Why (and How) Writers Should Master WordPress | FundsforWriters

Writers who know the nuances of WordPress can manage their own websites better — and be of more help to their clients by mastering WordPress as an extra skill. WordPress.com and .org As much as 40% or more of the internet uses WordPress to post blogs, manage websites, and create content. Learn this skill, and you can present something more to clients (or manage your own blog). WordPress.org is the version you want for maximum premium (paid) features, for business. WordPress.com is the platform to use if you’re still finding your way. Domain Registration Domains help people find things. Domains identify who you are, or what you have to offer. Writers can use their names as a domain like I have (alexjcoyne.com), and Hope has (www.chopeclark.com) while others may use their brand or business name (like www.thewritingroom.co.za or www.fundsforwriters.com ). Choose something easy-to-remember that can’t be mistaken for something else at a glance. I registered an extra domain, alexcoyneofficial.com to grab more traffic. Search for available domains, and pick your pricing guide. The more important you become, the more valuable your domain name becomes as well, but automatic renewal stops your domain from being snatched by someone else. Basic Pages and Posts Pages like About and Contact are important, and the first tabs people (and engines) will see. These, and other site posts, are called “internal links” because they remain on your website. Basic pages and posts should: • Be Clear and Score for Readability • Contain a Featured Image • Use Active Voice • Use [but not Overuse] a Keyword like Author • Contain External and Internal Links Add “tags” to your posts and pages in the WP sidebar. Tags and keywords help engines and visitors find your website. For example, I use “journalist” and “author” as featured page tags for the About page. The Publish Button Only use “Publish” when you are 100% sure about your post. Posts with mistakes can be removed from your site, but end up in the Internet Archive and other places nonetheless. Once published, it’s out there. I once spelled an international card player’s name wrong: it’s corrected now, but still digitally out there as an archived reminder of “being more careful.” Using Advanced Links in Posts External links, like this one to the Guardian’s homepage, are also important for every post or article: these increase your SEO score if they go to reputable, relevant pages with at least four in the average post. High SEO scores, means you’re more liked by search engines. When adding a link, the “nofollow” option means search engines will “ignore” this link. If there’s something you want readers to click on, but that could distract a search for the keyword, use nofollow. Links can also “open in a new tab”, which keeps users on your site rather than redirect them somewhere else. A slug is the name for the main URL at the top. Slugs can be edited, and should be, so that the link at the top doesn’t-end-up-reading-like-this-to-the-reader-until-the-end. Shorten it for better SEO results. Compare this slug: https://fundsforwriters.com/how-to-write-this-book-about-this-topic With this one: https://fundsforwriters.com/how-to-write-this-book See? Adding Widgets A “widget” is any small, programmable site tool like a Contact form or Follow Me button. My site’s widgets are simple, never overdone. Widgets are added in Settings: premium WP has more options, but basic WP can set up a good site. Widgets will appear on every page, consistent with your selected theme. Keep widgets easy to manage. Quick-loading, and easy-to-use should always be the point. Courses in WordPress WordPress courses are worth it, believe me. I learned the hard way first, and it cost years of time I could have saved with simple online courses! Yoast Academy, Udemy, and WordPress can teach you tricks and guides I can’t include here. After a course or two, what you’ll know so much more about WordPress, and SEO will be more understood and better utilized than before. My WordPress skills have come in handy, and I manage my own posts for The South African on the back-end as well as my own site. Hope manages both of her own WordPress sites. The savings can be incredible. About the Author:  Alex J. Coyne is a journalist, writer, and proofreader. He has written for a variety of publications and websites, with a radar calibrated for gothic, gonzo and the weird. Occasionally, he also cowrites.

This content was originally published here.