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Blogging guide and documentation [ TOS & Advantages | Howto & Help | Blogging Guidelines | Blog Promotion ]

1 - How to use the Blog:
    When you click the main link leading to the Blogs page and you are logged in (providing you were given approval to run your own blog), there you find the link to your blog's control panel. Clicking that will lead you to your blog's basic settings page which should contain what your blog is about. Some of this information will be made public, notably the title, subject and logo or photo.

  • Blog Title, Subject and Strategy:
    The tile should convey to the reader what type of content he/she is likely to expect in most cases, so a catchy title is recommended. Remember also that your title should act as a positioning factor in people's minds and a great marketing tool, hence concentrating on a niche (specialized or a small audience in a certain subject area) with your subject matter is far better that serving everyone and writing about anything. Specializing in a certain area of the industry or market is likely to attract smaller but a very loyal reader base and a lot of bookmarks. More importantly is the high ranking you are likely to gain from search engines should you be consistent in writing about the subject you choose. If you are providing valuable content for readers not a lot of people are addressing, you'll in time become an authority voice on that subject or at least amongst the best at it. Authority does not mean necessarily legal, technical or governmental, neither scientific nor academic. This merely means you write about things a lot of people want to read about and are eager to find what others are either neglecting or as said above, the content is not good enough or is not as informative!

  • Your Logo / Photo and the rest of it:
    You can use a photo of yourself or a the logo of your site or company. It's best to have one uploaded to your photo / image gallery here, it will be auto-inserted on your blog (upload one and set it as your avatar in the gallery). Some readers for some reason feel at ease if they can see what you look like. However, the advantages are obvious if you use your site / company logo chief of which is for branding purposes.
    As to the guestbook feature, it's unlikely this will be enabled regardless whether you tick it or not. The guestbook is likely to be targeted by spammers no matter what we do, so having it disabled at the moment is the answer. You can fill it in if you feel necessary anyway!
  • Creating and managing categories:
    Categorizing your content in not only a professional necessity but necessary for your content and helps readers, it enhances the structure of your blog and eases navigation and serves as a quick jumping method to areas of interest. The first thing you should do before any articles are written is to create few categories, you can always add or change them at any time.

    Now, you may feel like writing about a lot of things that may not be related or too broad, or on the other hand feel that specializing in one main area is your goal, in both scenarios, articles have to be heavily related to their respective categories, as further enhancements, try to include at least one keyword from the category you choose in articles. Relating category titles and article titles to the content itself and the subject matter is vital, say you choose a category title as "Linux, Wi-Fi and wireless computing" and you write an article titled "Overcoming wireless signal problems in Linux CentOS 6.xx ", the latter are good examples, for that, the main content should be about Linux and wireless computing, predominance of the subject matter in relation to titles reinforces and delivers what the title was hoped to offer. OK CentOS 6xx may only available two or three years from now, guess what, this page will rank tops when people start searching for that...marketing is about anticipation from front-to-back

    The way the information is presented to searchers using search portals and engines alike nowadays is delivered that way, Relational, if your content is alien to your titles, your content will be "misplaced" no matter how good it is. Think of your blog as a book, it should have a category structure as do books have chapters, would you write a book and borrow dmoz's category structure? highly unlikely, you are wiser then to think of what you'll want to write about and create categories accordingly. Remember, you can always change or delete categories (if articles are already written under them, they will also be deleted, so be careful). You are not required to setup many categories, you can just set one up as soon as you write an article (or before you write one) and place the later under it and the same again when you write you second title under the same one or create a different category if that warrants a different one.
  • Writing articles:

    * Titles length should be 70-75 characters and no more:

    Most search engines insist on reasonable title length, most SEO experts and search engine engineers themselves point that out in their help guides and advice, some even highlight the danger of using titles that are too long which may lead to refusal to index your content. Users and readers need to see an acceptable and expected title length, so always have your readers in mind when formulating your title first and foremost, and only think of search engines second.

    * Good, well formulated titles are your biggest "selling point"

    From hundreds of thousands of blog titles posted daily, you need to stand out and turn readers or would be your readers attention, arouse their curiosity, increase their interest and give them a reason to click on the link to either read or add to their RSS reader or bookmark for later. Good titles tend to be well formulated comprising what the whole article is about, usually including the most important selling point about the article itself, giving people the reason why they should click and read. Try and include from the content itself the most wanted and read about subjects, names, keywords and phrases, but make sure those are the main backbone about which your article is founded. Including irrelevant or marginal keywords / phrases would seriously damage your reputation with readers and even blacklist your articles in search engines.

    * Story summary or Teaser

    This usually tries to give readers the whole story / article summary in a "nutshell". It can also act as a snippet or description in search engines and RSS Feed readers, it is also used here as the meta description tag. Having what it does in mind, it is vital to include the major highlights of the story in a paragraph of no more than 250 characters or about 25 words in length. An article teaser does what the name implies, teases the reader into wanting more. The teaser itself is part of the story and the first block of text of it, do not repeat the teaser inside the main story.

    * Story main text or extended text

    The rest of the article should be written here, avoid heavy HTML. If one of the text editors is enabled, links are auto hyperlinked, the editor is just like using one of your favorites HTML editors. Try and make the story evenly distributed between equally spaced paragraphs with a space or double space in between. Avoid too long paragraphs, to start, they will become boring and can give readers the illusion of preventing them from having a break or a breather.

    If quoting a source, do so in between quotes and mention the source or the person and their status and if possible the organization they represent or belong to or site. For best results, jump straight into the quote and attribute credits at the end. Example, "We are delighted to have this happen" said Joe plumber, Vice President at General plumbing.

    Although, there is no restriction on how long the story should be, that does not mean it becomes a novel or a long essay, should that be the case, it may well be best served if it was placed as a paper in the papers section where proper pagination breaks it down to several pages.

    * Having people commenting on your story is a good way of receiving feedback and interacting with your readership, however, this sometimes can become a problem even though non registered members are not allowed to comment, nonetheless this can attract "comment spam" and some registered members can break the rules. We'll do what we can to prevent it, one of the ways is to implement a solid Captcha system, In most cases, allowing comments can be beneficial.

    * Best not to block non-registered members from reading, article should be displayed to everyone. Search engines can not access them for indexing for a start, people will have to register to read as well, generally making it difficult for your story to be read. We'll in time disable that choice, in the meantime do not tick it.

    * Enabling access to the story only if readers have the required password is not a good idea, leave the password field empty (that will be disabled soon).

    * Once you wrote your article, press publish and choose in which category in the next page. If you a have categories ready, allocate under which one, if not, you can create one for it. Note that you can publish the article un-categorized and can edit it later which includes allocating a category.

2 - Web Pages and Gallery:
  • Adding a page and linking to it from an article is a good way of attaching added explanations, graphs, breakdown analysis, tables etc. Setting up a web page can enhance your story, however, the page can also be quite independent of the story itself and could serve as a tutorial, help guide or a paper for example.
  • The link to manage your gallery should take you to your gallery's control panel from which you'll administer your media.