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

9 Tips for Creative Brochure Designs

9 Tips for Creative Brochure Designs

9 Tips for Creative Brochure Designs

Brochure are one of my more favorite things to design. Why? Because the creative possibilities are endless. As a graphic designer they are one of the things I look forward to designing. Do not take me wrong, I love designing websites and newsletters, but these little gems stretch my creative abilities to the max.

To start with, what is a brochure?  Wikipedia says this about Brochures.

First and foremost, it is a marketing piece. Something to be handed out to prospective clients that has a lot of information and photographs about your business. Something well designed that will put your companies best foot forward and give a would-be client something to remember and to hold onto. It’s an introduction of the best kind.

Brochures can be a single page (tri-fold, gate-fold or bi-fold) or multi paged (perfect bound, saddle stitched) or have different names such as – pamphlet, booklet or leaflet that can be used for a catalog, menu or for sales. The most common brochure style is a trifold or six panel which is actually a single 8.5 x 11” sheet folded into thirds. This design is just the begining of the variations that this amazing pamphlet can become.

Creative Ideas on Brochure Designs
Creative Ideas on Brochure Designs

People will interact with this compact but effective tool that is jammed packed with information. They will turn it over, unfold the panels, flip the pages. It gives you a chance to design this user experience and how they will perceive you and your business from the start.

9 Tips for Creative Brochure Designs

 

1.) Be Clear of The Purpose of Your Brochure and Message

What is your message? Focus on what that message is and how your text and photographs relate to one another to make your message clear. Make sure your fonts, colors, copy, layout and images all work together and enhance one another. Who will be reading it? Will it be a persuasive tool or an educational piece? Will it be on display at a retail location or handed out or both? Write out your copy first and the design around that with your copy and photographs. Add a call-to-action. Be clear on what you want the reader to do.

2.) Use the Brochure Format to Your Advantage

How do you do that? Think about how your prospective customer will see the brochure. First, they see the cover then they open it to see what is underneath then they may flip it over and view the back panels. Make it interesting with a surprise that may be reviled as they open the pamphlet.

3.) Carefully Consider the Number and Size of Panels and Pages

You may want to have a general over view of your company or hone in on a specific service that you provide. If you have more information that can fit on an 8.5 x 11” then you can use a 8.5 x 14”. You will want to be cost effective as possible, so you may want to talk to your printer on what the cost may be on each style before you proceed.

4.) Draw Out Your Idea

I recommend that you take a 8.5 x 11” or 8.5 x 14” blank sheet and fold it to the configuration that you want your brochure to look. This step is really important, so you can view how the panels and folds will actually look. Now draw out the different possibilities with a pencil and eraser. This pencil drawing will help you to see first-hand your ideas and make changes easily.

Great Brochure Design Tips

So many things become very clear as you do this exercise. It’s just a rough sketch so do not try and make it perfect. Make a couple of designs with the elements in different spots on the brochure. It’s also not a bad idea to have a couple of people view your ideas for their opinion. At this point if you are hiring a designer, take a cell phone shot of your ideas and send them to them. As designers we do not always know what is going on in someone’s head, so this step gets us in the ball park real fast.  

5.) Font Usage

How will the topography work? Fonts selection is huge and how will they work with each other? Will you use serif fonts (old style with arms and legs) or with or san serif (without)? I personally think using serif typeface looks great on titles and subtitles and can be fancy as long as they are readable. Always use san serifs on sentences and paragraphs because they are much easier to read. Keep your font selection to a minimum. One serif and One san serif. Select a font that has a large family (bold, italic, weight) because it will give you give you many choices that will keep it consistent looking.

6.) Photographs

Photography on marketing material is BIG! A good selection of quality images is a must. They need to be high resolution and lend themselves to what you are trying to show or sell. You can use your own images, use a stock agency or hire a photographer but they need to be of excellent quality. When we design a brochure we use a stock agency many times because they give a big selection to pick from that will tell the story in just the right way that only a great photograph can do.

9 Tips for Creative Brochure Designs

7.) Design a Great Cover

The cover will be the first thing that people will see so you want to make that as attractive and inviting as possible. Make it unique. Do not just put your logo and a photo on this cover but something that will draw the viewer into the rest of the brochure. Use a catchy headline or title, call to action or engaging question. Keep it short. Keep the front cover clean without clutter. Remember many brochures will go on a display rack and only the top third will be visible, and you might be competing with other brochures.  

 Graphic Design on Brochures

8.) Paper Stock for Your Brochure

How thick and how will your brochure feel? Paper will be the tactile part of your brochure experience. Quality, weight and coating will speak volumes all by itself. What do you want that to say? Use a heaver stock when it’s a more substantial brochure. If your brochure needs multiple folds use something thinner but not too thin. This will help it to lay flat and fold clean.

9.) Pick a Good Printing Company

I cannot stress this enough. Make sure the printer is someone you can work with. Contact the printing company before you start on the design.

Ask them questions like:

A.) How do they want to receive the file to be printed?

B.) Do they want it in the native file like Illustrator or InDesign so they can make some basic adjustments or a high resolution PDF or JPG?

C.) Will they print out a sample?

If possible have your printing company print out a sample brochure or two to make sure that finished product will be exactly what you want. You will be able to feel it and make sure it folds like you have intended it to fold and nothing is over lapping and stays within its panels and folds. You will also be able to see if the printer cut or trimmed off too much from the edges and if it needs to be adjusted before he/she prints off a whole bunch of copies.

If you have hired a graphic designer, he will be able to navigate and connect to your printing company on the different issues I just listed above. Leave it to him to sort this out with the people that are actually doing the printing. Better yet, let the designer recommend a printing company that he/she has used before.

Creative Ways to Design Flyers
Creative Ways to Design Flyers

In conclusion

Remember, Creative Brochure Designs are a great marketing piece for your company or business. If they are designed right they can be very effective. I would reflect on these tips as you go through the design process.  

Here are some more idea’s and tips on alternative uses of a Brochures by U Printing.

I also wrote a blog article on layout and design of newsletter that you might find interesting 5 Design Tips for a Great Newsletter and one on website design 9 Signs its Time for a New Website

If you have any questions on the designing brochures, please send us a email. We would love to help you with your next marketing idea.

9 Tips for Creative Brochure Designs

Creative Ideas on Brochure Designs

Great Brochure Design Tips

Graphic Design on Brochures  

Creative Ways to Design Flyers    

Designing Amazing Newsletters and Magazines

Designing Amazing Newsletters and Magazines

Designing Amazing Newsletters and Magazines

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Designing newsletters, magazines and books for print and digital.

I am a photographer first and always and have been for 40+ years.

I started out as a wedding photographer back in the early 70’s but found out I had curiosity and ability to photograph many things on planet earth.

I have a library of images that I have taken on landscape, wildlife and close-up macro photo’s that I think are very good.

Designing Amazing Newsletters and Magazines
Designing Amazing Newsletters and Magazines

Through wedding photography, I learned people skills. My dad had this skill also so have much to thank him for. Photography also taught me how to look at the world in very creative ways.

Later in life I turned my creative bent to the graphic design world. I went back to college and received a graphic arts degree. Soon after starting school I learned many of the same basic artistic skills I learned in photography would help me in BIG ways in the area of graphics. They are so related like kissing cousins so to speak.

 

Designing Amazing Newsletters and Magazines
Designing Amazing Newsletters and Magazines

While still in school, one of the first projects I started working on was a newsletter for a prison ministry that was called “Inside Out” and was sponsored by Central Christian Church in Mesa, Arizona.

The program I use to design the newsletter was on a program by Adobe called InDesign. Adobe is also the maker of Photoshop, Illustrator, Premier Pro and many other visual programs for professional designers and photographers.

Designing Amazing Newsletters and Magazines
Designing Amazing Newsletters and Magazines

Designing Amazing Newsletters and Magazines

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InDesign is an amazing program that lets you design multiple page layouts that are used on books, magazines and newsletters for print but also can now be turned into a eBook.

It can be a complicated program if used to its full potential. I belong to a local InDesign user group in the Phoenix area that meets every other month to help keep professional designers up-to-date on the new features Adobe is always adding to its program.

Designing Amazing Newsletters and Magazines
Designing Amazing Newsletters and Magazines

I not only did the layout of the newsletter but I also designed its logo that sits at the top of first page but I made the graphics that you will find through out every page.

I was able to experiment with many types of font usage and “call outs” and tried to improve each issue over the years.

Our newsletter staff produced 20 issues over a 5-year period.

Designing Amazing Newsletters and Magazines
Designing Amazing Newsletters and Magazines

I do miss the editorial staff that helped me collaborate on this by-monthly project.

We did it all!

From article idea’s to the writing of these article’s to the layout and finally of the printing and mailing of the finished newsletter to individual prisoners.

Thank you to Kim, Nancy and Rosie whom made this project possible on every issue. I try and stay in touch with them on a regular basis.  

Designing Amazing Newsletters and Magazines

 Click the cover to down load a PDF of that issue of the newsletter.

Graphic Design That Grabs Your Attention

Graphic Design That Grabs Your Attention

Graphic Design That Grabs Your Attention

Graphic Design That Grabs Your Attention

 This was a three generation photo I took of me with my son and grandson.

Photographing or Designing something that grabs someone’s attention has always been and is my goal.

All the graphics on this article were also photographed by me.

I was a photographer for 40+ years but at the age of 58 I went back to school for a graphic arts degree.

I soon learned how to design and build WordPress web sites because I realized right away web sites were the best way to show off my work

 

I found I was very good at web design especially when I combined my graphic skills with web work.

Match made in heaven so to speak.

Do I only use my photography on the graphics that I make? NO!

I will many times use a photo stock agency if I need something specific either for a logo design, website layout, printed material such as a newsletter or social media graphics.

Graphic Design That Grabs Your Attention

             My son dancing at a wedding with three of his four daughters.

Graphic Design That Grabs Your Attention

My wife enjoys having time with each grandchild and getting to know them. This was a photograph I turned into a painting in Photoshop.

I found that by combining photographs or graphics with text was a very powerful tool to get a message across fast. This is graphic design that grabs your attention!

People do not read so much anymore because we are bombarded with so much information that if they can see something with text and visuals that is short, clear and concise it will hold our attention far longer and look more inviting.

A cloud formation just before a big storm in the Phoenix area taken on my iPhone.

The image on the right was a photograph I took of my grandson and his girl friend on the 4th of July.

Graphic Design That Grabs Your Attention

The graphics on this page were made for social media. Some graphics are religious in nature and some are funny and others have just a positive bent to them.

I get my inspiration not only from the Bible but also great thinkers that said amazing quotes like Mark Twain and CS Lewis. I sometimes find a photograph and look for a quote to match or I run across a quote and hunt down an image that ties it all together.

Some are fast and others are amazingly slow to design. I want the message to be just right.

Graphic Design That Grabs Your Attention

My wife with three of her granddaughters enjoying a hot afternoon in the pool.

Graphic Design That Grabs Your Attention

My son is a great and patient teacher to his son.

Graphic Design That Grabs Your Attention

My son actually took this shot of both him and his son going down the slide together. I have no idea how he took such an amazing shot while being in the image!

I will have more blog posts in the future with these short inspiration graphics so check me and my blog out again. 

Graphic Design That Grabs Your Attention

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