by Maria Eleanor E. Valeros, #CebuBloggingCommunity
caption: The graduates of the first workshop, offered for free, by the Cebu Blogging Community with Mary Tinio Narvasa, community lead.
CEBU CITY, PHILIPPINES — Local domain sellers may shut down anytime, so it’s safe to avoid them. This concern opened the recent Cebu Blogging Community class dubbed “Blogging Website Tutorial and Social Media Marketing” facilitated by community lead Maria Margarita “’Mary” Tinio Narvasa. This is the first workshop offered for free.
CBC member Richard Rene “Richie Blue” Bunalos shared how upset he was upon knowing his previous website is already dead because the provider just chose to fold up. “Not a word. It could have been more acceptable if they at least give a notice,” Bunalos shared.
To buy domains, Narvasa suggested Namecheap.com offering $10.69 on first year and renewal, payment through Paypal, with free WhoisGuard. There’s also Godaddy.com offering a sale of $.99 for dot com domains this April, with renewal of $9.99. However, one needs a debit/credit card.
Member-bloggers got oriented on whether to use Blogger or WordPress, citing the pros of Blogger being free, reliable most of the time, limited set of templates that one can modify (coding experience needed), added advantage of Google’s robust secure platform. But then Google runs the Blogger service and has the right to shut it down anytime too. With its very limited tools allowing one to perform only specific tasks on his/her website, there is a significant risk that one will lose search engine rankings, subscribers, and followers once one moves to a different platform; there is limited support available for Blogger, and that it has not seen any major updates since a very long time.
As for WordPress, this is not free but WordPress is quite secure. And since it is a self-hosted solution, the blogger is responsible for security and backups.
Hosting is P2500 per year at Hostgator. There is also a thing such as shared hosting, of which Narvasa herself offers monthly hosting with unlimited bandwidth.
WordPress themes are available on mythemeshop.com, towfiqi.com, fabthemes.com, freewpthemes.co, wordpressthemesbox.com or simply Google “Free WordPress themes.”
To optimize productivity, bloggers are also given ideas where to source out uncopyrighted images: unsplash.com, littlevisuals.co, gratisography.com, pickupimage.com, lifeofpix.com, splitshire.com, and stocksnap.io. Tools to help create amazing photo edits are on pixlr.com, photoscape, PicMonkey, and Photoshop Express.
Social media marketing for beginners is also very important to optimize presence in the digital format. This is meant to make bloggers understand the significance of building a brand by designing a simple logo, to choose brand colors and brand texts. As Facebook is still most preferred social media platform, bloggers are urged to create a page, no matter how small one’s following is, to always add a call-to-action meme to FB cover image; complete the About page as followers are keen on knowing more about the site, create more photos, links, events, and videos. Most of all to never ask people to Like one’s page in giveaways. Rather to only invite.
The first CBC workshop meant to assist bloggers in finding their niche online, increasing reader generation, traffic and interaction, was attended by 12 of close to 70 CBC members.###