How To Create A Blog
Welcome to the new & improved Bump, Baby & You website!
If you’re unfamiliar with WordPress, or just in need of a refresher, this guide tells you all you need to know about uploading your guest blog content to our website.
Step one: Write your content
Click ‘create new post’, and away you go! This should open up a dashboard with a text input box. Struggling for topical inspo? I recommend reading the news, browsing for relevant parenting topics, or gleaning advice from the Bump, Baby & You blogging network community. You could even use blog content that you’ve already written previously.
Headings are important. Start each blog with some form of heading as it improves the readability! Subheadings are a useful way to divide your blog into sections, or improve the flow if you’ve got lots of bulky paragraphs. You can choose these by clicking the dropdown menu where ‘paragraph’ is showing, and selecting which size you’d like.
Dividers are another handy function to divide your blog – to add one, simply click the horizontal line button directly below the dropdown menu that I mentioned above.
Categories and hashtags – pick one category as this helps keep the website organised, and don’t use the hashtag symbol unless it’s an official hashtag, awareness week hashtags are a good example of official hashtags.
Picture, video and GIF upload
To add media, click the ‘add media’ button that is above the text input box. A pop-up should appear;
When your photo uploads, it may appear smaller than intended; click the image, select the pencil icon and then select ‘full size’ on the dropdown menu for image size. You can click ‘upload files’ to upload videos and pictures. You can insert GIFS and social media posts via URL by clicking ‘insert from URL’. Ensure you periodically save your blog!
Hyperlinks look best when streamlined and attached to a word, rather than the full URL being added to your blog. For example, if you want to add a link to the NHS website, rather than adding the full address, you could write this as ‘to see this on the NHS website, click here’, ‘here’ being the word you add your hyperlink to.
To do this, you need to highlight your word, click the insert link as shown in the image below, and paste the URL into the box that pops up. Scroll down and click the ‘open in new tab’ option.
To remove a hyperlink, hover your mouse above it and a symbol similar to the one below will show but with a ‘strike’ through it.
It’s best to keep your blog post centred to the left, as this is easier on the eye and less likely to cause formatting issues. If you’re wanting to provide a link to your website and social media, please place these at the bottom of your blog, as placing them at the top can cause SEO issues.
Step two: Feature image & URL
Please add a feature image! If you don’t, our Content Editor Katie will pick a generic stock image.
If you look at the image attached to step one, you’ll see the option where you can add your feature image.
Make sure your that your feature image is of the optimal dimensions (850 x 560 roughly), if not you can use a free website called Canva to resize and optimise your chosen image. Feel free to email our Content Editor Katie at email@example.com if you’re needing a runthrough of Canva!
Please avoid using cover pictures that have text on them if at all possible. If you’re struggling to find a cover picture, we recommend the royalty free image site ‘Pixabay’. ‘Pexels’ is also a good alternative.
Make sure your URL doesn’t have dates in it, and is relevant to the content. This means that when people search for your topic in Google, your blog is more likely to pop up leading to more readers!
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is super important if you want your blog post to rank highly in search engines. It’ll get you more readers!
You will spot our Yoast SEO plugin near the ‘publish button’. Yoast evaluates your content to assist optimisation. Green means your SEO is good, orange means ok, and red means that it needs improvement.
To optimise your post, scroll down the dashboard in edit mode and you will come across our Yoast SEO tab;
This section is important as it gives your potential reader a ‘meta description’ of what your blog is about. Once Google has decided which posts will ‘rank’ for the term someone searches for, it then searches your blog for that term, so it’s useful to include a relevant search term in your snippet. Your meta description doesn’t directly affect your Google ranking but it will indirectly impact it as if you have a good meta description, resulting in signifigant traffic, your ranking will improve from this element.
A good meta description will be up to 155 words, written in an active voice to entice readers, and include a call to action such as ‘find out more’ or ‘read more here’. It should also contain the ‘focus keyword’, which I will explain next.
The focus keyword is the search term that you want your page to rank in search engines for. ‘Long tail key words’ (basically a phrase containing multiple words) tends to work best for blogs, unless your topic is very singular. You can use Google Trends to research search volume, which will give you an idea of how effective your keyword is. You could also simply Google the keyword to get an indication of what content comes up!
If you look below the snippet preview and focus keyword, you will see pointers for improvement suggested by the Yoast plugin, which is very handy.
This tool uses an algorithm to tell you how readable your blog post is. Try to avoid long sentences that are over 20 words long, avoid using passive voice and engage directly with the reader, and keep your paragraphs a reasonable size rather than large blocks of text.
If you click ‘readability’ on the Yoast SEO tab at the bottom of the post in edit mode, the plugin actually gives you pointers on how you can achieve that coveted green light!
But remember; green isn’t the be all & end all. If you can achieve the ‘ok orange’, that is fantastic!
Step three: Publish!
So, you’ve written your blog, and given it a good proof read (you’re welcome to ask Katie to proof read if you’re needing a fresh pair of eyes!), so what next?
Time to publish, woohoo!
Click publish! This blog will then be sent to pending, so we can give your blog a read and approve if it meets our community guidelines. We currently post 2 blogs a day to the website – for the time being, it won’t be possible to schedule your post for a specific day, but once this new platform is fully established we hope to be able to allow our guest bloggers to schedule their posts for specific days.
If you want to save a post to work on later, all you need to do is click ‘save draft’.