Get a Real Blog – Instructional Videos Review

Get-A-Real-Blog-VideosI get a lot of emails from PreBloggers and NewBloggers who want to set up a WordPress Blog on their own domain and hosting but don’t know how to do it. It’s a common question and one I’ve been looking for resources on to point people to.

Over the last few days I’ve been watching a series of blogs by Jon Symons called RealBlogVideos (aff) that he’s put together to help new users set up their blogs – I suspect quite a few readers will find them useful (note: not everyone will – so read on and I’ll tell you who they’re for and who they are not for).

Jon makes his living from blogging on blogs like Art of Money and is a regular here at ProBlogger.

The videos cost $15 (US) to buy but for that you get 5 main videos and 3 bonus ones (a total of 162 minutes of instruction).

The main videos are on :

  • Find Keywords for Your Topic & Domain Name Research
  • Register a Domain Name
  • Sign up for and Configure a Hosting Account
  • Install a WordPress Blog, Add a Theme and Do the First Post
  • Configure Your Blog for Security & Do a Backup

Bonus Videos

  • Blogging Copy & Paste Tip
  • How To Install WordPress Manually
  • How To Install WordPress On Dreamhost

What are the videos like?

You can see from Jon’s sales page a sample of one of the videos that will give you an idea of what you’ll be buying. Here’s a few comments:

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A – Z of Professional Blogging Tools

200606271704Following is my A to Z of Professional blogging including blogging tools, blogging platforms, blogging services and ways of making money from blogging (in fact whether you blog for money or not much of what follows should help you improve your blogging).

I hope you enjoy it and feel free to share your own tools and services in comments (I’m sure I’ll have missed some). update – I’ve been adding your suggestions and we’re now up to over 130 blog tools and platforms.

Update: as there are so many blogging tools listed on this page I’ve made another shorter page with just my most recommended blogging resources and tools which might help if you want something with a personal recommendation.

If this is your first time to ProBlogger you might like to subscribe to my free weekly newsletter (see the top of the left hand sidebar) or RSS News Feed.


AdSense – contextual ad program by Google
Adbrite – sell text ads
Amazon Associates – popular affiliate program
aStore – add an Amazon Store to your Blog
AdGenta – text ads by Qumana (see ‘Q’)
AdRotator – WP ad rotating plugin
Akismet – Comment Spam Fighting Tool
Adhearus – pay per click advertising
AdWords – the advertisers side of AdSense – many bloggers use it to promote their blogs
AzoogleAds – advertising system
Audio Blogger – adds audio to your blog


Build A Niche Store– add an eBay store to your site
Bidvertiser – bid based advertising
Blog Ads – blog advertising network
Blog Jet – blog editing tool
Blog Desk – blog editing tool
Bloglines – Web based RSS feed reader
BlogPulse – blog search tool
BlogPolls – tool for putting polls on your blog
Blog Poll – another blog poll tool
Backpackit – useful organizational tool – blog platform
Bloggers for Hire – bloggers looking for work and potential employers looking for bloggers – service for find guest bloggers while you take a holiday
BlogBurst – syndicates bloggers content for mainstream medium
BlogFlux – blog services portal
Blogger Jobs – a blog following the advertising of blog jobs


Chitika eMiniMalls – advertising program
CrispAds – blog advertising network
Creative Commons – copyright licenses
Copyscape – tool for checking for content theft/plagiarism
Clicksor – advertising program
Clickbank – library of many affiliate products
Commission Junction – collection of many affiliate programs
Casale Media – advertising solution
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How to Install WordPress

David at Blogging Pro has a useful post for those wanting to switch to WordPress but who are daunted by the process. His post is My WordPress Install Process.

Similarly Rachel has a screencast of her install process – which was so simple that even I could do it!

Of course then there is the official Installing WordPress Guide

Free Blogger Templates

What-Is-Rss-1-1Do you Want to Improve Your Blog? Subscribe to ProBlogger Today for Free.

“Where do I find Free Blogger Templates?”

I’m regularly asked by bloggers using different blog platforms where they can get nice designs for their blogs, usually for free. I’m a WordPress User and therefore know a few good spots for WP templates (here, here, here, here, here, here and here for starters) but one of the platforms I’m less familiar with that many blogs use is

Gecko and Fly have a nice list of well designed Blogger Templates that I think I’ll be sending people to from now on. Most are designs imported in from WP designs that are quite unlike default designs.

Share your Free Blogger Templates below if you’ve got any good sources.

Free Blogger Templates were found via blogHelper

Akismet for Moveable Type

This post has been submitted by regular contributor – Aaron Brazell

Late last year, Automattic, the company behind WordPress, launched a brash new anti-spam product for blogs called Akismet.  Of course, at the time of launch, I took the product to task but quickly changed my tune as I understood the system better.

When I installed Akismet at Technosailor, I was truly amazed at how well it handled spam.  Literally, I went to maybe one comment a month that needed to be moderated.  That was with no comment moderation enabled (save Akismet’s), and only Akismet installed as an anti-spam plugin.  I was truly amazed.

So when I heard about Akismet being released for Movable Type last week, I had to go check it out (even though I only own a sandbox Movable Type blog).

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PC Doctor – Blog Case Study

Pc-DoctorThe following post was submitted by Adrian W Kingsley-Hughes as part of the ProBlogger Case Study Series

PC Doctor blog, a blog designed to help people get more from their PCs, back in April of last year.

I bought it to life after a long period of being asked by people why I didn’t have a blog and a longer period of thinking, worrying (standard stuff like “do I have the time?”, “do I have enough to say?”, “will I ever get any readers?”) and then, finally, some constructive planning. One day I just uploaded WordPress to the server, set it up and within five minutes I had a brand new blog. Admittedly, I’d set up a load of blogs and forums before this so the process wasn’t new to me but I still felt a huge buzz of excitement because this was MY blog! After a few basic tweaks and mods (specifically, I let FeedBurner handle my RSS feed and added SiteMeter stats tracking so I could see what was going on, stats wise) I was ready to blog!

I got going straight away and even used the default WordPress template for quite a few months. I worked on the assumption that it was content that was going to draw readers and not how it looked, and since I’m a writer by trade I wasn’t put off by having to write a lot. I’m glad I did this because I could have spent weeks on the style and have no content. Also, since I knew that it would take weeks for any real traffic to show up on the site (from the search engines) I knew that I had time to tweak the look and fix anything that might be broken (or that I might break).

I started off populating the blog with stuff that I’d wanted to put up on the website for some time but hadn’t found the time. I found that by having a backlog of material to go on the web actually help because after a couple of weeks the blog had a good number of posts and the place didn’t feel empty any more. Traffic was slow to begin with but by using Technorati (I tagged everything back then!), leveraging my existing websites by cross-linking, and stated participating in the blogosphere through comments and trackbacks. Traffic was depressingly slow for the first few weeks but I knew that I’d be basically talking to myself for week and I remained optimistic. I lived by the motto that “if you build it, they will come”, and eventually, come they did! Within a year Google has gone from bringing no one to the blog to now bringing in 85% of my readers.

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Starting Multiple Blogs

One of the questions that I’m being asked quite a bit lately by bloggers who have been blogging for a while is whether it’s a wise thing to start multiple blogs and if so how should one manage it?

It’s a good question and one that I have a few random thoughts on (which I thought would be a good addition to the blogging for beginners series):

Diversification of Income Sources – I’ve posted many times here at ProBlogger about the wisdom of diversifying your interests in blogging and the idea of multiple blogs is central in my own approach to this. While you do need to be careful of spreading yourself too thinly (more on this below) multiple blogs has been very beneficial for me and have been one of the main reasons for my own growth of income over the past three years. My own experience is that a blog’s traffic growth usually starts fairly slowly, then goes through a growth spurt before reaching a plateau where it becomes more difficult to add new readers in great numbers. At this point starting a second blog is often one good way to increase overall traffic.

The main reason that I became a believer in diversification through multiple blogs was as a result of an experience of seeing one of my main blogs suffer in it’s ranking in Google for a six week period. It struck me in this time how easily an income based around one single successful blog could disappear and I was motivated to build other blogs (and other non blogging income streams) so that if it happened again I would not be left completely high and dry.

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WordPress 2.0.2 Revealed

Back at the end of December, I wrote an article for ProBlogger entitled 10 Things You Should Know about WordPress 2.0. Three(ish) months and 2 security/bugfix releases laters, I think WordPress 2.x deserves another look – a follow up, if you will.

In December, I raved about the rewriting and re-implementation of a number of import paths from other blog systems Personally, I have worked with four of the six standard importers now available for Moveable Type, Live Journal, Blogger, Textpattern, Dotclear and RSS. I personally wrote the Textpattern script and I hope to have a Nucleus importer available for the next major release of WordPress. Contact me if you need it.

Anyway you look at, it’s great to see more availability for bringing content in from other systems. It still seems kind of boneheaded that there are no import paths from other WordPress or blogs but I imagine it’s only a matter of time.

Image Uploading
Image handling was one of my biggest pet peeves about WordPress 2.0. It was horrible when it was released but Andy Skelton did due diligence brilliantly on getting this feature to not only work appropriately but work phenomenally. Back in December, image uploading did not handle thumbnails/original size images well at all. If one used the Rich Text Editor included in WordPress, even when attempting to use the Original Size feature, it would insert as a thumbnail and scaling would create pixelated images.

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An Introduction to Using Images on Blogs

The following post was submitted by Duncan Riley from the Blog Herald, Weblog Empire and b5media. I asked Duncan to explore the topic of using Images on Blogs. I think you’ll agree that his article below is a very comprehensive exploration of the topic which I hope you will find helpful .

Any good blogger will tell you that images and imagery are vitally important in the development and rise of any good blog, but they are often also quite often the most frustrating, annoying and time consuming aspect of any blogs life as well. None the less its important that you know about them

Types of Images

For ease of use I’ll categorize images on your blog into two categories: design imagery and content imagery. Naturally design imagery incorporates any images you may wish to use in the design of your blog, be that in the header, sidebar or footer. Comment imagery is photos and images you post as part of, or exclusively as a post to your blog. It’s important to understand the differences between the two because although we will be covering a lot of common ground in dealing with both types of images, there are also some separate consideration as well.


Some new blogging tools (such as Performancing for Firefox) allow you to drag and drop images you see on websites and other blogs into your posts, however they serve this image from the source, and that’s generally considered very poor form by most bloggers. You are going to need to be able to save, copy and edit any images you want to use. To do this I would recommend that you consider using Image Manipulation software to give you the freedom to do as you please to your images.

Free vs Paid

Personally I use Adobe Photoshop for all my image editing needs, however, particularly when you are starting out, it would be not dissimilar to learning to drive on a brand new Ferrari. Photoshop is the industry standard image manipulation tool in professional business and is available on Mac and PC, but it’s not a cheap option. Personally I don’t use the latest version of Photoshop because I’m happy with the slightly older version I use as it does everything I could ever want it to (and a whole lot more). You can pick up older versions Photoshop at places like eBay second hand if you can’t afford to buy an new copy off the shelf.

Other commercial programs that are available include Corel Draw and Paint Shop Pro.

If you don’t want to spend money on image editing software though I’d highly recommend downloading The Gimp, which is available for PC, Mac and Linux. It’s a fully fledged Open Source (free) image software package that many claim is as powerful as Photoshop.

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