A survival guide to starting your first blog

Ready to get blogging? Wait! Before you put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard) lets go through the steps to get your name in lights on your very own WordPress blog.

  • Choosing a name

To get started, sign up for a WordPress account. But which one should you choose? Did you know that there are two types of WordPress accounts?

What is the difference between wordpress.com and wordpress.org ?

In a nutshell, wordpress.com is the free-to-use site. WordPress does all the techy stuff for you. Installation is a breeze. WordPress host your site (meaning the files are all stored on the WordPress server at no cost to you) and any automatic updates that come through can be set to automatically update on your site.

Hundreds of themes are free for you to use – you can change the look and feel of your site easily and for free or choose from a selection of premium themes for a small fee.

The downside is that you have less control – if you are not bothered about the techy stuff and just want a handy and quick way to set up a site – this is for you. Once you are set up on http://www.wordpress.com you will have your own URL with your username in the below format:


Choose a username that you are happy to share with people that wish to visit your site.

You can also get a bit fancy and register your own domain at a domain registry and redirect it to this wordpress URL for your customers or blog followers. I use NetRegistry which is a local Australian domain registrar. Domains can cost anywhere from $12 a year.

ie http://www.yourURL.com which redirects to https://yourusername.wordpress.com/

Sign up to wordpress.com

https://wordpress.org/ gives you control over your site.

There are tens of thousands of plugins that you can add to your site providing extra functionality. You will need to set up and install all the files yourself. Also, you will need to find a web host provider to store the files for your site. This can cost you from $5 a month to anywhere upwards of $40 a month depending on who you choose.

Find out about the full list of differences between wordpress.org and wordpress.com 

For the purposes of this example, we will assume you are using wordpress.com

Step 1 WordPress.com

Step 2 WordPress.com

  • You have a WordPress.com username, now what?

Once you are logged in head to the dashboard of your site.

The first thing you will need to do is change the title and theme of your site.

Click on Appearance then Themes in the left toolbar.

Choose a theme and click Preview to see a preview of what your site will look like with that theme. You can change the title, navigation or header image. Once you are happy with a theme, hit Activate.

Your site or blog is now ready for you to add content to!

  • Adding content.
    Head over to the Pages section in your dashboard to Add a New Page. Before you get to this stage you should already have a plan for your site or blog. At a minimum you should have the below pages:

    • About Us
    • Contact
    • Homepage which is a given as this is the main page visitors will come to when they go to your sites URL.
    • Blog page – if your site will have a blog, this page will contain all your posts or articles. Click on Posts then Add New. This is where you can start entering in your blog content. When you are ready to publish, his the Publish button. You can even automatically set up social sharing so that your posts are automatically shared on your social networks.



How social media can bring our footy stars closer than ever

You can be connected to your favourite sports team both at the game and online. Using social media is becoming more and more important to raising a rugby league players profile – although it does come with risks,  recent news stories featuring players indiscretions displayed online are becoming more and more common.

However there are many positives.

Lets look at they ways in which social media helps our footy stars.

  1. Building the brand of each player helps get them much-needed exposure. Let’s face it, being a rugby league player at the highest level can bring 10-15 years shelf life. During that time sponsorship can bring additional income, and social media can raise a players profile -both in positive and negative ways.
  2. Many players have their own Twitter profile which provides followers with up to date news feed on their training and social outings between games. You no longer need to wait for game day to see your favourite player – a continuous stream of pictures and posts are available for you to read anytime you like.
  3. Preparation for post-footy life. Social media brings out a players personality. Those that are well suited for commentary or regular media spots are more likely to also shine online – having a social media profile can help get players these kind of roles once they hang up their boots for good. Nothing like preparing for retirement.
  4. Fan posts can make or break you. Players that are attentive with fans, take time to stop, take photos and sign autographs, will have their good deeds spread via social. Conversely irritated fans use social media to air their grievances if players are not performing, leave for other clubs, or worse still, as a means to bully or post harsh  comments.
  5. Many clubs including Canterbury Bulldogs, use social media to connect with fans and provide live score updates during each game, and to raise the profile of community work and fan initiatives.
Ben Barba experiences alleged racial slur via social media – photo courtesy of smh.com.au

How do you think social media is helping bring our footy stars close to fans?

Facebook Paper – is this Facebook’s next big thing?

Facebook’s announced it is releasing a new  mobile app that will allow users to view news feeds in a newspaper layout.

Stories will appear in full screen format – and without ads, distraction free.

Posts and photos will be split into sections including Headlines, Sport and even Cute – just in case you wanted somewhere to post all those ‘animals in fancy dress’ pics.

The free app will be available to download from Monday 3rd February 2014.