4 Steps to Successfully Create and Promote Your Cause Using a Blog
So, you’ve found a cause and want to promote it using a blog but don’t know where to start. Well, I’m here to help. Whether your cause is helping gorillas in Africa or feeding hungry children in America, if it’s important to you it’s important to me and I want to help you create a blog and promote your cause through blogging. In our highly informative world, just sharing a random post on Facebook isn’t enough these days. To promote a cause, it’s more than just hitting the “share” button and waiting for “likes.” There is a method to the social media madness and I’m going to guide you through that process, starting with blogging.
There are several blog platform options that you are welcome to use to write. For this article, I am going to be talking about WordPress. WordPress is one of the most popular blog platforms used by businesses or for personal use, today. According to their site, they are used in “over 30% of all sites across the web.” WordPress is a great, free source that you can use to help your cause move forward. Having a blog for your cause will help to have one universal place to put information and keep people informed on your progress. WordPress also has an app for your phone so that you can add to your blog wherever you are and whatever you’re doing. Except maybe on a roller coaster… That would be hard.
Step 1: Creating Your Blog
So, the first step with blogging is (obviously) creating a blog. To start, go to wordpress.com in your browser window.When there, up in the right-hand corner of the screen, there is a button that says, “Get Started.” Click on the “get started” and it will bring up a page that allows you to put in a name for your blog, as well as information regarding it.
For example, what your site is about, whether that’s design, or fashion, or politics–whatever it is that you’re going to be writing about. After that there is a spot for your primary goal for your blog, i.e. selling products, sharing ideas, or as most of you are probably doing, promoting a cause.
The next page will give you the opportunity to give your site “an address” which just means the address that people will use to access your blog.
Create an address or domain name that correlates with what you are trying to promote, something memorable or relatable to your cause. Then when you enter an address in the space, several options will appear for you to choose from to use as your address. If the address you desire to use is available, it will show at the top that it’s available. But if it’s not available they will provide several options to choose from or suggestions of what to use. This is where it will also give you the option to choose which extension you use. For example, a website will end in either “.com” or “.net” and you will be able to choose one of those options. The option “.org” is one that is usually associated with nonprofit websites. Therefore, if you are trying to promote something and doing it as a nonprofit, that one will probably be your best option. But if you have a nonprofit, you do not need to have a .org website.
Now that we’ve gotten this far, the next page will allow you to pick an option for how to pay for your blog.
There is a low option of $4 per month, which is billed yearly. This gives you access to a free custom domain (the address that you picked for your blog), email and live chat support, and all the free features that are available to you. The first one is “Personal” and used more for hobby blogging or those who are just looking for a place to write their thoughts. The next option is “Premium” and is best for professionals. It is $8 a month and billed yearly. This one allows you access to monetizing your blog with ads, unlimited premium themes (how you decorate your blog), and all the personal features that are available.
The last option is the “Business” option and this one probably has the most advanced features that WordPress allows. It is $25 a month and also billed yearly. This option allows you to upload your own themes and gives you access to the advanced SEO tools. (SEO means Search Engine Optimization which means how easily your blog or website can be found when someone is just searching the internet.) That option is great if you can do it, but just having the lowest option you will still be able to get readership just by sharing your blog, which is a step that we will get to later.
Once you have clicked on the option you would like to use, you will then be taken to the “create your account” page.
This page allows you to connect your email address to the blog so that you will get any notices and allows you to create a password. It will also allow you to choose a username. Usually, you can make your username the same as your address, but you will want to pick a username that will be related to either your address or cause. So not, “PotatoeFace88” because your username is used in many places on the site and something unrelated or inappropriate for what you’re trying to do will potentially cause confusion or cause people to think your blog is spam. Unless your cause has something to do with potatoes and faces and therefore “PotatoeFace88” is more applicable. But keep your username simple and related to your cause.
Once you are finished with those first four steps you will then be asked to log into your account.
After you are signed in, you will be on the main page and here you will be asked to register with the website. It gives you two options to register but it’s recommended that you use the first option to register privately. What this means is that you will not be contacted personally about anything concerning your blog.
Any messages sent by your readers will be sent through WordPress. They will notify you if you receive a message and then you choose whether that message is added to the blog. I will go over that a little more in step two.
Once you have registered it will take you to the page where you will be asked to put in your payment information for the website.
This is to pay for the plan that you chose. Now, if you’re a cheapo like me, you can always skip this step and come back to it later. I would suggest that if you are wanting to create your blog and seem professional for your cause it would be a good idea to pay for a plan. However, it is not impossible to use the blog even if you haven’t paid. You will still be able to write and share blog posts. But you will be limited in certain respects as to what you will be able to do, for example, paying for your blog can give you an extra “boost” in your blog game.
If you are going to skip the payment step for now, just click on the “My Site” button at the top left of your screen and you will be taken to the main “home page.” This is the page that you will see when you sign into your blog from here on out and where you can access all your needed tools that will help you manage your blog.
Congratulations! You have now created your blog! In the other steps, I will go over designing and managing your blog, writing on your blog about your cause, and sharing to different platforms to help promote your cause! Stay with me as you enter this great world of promotion! You are just steps away from being a PRO!