How to Write for Your Website

writing4web2smWriting for the web doesn’t have to be a long, difficult process. Because people read differently online than they do when reading print, it’s actually easier to get your point across online in a blog post or article. Readers on the web tend to scan a page rather than read every word in every paragraph.  Eye tracking studies show that they’re looking for keywords pointing to the information they need, and that they tend to read in an “F pattern“, meaning that they look for key words and phrases across the top of the page, another horizontal row under that, and the vertical column on the side.

Here are some hints to make your content easier to read on the web:

 Write using the “inverted pyramid” style. Begin with your main point and then support it with sentences that answer basic questions like who, what, when, where, why, and how.  When you’re done, state your conclusion and add more supporting information. Finish with a call to action, which tells the reader what to do next. Examples include “click this link to subscribe to my newsletter”, or “let me know what you think of this post by leaving a comment”.

Make sure your key words are in the header and title tag of the page. Google determines what an article is about by ranking the information contained in several different parts of your site. It considers keywords in the title and heading most important, followed by those in the body of the post, and those found in the sidebar and/or footer least important. That doesn’t mean you should just cram a bunch of keywords into your article without considering whether it makes sense (which may get you penalized by Google), just make sure that you express your point in a way that reads naturally and contains useful information. It will make your post easier to find in Google, which will in turn help your readers when they’re looking for an answer to a question or an article about a certain topic.

Use a picture that illustrates what you’re blogging about. Graphics will catch your reader’s eye faster than text and invite them to read more about your topic.

Use lists so that readers can pick out important points right away.

Highlight key concepts using bulleted lists, bold or italic text, or a change in color.

Use links to other sites to support your content. That way, readers can see that you’re not just making facts up off the top of your head, and you’re giving them an incentive to visit again when they need more information.

 

If you enjoyed this article or have questions/suggestions please contact me through the comments section.

How to Upload Media to Your Site

Uploading media to a website is a basic skill that anyone in charge of maintaining it will use often. Clients ask me how to do this all the time,  so I thought I would write a post with simple instructions. These instructions can apply to uploading audio and video files as well. You may want to think about hosting your videos on a YouTube account and then embedding them on your site instead of uploading them, but that’s a post for another time.

From the Dashboard/Posts screen place your cursor where you want to insert the media item, then click the “Add Media” button, which is outlined in red in the picture below. (Click on any picture in this blog post to enlarge them it).

upload_media_1

Another screen will open. Click the  “Upload files” link on the top left hand side (highlighted in red below). Click the big “Upload Files” button in the middle of the page and select the file you want to upload from a file selection box, or locate it (on your desktop perhaps?) and just drag it somewhere onto the screen .

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When it’s finished uploading, click the blue “Insert into post” button at the bottom of the screen.

upload_media_2

Once  the graphic is inserted into the post, you might want to edit it. You can do this by clicking on the picture that you want to edit and selecting the little picture in the upper left corner of the selection,  or by going to the media gallery and selecting the picture there.

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Once a picture has been selected, you can edit the size, alignment, enter a title and/or caption and change link URL settings or click the “Advanced Settings” tab for even more options.

 

 

How to Write a WordPress Blog Post

One of the essential skills of managing your WordPress site is knowing how to upload your content. The procedure is pretty much the same whether you’re adding a blog post or a new page.

Go to the Dashboard, locate the “Add New” button under the “Posts” controls section (outlined in red) on the upper left side and enter a title for your post. Select either the Visual or HTML tab on the grey bar just above the content box. The Visual view operates like any word processor, and you will see a row of buttons on the grey bar that control the formatting of your work. Hover your mouse over each button to get a brief description of what it does. The HTML view shows the coding that affects the look of your post. This is the view you would use if you want to embed a video on your site, change the size of text and headings, or other things not covered by the standard formatting buttons. Now go ahead and start writing your post.

Posts box on the dashboard

You may also want to categorize your post and add some tags so that your readers will be able to search your site for articles that interest them. An article about the difference between categories and tags is coming soon!

When you’re done, save a draft by clicking on the Save Draft button in the upper right corner and then take a look at your work by clicking on either of the Preview buttons outlined in red in the picture below.

Preview buttons outlined

When you’re finished, you can save the draft for later by clicking the Save Draft button, or if you’re ready to post it, click the blue Publish button. This will upload your post for all to see.