I am going to be a speaker for an event at Mercer University, for seniors (as in the older people, not the graduating 18 year-olds). The class series is called, Honoring Your Life; Telling Your Stories. My session is on blogging as a a way for someone to chronicle their life and share their stories.
Blogging is a great way to write, categorize and share your stories and memories for others to read. I recommend for those just starting out to get a free WordPress.com blog. Set your blog to public and watch your traffic grow or set it to private and allow only certain people to view your posts.
Why a Blog?
- A blog is a website located on the Internet where you and the people that you want to see it can easily access it.
- You can have static pages such as an About page that explains what this blog is about and a Contact page with form for people to use to get in touch with you.|
- You can also create Posts and categorize them into. For example:
- Family recipes
- College Years
- Things Mama always says
- Stories about First Child
- Stories about Second Child
- Our Travels
- Your can include text, photos, audio and video to your posts and pages.
- You can create a listing of the categories on the sidebar so people can easily find specific types of content.
How to Get Started
- Get an Account with WordPress.com
Go to http://wordpress.com and sign up for a free account. You can choose your name and it will add it to .wordpress.com/ such as
yoursitename.wordpress.com Then to see it on the Internet you will type the url: http://yoursitename.wordpress.com
- Configure the Settings
On the dashboard, find Settings, General and set up the site title and the tagline and check the dates and the timezone.
- Choose a Theme
Search for blog and free. I prefer a theme that has two columns- one for text and one as a sidebar for more informational menus and cool stuff.
Some tried and true, simple themes are:
- Elegant Grunge
- Customize Your Site
Some themes come with some simple customizations like the ability to upload a graphic title (logo) or change the background image. But most customizations require you to buy the ability to customize for 30.00.
- Select Some Handy Widgets for Your Sidebar
I like to use:
- Category cloud widget
- Instagram or Flickr (for photos and a link to the rest on your account.
- Latest Posts
- Add Your Pages
- About You: Add a photo and a bio
- About the Site: Describe what you are doing and how to get involved.
- Contact: add a form for people to send you a message.
- Start Blogging by Writing Posts
- WYSIWYG what you see is what you get “edit help” for text. Such as headings of different sizes, numbered or ordered lists. Don’t recommend changing text color.
- Upload images to your post.
- Add a video.