
  3. Finally, customize the widget’s settings and/or add your text, then click Save & Publish.

Recommendations are like getting advice from a friend rather than blindly searching the internet; adding them is a no-brainer — and often comes with traffic-building benefits.

Open the Customizer

The Blogs I Follow Widget will generate a list of your most recently-followed blogs automatically, while the Text Widget requires you to enter text and links yourself. Learn more in the tools and tips for this assignment.

Cheers,
Michelle W. and the WordPress.com Team

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Learning the Fundamentals, Day Nine: Get Inspired by the Neighbors

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Day Nine: Get Inspired by the Neighbors

Yesterday, you left comments on four other blogs — that means the posts were thought-provoking. Let’s draw on that!

Today, write a post that builds on one of these comments, and link to the other blog.

Here’s how:

  1. First, choose a post that piqued your interest.
  2. Next, start your new post by clicking on the button below.
  3. Finally, give your post a few tags, including bloggingfundamentals, and publish it.

Start a new post

In your post, include a link to blog that inspired you: refer to the post or blog your post, and make those words a link. The blogger will be notified that you linked to them, so don’t be surprised if they pay you a visit! Learn more in the tools and tips for this assignment.

Cheers,
Michelle W. and the WordPress.com Team

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Learning the Fundamentals, Day Eight: Introduce Yourself to the Neighbors!

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Day Eight: Introduce Yourself to the Neighbors!

Leaving thoughtful comments puts you in conversation with other bloggers — and entices them to visit you!

Today, leave comments on four different blogs.

Here’s how:

  1. Click the button below to head to the Reader and browse the blogs and topics you already follow.
  2. Next, check the Recommendations and Discover tabs to find great posts we think you’ll love, or browse the bloggingfundamentals tag to see posts from other new bloggers.
  3. Finally, leave comments on four of the posts you read.

You can leave comments right from the Reader, but if you love a post, why not visit the blog to explore more?

Visit the Reader

Unsure what to say? We’ve got plenty of guidance on how to write great comments. Learn more in the tools and tips for this assignment.

Cheers,
Michelle W. and the WordPress.com Team

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Learning the Fundamentals, Day Seven: Start Personalizing Your Site

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Day Seven: Start Personalizing Your Site

You’ve got a theme you love – now it’s time to start personalizing! Time to inject more personality.

Today, add a custom header image or background (or both).

Here’s how:

  1. First, head to the Customizer by clicking on the button below. Choose the Custom Header or Colors & Backgrounds tab.
  2. Next, upload a photo you love to use as a header — you can try a few — or preview some background colors.
  3. Finally, decide which you like, and click Save & Publish to apply them to your blog.

Open your Customizer

Nothing you try in the Customizer is permanent until you click Save & Publish, so experiment with colors!

Want to try a little graphic design? You can use online tools like PicMonkey to create a free custom header in less than fifteen minutes. Learn more in the tools and tips for this assignment.

Cheers,
Michelle W. and the WordPress.com Team

PS: Interested in more customizing options? Get advanced design tools, more space, and expert live chat and email support with a WordPress.com Plan. Learn more.

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Learning the Fundamentals, Day Six: Make an Irresistible “About” Page

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Day Six: Make an Irresistible “About” Page

We read blogs because we love the people behind them. When a visitor is intrigued by your site, they’ll want to know more about you.

Today, create and publish an “About” page, and adapt it into a widget for your home page.

Here’s how:

  1. First, create a new page by clicking on the button below.
  2. Next, write your description — use your Day One post for inspiration if you’d like — and click Publish.
  3. Finally, go to My Sites > Customize, then select the Widgets tab. Add a Text Widget with a one- or two-sentence version of your story, and click Save and Publish.

Create a new page

Widgets are little items you can add to your blog to provide more information, like a short description of who you are, a photo, your latest tweets, and more. Today you’ll add a Text Widget, but there are dozens of options — Learn more in the tools and tips for this assignment.

We’re looking forward to learning more about you and your blog!

Cheers,
Michelle W. and the WordPress.com Team

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