Did better blogging make it into your New Year’s resolutions? We’re here to help!
Make 2015 a Great Blogging Year
The beginning of a new year is an opportunity to start things afresh — why should your blog not benefit as well? Here are six things you can do to start your blogging in 2015 energized, recharged, and focused.
Explore your new dashboard
We introduced several major upgrades to the WordPress.com dashboard right before the end of last year, including updated Stats and navigation and the ability to manage and edit all your content across sites from one central hub.
Now is the perfect time to get familiar with some of these new features for a smoother blogging experience. Whether it’s from your computer, tablet, or smartphone, you can check out which posts generated the most likes and comments (and much more) on your Stats page, browse through all your posts and pages, and easily tweak your account settings, review your billing history, and visit your trophy case from My Profile.
Sign up for a blogging course
Our free Blogging U. courses are a great way to get you closer to meeting your blogging goals — whatever those might be — while being part of a supportive, engaged community.
Our next Blogging 101 course starts January 5, and is geared toward new bloggers (you can read more about it, and sign up for it, here), but throughout the year we’ll be offering courses that target different levels, and focus on topics like writing, photoblogging, and more. Be sure to follow announcements from The Daily Post to stay up to date on upcoming courses.
Spruce up your site
Bloggers who love their site’s design publish more. Make sure your site’s look matches the quality of your posts with a few easy tweaks, like switching themes (there are some gorgeous new ones in our Showcase, from our annual default theme, Twenty Fifteen, to recent favorites Editor and Plane). Or just customize your current theme to meet your needs — a few simple touches, like a custom header image or personalized image widgets, can give your site a distinct look with very little work. (Need inspiration? Check out our customization and Early Theme Adopters posts.)
Join a blogging event
Becoming active in the blogging community (or at least in a blogging community) can make all the difference between posting sporadically on a near-dormant blog and keeping yourself energized and your audience engaged. There’s so much to choose from: browse our searchable event listings to find one that’s up your alley, or share your work on our weekly photo challenges and Community Pool posts.
Create an editorial calendar
Whether your vision for your blog is to publish once a month or twice a day, your chances of sticking with a regular publication pace increase if you make concrete, sustainable plans. Devoting a little time every few weeks to sketch out an editorial calendar for your blog will help you allocate time, decide on your priorities, and give you the flexibility you need in case unexpected developments keep you away from your blog for a while.
Download our mobile app
Being on the move should never prevent you from publishing a post, engaging in conversations and moderating comments, or keeping up with the latest from your favorite bloggers. With our mobile apps — available for iOS and Android — you can do all of those things wherever you are. You no longer need to wait to get back home to make your voice heard.
Happy 2015 from the entire WordPress.com team! May it be a wonderful year for you and your sites.
People should take a look here to see what others think about the latest changes: http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/massive-changes-to-the-wp-interface?replies=395
It seems not all people think that it is a smoother blogging experience, and it isn’t. I participated in many software betas and talking about the usability of the updates here at wordpress, there are quite a lot of issues. Apart from that it is still a riddle why you keep updating things that workes so well. The old stats page and the old dashboard and editor are superior to the new one.
Thank you Ben and the WordPress team.
I know, every little helps… your tips every now and then add important sparks to keep it going.
But Ben, is there any chance you guys could add more upgrade choices in your store?
Things like custom design to include a plug in or two. I mean, what you have there is all good… but a couple more options would be great.
I question the use of the word “smoothly” when the major changes to the dashboard/Stats page have been anything but smooth, not to mention the “too-blue-to-use” BBB editor, all of which I never use.
These changes may be helpful to those using mobiles/tablets, but for us bloggers using a desktop computer with a wide screen all the scrolling makes for an unpleasant blogging experience.
Many of the features we have been used to having have been eliminated, including the time on the “new” Stats page; no bulk edit on the “new” blog posts page; and all WP pages are too blue to use. I prefer the old administrative pages where we can choose the colors and it doesn’t remind me of Facebook.
Happy New Year. I will continue using the old classic administrative pages and hopefully they will not be eliminated.
Great post, I will definitely sign up for the blogging courses.
One other thing I thought of was as part of sprucing up your site it is definitely worth getting a custom domain. I think this gives a blog a much more professional look and it only costs around $18 per year.
The Science Geek
An excellent update on what is new and old on WordPress. I do find the new stats and pretty dashboard nicer on a mobile device – they certainly load in a much cleaner fashion. However on my desktop and laptop I find I need to switch back to “classic” mode since so many of the features I want to access/use/review are not in the new pretty looking stats and dashboard pages. I don’t see any obvious way to customize the dashboard in particular to add the things I am missing. Always glad to see changes and try new things – so thanks for looking at ways to improve WordPress.com!
Thanks for this great ideas and for providing this tremendous digital communications platform for me and millions of others. My goal each year is to publish weekly. Came pretty close in 2014; plan to meet that goal this year.
Starting my blog here with wordpress has been one of the main highlights of my past year. I never would have expected to have reached 91 posts (and 94 of Marcella’s recipes!) in that time! I especially loved what I learnt on the Writing101 course in the middle of the year. Thanks!
The changes to the stats page are not an “upgrade”. The changes have reduced the amount of available information and presented it in a different format that is difficult to use – not “smooth” – on many devices. There is a lengthy thread in the Forums on the problems with the so-called “upgrade”. Please don’t insult our intelligence by trying to pretend that this is an improvement.
i just started up my blog and would love some feedback on what i could focus and improve on. Peer to Peer
This post was truly helpful to those who are new to the blogging community, such as myself, I will be utilizing these tips.
This sounds fantastic! Have been wanting to blog for years. Have finally made it on here! 2015 – let the blog begins!
Happy to take tips on how to gain followers as much as find relevant people to follow. My passion is business and am currently doing an MBA!
WordPress is not only encouraging people to write but making them good writers too. It was wonderful to know about new bloggers in the year gone by. Even more optimistic in the New Year. Thanks.
Thanks to the WordPress team! I went through a couple of the blogging university’s courses and some helped me out a lot. But I got to “meet” more bloggers and get their perspectives on my site too. Hoping to join the Blogging 201 this year and join a couple events that I saw looked cool! Happy New Year! Come for a visit if you can: reknutson.wordpress.com/simple-life-blog/
The fact that there is “falling snow” at the top of this page is awesome. I can’t wait for the class to start. I recently just started an blog and would love some tips on how to get some readers.
Thanks so much for this insight on how to make the Blogging experience an inspiring journey.
I would like to learn how to customize my blog! So I think I’ll sign up for this course. Thank you!
Quick questions though…How can I make my “gravatar” or profile picture show up? I have one downloaded and my WordPress is linked but it doesn’t show up. I’m very confused as you can probably tell. Can anyone help me out? I would REALLY appreciate it.
I am a happy member of “21 days blogging challenge” blogging event. Will sign up for classes too. This is useful post, thanks
Good day Thanks and the same to You And the great WordPress team
You’re a vital alternative for a Guy Like Me : kind of no good in informatique But with strong interest to communicate My passion for Art.
Léonel Jules Envoyé de mon iPhone
Thank you so much for sharing this. 🙂
Thanks so much for the great resource!
Thanks! I will get into some of things this year. We will see where it leads. =-)
I just set goals for myself for this year, and working on my blog is one of them! I’m going to try some of these. Thanks for the suggestions 🙂
Hello Ben Please can you help me? I want to create a new Blog on whatever site is the most straight forward. I want a free site and link it to my FB business page. I tried to register with Word press (which I have previously used) and it would not allow me to register. Why and what do I need to do? Is that something to do with already having registered or what? Thanks a lot Vanessa
Some great content here, thank you Ben!…
Happy New Year WordPress people! Thank you for all your inspiring support during my first year of blogging. This post has reminded me to add another blogging goal to my New Year Action List: personalise image widgets. I think sometimes on a blog it’s a small detail that can make a big difference.
My resolutions: More Blogging, post less rubbish. 🙂
Thank you so much for this! I’ll work hard this year to achieve my blogging-goals!
It’s my first time to enter the blogging era..and i wrote the ever first experience of spending my christmas with the less fortunate ones..Im planning to make this a part of my growing and learning years..and write mostly about my experiences in hikings, outreaches and travelling in my own country..HAPPY BLOGGING TO ALL OF US…
I can’t wait to take this course and get more experience with blogging!
I like the new dashboard, it makes blogging more comfortable. Thank you for your post!!!
This year for me, I hope will being more inspiration and motivation to keep writing my blogs as I travel the world, writing from a different style telling stories you can’t read about on the internet. Thanks for the tips in your blog, I hope it helps get my future blogs off to a great start!
Awesome content! I definitely need to get more involved.
Like many here, I find the new dashboard to be inefficient and, frankly, unpleasant to use on a desktop computer. I look forward to continuing to use WordPress as my web hosting and blogging platform of choice.
Unfortunately, the mobile-centric nature of the “improved” dashboard, with its narrow column and hidden or stripped-down features, will detract from the experience.
Happy new year WordPress and fellow bloggers!
I finally got the courage to write a public blog and I pledge to write one post a day, everyday of January, 2015. I have a lot to improve upon but I hope to continue even after January with a goal to be writer one day.
I have already deleted my account with word press.but every time I goggle my name, jenefer maagad , my previous posts with word press still show.I want it to be totally gone. please help
“For the second time”. That is, on a a previous post you closed the topic and, those who find cause to complain, are in contact with one another. The truth is here:-)
Thanks for the tips, I’m a total newbie! Missed the course, but looking ahead to one of the ones coming up later in the year – Wish me luck! x