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June, 2010

Blogging for beginners

A guest post from Sarah Arrow

Dear Fiona and Sue

Congratulations on your first blog, I can’t wait to read your posts. I know Mums in Media will have a tremendous positive impact in the blogging and PR world. I am thrilled to have played a small part in it.

I know it can be tough to work things out when creating your blog posts so this is one huge mega post for your to refer back to whilst you are learning.

The first thing you need to know is how to add a post in WordPress

Login into your dashboard. To do this add /wp-admin to yout URL name and the login screen appears. Add your username and password and then hit enter. This brings you to your dashboard.

Find the posts box on the left hand side:

Add a post to WordPress

 

Click add new

Now you will see a new post appear for you to add your content too 🙂

Titles

As Journalists you know the power of the headline. Your headlines on a blog serve a dual purpose

  • To get clicks via social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter
  • To show Google and other Search Engines what your post is about

 

 

 

The highlighted section is your permalink, this is what your URL will look like to the outside world.

Remember in the Genesis SEO settings under the content box you can add a more search friendly title for your blog.

Genesis SEO settings

Remember to add a description that is welcoming for the search engines and your keywords.

Now we move into the content box, that’s the area that you add your words too.

Copying  your blog posts from Word into WordPress

Some people like to write their blog posts in Word or Open Office first, then cut and paste it into WordPress.

When you do this, Word often adds a gunk of code to the post and things like apostrophes look like text instead of symbols. If you schedule your posts this can be a problem as you may not be around to correct the look of your blog post.

Luckily WordPress has options for dealing with this.

Option one.

Instead on cutting and pasting into the visual editor, use the html editor. Works perfectly if it is just plain text.

At the top right of the content box you will see two tabs. The one that is darker in colour is the editor you are using and just by clicking the other tab you can change.

Editor tabs WP

 

If you have added your links to your document, then option two is what you need to use, as it keeps the links intact in your article.

Option two.

On the dashboard of the content box you will find an icon with multi coloured squares inside it. This is the kitchen sink button. It’s usually the icon furthest to the right.

Kitchen Sink button

 

 

If you press this loads more icons appear in the row underneath.
In this row you will find more tools for your text, formatting tools, embeddable media tools and a little icon of a clipboard with a ‘W’ on it.

Adding Word to WordPress

 

This button allows you to insert all Word or Open Office document into your new blog post.

When you press the icon a mini window or box opens up, you simply copy and paste the document. Press insert and you are done.

Using the WordPress editing tools means you no longer have to manually correct the text or worry about how your punctuation looks 🙂

If you find when you are adding blog posts you are having problems with formatting the look of the post, using the above options sorts out 99% of the problems.

Adding an image to your WordPress blog post

Think back to your newspaper, a picture captures a thousand words and some of your readers will be more visual readers. Adding an image to the blog post makes it more appealing. I like to add one to at least each post. In a how to post like this one there can be lots of little images to help remind you of what to do. You may like to try a post that is only images.

1. Find the image you want to add to your blog post

Search Flickr for creative commons images, sites like SXC.hu and of course your own images. When you are searching for your images check what attribution / you need to give the photographer. They may want a name check, they may want a link back to their site. Make sure your treat your image supplier honourably and attribute their work. You can do this in the caption box or at the end of a blog post. The  location for recognition is down to you. Most people write “Image courtesy of xxxx” at the end of their post.

2. Save the image to your desktop.

3. Then click the image icon to add an image

Upload an image to wordpress

 

It’s the box I have highlighted in yellow 🙂

A new window will appear

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click the choose file button and upload the image from your desktop. Remember to deleted the image after you have uploaded it so your desktop isn’t cluttered with hundreds of images 🙂

When the image is uploaded it will appear in your media library and you will have a new window to complete.

The sections highlighted in yellow are to remind you what to complete.

second image screen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The red arrow marked V.I is VERY Important. This pulls the image to the front of your blog where the images entice the reader to click through. If you don’t click this link then your front page will look bare 🙁

Remember to add the alternative text so those that are blind or partially sited can get the full benefit of your site. Their reading equipment will speak the words to them and it should describe the image.

Chose your alignments and image size and then click insert into post. And then you are done.

The final thing you need to learn is how to schedule a post in WordPress.

This is important as you cannot hover over the publish button for hours waiting for the right time to hit publish.
It shocks some people to find that I don’t constantly sit at the laptop writing blog posts, non stop all day long…. I write them in advance, sometimes weeks, sometimes days. I then schedule them and check back when I remember to make sure they have posted 🙂

Why would people want to schedule their blog posts?

A fast moving magazine blog like, Birds on the Blog posts 3 times a day Monday to Friday, I cannot be hovering over the publish button at 10am, 2pm and 7pm everyday! Where would my life be?

What if your target market is asleep when you normally post due to a time difference?

Scheduling your blogs can take a lot of pressure off of you to blog every day, you can have one creative/writing day like I do and then schedule ’em. It’s called blogging and having a life!

How do you schedule your blog posts?

On the right on your WordPress back office, when you are in the ‘add new post’ section you will see

post scheduling one

 

Click on Edit link which is next to Visibility: Public


Select the date and time you would like your blog post to go live at

blog post scheduling part two


Then click the ok button.

Be careful here, a double click will send your post to the trash!

Double check that you have done all the things you need to do, add tags, images and that your links work 🙂

Then hit the Schedule button.

You can schedule months in advance, days or just hours. It means you have a blogging presence even when you are on holiday 🙂

Happy blogging, I look forward to sharing your thoughts with the world.

Sarah

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