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Explanations and instructions of all things Writing.Com.
#703794 added August 28, 2015 at 3:38am
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Get Started With Your Account
Getting Started Header
Welcome to Writing.Com,
the premier online writing community!

This area gives you tips for quickly getting started with your account on Writing.Com. Think of this as your jump start for getting your work and presence online. The more you learn about this vast, exciting website, the more fun you will ultimately have each time you log in. (For complete information, please look over "Writing.Com 101). Choose a topic below to get started.



Explore Your Portfolio:   TOP
Your Portfolio is your homebase or work area within the site. From this area, you may create new items, edit or delete existing ones, organize your work, set up your biography, view information regarding your membership, and much more. (For complete information, read: Overview of Your Portfolio.)

How Do I?:
*Bullet* Click Portfolio/Portfolio in the left column to open your main portfolio tab.
*Bullet* To explore your portfolio and become familiar with your personal tools, click on the various tabs at the top of your portfolio. Some tabs are linked in a drop-down menu at the right end. Within each tab, click the gear icons, the links at the upper left and the links elsewhere on the page.
*Bullet* In the left column, click Portfolio to open the submenu which contains links to additional areas and tools in your portfolio.

Set Up Your BioBlock and Biography:   TOP
Your BioBlock and Biography are the welcome mat that you lay out for the visitors to your portfolio. Welcome your readers with a brief introduction about yourself, your writing or what makes you tick. (For complete information, read: "Portfolio" Tab and Biography Tab.)

How Do I?:
*Bullet* Click Portfolio/Portfolio in the left column.
*Bullet* Click the gear icon at the upper right to open the Manage Portfolio Header area within your Portfolio tab.
*Bullet* Read the details and rules regarding your BioBlock. Clicking on the 13+ opens the explanation of the Content Rating System.
*Bullet* Fill in your information.
*Bullet* Click Submit Update.

*Bullet* Click Portfolio/Biography in the left column.
*Bullet* Click the gear icon at the upper right to open the Manage Biography Header area within your Biography tab.
*Bullet* Fill in the information you choose to share. Headings are not shown for blank text boxes or drop-menus without a selection.
*Bullet* Click Submit Biography.

Set Up Your Signature Block:   TOP
A Signature is text that automatically shows up in your emails, forum posts and Book/Blog entries. This is a convenient way to leave an impression on those members with whom you're conversing. (For complete information, read: My Account.)

How Do I?:
*Bullet* Click My Account/Account Settings in the left column.
*Bullet* Scroll down and click Manage Signature(s).
*Bullet* Read the details and rules regarding your Signature Block.
*Bullet* Fill in your information.
*Bullet* Click Update.

*Note* NOTE: To check for mistakes and preview what will show up in your signature, follow the directions at the bottom of the form.

Create Your First Item:   TOP
To add your writing to your portfolio, you need to create an Item. Item Types and Their Uses describes the 20+ different item types available; choose the best type for your particular writing purpose. On that page you can click the name of the item type to open a more detailed description which links to a tutorial on how to create/edit that type of item. Once you become familiar with the various item types on Writing.Com, you will no longer need to check the list of descriptions.

How Do I?:
*Bullet* Click "Create New Item" in the left column.
*Bullet* Choose the item type that best fits the writing you want to post. (Our most popular is the Static Item.)
*Bullet* The item creation pages are designed to be intuitive and streamlined. Help information is linked with greyed *Questionbl* icons. Grey text labels in the text boxes identify what to type where. Click in a text box to display its character counter. The grey label text disappears when you start to type. Drop-down menus display grey text labels or a default value when such exists. Open a drop-down menu that shows a default value to see the label on the top line. Choose an option and the menu option text turns black. Click the + labels to open more options. If you need more detailed directions and information, please see the help links at the top right of the create page, which include a tutorial for creating that item type.
*Bullet* When you are finished filling in the information, click one of the Save buttons at the bottom.
*Bullet* To view your item [if you did not choose Save and View], click on its link on the Save results page or click Portfolio/Portfolio. You will find your item listed in your Portfolio tab.

*Note* NOTE: The Create Item button under your Portfolio tab also opens the drop-down area showing the entire list of item-type create links.

Choose Your Account Preferences:   TOP
Setting your Account Preferences will make your stay here more enjoyable by customizing certain site features to your liking. (For complete information, read: My Account.)

How Do I?:
*Bullet* Click My Account/Account Settings in the left column to open your Settings tab in your Account page.
*Bullet* Under Account Settings, click on the various subsections.
*Bullet* Read the details about the available preference settings.
*Bullet* Choose your preferred setting for each.
*Bullet* To store your choices, click Submit Changes.

Say Hello & Introduce Yourself:   TOP
Don't be shy; step up and introduce yourself to the community. We know you might feel a bit nervous, but we're happy you've found your way here and can't wait to hear from you! Don't be bashful; there are many members to meet and friends to be made. (Read: New Members -- Our Newbies.)

How Do I?:
After you have filled out your BioBlock and Biography within your portfolio, you should step out into the community and mingle. The quickest way to introduce yourself to everyone is to post a hello in your Notebook tab within your portfolio. Anything you put your Notebook will show up on the Community Newsfeed, which is linked under Community at the left, and which is accessible to all site members. (Read: "Notebook Tab and "Newsfeed)

We also invite you to post a hello in various Message Forums around the site. Here are two great ones to get you started:
*Bullet* "Noticing Newbies
*Bullet* "Writing.Com General Discussion

Open Instant Message Console:   TOP
The Writing.Com IM System is a quick way to get in touch with other members who are online and a great way to view and/or participate in some of the site chatter. (For more info, read: Instant Message Console.)

How Do I?:
*Bullet* In the left column, click Messenger to open the IM Console in a pop-up window.
*Bullet* The top part lists members who are online and shows whether they are available for IM.
*Bullet* The bottom part is Scrolling Messages, a real-time way to chat with other members.

*Note* NOTE: Any member may view and follow along with the chatter in Scrolling Messages. In order to participate, though, you must have an Upgraded Membership (see: Free and Paid Membership Benefits).

Subscribe to Newsletters:   TOP
Writing.Com Newsletters are a great resource for members. These newsletters are sent out on a weekly basis via email and are also available in the Newsletter Archive. Our newsletters cover a variety of topics, including Romance, Horror, Short Stories, and Contests. (For more info, read: Writing.Com Newsletters.)

How Do I?:
*Bullet* Click Writing Resources/Newsletters in the left column.
*Bullet* Click Manage Newsletter Subscriptions.
*Bullet* Choose your favored topics.
*Bullet* Click Submit Changes.

*Note* NOTE: Official Writing.Com newsletters are delivered every Wednesday to your email inbox.

Change Your Handle:   TOP
Your Handle is the text that shows up next to your portfolio icon. Unlike your username, which cannot be easily changed, you may update your handle at will. (For complete information, read: My Account.)

How Do I?:
*Bullet* Click My Account/Account Settings in the left column.
*Bullet* Click on Personal Display Options.
*Bullet* Find and read the rules about changing your handle.
*Bullet* Fill in your new handle.
*Bullet* Click Submit Changes.

*Note* NOTE: Your new handle will be displayed at the top of the left column.
*Note* NOTE: You can also click My Account/Change Handle in the left column to open a text box in the submenu to change your handle.

Have Questions or Suggestions?   TOP
If you've read over the Getting Started entry and still can't find an answer to your question, there are various site forums where you can ask for help, and a FAQ.

How Do I?:

*Note* NOTE: Also, don't be afraid to ask other members if you have a question. You might find that you'll learn something new and make a new friend at the same time.

Writing   TOP

How To Create an Item: Start here to learn how to load your writing into your portfolio.

Rating/Reviewing Preferences: Understand the differences between the four available options and choose which is best for any particular item in your portfolio.

Item & Writing Tools  : Find out more about the useful tools that can assist you with your writing.

Item Statistics: Learn how to understand what the ratings tell you about your readers by viewing an item's Extended Statistics.

Overview of Your Portfolio: Get to know the details of your private and public online portfolio.

Folder: Use folders to organize your portfolio and arrange your items.

Group: Gather groups of members with a common interest and work together.

Image: Upload images into your portfolio and enhance your items and signature.

Content Rating System (CRS): Each item posted on Writing.Com must be properly content rated; familiarize yourself with our guidelines.

Writing.Com Copyright Policy: Get to know and understand our policies and procedures on copyright infringement.

Reading   TOP

Finding Items To Read : With so many items to read, where do you start?

Perusing Authors and Portfolios : Learn how to sort through all of the Authors at Writing.Com.

Writing.Com Newsletters : The archive stores thousands of previous newsletters which contain helpful information, thought-provoking opinions and creative inspiration.

Reviewing On Writing.Com : Authors want and need your feedback for those Items you read.

Reviewing   TOP

Reviewing On Writing.Com : Honest, helpful feedback is invaluable to the Authors of the community; learn more about the reviewing system here.

Guidelines To Great Reviewing : Writing a detailed review takes time. Follow these guidelines for best results.

"How Should I Rate Items on Writing.Com?: Learn to leave honest feedback for the authors of Writing.Com.

"Comment-In-A-Box: An example of the criteria for choosing a rating for an item.

"Please Review: For serious feedback on your Static Items, post them here.

"Review Requests: Learn how to choose a specific reviewer for your item.

AwardIcons : This is Writing.Com's Premier Recognition System; choose a ribbon or trophy to award to another member's item or portfolio.

How To Deal With Negative Comments : Read our advice on how to deal with an unconstructive and negative review.

Author Resources   TOP

"Site News & Announcements: Find out about new and improved features, updates and news.

"The Shameless "Plug" Page: Come and shamelessly plug your favorite item to the community.

"Writing Contests @ Writing.Com: Exercise your creativity and you might just win! Check for a variety of current running contests here.

"Writing.Com 101: A complete guide to Writing.Com.

Useful Editorials   TOP

Gaining Exposure For Your Items : Learn a few ways to direct the community's attention to your portfolio.

Tell a Friend (No Longer Available) : Help spread the word about Writing.Com and gain exposure for yourself.

Membership Information   TOP

Register For Your Free Account : Learn the difference between our Guests and Members.

Free and Paid Membership Benefits: Find out more about the various Membership options at Writing.Com.

Portfolio Icons: Learn about the various colors of the Writing.Com portfolios.

Merit Badges and Achievements: Recognize another member for effort and excellence with a Writing.Com Merit Badge.

"Writing.Com Images For Upgraded Members: Need a new look? Grab a new image to spice up your posts, items and emails.

General Information   TOP

About Writing.Com: Find out what this community is all about and how it can help you.

Gift Points: Advertise items, encourage members, or purchase products with our virtual tokens.

BidClick System: Sponsored Items, Links & Genres : Gain exposure for items and offsite links using our innovative advertising system.

Interaction in the Community   TOP

"Noticing Newbies: Come and introduce yourself to new and not-so-new members. We're waiting to meet you!

"Writing.Com General Discussion: Jump right in here and tell us about yourself. Maybe a mini-bio, your specialties, reading interests... let's hear it!

"Activities @ Writing.Com: This is the place to find and advertise activities within Writing.Com.

Helpful Links   TOP

Self-Publish Your Writing: If you've decided to take the next step in writing, check here first for information about all of your publishing needs.

Link to Writing.Com: Have a personal website where you'd like to put a link to Writing.Com? Text links, banner ads and html are provided for you here.

Visit Our Online Shop: Support Writing.Com through the purchase of a paid membership or branded product.

Writing.Com Privacy Policy: Writing.Com has a firm commitment to our members' privacy; read to learn more.

Writing.Com Member Agreement: These are the terms and conditions that each member agrees to upon signing up.

Close an Account: Visit this area to close your Writing.Com account.
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