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What's the best way to allow outsiders to post to my blog?

  1. I'm brand new to blogging and even more so to WordPress. What is the best way to set up my account to allow outsiders to post articles to my blog? I run an eCommerce website selling books and would like to allow customers, who choose to do so and pass our yet-to-be-determined screening process, write book reviews at their leisure on my blog (which is separate from the eCommerce site). With their permission I'd also like to add their mug shot, and/or their name as credit for the articles. I'd also like to allow other visitors to add comment on the books being reviewed by the reviewing author.

    I assume all of this functionality is available through my account options, correct? Is there anything I should watch for (e.g. will they have complete and total access to my account or do I need to be sure and set them up a certain way to only have access to posting? Will I be able to review their post(s) prior to them going live?

    Sorry for all the newbie questions. I just want to be sure I don't do something stupid :)

    Thanks in advance!
    Dzyner

  2. Is your blog hosted here at wordpress.com? If it is please provide a link to your wordpress.com blog. If you are self-hosted and using the software downloaded from wordpress.org, then you will need to inquire over at http://wordpress.org/support/ . WordPress.com use a multi-user version of the software and few, if any, of the volunteers here are familiar with the wordpress.org software.

    7 Things to Know Before Posting in WordPress.com Forums
    WordPress.com or WordPress.org? The difference."

  3. Yes, hosted with WordPress using my URL... http://audiobookupdate.com/. I wasn't aware there was a software app to download. Everything I've been doing thus far has been through wordpress.com, not .org.

    Do I need to download software for what I'm trying to do? Looks like everything I need in via the online interface, am I wrong?

  4. You should be able to do it here. What you'd do is get your review customers to create a WordPress username and then add them as a contributor to your blog; being contributors allows them to write posts but not have access to any other part of the blog, and you can approve/modify the review before its published. When they create a username they can automatically upload an avatar image of themselves too, which would be visible on comments (but not on their posts).
    http://faq.wordpress.com/2006/05/17/how-do-i-add-more-authors-users-to-my-blog/
    http://faq.wordpress.com/2006/05/12/what-are-the-different-roles/

    As for comments, you can set it so anyone can make a comment. You just go to Dashboard > Options and make sure that users must be registered and logged in to comment is not checked. That way anyone can make a comment without having to sign up. Also it'd be an idea to moderate at least the first comment someone makes to protect from spam; you can do that in Dashboard > Options > Discussion.

    What you'll want to remember, though, is that WordPress.com blogs are noncommercial; you won't want to be advertising on it. If basically you just want it to be a review site and a non-commercial extension of your website, I think that'd be okay (though you might want to check with staff first). Otherwise you'd want to use the WordPress.org software instead which doesn't have the same limitations. Hope that helps.
    http://faq.wordpress.com/2005/12/08/adsense/

  5. cjwriter, thanks for the info. Thinking ahead, I don't want to limit myself should I choose to advertise my own site, or other misc advertising on my blog down the road, so what are my options? Is WordPress.org software simple to install (that you know of)? Is it free? Will it still allow me to do the things I'm looking to do, AND advertise if I choose to do so?

    Alternatively, are there any other Blogging options out there that meet my needs and have fewer restrictions?

    Thanks again for your help!

  6. Please read these references:
    wordpress.com and wordpress.org - the differences http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic.php?id=3700
    http://faq.wordpress.com/2006/05/07/wordpresscom-vs-wordpressorg/

    You can advertise on a free blog templated downloaded fro wordpress.org which is entirely different and separated from wordpress.org. The software is free. There is free help http://install4free.wordpress.net/ butou do need to know how to install the theme, plugins, updates and to maintain the site yourself.

  7. @dzyner
    The option for marking this thread "resolved" is found in your original post.
    HTH and happy blogging :)

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