How to Reduce Background and Static Noise While Doing Tutorials on Skype?

How to Reduce Background and Static Noise While Doing Tutorials on Skype?

One of the challenges of being an ESL tutor is to find a quiet place in your home or apartment to where you can conduct tutorials. Having a noise free environment to teach via Skype is vital but is not enough to have an interference free conversation. Sometimes the student on the other end of the call still hears buzzing or static noise.

I remember the first time I taught ESL class on Skype, I was using a laptop which I usually charge during the calls because of its poor battery life. I could hear the static noise when I checked my audio output using Skype’s “Echo / Sound Test Service”. Charging the laptop battery during calls and voice recordings really causes buzzing sounds.

Here are several steps you can do to eliminate or at least reduce that buzzing sound and background noise during Skype calls.

  • Use a ground lift plug or adapter for your laptop power supply to reduce static noise caused by charging the battery.
320px-Cheater_plug_edited
Image from Wikimedia Commons
  • To reduce background noise caused by other stuff like appliances, the sound from your neighbors, crying baby, barking dogs and bustling car sounds, you may change your Sound Control Panel settings on Windows. To do this, follow these steps:
    1. Go to your “Control Panel”. (You may also right click the speaker like icon on your notification area then click “Recording Devices”, then continue with number 5 from these steps)
    2. Select “Hardware and Sound” (or just “Sound” depending on your viewer setting).hardwaresound
    3. Click “Sound”. sound
    4. Click “Recording” tab
      recording
    5. Right click on the enabled microphone you are using. mic1
    6. Click “Properties”.  mic2
    7. Click “Levels” tab. levels
    8. Set “Microphone” level to 100 miclevel
      and “Microphone Boost” to +10.0 dB 
      micboostor 0.0 dB if level of the background noise is too high. Click OK.
      micboost
    9. On Windows 10, you can also select “Enhancements” tab then enable “Noise Suppression” and “Acoustic Echo Cancellation”. (I don’t have this tab because I’m only using Windows 7).
  • Buy a headphone with noise cancelling microphone.
  • It’s a lesser pain if you can invest by owning a desktop computer instead of a laptop especially if you need to conduct classes for long hours.
  • For more serious soundproofing, you may want to invest by making your room quieter.
    • Cover your floors with rugs or carpet.
    • Cover your windows with drapes or at least thicker curtains.
    • Station your furniture against your wall like wooden bookshelf with lots of books, cabinet with lots of fabrics like towels, linens, or even clothes.
    • Make sure to position your audio equipment far from air-conditioners or electric fans and other noisy appliances and devices.
    • Do not use headphone and a loudspeaker at the same time.

Keep in mind that these tips will not totally eliminate the noise while making calls on Skype, but with proper execution it will help you achieve interference free calls and tutorials.

 

Did you like this post and want more posts in the future related with this topic? Click “Follow” or “Subscribe” via email to receive free updates on my future posts. Don’t forget to share this to your friends on social media. Feel free to express your ideas by using the “Leave Reply” option below.

View all other posts by tapping the menu below:

The Effects of Bullying

The Effects of Bullying

Have you ever been told you’re ugly or fat? If you answer yes, then definitely you’re not alone. When I was young, my classmates used to bully and call me “pig” because of my size. I’m used to hearing reactions such us “ewww”, “yuck”, “kadiri” (gross) and other similar name-callings just because of my looks, my outfit, the way I speak, my laughs, beliefs, even my sneakers and almost everything about me.

The Harmful Effects

These all happened when I was in my late grade school years and it continued until I was in junior high school. I tell you, it was really degrading. As a result, I became secretive to my parents and also timid. I find it hard to express myself to anybody and had very low self-esteem. I became depressed. When I was in junior high I began experiencing panic/anxiety attacks whichever you call it. Without any reasons, I felt very nervous. Palpitations and difficulty breathing were common. I’m not sure if these were the possible effects of bullying though. I mean I was already timid at that time being an only child.

What We Can Do

bullying-1019271_1280

Bullying happens everywhere, in school, on the streets and even online. In the Philippines alone, one out of two Filipino children have witnessed violence or abused in school according to a survey conducted a few years ago.

To all the victims of bullying and other types of abuse out there, remember this: Our past does not determine our future or our identity. Let’s just keep moving forward. Think of the past as a teacher. Keep in mind that there were bad teachers when we were studying in school and we learned something from them at least. The fact that they showed us how to be bad teachers helped us not to imitate the way they do things. It’s also the same with our bad memories of the past. Just view them as our bad teachers, bad examples and the bad influences! And what should you do when you knew someone is a toxic friend? You would stay away from him. Bad memories are bad friends! They drain our energy and take away our happiness. So stop living with someone who doesn’t care about your feelings. In other words, stop living in the past. Today is a new day. Tomorrow is another day. Just keep moving forward.

 

Did you like this post and want more posts in the future related with this topic? Click “Follow” or “Subscribe” via email to receive free updates on my future posts. Don’t forget to share this to your friends on social media. Feel free to express your ideas by using the “Leave Reply” option below.

View all other posts by tapping the menu below:

What Makes a Real Man?

What Makes a Real Man?

It has been a month since my last post here. How are you friends and fellow bloggers? I have been very busy last September so I could not even make a single post (laugh).

Reflecting from the things I have learned last month, however, motivated me to write a blog about being a real man. To many, their common stereotype of a real man is someone who has the machismo appearance, being dominant and superman, the knight in shining armor for any girls. On the other hand, if you are modest in your speech while showing weakness in making decisions, you are viewed as “soft”. But what does it take to be a REAL man?

Essence of a True Man

For me, a real man is someone who does not decide on impulse. He is reliable and takes responsibility for his actions whether the outcome is good or bad. A real man could be childlike but definitely not childish. He is well-organized, does not procrastinate, and balanced. He is committed to a relationship and respects others, especially women.

If married, he’s someone who leads his household lovingly and protects his family as his own self from harm. Not self-centered and ruled by emotions but is self-sacrificing and can control his emotions. Doesn’t turn to violence and would respect others’ opinions though different from his. A real man is true to himself, honest, and loyal – characteristics a guy could not fake. In fact, you can fake your speech or emotion, but there’s definitely no put on for being faithful.

Finally, a real man may fall hard but would always find a way to get up and set things straight. It is also not true that a real man does not fear anything. A real man fears his Creator – God. He fears for the people he loves too but is not afraid to admit his mistake. Actually, one of the main characteristics of a real man is humility.

Are You a Real Man?

If you answered “yes”, then congratulations! Otherwise, there is always a room for improvement. What about me? I can say that there’s always a room for improvement too (sigh and laugh). But admitting our flaws is a sign of maturity and that is good! So still, let’s congratulate ourselves for that.

Have a good day true man!

 

Did you like this post and want more posts in the future related with this topic? Click “Follow” or “Subscribe” via email to receive free updates on my future posts. Don’t forget to share this to your friends on social media. Feel free to express your ideas by using the “Leave Reply” option below.

View all other posts by tapping the menu below:

Why I Chose Teaching ESL Online

Why I Chose Teaching ESL Online

“Teacher!” The word “teacher”, how does it sound like to you? What makes a good teacher? And why did I choose to teach ESL online? Many think teachers aren’t making a lot of money. Maybe it’s true especially in actual schools. Nowadays, however, things have changed for online ESL teachers. I will not discuss any salary rates offered by different companies in this field on the internet though.  This is more of being sentimental. It is all about answering the question “What makes you happy as an online ESL teacher?”

A Happy Teacher

In school, you are the second parent of your students. In online schools, you can’t be a parent to a 45-year-old manager nor a 50-year-old businessman. But you can be their friend, son or daughter, or their confidant. Teaching English is not all about helping them become successful because most of them are. Teaching English is like constructing a bridge for them to reach their goals. It will also help them to widen out. When you hear your student express himself confidently not being bothered to have the correct words and phrases, or the perfect grammar, it motivates you to do more for him.

Teaching English is not only helping your students understand grammar rules or correcting their pronunciation. It is far more than that. It is an amazing privilege! You are planting a seed. You are watering it. You watch how it grows to a tall, bulky tree. It grows on its own. And when your job is done, watch how far your words of wisdom have reached the hearts of your students; powerful enough to change their lives. You also get to learn more from your student’s culture and it helps you grow.

One time, one of my students asked me: “If you are in my case, which opportunity would you choose?” This is one of the most difficult questions I had to answer while in this career. The one who’ve asked is in a managerial position. Two competing CEOs are offering her top management position in their respective companies. In all honesty, I feel humbled and honored, though am not certain if I gave her the best possible answer. It is because I think I’m not even qualified to work as an employee in their company in the first place! But the trust she gave me boosted my optimism, to do more for her and to my other students.

The Ups and Downs

Of course, there were unfavorable circumstances I had to go through like accepting the fact that a student doesn’t like you, or you unintentionally hurt their feelings. These are normal pitfalls that you have to deal with. At the end of the day, when you know you gave your best shot, though you failed, it is still a good learning experience. It makes you become wiser, tougher and keeps your feet on the ground. Your perseverance to hardships helps you appreciate the value of your job.

Again, being an online ESL teacher is a privilege. That’s why I’m enjoying it. It is definitely not a boring vocation. Actually, it is a profession you can be proud of absolutely!

 

Did you like this post and want more posts in the future related with this topic? Click “Follow” or “Subscribe” via email to receive free updates on my future posts. Don’t forget to share this to your friends on social media. Feel free to express your ideas by using the “Leave Reply” option below.

View all other posts by tapping the menu below:

My Top 10 Motivational Movies

My Top 10 Motivational Movies

There are many movies out there with lasting impact in our lives. I listed down here my own version of “Top 10 Motivational Movies” of all time. In case you haven’t watched some of these films, don’t worry: no spoilers.

 

10. Cast Away – (Tom Hanks)

I find this movie not only entertaining but highly motivational. It is about not losing hope and never giving up.

9. The Truman Show – (Jim Carrey)

I think this inspired some of the “unreal” reality shows on TV like the “Big Brother”.

8. Take the Lead – (Antonio Banderas)

If you are passionate about dancing and teaching, I highly recommend this video.

7. Coach Carter – (Samuel L. Jackson)

Being a basketball coach doesn’t only mean you focus on winning. You also need to help your players win the game of life. Be their life coach. This is what “Coach Carter” movie all about.

6. A Millionaire’s First Love – (Korean Movie)

A movie like “A Walk to Remember” is also an honorable mention that we can compare to this Korean movie. We call them tear-jerkers. When you found someone who can change the way you view the world, never let him/her go.

5. My Sassy Girl – (Korean Movie)

This is one of my favorite Korean movies of all time. I’m talking about the first one. The sequel is a disaster.

4. Like Stars on Earth / Every Child is Special – (Amir Khan)

One of the best Bollywood films I have watched so far. It will motivate parents and teachers to be patient with their kids and students.

3. A Beautiful Mind – (Russell Crowe)

Inspired by the real life story of the Math genius John Forbes Nash Jr. (June 13, 1928 – May 23, 2015)

2. 3 Idiots – (Amir Khan)

Another Bollywood film starring Amir Khan. This movie has one of the best plots made outside Hollywood. Looking for something inspirational and hilarious at the same time? Then this is the right one for you.

 

1. The Last Holiday – (Queen Latifah)

Want some positivity? Watch this movie.

 

You may also have your own list of Top 10 Motivational Movies which have tremendous impact in your life. You can share your list by commenting below.

 

Did you like this post and want more posts in the future related with this topic? Click “Follow” or “Subscribe” via email to receive free updates on my future posts. Don’t forget to share this to your friends on social media. Feel free to express your ideas by using the “Leave Reply” option below.

View all other posts by tapping the menu below:

Top 8 English Words Commonly Mispronounced by Filipinos

Top 8 English Words Commonly Mispronounced by Filipinos

Many elderly Filipinos, especially those who were already born before or during the World War II, are very good at speaking the English language. Several people often tell me that when one had reached Grade 2 back then, they could already speak in the English language with fluency.

The only thing that needs to be improved though is their accent and pronunciation. On this blog, you’ll find some of the most commonly mispronounced words by Filipinos.

1. Chocolate – /ˈtʃɑk·lət/ (US)

Many Filipinos, including myself, are used to pronouncing chocolate as “Cho-co-leit” (Cho-co-late) as a three syllable word. Notice, however, that the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) symbols for this word has only two syllables -ˈtʃɑk·lət. We are also used to pronouncing its last syllable like the English word “late”.

Listen to the proper pronunciation of “chocolate” by playing the video below.

 

2. Indigent – /ˈɪn·dɪ·dʒənt/ (US)

I usually hear this word when people are talking about the qualifications to be considered as “indigent” (they pronounce it “in-day-jent”) for a certain Philippine Government program called 4Ps or “The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.”

Listen to the proper pronunciation of “indigent” by playing the video below.

 

3. Youtube – /juː.tuːb/ (US)

There is a consideration on this one. If you’re using British accent, then it is okay to say youtube (ˈjuː.tʃuːb) sounds like “yu-choob”. However, in the Philippines, it is common to imitate the American way of enunciating words. So the pronunciation sounds like “yu-tub” without the “ch” sound for the last syllable.

Listen here.

 

4. Tutor – /ˈtu·t̬ər/ (US)

This is a little bit funny because some of our fellow ESL tutors often pronounce “tutor” as “choo-tor.”

Listen to its proper pronunciation.

 

5. News – /nuz/ (US)

Whether we are referring to the news media or the news they provide, the proper pronunciation for the word “news” is “nuz”, not “nyus”.

Listen here.

 

This also applies to the word “new” /nu/. So when you say “New York”, it would sound like “Nu York” not “Nyu York”.

Listen here.

 

6. Cleanliness – /ˈklen·li·nəs/ (US)

This is a bit tricky because the word “clean” is pronounced “klin”. But in the word “cleanliness”, the first syllable is pronounced “klen”.

Listen here.

 

7. Cocoa – /ˈkoʊ·koʊ/ (US)

So this is pronounced “kow-kow” not “ko-kowa”.

Still not convinced? Listen here.

 

8. Debut – /ˈdeɪ·bju/ or /deɪˈbju/ (US)

This means the first public appearance of something, like a music album, song, or film. Many Filipinos usually pronounce this as “di-bu” or “dee-bu”. But the correct pronunciation is ˈdeɪ·bju (dei-byoo)

 Listen for the correct pronunciation here.

 

If you are unsure how to enunciate an English word, it is always a good idea to consult a dictionary. The online dictionary “dictionary.cambridge.org” provides comprehensive guide to help you pronounce an English word both for US and UK accents.

 

Did you like this post and want more posts in the future related with this topic? Click “Follow” or “Subscribe” via email to receive free updates on my future posts. Don’t forget to share this to your friends on social media. Feel free to express your ideas by using the “Leave Reply” option below.

View all other posts by tapping the menu below:

Reblog: It’s all about Moringa (Malunggay) – Discover the Benefits of This Awesome Tree!

Reblog: It’s all about Moringa (Malunggay) – Discover the Benefits of This Awesome Tree!

 

Moringa oleifera is a fast-growing tree native to South Asia and now found throughout the tropics. Its leaves have been used as part of traditional medicine for centuries, and the Ayurvedic system of medicine associates it with the cure or prevention of about 300 diseases.Moringa, sometimes described as the “miracle tree,” “drumstick tree,” or “horseradish tree,”…

 

Tap this link to continue reading. (Opens in a new tab)

 

Did you like this post and want more posts in the future related with this topic? Click “Follow” or “Subscribe” via email to receive free updates on my future posts. Don’t forget to share this to your friends on social media. Feel free to express your ideas by using the “Leave Reply” option below.

View all other posts by tapping the menu below:

 

Dealing With a “Silent Student” (ESL)

Dealing With a “Silent Student” (ESL)

It happens many times during ESL tutorials. You are in a middle of a discussion with your student and the latter seems more comfortable listening to your explanations rather than speaking.

You only hear the expressions “hmmm,” “ahhh,” “okay,” “aha,” (sounds like the song with the lyrics “That’s the way aha aha, I like it aha aha“), or worse, nothing but silence. Chances are you are not doing it right! I have also committed these teaching mistakes before. When you’re in the mood to talk, you tend to forget the purpose of the tutorial. Later on, you may notice that the class seems tedious. Eventually, your tone of voice becomes boring as well. You think the student is too timid to talk. He’s really having a hard time completing a sentence. Listed here are some of the possible reasons why such students are keeping their mouths shut.

Possible Reasons

  1. You may have been strictly following your lesson materials that you tend to forget encouraging the student to talk.
  2. Not being familiar with the capabilities of your student. You’re lingering on your first impressions on him that he is timid and can hardly speak English. You’re not recognizing his small improvements.
  3. You’re too conscious about the time limit of the class and you answer your own questions.
  4. Not being patient. You are a perfectionist. You try to correct all the student’s errors.
  5. The student is afraid of you, or much worse hates you.

Possible Solutions:

  1. Find out more information about the student as long as he allows you to do so. Know his interests, hobbies and favorite areas in relation to his job. However, avoid asking him direct personal questions. Take note of the situations when the student freely expressed his thoughts. As much as possible, incorporate all the information you gathered about him, like his interests and hobbies into your lessons to persuade the student to speak. Encourage the student to ask you questions, especially when he doesn’t understand the expressions in the lesson materials or the ideas you’re discussing. You can use some of the conversation questions for ESL students found on this website – iteslj.org/questions.
  2. DO NOT compare. Every student has his own strengths and weaknesses. Language development varies for every individual. Have keen interest in their progress. Repeat a certain portion of the lesson material if necessary. Understand that in every class held, the student learns something new.
  3. DO NOT OVERWHELM the student with many information or questions more than he can handle. If he is merely a beginner, it is okay if you can just let him answer some yes/no questions at first. If you can only tackle one or two points within the allowed time, that is good enough. You need to make sure he understands what you are talking about. For adult students, don’t ask them questions like “Did you understand?” especially if the student is a working professional. Instead, ask them questions like “Do you have a question about this part?” or “Would you like me to help you with this?NEVER ask a question which ONLY YOU can answer.
  4. It is a good practice to build the student’s confidence to speak up during the first few classes you have with him. In order to do that, NEVER interrupt the student while he is talking just to correct his errors. Let him finish what he is saying while taking note of his errors and correct them afterward. When to make corrections? That is up to your student. At times, when a student is timid, perhaps the best time to directly rectify his errors is when you have already built good rapport with him. When correcting, avoid detailing grammar rules he is not familiar with. It will confuse him. Other than that, just help your shy student talk with confidence. Give him a chance to correct his own errors by asking him questions like; “Do you think there is a better way to express that?” or “Would you like to rephrase your sentence?” NEVER forget to commend the student for his good performance. You can use the “Sandwich Method” when giving feedbacks.
hamburger-775439_1280
The Sandwich Method

This means you start by praising him for the positives he has done followed by your constructive criticism or corrections, and finally the overall good points the student has achieved. Always remember, teachers must be quick to commend and slow to condemn!

5. Use “could you,” and “would you,” to sound more polite when making a request to the student to do something. And yes, don’t forget to say “please,” and “thank you.” It sounds very basic, isn’t it? Well, remember the times when our parents taught us to use polite expressions when we were young? That was a vital part of our language learning!

To sum things up, being patient with your student is one of the best ways to help him achieve his goals. Use simple English words as much as possible. Conduct the lesson in a simple but enjoyable manner. Again, make it simple, DO NOT complicate.

 

Did you like this post and want more posts in the future related with this topic? Click “Follow” or “Subscribe” via email to receive free updates on my future posts. Don’t forget to share this to your friends on social media. Feel free to express your ideas by using the “Leave Reply” option below.

View all other posts by tapping the menu below:

Let’s Talk About Death

Let’s Talk About Death

Why death? Who else would like to talk about that? But, yes. There will be a time when we have to face it. Not unless we don’t know we’re already dead.

I started thinking about the possibility of being dead when I was around 4 or 5 years old. I was so afraid back then. Fear of death makes people feel helpless. From the death of Abel, the brother of Cain, up to that someone right at this moment breathing his last, death has been the number one enemy of mankind.

As a Bible believer, I know the fact that the dead are unconscious and know nothing at all. (Ecclesiastes 9:5,6) It’s just like falling into deep sleep with no dreams or whatsoever. (John 11:11-14) These truths make others feel somewhat relieved when they know their dead loved ones aren’t feeling the pain any longer. But still, others don’t want to talk about it. (For more info on my beliefs about death, please open this link)

Talking About Death is Talking About Life

When was the first time you heard the word “death”? How did you feel? How about the word “life”? Life has many worries, and death is one of them. The fear of losing our loved ones or being away from them makes us feel uncomfortable. Still, at sometime in the future, we need to face these painful changes in our lives.

Is Death Really Scary?

light-1551386_1920

We can hear familiar statements like “You only live once,” and “Live life to the fullest.” In an article published online [1], it discusses things you can do to overcome the fear of dying. One of my favorite points from this article is the statement “Surround yourself with people that make you happy and vice versa. Your time will be well-spent – and well-remembered – when you share yourself with others.” (wikiHow – How to Overcome Fear of Death, Part 4, Point 2) Indeed, surrounding ourselves with people whom we can make happy will give us meaningful accomplishments. Genuine happiness comes from giving according to Jesus Christ. (Acts 20:35)

But the question remains: Is death really that scary?

Consider these quotes from different personalities.

“It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.”[2]

“The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.”[3]

“Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once.”[4]

“Some people die at 25 and aren’t buried until 75.”[5]

“Do not fear death so much but rather the inadequate life.”[6]

As you might have noticed, the people who uttered these statements seem to agree that living a meaningful life will take away fear of death or assuage it. Dying with self-respect and dignity is better than living a hundred years in dishonesty, being greedy and power-hungry individual.

The Bronnie Ware’s Regrets of the Dying

Author and songwriter Bronnie Ware wrote in her blog about the common “Regrets of the Dying” in 2009.[7] It made a great impact to many especially to those who were working too hard that they forget to spend enough time with their loved ones.

family-591579_1920

I have an ESL student who happens to be a branch manager of a well-known fast-food chain. One time, I told her about Ware’s article on the “five common regrets” of the dying. She pondered well on it and gave importance to spending enough time with her family. It made both of us happy with the results of that conversation we had.

Let’s Talk About Life

snow-1217124_1920

Living a healthy life doesn’t mean you don’t have to fear death at all. Having a morbid, irrational fear of death is not good, but a little bit of worrying about it is healthy. It will help you avoid things that may put yourself in danger. Nevertheless, worrying too much won’t help you any better. “So never be anxious about the next day, for the next day will have its own anxieties. Each day has enough of its own troubles.” (Matthew 6:34)

Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere.[8]

“Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere.” - Erma Bombeck

 

We need to enjoy the blessings we receive each day; be it food, shelter, a good night sleep, or being alive. Happiness comes from appreciating even the least important things we have. Find contentment in life. When you find it, hold on to it.

coast-631925_1280

Breathe life, watch many sunsets, run, play like a child, decide like an old man, help others to know their Creator and do the same, be a blessing, inspire, motivate, forgive others and yourself, laugh more and love more. In doing these, you will be loved and respected. Eventually, you are going to feel contentment in life. And that’s when you are living your life with a noble purpose.

girl-797837_1920

 


References:

1. How to Overcome Fear of Death – wikiHow-http://www.wikihow.com/Overcome-the-Fear-of-Death
2. Marcus Aurelius-http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/marcusaure148732.html
3. Mark Twain-http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/marktwain104444.html?src=t_death
4. William Shakespeare-http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/w/williamsha104447.html?src=t_death
5. Benjamin Franklin-http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/b/benjaminfr129949.html?src=t_death
6. Bertolt Brecht-http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/b/bertoltbre382589.html?src=t_death
7. Bronnie Ware – Regrets of the dying-http://bronnieware.com/regrets-of-the-dying
8. Erma Bombeck-http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/140315-worry-is-like-a-rocking-chair-it-gives-you-something

 

Did you like this post and want more posts in the future related with this topic? Click “Follow” or “Subscribe” via email to receive free updates on my future posts. Don’t forget to share this to your friends on social media. Feel free to express your ideas by using the “Leave Reply” option below.

View all other posts by tapping the menu below:

How to Blog? Step-by-step Guide

How to Blog? Step-by-step Guide

In my previous post How to Make a Website (opens in new tab), I discussed how you can make a website, the basics and the skills for successful web designing. In my other post , I described the differences between a blogger and a journalist. In this post, I will teach you the basics of making and maintaining a blog.

First, let us define what a blog is. According to one of my favorite online dictionaries, a blog is “a website on which one person or group puts new information regularly, often every day.” It is also called a “weblog”.

A Short History

keyboard-509465_1920

It began when internet users of the 90’s published their online-journals and diaries on the World Wide Web. One notable example of this is Justin Hall with his website http://www.links.net/vita/ in 1994. It is really amazing how his blog is still up and running up to this day. As you can see, the design of websites before has tremendously evolved and are still improving.

What Do I Need to Start a Blog?

Like what I have discussed in my previous tutorial in making a website, you need to have a web host for your blog or you may want to self host it. In my case, I’m currently using wordpress.com. WordPress is an excellent platform for blogging as the process and options are simple and easy to understand even for beginners.

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org

When you want to self host your blog, use the wordpress.org open source program. However, this option is better for advanced users. Your wordpress.org program might have been integrated in the cpanel of your web host or download the latest version of it from here (https://wordpress.org/) then install it on your web host.

The simpler way, though, is to host your blog for free on wordpress.com. There are important things to note, however, if you choose this option. One is that, you cannot use third-party advertising solutions like Google Adsense. In other words, there are certain limitations when it comes to monetizing your blog. But you can still have the option to make an upgrade in the future or move your blog into another web host and self host it without these limitations.

Let’s just assume that you only want to try it out because you’re new to blogging. In this case, we will use wordpress.com.

Blogging with WordPress.com

  1. Sign up for free. Open https://wordpress.com/start/survey
  2. Choose a category.
  3. Choose an over-all design.
  4. Choose from hundreds of themes available on the list. (Note: Some themes are not free)
  5. Choose a domain name. You can either transfer and map your own domain name or register a new one. If you opt for a free blog, just use the subdomain option. (e.g. yourblog.wordpress.com)
  6. Select a plan. As you can see on the page, there are other plans you can choose from. But let’s assume you would like to start with a free plan.
  7. Now, you need to enter basic information like your email address, your chosen wordpress username and password. Pretty much like signing up with Facebook.
  8. Confirm it by logging in to your email. That’s it. You already have a new blog site.

How to Make Your First Ever Blog Post?

  1. Log in >> here <<
  2. Enter your registered username and your password on wordpress.
  3. Once you’ve logged in, click “My Site” at the top left part of the page.
  4. On the left column of the page, you can see the link “Blog Posts”. Click the “Add” button next to it.
  5. You will then see the area wherein you can enter the title of your blog post, the option on the left to add featured image or theme, and the text area where you can type all the information you want to include on your blog post. Study the options and you won’t get lost anymore.
  6. (This is optional) You can make a new category for your post by clicking “Categories & Tags” on the left, then choose “ADD NEW CATEGORY” below it. If you don’t, your new post will be added to the “Uncategorized” category by default.
  7. After you’ve finished encoding and editing your post, click “Publish” on the right.
  8. Check out your post by opening the URL or your blog address (e.g. yourblog.wordpress.com)

Congratulations! You have made your first ever blog post!

Don’t forget to inform your friends about your blog. You may also follow other blogs in order to enhance your understanding in blogging.

 

Did you like this post and want more posts in the future related with this topic? Click “Follow” or “Subscribe” via email to receive free updates on my future posts. Don’t forget to share this to your friends on social media. Feel free to express your ideas by using the “Leave Reply” option below.

View all other posts by tapping the menu below: