Tag Archives: Content

The Complete Guide to WordPress Editing: Part 2

Whether you’re completely new or have been blogging for a while now, you’re probably still not using everything available to you as a blogger on WordPress. It took me a few years of blogging and developing plugins before I really started getting it. I’m going to save you time and write up what I’ve learned here.

This complete series on writing and editing posts with WordPress will cover…

  1. Customizing Your Interface & Getting to Know Permalinks
  2. Mastering Text Formatting For Your Posts
  3. Leveraging Post Scheduling & Post States
  4. How to Make Private and Password Protected Posts
  5. How to Enable and Disable Comments & Understanding Trackbacks
  6. Finding and Using Theme-Specific Options

Today you’re going to learn about how to master basic text formatting for your posts (as well as some best practices). Today we’ll handle the options you should know about, but may have felt too stupid to ask.

How bold of you to lean my direction…

Making effective use of bold and italics is important. Since you know what Bold and Italics are, I’ll give you a couple of guidelines for when to use them:

  • Bold: Call out an important phrase, and create visual difference for better skimming.
  • Italics: Use for emphasis — particularly when you’re comparing two things to each other.

Allow me to list your options…

People love and share lists.

Make sure you learn to use actually formatted lists. This makes it easier for users to:

  • Scan your content.
  • Digest your content.
  • Share your content.

By using consistent formatting, your readers will be able to quickly glean the information they want while they scan, and quickly determine whether it’s worth sharing with their friends.

There are two types of lists, both available in your text editor: Ordered and Unordered.

Ordered, as you may suspect, is a numbered list.

Unordered will show bullet points.

Use appropriately.

Write that down, that was brilliant…

Ever wanted to quote a website or person in your blog post?

There’s a nifty feature called the Blockquote in your editor. It’s right next to the list icons.

This is an example of a blockquote.

Each theme will handle the blockquote a bit differently. If you’re using a free or cheap theme, you may discover that your blockquote doesn’t look any different at all — but if your theme is quality, it should stand out from the rest of your text.

I can’t justify your right alignment…

The same way you were probably already familiar with bold and italics, you’re probably already familiar with text alignments.

For long blocks of text, it is best practice to leave the formatting to the default left-aligned (like this post is written in).

 However, sometimes things call for centered text.

In extreme cases, you may even find yourself in need of right-aligned text.

Please be cautious about going overboard with special alignments, as if you vary things too much, your readers will stop trying at all.

Can you link these words for me?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked to add a link to a WordPress post because it felt too overwhelming.

No more! I am now going to send all my friends to this post.

Write out your anchor text.

What’s that? Anchor text is comprised of the words that are hyperlinked to another web page.

Once you are satisfied with the text you want to be linked, you can select them with your cursor and click the link icon. Once you’ve filled out the link you want, and click “OK” and you’ll have linked text.

Express Blogging – What Is Your Time Best Spent On?

Often during busy times I find it difficult to set aside time to work on my blog. For example the last four days I have been away on a road trip around England. Even when I am not on holiday, there are times when I just can’t make it to the computer. This got me thinking on what time is best spent on if you only have a little each day. 

If you only had 1/2 an hour a day to blog what would you time be best spent on? The two key aspects are:

One – Writing Content

If you are limited to only half and hour a day, you are not going to be able to write seriously good, well researched  articles each day, half an hour just isn’t long enough. So you are going to have to start using drafts. I think drafts are a great idea even if you have a lot of time anyway, but they are very useful to record you thoughts and progress if time is limited. When you are using a lot of drafts, The Clean Cut Blog suggests to Beware of  not to letting your articles go cold in the draft.

Two – Reading articles on other blogs with-in your niche + posting comments

It is important to read other articles and post comments for many reasons. Firstly, it is like research for your own work and this is important. Secondly, building relationships with other blogger’s by commenting on their blog may bring your blog to their attention, and you may also get the odd link through from your name signature in their comments. There are thousands of great blogs out there, and you want to know what they are blogging about and what topics are working well for them.

Ok, so what mix of the two?

I think most people would jump in and say writing content for your own blog is most important, and although I think that is true, when it comes to the ratio of time to spend on each, plenty of blogger’s would suggest you spend more time reading. This article by Chris Marshall: Read more – Write less – The Key to Blogging Growth goes into this subject in more detail. He uses the term BMI (Blogger Mass Index) similar to a weight index, and uses the analogy to suggest that you should be reading more.

Final make up – 12 / 12 / 6

Here’s what I think is a good final make up.You would be best to spend about 12 minutes working on content, not necessarily a single article, have a few drafts in progress. 12 minutes reading other articles from other blogs in your niche, making sure to leave comments if you have something interesting to say. And 6 minutes sorting out random bits. Perhaps moderating comments, fixing something, writing an email, checking statistics to see where your traffic is coming from.

A tool to save you time

If your blogging time is limited you are going to need to use some tools to help save you time. One that I would suggest is Google Feed Reader. You can easily subscribe to thousands of blog feeds, and use folders and tags to track blog articles. This will save you from visiting the actual blog site to read articles.

Final thoughts

If you really only had half an hour a day to blog, you may not be able to have an amazingly great blog as good things take time. However, ensuring you keep up with good practices like the ideas mentioned above, should at least keep your blog ticking over. Then when you do have a bit of extra time you may be able to really get things going. Good luck with your articles.

www.pingable.org

Getting more search engine traffic to your blog

As a fairly new blog giving advice on SEO and building traffic for blogs I want to get something straight. I often read posts that suggest that if you spend countless hours implementing tons of SEO WordPress plugins your blog will become very popular. I strongly disagree with this.  Yes SEO is important. But Where the true advantage comes is be creating good unique content. I know you have read this before, but I am going to waste 5 seconds of your life by making you read this again….but from my experience “Content is King”. What this means is that writing good content that people want to read is the key to getting a good page rank and lots of traffic.

Some other areas to consider working on with your blog:

Tags

Tagging plugins like Ultimate Tag Warrior for WordPress can have an effect on the SEO of your blog. Adding tags to your blogs is a free opportunity to list key words to be indexed with your post. The feature of UTW that adds the tags to the meta tag in the HTML of your page is also a very nice feature and worth enabling.

Permalink Structure

A permalink is the file name that is generated by your blogging software, that all links to your article will point to. It is important, particularly in WordPress to alter the default structure of your permalinks. By default pages are given an id number as a name which is poor for SEO as it doesn’t say anything about the content of the post. If you change the permalink structure to display the title of the post like on this blog, you will have much better results. It is important to do this early on as you can’t change the structure of your permalinks with-out losing all the links to the original format.

Keyword Strategy

As difficult as it may sound, it is important to think about key words when writing articles. The more times a word appears in a article the more that word will effect the search results you get. Try an use important words as much as possible with out messing up the flow of your writing. Also consider key thrases and wordings. For example if you are writing an article that relates to an album, ensure that you use the exact wording of the title.  

Linking Strategy

Gaining links from other sites, particularly popular sites, and sites about similar topics really helps. Build a relationship with other blogger’s in your field. You want to get as many trackback links to your articles, and try and get on blogrolls. Also comment on blogs in your field, giving links to your site, or even better articles. This is particularly good if you are posting on blogs like this that disable no-follow on comments.

Article Titles

It is important to have a title that both strongly relates to your topic and also encourages people to click on it. Ask a question, make a statement, be controversial, be suggestive or write a leader. Using your key words is also a good idea. But try not to make it too long, long titles can be unfriendly in certain formats, templates, rss feeds etc.

Point: Not all SEO relates to flashy plug-ins and expert advice. A bit of common sense will get you a long way.

www.pingable.org