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New Course: 4 Steps to Starting a WordPress Blog Website

4 Steps to Starting a Wordpress Blog Website

4 Steps to Starting a WordPress Blog WebsiteOver the years I have spoken with a lot of people who just want to build a simple website to start their idea. They either do not have a budget to have a designer build them a website or they want to do it on their own. Regardless, I have created a free course that teaches just how easy it is to setup a WordPress website. In 4 steps, or about 20 minutes, you can setup a WordPress website and start posting content. Whether you are wanting to start a blog to post about something you are passionate about or you want to build a new website for your business, this course is for you. It gets you up and running in no time.

To sign up for the free course, visit this link: https://www.udemy.com/4-steps-to-starting-a-wordpress-blog-website

At the end of the course, I provide 20 minutes of bonus audio discussion on building a successful website. From there, you will need to learn how to use WordPress. Well, I have a course for that as well and it’s also free titled “Getting Started With WordPress – A Beginners Guide.”

To sign up for the free course, visit this link: https://www.udemy.com/getting-started-with-wordpress-a-beginners-guide

These courses are free to take.

Blog

Importance of Sharing Information

Part of the way I learn is trying to teach it to someone else. I find that challenging myself to reteach what I just figured out how to do writes it deeper into my brain. Besides that, I enjoy giving back. I have no formal education beyond high school. Everything I do for work and in many cases in life, I attained through some sort of resource. Earlier on in my life, it was books. As the internet expanded, it allowed me to learn anything I wanted to at a much faster pace than traditional education could allow. Because I took the route of consuming shared information or online courses over formal education, I wanted to give back. Over the years I have posted Photoshop tutorials, snippets of custom code I wrote, photos and countless hours worth of information. A few of my tutorial videos have received over 100,000 views on Youtube each, which is pretty cool. I still get emails just about weekly about some of them, today I actually received a phone call about one of them. I love sharing information, my problem is that other things get in the way from me being able to do that on a regular basis.

This website, JeradHill.com, has been many things since I purchased the domain name in 1997. At that time, very few people owned the domain name that was their name. In 1997, I wanted to start an online business and I knew that if I was going to be able to do this with the $400 I had in my bank account, I would have to teach myself. This is when I started consuming online information and browsing forums for assistance. The internet is a fantastic place filled with information, you really can learn how to do anything you want online. After a few of my online tutorials took off, I decided that I wanted to spend more time teaching. I love to teach. I realize that even though the same information exists for all of us, not all have the patience and resourcefulness to make use of all of the information. I am fortunate to be a nerd with communication skills. I can break down the difficult processes of technical tasks into simple/actionable English. When I realized that I had this gift, teaching became fun for me.

We all have things we know how to do and there are people who consider us a professional in this area. Even though there are people we consider professionals over us, there are people who want to learn what we know and consider us a professional. I am a professional wedding photographer and even though there are photographers that I look up to as having reached a higher level of professionalism than I have there are still many who want to learn the ropes and could learn that from me. I do this because I want to give back somehow. I have consumed countless hours of free or close to free information to learn and become what I am today, I want to offer someone else the same luxury.

Right now I am in a place where I want to be teaching more, but have other obligations. I keep all of my ideas in Evernote, which is a great way to capture your thoughts in text, photo or audio note. However, the ideas are stacking up and as more time goes by the less relevant the idea becomes. My desire is to be able to work on teaching more, but I did such a good job building my business over the years that word-of-mouth referral business keeps coming in and I don’t like turning people away who desire to work with me.

There are many places that I share information. Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Udemy.Com and soon I will have my own website containing my tutorial videos and training resources.

So how do you start on a journey of information sharing?
It’s actually quite easy, and free.

I started by blogging on this very website. My earlier posts consisted of me writing articles about how I figure something out that I could not find an answer to online. I never wanted to repost something that I had found from another website but if I couldn’t find something online, I had to figure it out myself. When I did figure it out, I would write about it. These posts were mostly posts about programming. When I started to learn Photoshop, I would record short videos on how I performed a certain edit or style. Over the years I have started several podcasts as well. Now I am in a place in my business where I have to figure things out for myself. I don’t know anybody else personally who has several different things going on and uses the web to market themselves like I do, so I take bits and pieces of information I find, mash it up with some of my own ideas that are relevant to what I am doing and if it works, I teach it. Great teaching moments also come from failures, I am big about mentioning the things that I did that did not work. I believe that the reason I have any success at all is due to the fact that I learn from my failures and do not let them become an excuse to quit. Quitting is one thing I do not do. Even though sometimes I am forced to slow down on things to direct my time elsewhere, I don’t give up. This website is a perfect example of that. There have been seasons where I have blogged daily and some where months go by without an update.

If you wanted to start blogging, you can set up a free blog at WordPress.Com. They have a few premium features to make your website more professional, but you can use it for free. I like WordPress.Com because if you decide to take what you are doing to the next level, you can merge your content with a customized WordPress website such as my website you are on right now.

Becoming a curator of information is a popular thing right now on the web. Since Pinterest has came along, curation has blown up as a way of sharing online. By no means is Pinterest the first to do this but it sure is fun. My wife shares a lot of fun ideas and inspiration she finds on Pinterest. Check out her Pinterest boards to see what I’m talking about.

You can start a Youtube channel, for free, and start uploading content there. It does not have to be broadcast quality. I am sure you have watched some home-brew tutorials on Youtube before. With time you will want to increase your production quality but you can do that over time. My website DailyAppShow.com started out pretty shabby and now we have high quality HD equipment we record our reviews with and I even have a full time employee helping with this process. DailyAppShow.Com started as an idea in the spare bedroom of my house and turned into something that requires employees to run. The DailyAppShow Youtube Channel has over 2 Million Channel views to date.

My most recent teachings can be found on Udemy.Com. I chose to use Udemy because I wanted to see how my content performed next to other professionals out there who are creating content. I have two free and one paid course at the time of writing this post. I could have uploaded my free content to Youtube but I feel that there are to many complainers who are not serious and just looking for a chance to give you a hard time. I wanted to be a part of a teaching network where people who are serious go to learn. Udemy is that platform. They also allow you to charge for your courses which is great if you have your own content that us unique and worth paying for. I plan to use the Udemy network to release future paid courses in hopes to move most of my focus toward content generation as an instructor. My first course on Udemy is an Introduction to Facebook Pages for Businesses which will hit 3000 subscribers by the end of this week.

There are countless ways to share information online. Slideshare.com, Howcast.com, About.com and many more. I am a fan of having something everywhere. You don’t want to have the same content in a hundred places but you do need to have a presence everywhere. Use the web to your advantage and share something you know about and have a passion for with others.

Do me a favor and check out some of the channels I share information on and if you see something that you find interesting or that you think would be interesting to someone else, share it. Sharing is what helps the flow of information continue.

Blog

Fix: WordPress Upload HTTP Error

My hosting company ran some updates on my server. After the updates I got errors attempting to upload images through WordPress and Joomla sites on my server. The error I received on WordPress was an HTTP error in red text. In Joomla it would actually kick me out to an Internal Server Error similar to a 404 Not Found page. It was pretty frustrating. I contacted my hosting provider and they did some looking around. I actually came across the fix on my own and made the change I describe below. I was able to do this because I have a dedicated server. If you do not have a dedicated server, you will have to ask your hosting provider to change this for you.

I opened up Terminal on my Mac and navigated to the Apache Config folder. With in that folder is a securities file named modsec2. Within that file Flash was blocked. In WordPress and Joomla flash is used for the image uploading script.

Navigate to this file:
/usr/local/apache/conf/modsec2.user.conf”

I simply commented out the following by placing a # in front of it.
##SecRule REQUEST_URI “/usr/local/flash”

After you make that change, restart Apache and give it a try. There is one other fix that I used to have to add in older versions of Joomla. I thought I would mention it as another option if you still have the same errors.

In your .htaccess file that is located in the root directory of your website you can add the following.

<IfModule mod_security.c>
SecFilterEngine Off
SecFilterScanPOST Off
</IfModule>

Hope this helps!

Blog

Click Like to View This Content

Earlier today I had a vision. I saw a world where good blog content could be unlocked for a viewer browsing a website in exchange for clicking a Facebook Like Button. They could read a post excerpt or an introduction and if they wanted to read the rest of the article they would click the Facebook “Like” button to unlock it. I have tried a membership option where viewers can unlock content for a small price or even just for signing up with their email and have not had much success. The content that I have came up with is valuable but I don’t think that people are ready to pay for it. The current trend is getting more traffic to your Facebook Page. These thoughts led to the idea of having to click a Facebook Like button in order to view the content. I searched the Google’s and found nothing. Right after creating an Odesk.com project and clicking submit I realized something. I had already seen this, it just had a different name. It took typing out my need in an attempt to find a developer with time to program it for me to remember that I had seen this item available already. A more specific search and I found it.

Since I make a good habit of blogging about things I could not easily find I thought it would be a good idea to demo this concept here and give the answer away in exchange for a “Like.”

[wp-like-locker theme=”blue” url=”https://jerad.blog/click-like-to-view-this-content” message=”Like This Post To Unlock Step 1!”]

Ok so here is what I found. I am using WordPress and if you are too then this will be an easy install. The WordPress Plugin is called WordPress Like Locker available on CodeCanyon.net.

It was that simple. I had already purchased a plugin from this author which you have probably seen on my website.

Let me explain how to install this plugin (which only works if you have a Self-Hosted WordPress Install – Will not work if you have a WordPress.Com hosted account.)

Step 1: Purchase the plugin from CodeCanyon, currently $7.00 US – Download Link

Step 1a: After downloading it, unzip the file. Notice that there is a Documentation and a wp-like-locker folder.

Step 1b: (MAC) Right click on the folder named wp-like-locker and choose Archive. (PC) Use whatever software allows you to turn a folder into a zip file. I used to use Winzip but for all I know Windows now lets you zip a file with out extra software. Do a Google search for “How to create a zip file of a folder in Windows “Version” (replace Version with your version of Windows – ie. XP, Vista, 7).

[/wp-like-locker]

Step 2: Log into your WordPress Admin. Under the Plugins section click on “Add New”. Up at the top under the title “Plugins” click on “Upload.” Choose the zip file you just created in Step 1b. Click Upload.

Step 2a: Your host is probably “localhost” your username is the FTP username for your host account, the password is the password for that host account. This may be different from your WordPress login.

Step 3: Plugin is installed. You can view the documentation that came along with the plugin which will explain how to use it.

This plugin will allow you to hide specific content just as I did and will allow the reader on your blog to make that content viewable once they click on the “Like” button. Pretty cool!

If many of you find the install to be confusing I will record a video tutorial in the future to show how to install a plugin. Yes it will require the click of a “Like” button in order to view it. 😉

Blog

Exclude a Category from your WordPress Menu

On occasion you may want a blog category not to show up in your blog menu. Many themes now a days are including settings you can change to remove categories from menus but if you end up having to hard code it in here is what you need to do.

Open up the header.php file located inside the folder for your wordpress theme. You will need to replace the #3 in the code below with the id number of the category you wish to not include in your menu. If you categorize your entry in more then one category your category will still show up in the blog listing if your theme shows which category each entry is in. If you want to exclude more then one category simply add a comma after the first category number and enter the next category number with no spaces.

wp-remove-category-menu

This will not remove the category from the frontpage. To remove the category from the frontpage check out my blog on Excluding a Category from your WordPress Frontpage.

Blog

Exclude a Category from your WordPress Frontpage

On occasion you may write a blog entry that you do not want on your front page but do want under a category. Many themes now a days are including settings you can change to remove categories but if you end up having to hard code it in here is what you need to do.

You will have to create a category that you are going to place these entries into.

Open up the index.php file located inside the folder for your wordpress theme. You will need to replace the #3 in the code below with the id of the category you wish to not include on your front page. If you categorize your entry in more then one category then you will need to not include that category also in which you simply add a comma after the first category number and enter the next category number with no spaces.

wp-remove-category-frontpage

This will not remove the category from the menu. To remove the category from the menu check out my blog on Excluding a Category from your WordPress Menu.