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Writing for WorldStart in WordPress

Sunday, June 26th, 2011 by | Filed Under: Uncategorized
 
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So You Want to Write for WorldStart?

Once a writer has been provided a WorldStart WordPress account, these basic steps will help them create and post an article in WordPress. Included are instructions on how to format text, add images and links, and how to complete and save a post.

Start by clicking the New Post button.

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My first step, setting screen options, is a matter of personal preference. To reduce screen clutter, I begin by clicking the Screen Options button, and checking only the tools used for posting tips; All in One SEO Pack, Categories, Post Tags, and Excerpt. Then I click the radio button under Screen Layout to display a single column. This is followed by clicking the Kitchen Sink button on the toolbar, revealing both rows of tools (tools similar to those found in a word processor). Screen Options settings will remain in place until they’re changed by the writer.

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Title

The title should accurately describe the content of the article and be relatively short, as it will become the URL. For example, the title Writing for WorldStart in WordPress, will become http://www.worldstart.com/writing-for-worldstart-in-wordpress/.

Text

It will be tempting to write articles in Word, or another word processor, and copy the text into WordPress. However, it’s recommended that writing be done directly in WordPress, to avoid formatting issues. Fortunately, for the spelling impaired among us, WordPress includes spell check. If you choose to compose drafts elsewhere, it’s best to copy the text from the source into a text editor (Notepad, Notepad++, etc.) to remove the bulk of the formatting. Then copy the text from there, and paste it into WordPress.

Whichever way it’s done, in the finished product, text should be Arial (12 pt).

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Images

Images usually upload at the half hour mark on the clock, and won’t be visible until they’re uploaded. So I produce the images first, determine a rough layout for the article, and then insert the images. Once they appear, I add or modify the text that accompanies them.

Image names should contain no spaces, and be fairly specific to the article topic, at a width of no more than 450 pixels – larger images than this can also cause formatting issues. To upload images, click the Upload/Insert button.

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In the Add an Image window, click the Select Files button and choose an image to upload.

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Once an image is selected (and WordPress is done “crunching”), scroll down and enter Alternate Text. I just copy and paste the image title. Then choose Alignment and Size. If the images have been sized in advance, you can just click Full Size. Otherwise, choose one of the prepared sizes. Alignment choices are left to the author. Once placed and sized, click the Insert into Post button.

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I prefer to work under the Visual tab and in full screen mode (the Toggle fullscreen button is shown below). However, I haven’t figured out how to add images in full screen, so they’re inserted before switching over.

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Links

To add a link, select text and click the Insert/edit link button on the toolbar.

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In the dialog box, type or paste the link into the Link URL field. If the link is to a location on the WorldStart website, in the Target field, select Open in this window/frame. Otherwise, use Open in new window (…blank). Then click the Insert button.


Excerpt, Categories, Post Tags, and the All in One SEO Pack

The Excerpt should be a brief summary, perhaps a couple sentences long.

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This appears on the WorldStart home page when the tip is published…

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…and will remain as the article description in the archives.

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Categories

WorldStart provides a list of categories. One or two that best describe the content should be checked.

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Post Tags

In the Post Tags section, add tags that associate the tip with a broader topic. For example, if the tip applies to Windows 7, Vista, and Microsoft Office, those will be the tags. Tags can either be separated by commas or by tapping the Enter key after each entry. A little X appears to the left each entry, which can be clicked to delete the entry.

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All in One SEO Pack

Here, the title, description and keywords are added. The description should include a phrase someone might use in an Internet search (how to deliver mail to the moon, how to turn the world on with your smile, etc.). the keywords (separated by commas) should reflect the content of the article and, again include words that might be used in a search for this topic.

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Publish

When the article is completed, it’s time to save. If you’re ready to turn it over for publication, click the blue Submit for Review button. If not, click the Save Draft button. Either way, editing can continue.

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Until the article is published, it will remain under your name, available for editing on the Dashboard (your WordPress homepage). Click the Posts button and any articles you’ve written will appear, although once an article has been published, it can no longer be edited by the author.

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I highly recommend reviewing articles as they will appear on the site. Once one has been submitted for review or saved as a Draft, you can view it by clicking the Preview post link at the top of the page. Or it can be viewed at any time by clicking the Preview button in the Publish section.

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General questions about WorldStart writers’ guidelines are answered here.

I hope these instructions help. Have fun.

~Kevin

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