Blogging, the act of posting regular updates about a particular topic on a website, is one of the most popular methods of publishing on the internet. By looking at some of the statistics from the largest blogging platforms, we know that there are at least 250 million blogs on the internet today. These range from teenagers ranting about video games in their bedrooms to massive, multi-author sites like Boing Boing or even a site like Huffington Post which demonstrates the blurry lines between a blog and an online newspaper. When it comes to building a blog on your Jimdo website, you’re probably looking for something squarely in the middle of those examples.
Creating a blog in Jimdo has two major topics that I’d like to discuss: how to create blog posts themselves and how to make those posts really great. In Part 2 of this article, I’ll dive into how to promote and link to your blog posts on your website.
Getting started with a blog post
The first step to starting a blog on your Jimdo website is to activate the feature. After logging into your site, click on the Blog icon in the Site Admin menu on the right of the screen. This is where you will see your list of published blog posts and drafts. If you’ve never used the blog before, you will first need to press the Activate now button. Next, you will be prompted to write your first post. Click that link.
When you create a new blog post, the screen looks very similar to when you create a new page of your website. However there are a few differences and settings that are unique to blog posts. These will be open when you create the post, but you can always return to your blog post and click on the blog title to make changes to these settings.
Blog post title
This is obviously the title of the blog post. It will appear at the top of the blog post, in any automatic links to the blog post (more on that later), and in the actual URL of the blogpost. The title you choose will have a big influence on the eventual search engine ranking of your post, so pick carefully and try to incorporate some relevant keywords. You can update the title at any time, however, the URL will always be set to the original title you post, so think carefully. If you find you need to change the URL later, you’ll need to delete the post and make a new one with the correct title, which is pretty easy using the "copy blog post" option.
By default, all new posts are in draft mode. This means that the eyeball icon with the slash through it is activated and that no one can see it publicly yet. When you're ready to make the post visible to the world, click the eyeball icon.
Jimdo comments are activated by default. If you would like more advanced commenting features, you can deactivate the Jimdo comments by clicking the “talk bubble” icon and use a third-party commenting system like Disqus or Facebook commenting. Both of those options provide better user logins and make it easier to have back and forth discussions with your readers.
Date and Time
These fields allow you to set the displayed posting time and date for your post. If you do not set anything, it will default to the current date. The date information will also be used in the URL string for your blog post (the address of the page). You can update this after publishing, but the URL string will not change after the initial posting unless you make a copy of the post and then publish that one with the new date.
Tags come into play with your display options. A best practice would be to set at least two tags for each post. The first one should be a category for that post. You’ll be able to use this to make category blog pages if you like (again, more on this later). The second tag that I’d recommend is a single tag that combines the month and year (i.e. July2015). Then, you can easily build your own blog archives using these tags. On important note about tags is that each word will be a separate tag, so if you want to have multiple words, you should smush them together or separate them with hyphens.
Building great blog posts
Once you’ve got all your settings entered, it is time to build out your blog post. One of the great things about Jimdo is that our system provides the same tools for building blog posts that you get to use in building pages for your website—element by element.
When creating your actual posts, mix up the types of ways that you display your content by adding headings, lists, columns, photos, videos, and galleries. Remember to keep the text scannable. Your readers will appreciate the richer experience and will be more likely to want to come back and read more posts in the future.
Essentially, each blog post itself should act like a landing page and should have a specific point that you are communicating. It could be to promote a new product or something as simple as giving a recap of an event.
Try to work in a call-to-action by encouraging your readers to subscribe to your blog or newsletter, share your post with their friends, or to leave a comment to further discuss your topic.
Subscribe We recommend using Mailchimp to create email newsletters. They have a great customizable widget that you can add to a permanent place on your website, or you
can embed the sign-up widget right into your blog post.
- Share One of the best ways to gain traction for your new blog is to get your readers to share your posts with their social networks. This is very easy to do with Jimdo by simply adding the Share Buttons element to the beginning and/or end of each blog post. If you would like to track your shares, try using the share buttons from a third-party solution like Addthis.
Comment Blog posts have long been the launchpads for online conversation. After you put your spin on a topic out into the world, it is great to hear back from your readers to
get feedback, agreement, or dissent. You can then use these interactions to further educate or you can find inspiration for future blog post topics.
Publishing your post and making more
Once you have your blog post just the way you want it, it is time to share it with the world by changing it from draft to public. To do this, go click on the headline at the top of your blog post to access the blog settings. You just need to click the eyeball icon and your post will be live for the world to visit. You can set the date and time that will be displayed and associated with the post, but there is no way to schedule the post to go live at a time in the future. You will need to manually make the blog public at the time you want by pressing the Public button and then saving the post.
After spending the time to get one blog post set up just perfectly, wouldn’t it be great if you could re-purpose all that hard work? Well, I’m happy to tell you that there is! Click on the blog link in the Site Admin to see your list of blog posts, and you can also click the Copy link next to your first post to duplicate it.
I recommend creating all your new blog posts this way so that you will be able to keep your blog posts consistent with the same format. There is no need to reinvent the wheel if you made an author block or inserted sharing buttons.
At this point, you should be able to activate the blog on your Jimdo website and start writing some really great blog posts. Don’t forget to engage your readers and encourage them to comment and share your message.
As soon as you published your first blog post by making it go public, a new element is added to the home page of your website. This is a Blog Display element. You can move it to a different page, change the settings, or delete it if you don’t want it to appear there. In Part 2 of this article, we’ll talk more about the blog display and all the ways we can promote your blog posts on your Jimdo website to make sure everyone can find your new feed of masterpieces!
Multi-talento at Jimdo
Brent Gummow has been building websites for small businesses, non-profits, artists, and educators for the past 17 years in both Ohio and California.
He currently serves as the Multi-talento in Jimdo's San Francisco office, solving problems, educating users, and helping to grow awareness about Jimdo, the easiest website builder on the web.