Tag Archives: how-to

How to create a clickable link

I’ve created two super-short videos showing how to create a clickable link without knowing any html! One is for WordPress, one is for Blogger.

WordPress:

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Blogger:

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How to create a campaign in MailChimp

If you’ve never used MailChimp before, it may seem a little daunting, but really, once you see it done, it will seem so much less intimidating! So I’ve created a couple short videos that walk you through creating an email newsletter, start to finish, in less than 20 minutes.

These videos assume that you’ve created your MailChimp account, and set up or imported your mailing list. And also that you’ve written the text for your newsletter and prepared your images.

The first video is about 10 minutes long and walks you through how to set up the campaign and create a basic newsletter. (The time limit I refer to at the end of the video has nothing to do with MailChimp; it was just the time limit for the video app I was using.)

The second video is about 6 minutes long, and shows how to add images, how to add your links to the social media icons, and how to send the campaign immediately, OR schedule it to send at a future date or time.

starting a blog - the basics

Starting a blog: the basics

I hope to eventually create my own tutorial, but today I discovered a fantastic resource that has tons of useful information for beginning bloggers – Amy Lynn Andrews. But she has SO much info it can be overwhelming, so rather than make you wait for my future course or wade through all of hers, I’ve curated her most basic, most pertinent information right here.

18 Tips for New Bloggers – Lots of reassurance and encouragement as you wade into this new world

How to Find (or Re-find) Your Passion – Great questions to help you explore what you care about enough to blog about long-term

How to Choose a Domain Name – And one place you can do so. (You might also refer to my post, Where should I register my domain?)

How to Start a Blog – VERY thorough; includes how to set up a self-hosted WordPress site.

The Trouble With Blogging – On comparing yourself against others

Hope you find this helpful! As always, please contact me with any questions you’d like to see answered here. Or if you’re ready for someone else to do the heavy lifting, request a free, no-obligation price list! 🙂

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Where should I register my domain?

Domains are sometimes also called URLs (Uniform Resource Locator). You’re familiar with domains; they look like this:

  • amazon.com
  • yahoo.net
  • ku.edu

To make sure that you have the legal right to use a particular domain name, and prevent anyone else from using it, you need “domain registration.”

“Domain registration” is the internet equivalent of copyrighting a company name. The company you pay for this service is your “domain registrar” or “designated registrar.”

There are many places to purchase a domain name and register it. You can purchase it through your host, or a place that specializes in domain registration, such as name.com. Both have the same effect: the name is yours for as long as you’ve reserved it and you keep paying your registration renewal before it expires. (Don’t worry; they’ll remind you!) The company you purchase it from will make sure your info is entered into the official registration database.

domain registration at name.com

Registering your domain is as simple as going to a website that sells domain registration, and typing the name you’re hoping to get in the field provided. They’ll immediately tell you whether it’s available or not. If it is, just click on the prompts that walk you through purchasing it. If not, take your time thinking through your alternate domain, and come back then.

You can purchase domain registration for a time period anywhere from one year on up. The maximum period of registration for a domain name is 10 years. Wikipedia says, “Some registrars offer longer periods of up to 100 years, but such offers involve the registrar renewing the registration for their customer; the 100-year registration would not be in the official registration database.”

In the past, there was some speculation that reserving your name for longer (a few to several years, vs. one year at a time) might benefit your Google ranking, but that seems to no longer be the case. (I’m relying on the advice of others here.)

Here’s what Nuts and Bolts Media has to say about whether you should register your domain at the same place you buy your hosting:

The Domain Registration Dilemma

When you set up hosting for a website, you can also register your domain through your host (most of the time). For a lot of people, keeping all your website stuff in the same place sounds like a good idea. You only have to keep up with one set of login information, and you know that your host’s technical support staff will make sure everything is configured correctly.

However, you also have the option to register your domain elsewhere and simply point it to your host. This is what I strongly recommend for a number of reasons.

Keep your domain in one place. If you ever get mad at your web host and decide to move your site, you’ll also probably want to transfer your domain if it’s registered with the old host. Domain transfers can be annoying, time-consuming, and confusing. But if you’ve registered the domain elsewhere, you don’t have to do anything except update your DNS settings to point to the new host.

Register all your domains together. You might be thinking, But I only have one website! That may be true, but for many of us, websites are addicting. For example, I own 45 domains right now. If I need to manage them, like when I transferred all my files to my new servers, I can just go to my registrar and mass update the DNS settings.

Added security. A few years ago, my dad’s website got hacked. Not only did the hackers destroy his site, but they also transferred his domain away from his web host and took it over. It took ages for him to prove ownership and get everything back. When your domains are separate, even if someone gets access to your files, your domains are safe (assuming you aren’t using the same login and password).

(This post is part of a longer post which also covers web hosting and DNS registration.)

Should my entry be a post or a page?

The difference between posts and pages can sometimes be confusing — especially if your site uses custom menus that contain a mix of pages and categories.

So if you’re trying to figure out whether the new content you’re posting should be a post or a page, this post vs. page info graphic should help you figure that out. (Click the link to see the graphic as a large page.)

post-vs-page2-700x280

Note: These instructions are for a template which uses a “slider” (aka, slide show) on the home page. That criteria would also apply to a site that has one or more featured images on the home page. If your site has neither, just ignore that decision box.

How to create a PayPal button on a WordPress site.

oversize-paypal-button-w-cursor-440x240

If you use the standard approach to creating a PayPal button on a WordPress.com site, WordPress strips out some of the code, and the button won’t work. (The standard process works fine on a WordPress.org site. Log in to your PayPall account, click the “Merchant Services” tab, and follow the prompts from there.)

However, there is a simple way to create a “Buy Now” button so that it will work correctly on a WordPress.com site.

Choose a button image to use. Here are a few addresses of images you may find suitable:

https://www.paypal.com/en_US/i/btn/btn_buynow_SM.gif

https://www.paypal.com/en_US/i/btn/btn_buynow_LG.gif

https://www.paypal.com/en_US/i/btn/btn_buynowCC_LG.gif

https://www.paypal.com/en_US/i/btn/btn_paynow_SM.gif

https://www.paypal.com/en_US/i/btn/btn_paynow_LG.gif

https://www.paypal.com/en_US/i/btn/btn_paynowCC_LG.gif

To download it, right-click on your chosen image and choose “Save image as.” Then save it to wherever you like. (You could also create your own button, if you’re handy like that.)

Now, do the following:

1. Log in to your PayPal account at https://www.paypal.com/.

2. Click the “Merchant Services” tab.

3. Click the large button that says, “Create payment buttons for your website.”

4. Choose the type of button you’d like to create, and complete the form.

4.5 – IMPORTANT: Do NOT do anything with the “Customize button” box. Doing so will create code that invalidates this method.

5. Click the yellow “Create Button” at the bottom of the form.

6. ALSO IMPORTANT: Don’t use the HTML code in the first box you see. Click the “Email” tab, then select and copy that code.

Now, go back to the WordPress window, and on the page (or post) editor screen, insert the button image (the one you downloaded earlier), just as you would any other image. While still in the image upload window, look for the field titled “Link URL”, and paste the PayPal email link there. Click “Update” in the image upload window, click “Update” on your page or post editing screen, and you should now have a fully functioning “Buy Now” button on your site.

WordPress can do it!

10 — nay, 17 — nifty things you can do in WordPress

As I’ve been learning WordPress, I’ve begun amassing a collection of how-to’s. I just created a new page where I’ll be posting those, for my future reference — and yours! I’ve got 10 11 17 things posted so far; I’m sure there will be more to come. Check it out!