Blogging 110: Private Blogs

This course could have been called Blogging for Cowards. It’s a way of test-driving WordPress without letting anyone else see what you’re doing. But there actually are some legitimate reasons why you might want to consider a private blog to accomplish your goals.

First, I will show you how to create a private blog. It’s really simple.

Start a WordPress.com blog. If you already have a WordPress.com blog, it’s easy to register another one.

Then go to your dashboard and click the Settings link,

Then choose the Privacy Tab,

and select the “I would like my blog to be visible only to users I choose” option.

It’s that simple.

So why would you use this option?

In addition to being a risk-free way for you to experiment with blogging and learn how to do it without anyone else seeing, it could also be a way to have the equivalent of an intranet blog for your organization, but without needing IT support to install blogging software on your servers. You just need to have everyone who wants to have access to the blog sign up for a wordpress.com account. They don’t need to have their own blogs; they can simply get an account.

Then, on your blog’s administrative dashboard, click the “Users” link (which is right next to the “Settings” link) and scroll to the bottom, where you can “Add User from the Community”

Just enter their e-mail addresses and choose what level of access you want to give them (Contributor, Author, Editor or Administrator) and they will be able to participate in your blog. But no one else can.

I’ve used this method as a way to introduce colleagues to blogging so they could get hands-on experience. It takes away the mystery and fear of the unknown.

But particularly if you work for a small organization, it could be a way to in essence create the equivalent of an intranet if you don’t already have one…and without any IT expense.

So you can use this approach either to take away your own trepidation (by creating a private blog that only you can see) or to allay the fears of others in your organization or workgroup who don’t want to be blogging out there on the internet for all to see. And you can have up to 35 users (I believe) for your private blog on wordpress.com without paying for an upgrade. The upgrade to allow unlimited private users is $30 a year.

If such fears have been keeping you from experimenting with blogging, start a private wordpress.com blog today. And if you later overcome your blogophobia and want to make your blog public, it’s as simple as going back to the dashboard and changing the privacy settings.

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Author: Lee Aase

Married father of six and grandfather of seven, and the Chancellor of SMUG - Social Media University, Global. By day I'm the Director of the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network. Whatever I say here is my personal opinion, and doesn't reflect the positions of my employer.

8 thoughts on “Blogging 110: Private Blogs”

  1. Lee,
    Thanks for the info. It comes at the perfect time because I’m in the process right now of setting up a blog with WordPress. Question: When I go to “blog visibility,” I don’t see the last line shown in your screen shot (“I would like my blog to be visible only to users I choose”). Thoughts? I see the first two lines but not the last one.

    Tom

  2. Dan – if you want to do a post on Blogger pros and cons, you’re welcome to outline why you think SMUGgles should use it. If you want to, you can even do it on your Blogger blog, and we’ll link to it here.

    Tom – are you using WordPress on a hosted platform, or are you using WordPress.com?

  3. Thanks, Tom. Not sure why that would be that way. Probably because on a hosted platform you decide the location of the hosting server, and whether it’s behind a firewall or open to the world.

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