Following on from my previous article, Blogging Tips, I thought I’d offer some extra tips that may help you with your blogging.

Pasting From Other Sources

Many bloggers prefer to write their posts in an external program, such as MS Word. It’s slightly easier than logging in to your blog each time you want to write something, or edit a draft.

Once the draft is finished and looks good, they then paste it into the editor in their blogging platform.

However, look at the following code to see what is actually pasted into the blogging platform editor.

<h1 class="western"><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Pasting Your Post</span></h1>
<span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Many bloggers prefer to write their posts in an external editor, such as MS Word. It's slightly easier than logging in to your blog each time you want to write something, or edit a draft.</span>

The “font-family: ‘Times New Roman’ ” code means that the font from the word processor is being used as the display in the post, even it that’s not the regular font you use.

If you’re pasting in links, or more complicated items, like tables, it gets even more messy.

There are some ways to avoid this.

  1. Use ctrl + shift + v to paste the text only.
  2. Paste into a plain text editor, e.g. Notepad on Windows, and then copy and paste into the blog text editor.
  3. If you’re using Wordpress, use the Paste as text (2) button in the toolbar. You may have to toggle the full toolbar (1) to see this.
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The same is true if you’re pasting in text from other websites, too.

Write, Then Edit

There’s a famous quote, often attributed to Ernest Hemingway, but actually paraphrased from the main character in Reuben, Reuben by Peter de Vries.

Write drunk; edit sober

I’m not suggesting you do this, but the underlying message is valid.

You should write with no care; simply write whatever comes out, without stopping to edit or think about what you’re writing. Don’t bother to correct spelling or grammar mistakes. Don’t bother to rewrite sentences, simply write the new one wherever you are in the text. In fact, it might be better to not look at what you’re writing at all.

When you’ve finished writing, put it away; save it, and go and do something else. Leave it for a day.

When you come back to it the next day, you can start editing.

A fresh look at what you wrote will allow you to see mistakes and improvements more easily than spending hours poring over your ‘first draft’ to get it perfect.

Scheduling Posts

If you’re like me, you sometimes write posts in bursts. You may also have a posting schedule that you want to stick to, and not want to publish your posts as you write them.

Rather than log in every time to post, you can set your posts to automatically publish at a future date.

Again, my experience is with WordPress, so you may not be able to do that on your platform, or you may have to install a plugin.

In WordPress, there are two ways to do it.

Schedule From The Editor

The first is to use the scheduling option in the post editor. Click ‘Edit’, alter the time and/or date, and click ‘OK’. The ‘Publish’ button will change to ‘Schedule’. Click it, and you’re done.

This fine if you have few posts, or an exceptionally good memory.

Use An Editorial Calendar

If you have more posts, however, or you just want to see your posting scheduling visually, you could use an editorial calendar. For this you’ll need a plugin.

An added bonus of using an editorial calendar is that you can drag and drop posts around if you want to change the scheduled day. To change the time, click on ‘Quick Edit’ and change the time in the pop-up window.

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You can do the same with your draft posts. Just remember to ‘Quick Edit’ and change the status from ‘Draft’ to ‘Scheduled’.

Auto-Posting To Social Media

My final tip concerns distribution of your posts to your social media channels. After all, the point of writing a blog is to have it read!

The first option is to post to social media manually. This is fine if you only post to one channel. It gets more tricky if you post to more than one, have a lot of posts, or schedule your posts.

There are several other automated options, though.

Buffer

Buffer is a service that will post to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, App.net, and Google+ Pages. They are unable to post to regular Google+ profiles as Google hasn’t made this functionality publicly available yet.

There is a plugin, WP To Buffer, that can automate this process for you. Follow the simple instructions to set it up.

Jetpack

Jetpack is a suite of plugins from Automattic, the makers of WordPress. You’ll need a WordPress.com account to make it work, but getting one is trivial.

Once installed, activate the Publicize setting, and configure the social accounts you want to auto-post to.

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NextScripts: Social Networks Auto-Poster

The final solution is to use a purpose-built plugin. Social Networks Auto-Poster by NextScripts is the most comprehensive. There are free and paid versions, and currently 27 social media networks are supported.

The free version allows only one account per network, and you cannot post to Google+ profiles. The paid version allows posting to multiple accounts per social network, and you can post to Google+ profiles.

Set-up is quite technical, but there are detailed tutorials to help with that.

I hope these tips have also been helpful. If you have any tips of your own, let me know in the comments below.

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