How to Build a Popular Blog and Master WordPress Even If You’re a Liberal Arts Major

If you’re in D.C., chances are you’re a wonky person with something to say. You dream of a massive online platform, and yet looking under the hood of a WordPress site fills you with angst and trepidation. Fear not, I can demystify the process. As a self-described chump with zero IT credentials, I built a successful WordPress site. I’ll tell you what worked for me, and offer some trial-tested advice of what NOT to do.

Topics include:
– SEO — you don’t buy it, you earn it. How to build it organically using your theme and plug-ins.
– Finding your niche (i.e., the world does not need another mommy blog). How to distinguish yourself in a world clogged with content.
– Slaying trolls. Popularity comes at a price. How to moderate your site with help from the Discussion settings.
– Plug-ins — What happens when they don’t place nicely together? How many do you really need anyway?
– How much traffic do I need before I can monetize this thing?
– Reader engagement — how to lure timid commentators to your site
– What I Really Want Is a Book Deal — can a blog make that happen? (No, your writing makes that happen, but your platform can help a lot.)
– Social media, you don’t need to join every single thing, just master one or two and let WordPress help you.
– Graphics, you need them — make your own, or buy it. Never steal it. Always attribute.

And Q&A from someone who doesn’t have all the answers, but probably messed it up once herself and can tell you what didn’t work (and where to look for help).

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