So, you’ve decided to contribute to the blog section of mum.edu. We’re glad to have you aboard! Here are the 6 steps you will take to create a blog from start to finish:
Step 1: Create an account and log into WordPress
Our website is managed through a WordPress interface, which includes an intuitive, simple process for creating blog posts. To access WordPress, you must first have a WordPress account in our domain. Talk to Katie Kelafant (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Paul Stokstad (email@example.com) to set up your account.
Once you have your login info, visit this page and enter your name and password. You are now logged on to our website. You may want to bookmark the login page for easy access in the future.
Step 2: Create a new blog post
After logging on, you will be taken to the WordPress dashboard. There should be a toolbar on the left listing many different actions. To create a new blog, you will hover over the “Posts” button at the top of the list. A menu will appear. Click “Add new” to be taken directly to a blank blog template.
Alternatively, you can click the “Posts” button itself (or the menu choice “All posts”) to be taken to a page displaying a list of all current blogs on the MUM website (you may not see all of them, depending on your account permissions). To create a new blog through this page, click the “Add new” button next to the title text of the page.
Step 3: Enter title and body of post
You should now see a blank blog template. First, assign a title to the blog in the top box, which may be selected already or read “Enter title here.” Try to make the title something that will grab a reader’s attention without being too lengthy.
Underneath the title there is a section labeled “Pre-body Content.” Do not enter anything in this box – it will not display properly.
You will enter the text of your blog post into the second box, which is unlabeled. You will want to make sure that the “Visual” tab on the upper right-hand side of the blog is selected. The “Text” tab should be greyed out.
An important note for those copying and pasting text: If you are copying a large body of text from another document or webpage, please make sure that the text is not formatted with font, spacing, color, etc. An easy way to remove formatting from copied text is by selecting the “Text” tab and then pasting the text into the box. You will then select the “Visual” tab. When you switch to “Visual,” the formatting will be removed from the text. We strongly recommend that anybody copying and pasting from any source take the time to do this.
Keep in mind while you are writing your blog that the recommended blog length is around 300-400 words – not too long, not too short.
To save a draft at any time, hit the “Save Draft” button on the upper right corner of the page. To preview the draft, click the “Preview” button, which is located nearby. We recommend saving as a draft frequently to lessen the chance you will lose data.
Step 4: Add media and formatting
Here’s where it gets fun – formatting your blog post! We have several options for formatting and adding media into your post to make it look great, including:
All formatting tools are located in the toolbar above the text box. There are many options similar to what can be found on Microsoft Word. Explore these, try them out, and see what works for you! The name/purpose of each button can be found by hovering over it with your pointer. Of particular interest to our blogging style are two particular tools:
- Insert Read More Tag: This tool resembles thick, dark lines above and below a dashed line. When you click this button, it will create a line break in your blog post. Only the text above the line break will display in blog previews on our website. We recommend placing one of these one or two sentences into your post, if possible, to create a clean break for the preview that will entice readers.
- Insert/edit Link: This tool resembles a segment of a linked chain and creates a link to another webpage. To use this tool, highlight the text you want to link and click the button. A small pop-up will appear, requesting you to enter a link into a text box. Copy and paste the web address from the page you’d like to link to into this box. If you want to link to a page outside of mum.edu, please select the option to “Open in new window.” Click “add link” and you’re done!
There are a few steps to consider when adding images:
- To add an image to the post, first click the “Add Media” button located above the text box you are using, on the left-hand side. This will take you to a menu that allows you to upload your own images or search our database of images using keywords.
- Once you upload/find the image you are looking for, make sure it is highlighted and click “insert into page” at the bottom right-hand side of the menu. Multiple images can be selected and inserted at once.
- The image is now inserted into the post. Click the image and hold to drag it to the appropriate spot in the post. You can also click the alignment tools (on the top formatting toolbar) to set which side of the text on which you would like the image to appear.
- When you hover over the image, a pencil icon will appear in the right corner of the image. Click this pencil to set a photo caption, if needed.
Blog posts should not contain email addresses unless they have been obfuscated. If you use one without obfuscation your blogletter feed may not work
Use the first link here to obfuscate any needed email address: http://www.albionresearch.com/misc/obfuscator.php
Use the output to insert on the CODE level into your post. For example “firstname.lastname@example.org” becomes
To create photo galleries, upload videos, insert different file types, or other advanced options, please contact Katie Kelafant (email@example.com) or Paul Stokstad (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a more detailed walkthrough on these more complicated areas.
Step 4: Assign other information
Now, you’ve written and titled the blog – you’re done with the hard part! There are only a few brief steps to take so that your blog is ready for publication.
On the right-hand side of the page, there should be a box labeled “Categories.” Please select the categories that apply to your blog. By selecting a category, you are assigning the blog to one of the blog sections on the website (you can see how the categories display at our blogs page, on the left-hand navigation bar). Make sure the “Uncategorized,” “News and Event Blogs,” “Departments,” and “Faculty Blog” boxes are NOT checked, as they will not appear as categories on the website. Please refrain also from using the “Featured” category, as it is curated by our staff.
Advanced: If you are posting a blog on behalf of a different author, you will also want to assign the proper author to the blog. After making sure that the author has a WordPress account of their own (you may need to have one created for them), scroll beneath the blog text to the “author” section. There, you will be able to choose the author from a drop-down list.
Make sure to save your draft and preview your blog to make sure that everything is displaying properly.
Step 5: Set a featured image
The final step is placing the featured image for your blog. This image will be displayed at the top of the webpage, underneath the blog title, once the blog is public.
A featured image is required to be 350 by 650 pixels (long, not tall). It should also be as high resolution as possible and grab the attention of the reader. Every blog is required to include a featured image, as they are integral to our website’s design. To set the featured image, find the “Featured Image” module on the right-hand column of the Add New Post page. Click the hyperlink that says “Set featured image” and either upload or select the image from our media library. You can only set one featured image.
It is recommended that you save and preview your blog draft again after this step.
Step 6: Publish the blog
Hit “Publish,” which is located near the “Save Draft” and “Preview” buttons. Your blog is live!
If you notice that you’ve made a mistake, you can simply return to the blog and change it. You can also put a blog back into draft mode if you decide to make larger changes.
Important note to those editing the blog’s title after publication: If you do this, you will need to edit the Permalink URL. The URL should be displayed directly under the title, labeled as “Permalink.” The link in the text box should include the exact wording of the title of your blog, only lowercase, without punctuation, separated by – dashes and concluded with a /. For example, if your blog is titled “12 Fresh, Creative Tips for Young Job Seekers,” you will type 12-fresh-creative-tips-for-young-job-seekers/. By default, the URL will match the title of the blog when you first publish it. If you edit the title later on, you will need to edit the URL to match.
You’re done! Thanks for your contribution to our website. Happy blogging!
Troubleshooting and other notes:
- If you are not seeing the options discussed in this tutorial (i.e. author, categories), please refer to the top right-hand corner of the Add New Post page. Click “screen options” and make sure the appropriate boxes are selected (for example, if you can’t find the author module, make sure “Author” is selected).
- If you need any assistance creating blogs, or have any other questions pertaining to the blogs, please contact Katie Kelafant (email@example.com) or Paul Stokstad (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Make sure to bookmark this page for effortless future blog creation!