Creating your blog: Post Development
Starting your own blog can be very overwhelming. Where do I start? Do I need to know coding? How frequent should I publish content? Do I have enough time to manage this task and do it well? These are just a few of the questions one may contemplate when starting a blog. Here at Advanced Dermatology and skinfo® Specialty Skincare Boutique, we take our blogging very seriously! Based on our own experiences, we have created this blog series to provide you with the knowledge and tools to create a successful blog for your company.
Creating your blog: Post Development
Note: we will be explaining the basic essentials in building a blog using WordPress as an example. All platforms are set up a bit differently, but each element below is present and important in each type.
Once you have your blog platform installed you can begin to create your first post. To do this you will have to login to the blog platform. Once you are logged in became familiar with the “Dashboard” column on the right site of the website. Use the “Dashboard” to navigate your way through the platform. From here you can view your published and drafted blogs. You can also access your media library, as well as manage comments that are made to each blog post. We highly suggest you monitor comments as other websites will try to advertise their blog or services in the comment section of your blog.
In order to create a new blog you must first access the “Dashboard”. Choose “Posts” then click “add new”. Begin adding content to each field.
Add the title of your post. You can use any phrases, words or characters. Caution: Do not use the same title twice. WordPress will automatically alter it in order to generate a valid user-friendly URL (also called the “post slug”) to compose the permalink (permanent link) for the post. Permalink is a URL that contains a user-friendly post name based upon the post’s title. Note: Any invalid URL characters (spaces, punctuation, etc) are removed and edited for example a blog with the title is “Advanced Derm’s kickin’ blog tips- Chicago, IL” will be cleaned up to create the slug, advanced-derms-kickin-blog-tips-chicago-il”.
Below the title box you will find the body box. Here you can enter your content, links, media, or any other information you want to display on your blog. You can use either the Visual or the Text view while adding content/graphics to the body. The visual mode lets you see your post as is (similar to how one works in Microsoft Word). The Text view shows you the HTML code. In this view the WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor tool is replaced with quicktags, conveniently allowing you to include additional buttons in the HTML. You do not have to know code to work in WordPress nor do you have to use HTML when writing your posts, WordPress will automatically add it to your site. HTML is nice to know if you want control over different formatting such as boxes or headings.
The publish box is located to the right of the Title box and contains buttons that control the status (Published, Pending Review & Draft) of your blog post. These can be helpful in keeping the blog site organized, especially if there are multiple contributors that are working on the different content pieces at the same time. To change the status of a blog post simply select the status (you wish the post to be in) from the ‘publish status’ drop-down box, then click ‘save as’ for the specific status you chose.
- Published = post was published live on your blog and accessible for readers to view
- Pending Review = draft is waiting to be edited/ reviewed by another contributor; not yet live
- Draft = post is in drafting phase; only visible on backend of blog.
In addition, the publish box also allows you to schedule a blog post to be published at a future date, as well as backdate or republish previously published blogs. To schedule or edit blog post’s publish date click “Edit” in the Publish area next to the words “Publish immediately” and change accordingly. Once you have selected the desired time and date it is important to select the “Publish” button in order for the changes to be made to the post.
The last feature offered in the publish box is the visibility option which determines how the individual blog post appears when live.
- Public posts = visible by all website visitors
- Password Protected = visible but visitors must know the password to view the post
- Private = only visible anyone with admin rights to your WordPress account
It is important to organize your blog page so that the reader can navigate through multiple posts with ease. The category box, located below the publish box, allows subscribers to browse specific categories to see every post written about the specific subject. 7-10 categories are normally recommended for blogs. To add a new category, click the “+Add New Category” found in the categories box.
Post tags are important in gaining subscribers as they briefly identify what the subject of the blog is and help the post gain accessibility and visibility. Posts with similar tags are linked together when a user clicks on one of the tags. Post tags can be added in the box below the “Categories box”. Tags can be added one at a time by typing the tag word into the box and clicking “Add”. To save time multiple tags can be added at a time by separating them with a comma as you type (Dermatology, Skin, Skincare…)
Below the Revisions box is a box called list of all blog authors you can select from to attribute as the post author; this is only shown if you have multiple users with authoring rights. From the drop down menu you can choose which author you would like to use for each individual post.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Settings box
Search Engine Listing Tab
Title tags are used on search engine results pages (SERPs) to offer previews for a given page (or blog in this case). Tittle tags should be accurate and brief descriptions of a page’s content and are valued in the following areas, relevancy, browsing, the search engine results pages. There are many suggestions relating to optimal length for search engines. Google generally presents the first 50-60 characters of a title tag; WordPress suggests using under 70 characters. With this in mind, it is suggested that if titles are kept under 55 characters, 95% of your titles can be expected to be displayed properly. Lastly, it is suggested that the optimal format of a title tag is made up of the following formula: “Primary Keyword – Secondary Keyword | Brand Name”, for example this blog’s title tag would be, “Blog – WordPress | Advanced Dermatology”.
Meta descriptions are HTML attributes that summarize the content presented on a web page or blog post. Like title tags, these are used on search engine result pages to display previews of a given page. Meta descriptions should be a maximum of 140 characters.
Note: The “Pipe” also known as “Vertical bar” (|) is used to separate the two inputs. This can be found above above “enter” on many keyboards.
Social Media Listing Tab
The social media listing tab allows you to control how your post will be seen on social media.