One of the areas I intend to expand this year is my blog network, at the moment I have 5 or so blogs that all look and function pretty differently. What I intend to do is put some procedures in place to help me expand the network consistently and relatively quickly. Scott has already achieved one of his goals of 2008 so I need to get moving on some of mine .
Recently I received an email from Caroline Middlebrook promoting her free guide on creating mini sites with WordPress, I’m not looking at creating mini sites here but there is some good tips there none the less, especially for people that are new to WP. Any way onto my check list:
- Install CMS Software, in my case this is WordPress so some of these points will be specific to that platform though other CMSs will likely have an equivilent.
- Choose and set your permalink structure, this is the format of the URL for each post. I like to use: /%year%%monthnum%/%postname%.htm as this means posts are grouped (artificially) in a folder per month and are only one directory level away from your sites root.
- Enable Askimet antispam and make sure that you have a valid key.
- Create a new FeedBurner account to track your subscribers and follow the instructions (installing another plugin) to make your feed URL point at the burnt one.
- Install and automate a backup system. A good method is to use the plugin WP-DB-Backup and get the files emailed to you on a daily basis. This is where having a free email account with large storage space can come in very handy.
- General Options -> Weblog Title – Set to whatever the title of your blog is
- General Options -> Tagline: A short (sentence) description of the site
- Reading Options -> Show at most: 8 posts, I find 8 is enough for my blogs (the default is 10)
- Reading Options -> Syndicate the most recent 20 posts – This is double the default but gives new subscribers plenty to read
- Reading Options -> For each article, show: Full text – I find showing the full text is the best way to keep subscribers, it does mean you get less visitors to your site but is worth it in other ways. If you use the more tag you’ll need to install a plugin like this for full feed syndication to work.
- Discussion Options -> Hold a comment in the queue if it contains 1 or more moderation, I go for all other default options but do manually approve ALL comments with links in
Next up is to through the other options and change any accordingly, these are the ones I find are worth changing:
Once your blog is set-up it’s a good idea to keep it running (doh), Vladimir has some great tips on insuring your blog.
I will be adding to this list as I remember, learn and discover new things that I should be doing. If you have any suggestions for the list please let us know via comment.
This post is just about setting up new blogs, I will go into promotion and launching in a future post.