Things to Know When Writing and Publishing a Blog

Things to Know When Writing and Publishing a Blog

Things to Know When Writing and Publishing a Blog

What I want to cover here on this article is how to write and publish a blog from SEO, grammar, image, and technical aspects on a WordPress website or blog. 

Writing blogs is a bit different than regular writing in the fact that most things are read on a small mobile device so smaller chunks are easier to read.

More on that below.

I install a theme on all my WordPress websites that are known as mobile-responsive which means that all pages and blogs will show up very well and readable on mobile devices like cell phones and iPads as well as larger devices. 

Your articles will go from a horizontal view that you would see on laptops and desktops and the switch to vertical view for smaller cell phones and iPads. 

The theme on the WordPress website should make the transition between the two very well automatically and seamlessly if it is mobile-responsive. If not, you will need another theme.

I use what is known as a premium theme that costs extra instead of a free one because they have worked out the issues with mobile-responsive but supplies you with great page builders and other extras that are worth the investment.

Things to Know When Writing and Publishing a Blog

Writing

I recommend typing out your blog on a Word document. It is very easy to just copy and paste right into a WordPress website. Other website platforms may work just as easy.

Make sure your grammar is the best it can be by having a second set of eyes look over what you have written. You want to put your best foot forward and do not want to turn off people with bad grammar. 

Something that I found that is very helpful is by reading out-loud what you have typed out. For some reason, it seems to help pick out mistakes in grammar and sentence structure. 

Use a FREE grammar assistant app called Grammerly. It works great and cleans up my mistakes and gives me many choices in the correction process. It’s fast and easy to use. 

 

From Google’s standpoint…

…blogs should be at least 300 words or more. More the better. Sometimes I write short articles around 300-500 words but many times I write them over 1,000 words. It always depends on the topic. To give you an idea, this blog post that you are reading right here is over 1,400 words.

To promote your business or organization, you may want to post something at least once a week at the beginning of the life of your website. This helps with the SEO of the site but also you gain traction on social media and start building a following.

Sometimes if I have written out an usually long blog of lets say, 3,000 words, I will make it a part 1 and a part 2 that will be published a week or two apart. I may write up and publish Part 1 and then need time to think and write up Part 2 a week or two later. It hard to keep the attention of your reader with super long blog post unless its a how-to article and you are trying to teach people how to do something.

You want to published regularly depending what type of business or organization you are. They say that publishing 2-4 times per week provides the highest results in both traffic and conversions. I do not blog that much because of all the other work I do and blogging can take time in research and writing out the articles but I do understand the importance of blogging and reaching new clients.

To read more information on blogging frequency go here to Content Marketing. or LeadG2.

 

Write in Smaller Chunks

Most of the time good prose should be written in longer paragraphs but not so with blog articles. Go ahead and write your article like you normally would do and then go back and break up the paragraphs into small one or two-sentence bites. 

They are then much easier to read on a mobile device and it gives you a chance to add header tags (H1, H2, H3) which are important for SEO. More on that below.

Things to Know When Writing and Publishing a Blog

What is SEO?

SEO (search engine optimization) how search engines help people find things. When people type in things on a search engine like Chrome, Firefox or Safari that are connected to Google, Bing or Yahoo it will understand what is being asked and then it knows where to find it.

Install a free tool or plugin on your WordPress websites called Yoast SEO that will allow you to add important information for search engines. 

Several things help the search engines find your blog are the focus key phrase, title tag and meta description that are inserted into Yoast and then you add different header tags into the blog itself. 

Yoast is pretty cool because it also keeps track of all these different parts to make sure everything is like it should be for search engines by using different color-coded symbols to let you know where you stand on each element and what needs to be fixed.

Focus Key Phrase 

This is the all-important key phrase. These words contain what your article is all about. You can have only one keyphrase, so you want to be creative here. This should also correspond to the title of the articles.

Title Tag or SEO Title

Your focus key phrase should go in the first part of the tag. Then you have the option of putting different elements after that. I usually put the website name and if there is enough room something else. Remember you should not use more than 68 caricatures, or the title will not display properly in the search. 

Directly below is how I made this SEO title for this blog. 

Things to Know When Publishing a Blog | WordPress | SEO

Slug 

This is the key phrase that will go into the URL. Make these lower case with a hyphen between each word. Yoast will take care of this for you when you tell it what the key phrase is. 

things-to-know-when-publishing-a-blog

And then what it looks like in the URL

https://bestwebsitesolutions/things-to-know-when-publishing-a-blog

Meta Description

This is the area that you can put a short excerpt about what your blog is all about. You will want to put the title at the front and then more info to make people want to read what you have written. You can consider this your advertising for the blog. Remember you can not use more than 140 caricatures, or the description will not display properly in the search.

Directly below is how I made a Meta Description for this blog. 

“Things to Know When Writing and Publishing a Blog” using WordPress. Covering All aspects. Article size, words, photography, SEO, Google Console, eMail and publishing.

 

All together it should look like this from the Yoast plugin tool:

Things to Know When Writing and Publishing a Blog

Things to Know When Writing and Publishing a Blog

 

Photography

Photos are a big deal on a blog. It helps to break up the article and keep people focused.

You need one for the featured image. 

This image will display at the top of your blog and then it will follow your blog wherever you decide to post it on your social media posts, and it will also show up when you automatically send out emails. 

I make this image a little larger than I do the other images that will go in the blog itself because it has to fit across the top of the blog and you want it to come out nice and sharp. I make these 9×5 at 96 dpi

  

Rule of Thumb… 

…on how many photos to use on a blog depends on how many words are in the blog itself. I try to use one image for every 400 words. 

400-word blog I will use just the featured image. Thats the image that goes across the top and install that on the outside of the blog itself on the right hand side.

800-word blog. I will count the featured image along with one extra image to go inside the blog post itself. 

1,200-word blog. I will count the featured image along with two extra images.

I make these photos that will go inside the blog: 7×5″ at 72 dpi. You never want your images to be too large in size and dpi any larger than 72 dpi unless it’s your featured image because large images will slow down your website.

The featured image I make 9×5″ at 96 dpi.

I also have used a free plugin that shrinks down images even further that helps your website pages and blogs open faster called Smush.

You can also find the Yoast and Smush plugins in the plugin section of your WordPress website.

I wrote a blog you may want to read on How to Optimize Images for Faster Website Speed.

 

In Conclusion

This is more or less a compressive list of things to do to make your blog stand out and to be found on search engines. You may find there are other helpful things along the way that will make your blog work more efficiently to add to this list.

Another blog I wrote that may be helpful 8 Benefits Blogging From Your Business Website 

The internet and websites are always evolving and new practices are added all the time. Google is certainly changing how it looks with up-dates to its algorithms and how it crawls websites and blogs for relevant information. 

Keep your eyes open fellow blogger! 

 

Things to Know When Writing and Publishing a Blog

How to Design Website Landing Page in WordPress and Why

How to Design Website Landing Page in WordPress and Why

How to Design Website Landing Pages in WordPress and Why

When it comes to “landing pages” people either do not know what that means or have some vague understanding of what that term landing page means when it comes to websites.

Most people think that by just having a website itself is all that is needed to reach the world with their store front and communicate what they do or offer to the world.

Yes, a website is essential to show off and communicate what you have to offer but you can do so much more with this tool called a website. This landing page tool is basically built in to the website you already have.

If your website has been designed on a WordPress platform it is very easy to make one or a whole series of landing pages to help your business grow in ways only you can think of. The use for landing pages is almost endless but I will give you a few reasons to spark your imagination to get your creative juices rolling.

What is a website landing page?

This page is designed off your website to be a stand-alone website page independent of the parent website itself. It is not a page that will be connected to the menu in the main parent website itself. It will have all the same characteristics of the main website when it comes to color, fonts and image usage so you will want to make it consistent to the parent website, so you do not confuse potential clients or people.

What are landing pages used for? More Internet Reach of course!

It’s a way for taking your website places it could not go to before. When you put a focus key phrase on a particular website page your internet reach for your website becomes very narrow. Landing pages opens up the internet for more creative use by you and your website.

Landing pages are basically a CTA (Call To Action). Just like you may have inside your website with a CTA button taking someone to a specific location a landing page does the same thing only in a larger sense.

 

Here are Just A Few Landing Page Uses

  • Focus CTA for advertising on other advertising platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or even Yelp. This CTA will help focus what you are promoting.
  • Selling individual products or product lines. Again, this a CTA but for a narrower range.
  • Special offer. Something that you are promoting that has a start and end date.
  • Email address collection.
  • Reaching more locations such as states and cities.
  • Types of products that are offered.

Once you get the idea or concept of landing pages the whole world will open up on how to promote yourself or business.

One Word Of Caution

Search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo do not like duplicate content on website pages unless that page points back to a parent page.

You do this in one of two ways.

The first way is by using a Website Canonical (referring to) from a landing page to the parent page. When it comes to WordPress, I use a plugin called Yoast to do this. Yoast is one of the best WordPress plugins that you can use, and its SEO usage is the only one I have come to rely on all my websites I designs.

The FREE version of this plugin is all I use on many of my websites but I sometime purchase the more advanced version for $89 a year when I have websites that need more of a SEO punch. That version lets me set up 5 Focus Key Phrases instead of just one.

** Remember you can only use one focus key phrase on a website and that phrase should also show up in the URL for that page. Yoast will let you know if you have used that focus key phrase in another location on the whole website. The reason you should only use a focus key phrase on a website is because it confuses search engines and they do not know where to point so they end up not ranking that page at all. We want to make life easy for search engines. 

Not only is Yoast an amazing tool when setting up SEO for a particular page but it has many other features that are very useful. One is the placement of a canonical for a landing page that will point back to the parent page and all its content.

Below are two photographs on how that is done inside of the Yoast plugin.

How to Design Website Landing Pages in WordPress and Why
How to Design Website Landing Pages in WordPress and Why

The second way of having a page point back to the parent page is by…

…design a Landing Page that feeds off the Parent Page.

WordPress makes this easy to do.

You do this by setting up a main parent page first and then make landing pages that point to that particular parent page.

Once your parent page has been published with all its content and SEO, it will then show up in the Page Attributes on the far right of the tool bar. If these landing pages are being made to show up on search engines for different states or cities, then you want to make your Focus Key Phrase more basic like I did here for this wedding photographer.

The parent page SEO was just Wedding Photography. It will show up in the URL as  /wedding-photography/

The Page attribute is (no parent). That is because it is the parent page.

How to Design Website Landing Pages in WordPress and Why
Design Website Landing Pages WordPress

I then went and made a page to be used as a landing page for the city of Phoenix. I use a theme that lets me save whole pages as a template, so I take the parent page I designed and load it up on this landing page.  The focus key phrase would then be Phoenix Wedding Photographer.

  ** Do not publish this page…

…until you have the following steps done or your URL will be wrong.

Put Phoenix Wedding Photographer in the SEO title, meta description and focus key phrase but in the SLUG you will just put the word phoenix in lower case letters. Go over to the right-hand side where the Page Attributes are located and click the down arrow to Wedding Photographer.

Photo of designing SEO with the Yeast tool
Email Lists Are Important

This is how the landing page will know what it will connect to. I then go into the content of the page and where ever you originally had just wedding photography you want it to say Phoenix Wedding Photography including the title. Your title should be the H1 tag.

Remember a page can only have one H1 tag but you can have many H2, H3, H4 or H5 tags as you want to break up the text as in sub-titles. More than one H1 tag also confuses the search engines.

When all that is done you can then publish your landing page.

It will show up in the URL as: /wedding-photography/phoenix/

I will then take this landing page technique and change the city over and over until I have as many cities that I want his website to show up on Google and Bing searches. You can also use it to promote different products or promotions. 

Do not forget to send a sitemap to Google Console and Bing Webmaster Tools so those two search engines will index and crawl your website with the new changes right away instead of when they get around to which in many cases takes weeks.

The website that I used for this demonstration was for a photographer by the name of Jason Tarr of Beyond The Shutter Photography. You can see his whole landing page link right here and look at the landing page itself.

https://bts.photography/wedding-photographer/phoenix/  

Go here if you would like to watch a how-to YouTube video on How to Design Website Landing Pages in WordPress and Why directly below. 

How to Design Website Landing Pages in WordPress and Why 

Design Website Landing Pages WordPress

Landing Pages WordPress

Making Landing Pages WordPress

How Landing Pages Help Websites 

Landing Pages Market Business

Sometimes Text Needs Help Standing Out on A Busy Background

Sometimes Text Needs Help Standing Out on A Busy Background

Sometimes Text Needs Help Standing Out on A Busy Background

I used to work for a ad agency designing ads. One day they asked me if I would design graphics to post on social media.

They were a Christian organization as am I, so they wanted their social media posts to reflect that sentiment.

They gave me full creative license to use Bible scriptures, quotes from different scholars or even great people from the past like Winston Churchill or Mark Twain.

Sometimes Text Needs Help Standing Out on A Busy Background

I would use some of my own photography of wildlife, landscape and some of my family.

Many times, I would use a photo stock agency if I found a great saying and wanted just the right image for it.

The image of the boy and man is my son teaching my grandson how to cut wood.

Sometimes Text Needs Help Standing Out on A Busy Background
Sometimes Text Needs Help Standing Out on A Busy Background

Putting together text with a great image makes a very powerful message and tells that story in a hurry.

One of the problems I encountered as I began to match text with a photograph was the busyness in the image would keep the text from showing up clearly. It made it hard to read.

I tried several ideas until something dawned on me. The technique was simple.

Sometimes Text Needs Help Standing Out on A Busy Background
Sometimes Text Needs Help Standing Out on A Busy Background

It would require using layers in Adobe Illustrator.

You can also use this process in Photoshop, InDesign and just about any other software that has a text tool but I have found Illustrator is the best and fastest for designing ads.

It is an easy program to wrap your head around and very intuitive.

Sometimes Text Needs Help Standing Out on A Busy Background
Sometimes Text Needs Help Standing Out on A Busy Background

Like I said, you need to do this in layers.

The video below will explain a step by step of how to do this very cool technique.

 

Sometimes Text Needs Help Standing Out on A Busy Background

Step by step to Making Text Stand Out … J.T’s recipe

  1. In Illustrator, create palette/workspace
  2. Position image onto workspace (changing opacity helps in seeing workspace under image)
  3. Select Text Tool.  Create a text space, off from the image workspace.  (I’m calling this the text ‘fill,’ or ‘fill layer.’)
  4. Import and arrange text.  Choose font and sizes.  Position onto image for best appearance.
  5. (Now here comes THE Technique! ) …
  6. COPY the arranged text, and slide down that text box off the image workspace, thus creating another layer. On a Mac you can press the option button while dragging and will make a new copy. 
  7. Change the color of this layer to the envisioned border color that works well w/ the rest of the image.  (I’m calling this the text ‘border,’ or ‘border layer.’)
  8. Go to Layers Dialog – should see at least 3 layers: base image, 1st layer (fill), 2nd text layer (border); which would of course be the most recent.  Reverse the text layers, so border is now layer 2, and fill is layer 3. (Remember, Ps and Ai build from bottom-up, and border layer has to be underneath the text fill layer. Reversing the layers is how to accomplish this)
  9. Enlarge the font size of layer 2, the border layer. Using the stroke toolbar, increase the stroke size of layer 2.
  10. When satisfied with text and border appearance, combine the two text layers by scrolling a new bounding box around them both, go to the OBJECT drop-down, and select ‘Group.’
  11. SAVE as an .Ai file in the GFX folder of my choice,
  12. Then EXPORT AS  (be sure to choose art boards box) … type of end-use format I need. If it is to be made as a JPG make sure you select RGB and not CYMK. RGB is for internet usage where CMYK is for printing. If you try and put a CMYK on the internet be it for social media or a website, the colors will come out crazy. I make a high resolution (240dpi) first just in case I want to print it out and then make a second copy at 72dpi for the internet.

 

Sometimes Text Needs Help Standing Out on A Busy Background

How To Turn Color Photographs Into Beautiful Black And White Images

How To Turn Color Photographs Into Beautiful Black And White Images

How To Turn Color Photographs Into Beautiful Black And White Images

I learned photography by taking nothing but black and white images.

My junior year of high school back in Waukegan, Illinois in 1969, I enrolled in a photography course.

It changed my life.

I have never been the same since.

How To Turn Color Photographs Into Beautiful Black and White Images

Four of my Grandchildren.

I learned to shoot, develop film and print in B&W. I learned to navigate a darkroom from top to bottom.

I picked up some amazing techniques.

Getting so close the process helped me to understand the language of photography inside out.

Sometime later, I graduated to shooting color. I shot a lot of transparency images on slide film for myself and  I shot color negative film for wedding and portraits.

But, my heart always longed for B&W.

 

How To Turn Color Photographs Into Beautiful Black and White Images
How To Turn Color Photographs Into Beautiful Black and White Images

I remember a professional photographer once asked me if I knew how you could tell a good image from a great image?

He said, if you striped all the color out it would then give you an idea what was essential. Color tends to hide the emotion and the sheer story telling ability of a image. The elements are left on their own to speak for themselves

B&W has a way of explaining things in stark terms with nothing to hide behind.

I have always viewed things from my view finder on my camera in Black and White terms. That was how I started in school and have continued to process things in my mind’s eye for the rest of my life.

 

How To Turn Color Photographs Into Beautiful Black and White Images
How To Turn Color Photographs Into Beautiful Black and White Images

I love sepia tone images as well as B&W. 

Going digital has been amazing. I have brought some of those old black and white techniques into a new platform.

It’s not simply striping the color out when you desaturate an image but something far more creative from the days of film.

How can I make certain elements “POP” within that black and white digital image?

Photoshop. Thats how!

 

How To Turn Color Photographs Into Beautiful Black and White Images

Photoshop control and tool panel.

If you would like to see a short step-by-step process and the Photoshop tools that I use to bring back the old film days, go to my how-to video below.

 

How To Turn Color Photographs Into Beautiful Black and White Images

 

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