I’m doing the 3-week Blogging 101 course run by WordPress University. Three weeks is an ideal length. Actually, I’m squashing it into two weeks, and I’m not the only one. I’ve read that the majority of people enrolled in MOOCs (Mass Open Online Courses run by universities) drop out after four weeks. So I’m guessing most Blogging 101 students will tough out our time.
Even so, we got a reminder today that the course is there for us, not vice versa. Do as little or as much as you like. Choose your tasks. Take a break. Whatever. Yep, that’s the way.
You’d think such a short course would be a walk in the park, but no. Each day brings a new task, and they are spread between writing, technical and social activities. Hard to separate, these aspects of a blog are all important.
Why am I doing this course?
A friend urged me to take the course when I began a new blog on WordPress after years of using Blogger and a frustrating start with Squarespace. She had found Blogging 101 so valuable.
Right! My main needs were technical and social:
- The WordPress platform may be easy when you know how. But flexibility (open source means thousands of developers and themes) comes at a price, and finding the solution you want can be verrrrry time-consuming. Aaargh!
- Blogger is dying (I think) and downright klunky. Super-cool Squarespace does not encourage community. So the only comments I ever got were from dedicated friends prepared to battle the technology. By contrast, WordPress is designed for community, and that’s what I need to learn about.
Spread of tasks so far
- Day 1: introduce yourself on the private online forum (social & writing task)
- Day 2: Take Control of Your Title and Tagline (writing & tech task)
- Day 3: follow 5 new tags in the Reader and 5 new blogs) (social task)
- Day 4: publish a post you’d like your ideal audience member to read, and include a new-to-you element. (writing & social & tech task.)
- Day 5: try out at least three other themes. (tech task)
- Weekend: Optional tasks (2 social, 2 writing)
- Day 6: Make an irresistible “About” page (writing & tech task)
- Day 7: Create and upload a header, background, or both, or a widget. (tech task)
- Day 8: Leave comments on at least four blogs that you’ve never commented on before. (social task)
And of Day 8’s task, more later…