If you are new to the group, welcome. If you are a long time user, this post is packed with very good information. A quick read likely turn over a new rock that had not been overturned before. I hope that gets you to explore.
So many new people ask the question, “I know how to write and I even have something I would like to post. How do I get started with Tuesdays with Deborah?” This will offer the basics on getting started.
The first thing to do, is to choose what you want your username to be. Once set, it sticks. Then register with Tuesday with Deborah. (You have made it to the site, if you are reading this.) If not, go to http://www.authenticwritingprovokes.com/inspiredwriting/. Look in the right side bar for the Meta Heading. You may have to scroll down to see it. When you have found the Meta Heading, click Register.
Fill in your desired user name (be it greenlemur or Scott Bell) and supply an email address, then click the blue Register button. Now sit back and rest a few moments. Feeling relaxed? Good.Now head on over and check your email account that you used to register. Look for a e-mail titled, “[Tuesdays with Deborah] Your username and password”. If you don’t have one, Relax some more. If you wait more than 5 minutes, there is probably something wrong. When that email arrives it will contain your User Name and Password.
Armed with anew password, now return to the Tuesdays with Deborah website. Find the Meta heading in the right side bar.This time, click the Log-in link.
On this webpage, put in you Username and Password supplied in the email. You have access to the site as an author. You will now be logged into the dashboard. This can be very intimidating. Most of it you will not use. Let’s explore the Dashboard Toolbar.
If you are more of a picture person, click the collapse Menu button at the bottom of the Menu and it will look like this.
Progressing from the top, let’s review each tool. Some of the tools and items are not really necessary for day to day use, so I will not discuss them. If I don’t fully describe something, feel free to explore on your own.
- Dashboard-Think of it as a home page for the Dashboard.
- Post-This is were someone will manage their posts. I will explore this in greater depth.
- Media-This is one place that someone can add photos and audio to use in a post.
- Comments-This is where someone can quickly explore all the comments made on the blog.
- Profiles-This is where someone can change there profile details, password or nickname are two examples.
- Tools-This will allow someone to explore tools that may be used with WordPress or browsing in general.
On the Post Page, you can work with any post you have written. You can view or edit anything that you have posted to the Tuesday with Deborah site. This is also where new post are started.
Finally, it is time to create a new post. Click on the New Post Button pictured below.
The new post page can also be intimidating. Don’t worry, not every field needs to be filled in. `I will explore the New Post page in three different steps. I will approximate the time to complete each. Each level will increase your Search Engine Optimization, SEO, meaning it will help your standings with search engines. Alright, lets get started with a new post!
If you don’t like the password assigned to the system, click on the Profile icon. Scroll down a little bit and there will be an option to choose a different password.
Step One– The content- Time: Undetermined
Don’t be scared by an undetermined time frame. In this step, the content is created. A short post could be created in a hour or less, or a post could be like this one and be created in excess of a week.
First, decide on a title for your blog. Once you have decided on a title, type it into the title field. Go ahead, be creative here.
Next, type in the body of the blog in the body field.
If you composed your blog in another program, simply paste your content into this field. Before doing that, let’s explore the Kitchen Sink. It is one of the tools on the toolbar of the edit area. This is a image of the Kitchen Sink Button.
This brings up a second row of tools.
If you have composed your blog in Word, by using the Paste from Word button,
any formatting that you have done in Word will be retained. With that, the content is created! If you want any formatting in your post, take the time to do it now.
Now, scroll back up to the top of the page and click the Publish Button
Just, like that, your post has made its way onto the web! Now, that was easy!
You have produced the content; that’s the hard part. Please, don’t stop there. The next two parts are a boiling down of the essence of your post to make it a better citizen of the web. If these steps are done while your post is still fresh, the next two steps can be done in about five minutes.
Step Two– The right column- Time: 2 minutes
Let’s take the next step with only a small additional time commitment. Why might you want to step up to this level? Many people have as secondary reason to be posting to this blog; improving how well your company and online presence rates in search engine results.
All search engines have “a mysterious black box” (secret formula) that they use to determine the order of the links for a given set of search terms. One of the best ways to improve how your website and/or you perform in those results is to have a web presence. The more of a web presence one has, the greater likelihood that searches related to your website will rank higher in related search terms. Simply by doing the basic steps listed above, you have increased your web presence. There are other “things” that can be done to a post in order to improve your SEO. In this level, The main reason to do this stage is to improve SEO. If you are involved with Tuesdays with Deborah strictly for the joy of writing, the second two steps are not really needed. In the Intermediate stage,I will explore the features of the right side bar.
Just below the Publish block in the right side bar is the Post Formats. This is primarily a bookkeeping category for Tuesdays with Deborah and really will not greatly improve your websites SEO. Further discussion on this is beyond the scope of this post. To further explore Post Formats, please refer to http://codex.wordpress.org/Post_Format.
Next is the Category. Again, this is primarily used for bookkeeping for Tuesdays with Deborah. But, if there is a category closely related to your websites business, this might cause a minor Uptick in your websites SEO. You are not limited to one category; go ahead and pick those that relate to your post.
Tags are the most important field in the ride side bar. Tags are a short, one or two word highlight of the content or theme of your post. Similar to categories, do not feel limited to one tag. If I wrote an entry about a family visit to the zoo, these are some tags that would make sense: zoo, Lions, Bears, family fun, Mary, Stephen, and butterfly house. Remember, that each one of these is a separate tag, don’t run them all together. When posting tags, separate each tag with commas. Notice in my example two, or three word tags would be fine. So a post could have tags of Des Moines, San Francisco, Walt Disney World or Akeelah and the Bee. The more the merrier as long as they relate to the post. I likely wouldn’t want to use any on my second set of tags on my zoo posts because they are not related to the zoo. Unrelated tags may not directly harm a post but Tuesdays with Deborah SEO’s could be be penalized for misleading information.
One often overlooked tag is your name, the name of your company or your website. These will get picked up and will likely help your web presence and web search ranking.
Step Three-SEO Settings-Time: 3 Minutes
This final step is filling out the SEO Setting found under the body of the post. This can be really intimidating because of the scary words on some of the fields. These field names are proof that engineers still do to much software design that remains in “finished” products. Sometimes that creates more difficulty for the user of the products. Do not despair, I will “un-engineer speak” the field names and make them understandable. Let’s take a look at the important fields.
Title Tag– This field can be thought as a sub-title that will make the post a “good citizen” on the web. A good citizen on a web is something that helps the blog get found when people are looking for material that may be related to the blog. If the post is sales related, create a Title Tag with a sales flavor. If the post is video production related, create a Title Tag with a video production flavor. The goal is to create a Title Tag that will act as a magnet and attract related information on the web to your blog.
Meta Description: First a little background. Think of meta as information about information. Take a photograph, for insance. You see a beautiful image, but there can be so much information about that image. For example, there is the aperture, exposure, film speed, whether or not the flash got triggered, focal length just to name some of the basics. This does not directly contribute to how this image affects your mind, but it can tell a further story on how the image got created. Most of the time this information isn’t seen but it still exists in the background.
Think of Meta Description as a honey pot. If you live near the Hundred Acre Woods, and you want Winnie the Pooh stopping by, having a full honey pot on your door stoop will help to insure that Pooh would be coming around.
On the web, the blog post, is the honey pot; it attracts web search engines and people. Where is your door stoop on the web? Where do you want to attract them? I put my name, my website and a short description of my services. This is my current Meta Description, “Stephen Magladry, itechieguy.com, Personalized Mac Consultant for your business and home.” Perhaps you have another door stoop on the web. This goes into your meta-description field. You can have more than one item in your meta-description field. Separate the different items with a comma.
This field is best to be static, so pick something and ride it for awhile. If it is not attracting enough eyes, perhaps a change in your meta-description will be of assistance.
Meta Robots Tag – If you want your blog to be found on the web, checking these two fields will be a great hindrance. For that reason, keep these fields UNCHECKED.
Incoming Autolink Anchors – This field will help to build an interconnectedness, a web, with other posts on the TwD site. This post is about WordPress and I have other posts about WordPress on this site. By adding WordPress to this filed, WordPress will automatically links to this other posts. This will create an interconnectedness and help to improve web search rankings. As hinted on the page, one entry per line. Additionally, the anchors do not have to be limited to one word. If you have other blog posts about coaching, Adding that to the Incoming Autolink Anchors will build a “web” to the other posts about coaching.
Autolink Exclusion: If for some reason, you do not want a blog to be part of the autolink process check this option. One reason i could think of why you might do this is in a mixed blog site. Some of the posts are personal in nature and most are business related. By checking the exclusion on your personal posts, they would not get linked to your business posts.
More Link Text: This is useful if you have a multi-part blog post. This line would be used to link to the additional parts of the post.
Rich Snippet Type: This is beyond the scope of this post. If you are interested in what this feature does, I would refer you to this link, http://www.bitdoze.com/wordpress/how-to-add-google-rich-snippets-for-reviews-to-wordpress/. A video on this webpage provides an overview of Rich Snippet Types.
Now with the basics, you are ready to post to Tuesdays with Deborah. You have learned about registering, logging in for the first time and posting a blog post. Additionally, I have shown you how easy SEO can be. With your new found knowledge, hopefully you will feel empowered to post and take advantage of all the SEO can offer.