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How do I add a link to a blog post?

This is a re-post of an older post that was attracting lots of spam comments, reposting it to see if it helps. But it is a useful post, still, so do read, enjoy and share!

Why would I add a link to a blog post?

Adding a link means that you’re putting a hyperlink to either another website or another of your blog posts in the one that you’re writing. There are many reasons for doing this: these are some of the reasons why I do it …

And did you notice that all of those bullet points were links to examples of what I was talking about?

A note about SEO and links (back-links)

One major advantage of links is in helping your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). I’m not going to go deeply into that here, but basically, Google and the other search engines like to see your pages linked to on other people’s pages, as it shows you’re trustworthy and respected within your community enough for people to link back to you. Yes, people do try to abuse this (we’ve all had blog “comments” from spammers trying to get their URL on your list of comments and now we know why) but when used properly, reciprocal linking to content that does actually interest you and is relevant for your readers does help your fellow bloggers and will hopefully lead to them linking to you, too.

How do I add a link to my blog post?

Of course, all of the blogging platforms (WordPress, LiveJournal, Blogger and others) do it slightly differently. But the difference usually comes down to the icon that they use and how much you can do once you’ve clicked on that icon.

I’m going to use WordPress as the main example, showing all the steps to create a link, but then I’ll show you what the link button looks like in Blogger and LiveJournal and, in fact, Gmail, too. And at the end I’ll share those link images so you know what to look out for.

How do I add a link to a WordPress blog post?

The first thing you need to do is have some text on which you want to base the link. Here I’ve typed in a few words. You can see that in the case of WordPress, there’s a little greyed-out icon that’s not clickable if you haven’t highlighted any text:

Wordpress 1

As soon as I highlight the text that I want to use as the basis of my link, the two greyed-out icons appear in all their clickable glory:

Wordpress 2

Keeping the text highlighted, click on the left-hand icon that looks a bit like a staple. Or in fact, as has been pointed out in the comments on this post, a link in a chain. This will bring up a dialogue box for inserting your link:

Wordpress 3

WordPress allows you to do two things here; you can either link to a URL for a page outside your own blog (circled in red) or you can choose one of your own previous blog posts to link to (circled in blue) – very handy.

We’re going to concentrate on linking to a URL. Type in the URL you want to link to – including http:// at the beginning:

Wordpress 4

Note here that I’m read to hit Add Link and I have NOT ticked Open link in a new window/tab. This is because I used to do that and an experienced website manager I know got into a bit of a frenzy and told me that it’s not good practice and I should NOT do that. So I don’t now.

Note: if you want to open a link in a new window or tab when you’re reading a blog or web page, right-click on that link and you should get a list of options including those.

Having pressed Add Link, my text is underlined:

Wordpress 5

… and it will be a link just like the ones in the first section, above.

If you want to edit the link, highlight the underlined text and click on the same Link button – you can now change it as you wish.

If you want to delete the link, highlight the underlines text and click on the icon to the right, which is supposed to look like a link being broken (or a staple being removed).

How do I add a link to a Blogger blog post?

Thanks to my friend Linda for the screenshots for this one! (And that’s a link to the website she’s set up with background information to a book she’s just published.)

Blogger works in a similar way to WordPress, but the icon you need to use is the word Link:

Blogger 1

and the dialogue box doesn’t give you the option to choose a previous blog post to link to, but has the familiar URL entry field:

Blogger 2

How do I add a link to a LiveJournal blog post?

LiveJournal uses another common icon that you’ll find for a link – this is apparently a globe with a link of a chain attached …

Livejournal 1

and you’ll get a similar dialogue box when you click that icon.

How do I add a link to a Weebly blog post?

Thanks to Louise Harnby for the screenshot for this one. We encounter the link  / staple icon again for Weebly, this time in white on a black background:

weebly 1

How do I add a link to a Gmail email?

And just because it demonstrates one of the other icons that is commonly used, if you want to add a link to a Gmail email, for example to point a friend to this blog post, the icon is another chain link / staple, but a horizontal one similar to Weebly’s:

Gmail 1

Icons that represent adding a link

Here are those common icons again. If you find another one, do contact me and send me a screenshot and I’ll add it to this post!

If you want to add a link to any kind of text and you’re looking for the appropriate icon on a button, it is likely to be one of these or similar:

icon 2 stapleicon 3 wordicon 1 worldicon 2.5 another staple

I hope you found this useful. If so, please take a moment to like, share or comment, and spread the word! And feel free to use the Search function on the right hand sidebar to look for more posts about blogging …

 
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Posted by on September 17, 2015 in Blogging, Writing

 

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2 top tips on dealing with the endless pitches for guest posts or reviews

handshakeLast week, I wrote down the 10 top tips for pitching guest posts and asking bloggers to review your product (you can read the article here). I wrote that from the point of view of somebody who receives requests to host guest posts and review stuff All The Time.

It can be time-consuming replying to these emails and messages, but if you’re anything like me, you welcome genuine and relevant content (and interesting book review requests) and don’t like to be rude, unless something’s obviously spammy (in which case, I’m only rude enough to ignore the message!). So, in this article I’m sharing the two methods I use to allow me to respond to pitches quickly, easily and politely, which also have the effect of weeding out the time-wasters.

1. Have a policy for guest posts and reviews

I’ve got a guest post and review policy on both this website (visit it here) and my book review blog (visit it here).

It’s standard practice to have a policy – it sets things out and allows you to filter out approaches you don’t want. Of course, I don’t know how many people this filters out before they contact me, but it must get rid of a few.

This is also hugely useful for when you respond to pitches. When I send my automated email (see point 2 below), I include a link to my policy in my email. This means …

a) The pitcher has to go and look at a web page before they respond (filtering out people who were blanket-bombing blogs and probably won’t be relevant to you)

b) I can change my policy once, on this page, without having to remember to update my standard pitch response email.

c) If a pitcher replies to my email and clearly hasn’t looked at the guidelines, that’s a clear indication that it’s time to terminate the conversation.

2. Create a standard automated pitch response email

Most email providers allow you to create standard replies which you can select and send out without having to type out a new email every time. In Gmail, you can set up something called Canned Responses (and you can find my instructions on how to set them up here).

This saves you loads of time responding individually to pitches for guest posts or product reviews. I tend to get more of the first category for this blog, and this is what my email says:

Thank you for your enquiry about posting your content on my blog.

Before we go any further, please read my Terms and Conditions on Guest Blog Posts and Sponsored Posts, make sure that you can answer the questions posed there, and then get back to me with your suggestions. Best wishes,

Liz

This really does cover most eventualities (and for the few that it doesn’t cover, I can easily add a bit to the email). It takes about three clicks of the mouse button to reply and send, and, to be honest, it usually puts people off! But then, that’s the idea …

—-

Using both of these methods has speeded up my response time to pitches and allowed me to sift out the wheat from the chaff, the genuine opportunities for cooperation from the spammers trying to insert their link onto every website and blog going.

I hope you’ve found this article enjoyable and useful. If you have, please take a moment to share it using the sharing buttons below, and I always appreciate relevant comments!

Relevant posts on this blog

Guest blogging 1: how to be the host with the most

Guest blogging 2: how to be the perfect guest

10 top tips for pitching your guest post or asking a blogger to review your product

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2015 in Blogging, Business, Marketing, Writing

 

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Small business chat summer break …

The summer’s always a quiet time for my small business chats, which you usually see on a Saturday morning, as people go on holiday, business people with children take time off to look after them during the school holidays, etc. (but if I’m waiting for your update, please send it in so I can give your business a boost!).

So if you’re used to reading a small business chat at this time of the week, here’s some alternative reading that lets you know a bit more about the person behind Libro – you might like to pop over and see what I read in my spare time, when I’m not editing other people’s books, for example. More business chat will come soon!

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2015 in Blogging

 

10 Top Tips for Pitching a Guest Post or Getting a Blogger to Review your Product

handshakeI get lots and lots of requests every day, via my contact form or email, to accept a guest blog post from somebody. I also get requests to accept books for review on my personal book review blog. Although I’ve written in more depth about being a good guest blogger, I think it’s worth putting down a few points here to help people get the most out of their pitch to get a genuine and useful guest post or review on a blogger’s website.

Because … I reject about 98% of requests for a guest post after the first email.

So, here are my Top 10 tips for pitching a guest post or getting a blogger to review your product

1. Before you even start, think about the relevance of the website you’re contacting.

I get so many queries that have nothing to do with my website in the slightest. Things like, “I love your [editing] website, would you accept an article on real estate in Texas?”

Now, on rejecting one of these a while ago, I had a back-and-forth with the pitcher. She was determined that I would benefit from having her totally non-relevant content, full of dodgy links, on my website. I ended up saying to her “No reputable website would take this as a guest post”. Her reply, “You’d be surprised, LOL”.

The thing is, Google is adjusting its search algorithms all the time. It already specifically works against backlinks (a link to your content on someone reputable’s website which ups your credibility in the “eyes” of the search engines) which are in lists of random links and content which is full of keywords but no useful content. In time, your link to your bead firm on a blog about wind farms will impress the search engines less and less.

You’ll get far more hits as a genuine person seeking to place guest posts on a website if you target appropriate and relevant hosts.

2. Give detail.

If I get a generic, one-line email asking for a guest post or review that doesn’t give me any other info, that’s going straight in the reject pile. You might get my standard email response if you’re lucky.

If’s fine to keep it short, but make sure there is some information in there.

3. Show you’re familiar with the target blog / review site

I am looking for you to  have actually read my blog and know a little bit about what I do. Just a mention of the URL isn’t enough: you can cut and paste that. I want to  know that you know what I do, who my readers are, what topics I cover.

4. Watch out for mail merges / cut and paste carefully.

I’m putting this here because without fail, emails requesting guest posts start with “I have been reading URL INSERTED for some time and love your content”. This doesn’t work so well as a hook if you re-use an email and include the incorrect blog title or URL!

5. State what you want to do.

The target will want to know what you want to do – send in a blog post, pitch some ideas, post them a sample. Put this clearly early on.

6. State what you want out of it.

If you want a book review, say so. If you want your website address included in a guest post you’ve written, say so. If you want to include links that you’ve promised your customer to get onto several reputable websites, also say so – because your target is likely to notice this further down the line and get a bit cross with you.

7. State what the target will get out of it.

State clearly the benefit for the target. Yes, they might be desperate for content – if you see they haven’t posted for a while, this is OK to mention. Will you be helping their readers, bringing a new but related audience to their blog? Tell them. One useful offer is to do a reciprocal guest post – i.e. you will host a post from your target on your website on a similar or related matter.

8. Show you know who your target’s audience is.

I want to know that you’ve thought about who this will reach. An example when pitching to me might be, “I would guess given your writing on dissertations that your audience includes students. This product helps students to bind their dissertations so might be useful to that part of your readership”.

9. Give links and reviews.

If you’ve got examples of your work or product on other websites or you can showcase your own writing on your own website, include links. If your product, book, etc. has been reviewed on other websites, include links.

10. Keep it simple, keep it correct.

If you’re pitching a guest post, make sure to write clearly and grammatically – a reputable blogger will not want to either edit your text for hours or hosts something of lower quality than the content they usually post up. If you’re pitching a product, make sure you are clear and knowledgeable and point to a well-designed and informative website. Will your target want to embarrass themselves pointing their readers to a terrible website?

A good example

This post was triggered  by two things – one, another request but with another company’s URL in the message – d’oh! The other was an excellent pitch from an author asking me to review her book. I’m going to go into specifics another day, but she included …

  • A greeting using my name and a farewell using hers
  • A note confirming that she had read my blog, mentioning something I’d talked about on it recently
  • Details of her book title and the fact she was asking me to review it
  • A few sentences about the book
  • A link to its sales page and a review by a reputable reviewer
  • A polite request to consider taking a review copy

And do you know what? I’ve got a review copy of that book sitting in my To Be Read pile right now.

In summary

If you’re serious about pitching your content or product to reputable websites where their presence can do you some good, make sure that you give your target blogger information about both what your pitching and your own credibility. I’m not saying that you will succeed every time, but your target blogger is more likely to read your email and consider your pitch if you do.

I hope you’ve found this article enjoyable and useful. If you have, please take a moment to share it using the sharing buttons below, and I always appreciate relevant comments!

Relevant posts on this blog

Guest blogging 1: how to be the host with the most

Guest blogging 2: how to be the perfect guest

 
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Posted by on July 29, 2015 in Blogging, Business, Marketing, Writing

 

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Top blog posts of 2014

It’s that time of year when I do a roundup of the top posts of the year that has just passed. I like sharing what most people liked to read about through the year … (They’re in reverse order, building up to the most popular)

Top 5 small business chats

(not including my own)

5. Small business chat – Jenny Woodberry

4. Small business chat – Deborah Price

3. Small business chat – Karen White

2. Small business chat update – Paul Alborough / Professor Elemental

1. Saturday freelance chat – Carl Nixon

Top 5 Microsoft Office tips posts

5. Table of figures and table of tables

4. What to do if your comment boxes go tiny in Word (this was my first ever Word tips blog post, written for myself when I experienced the issue!)

3. How do I print out table headings at the top of every page in Excel?

2. How to put text in alphabetical order in Word

1. How do I keep my table headings over multiple pages in a Word document?

Top 5 business and careers tips posts

5. Ten top tips for transcribers

4. All the small business interviews

3. Working as a professional transcriber

2. How do you start a career in transcription?

1. Proofreading as a career – some pointers

(this little lot makes me glad that I wrote my Quick Guide to Your Career in Transcription and am preparing a book on careers for editors and proofreaders!)

Top 5 social media and blogging posts

5. How to set up a WordPress blog 2: adding pages to make it into a website

4. Setting up a WordPress blog 6: Adding sharing buttons to your blog posts

3. How to Set up a WordPress blog 7: Adding your profile picture or avatar

2. How to add an admin or moderator to your Facebook business page

1. What is Storify and how do I use it?

Top 5 Troublesome Pairs

5. Gunnel or gunwale?

4. Comprise, compose or consist?

3. Lightning, lightening or lighting?

2. Unmeasurable or immeasurable?

1. On Route or En Route?

Top 5 posts overall

5. Table of figures and table of tables

4. What to do if your comment boxes go tiny in Word

3. How do I print out table headings at the top of every page in Excel?

2. How to put text in alphabetical order in Word

1. How do I keep my table headings over multiple pages in a Word document?

Wow … all Office tips, and they’ve finally knocked En route or on route off the top spot!

And these were the top posts last year!

Happy New Year to all of my readers, however you’re reading this blog and wherever you are. You can look forward to more troublesome pairs, Word tips, business stuff and new books in 2015!

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2015 in Blogging, Business, Word

 

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Why writing a blog post is (a bit) like writing a sermon

A hand, writing with a fountain penI was reading (yet) another mid-20th-century novel featuring a vicar hard at work over his Sunday sermon (sorry, I haven’t read a book featuring a female vicar, as far as I know. Are there any yet?) and an analogy struck me: writing a blog post is quite a lot like writing a sermon. As both involve constantly seeking fresh ways of looking at things, I thought I’d run with that idea and see where it took me, so here goes…. but please do read the comment at the bottom of the post if you’re at all concerned about this content …

10 reasons why writing a blog post is (a bit) like writing a sermon

If you commit to writing a blog, it’s a good idea to publish at least one post a week. When I was thinking about writing a batch of posts one day, it reminded me of vicars, from Jane Austen onwards, heading to their desk to write their weekly sermon. Here’s why, in particular.

1. You have to produce something new every week. If you said the same thing over and over again, people would soon get bored and drift away.

2. It’s good to base your text on a real-world problem. The best blog posts, in my opinion, are based on something real that’s happened, whether you’ve encountered a tricky problem using Word (that’s how my whole series of Word posts started), are reacting to something in the news or are sharing a story you’ve created.

3. You base your work on truth and you refer to the relevant authorities. A sermon will of course be based around a Bible reference. When I write about a topic, I will often include the real-life experience of others, or links to their work, or screen shots of what’s going on in a program. If I claim to state a fact, I try to provide a reference. If I’m responding to someone else, I include a link.

4. You need to add value and a learning point (or lesson, if we’re being straightforward). It’s all very well to talk about a real-world issue, but you need to draw something from it, a useful lesson, something to make it worthwhile reading the post.

5. You need to leave your audience thinking. They might have enjoyed your latest novel extract, know there’s now a place to get information on comment boxes or have learned more about DIY funerals (as I did myself earlier this week), but if they go away thinking, they’ll remember you next time.

6. You are often talking about things that have been talked about before. There’s not much new in the world, and it’s unlikely that any of us will produce anything totally new, but there are ways to find new ways to talk about things, as I might have done here!

7. You’re trying to help people! You might be entertaining, explaining, sharing a book, giving information on a technical matter, sharing your own experience of something, but I think most successful bloggers are in it to help people as well as pour out their souls or publicise their business.

8. You want people to come back. No one wants to drive readers (or worshippers) away, so you’re intending to encourage them to visit again, by providing well-crafted content that they want or need.

9. You are often trying to inspire people to take action in some way. Whether you’re encouraging people to try a new craft, read a new book or venture into running their own business, or trying to change their mind on a contentious topic, many blog posts aim to inspire.

10. Your best work is probably produced after pondering for a while rather than dashing it off in a blind panic at the last minute (as my old friend Paulette says, “more like a birth than a rupture!”). This is certainly true of many of mine, although the actual writing up may come a little close to the wire sometimes.

Do you agree? Can you add any other analogies? Do vicars have a day of writing sermons to get ahead of themselves? (seriously, I’d love to know!)

Thanks and disclaimer:

I checked this idea with a group of people who are more religious than me / regularly attend worship / are vicars / are related to or married to vicars and other people of the cloth (thank you to all of them, and particularly Paulette Stubbings for a valuable suggestion). They all thought it was a fun  /interesting / good idea. It’s not my intention to offend anyone, and if I do, please let me know, and why, and I’ll take that into consideration. I’m certainly not undermining the work of religious leaders or claiming that bloggers are the new priests or anything silly like that. Edited to add: I also understand that I am not empowered by any higher spirit or authority of any kind when writing, but I do have a serious intent in sharing information and helping people: not all blogs do that, but I’m primarily talking about myself and similar informational bloggers here.

To read more about blogging, visit the resource page

 
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Posted by on December 17, 2014 in Blogging, Writing

 

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WordPress 9 – setting up a Posts page

This post and the one on setting a static home page will walk you through helping your readers to navigate your blog/website by creating a Menu item to allow people to access your blog posts and a static home page so that they understand what you’re all about.

Why would I want to set up a Posts page?

If you’ve set up a static page for viewers to land on when they visit your blog (which is recommended for any set of pages and posts where you’re promoting a service, company or product, whether that’s your crafts, plumbing services or travel or writing blog), then your readers will need a place to visit your blog posts.

WordPress will set up a “Recent posts” area somewhere on your theme (depending on the theme you chose when you set up the blog), but it’s nice to have something to click on in the main menu:

WordPress blog default

You can see that there’s only one page on the menu at the top of the page (menu location will vary depending on your theme; menu items will vary depending on how many pages you have set up) and then a list of recent posts. Clicking on the blog title will bring you to this “About” page again, which is fine, because that’s the first page you want your readers to see. But it’s not helping them to see your blog.

How do I set a Posts page?

In order to set up a Posts page for your readers to navigate to, you need to create a new page to link to your blog, and then tell WordPress to display it. Here’s how to do just that:

First of all, you need to set up a page for the posts to be associated with. Why? Because a page is a static, unchanging lump of text on a screen, and WordPress likes to add pages, and not posts (which are constantly renewed and have dates on them) to menus. So we need to set up an empty page called, for example, “Blog” first (another popular choice is “News”).

To set up a new page, in the Dashboard, select Pages then All Pages:

Pages menu in WordPress

You can view here what pages you have set up – in this case, just the About page:

Viewing all pages

To add a new page, click on Add New under the Pages menu in the sidebar. You will now see a new, blank page:

Adding  a page

Give the page a title – Blog, or News, or however you want people to find your blog posts / diary entries / news bulletins, but don’t add any text to the main part of the page, and then press the Publish button:

Adding a new page called Blog

Now you have a lovely page called Blog, which you can see if you navigate back to All Pages:

Page added to WordPress

And if you view your blog (I keep a separate tab open in my browser in which I display the reader’s view of the page, refreshing it when I’ve changed something on the site), you have an automatic menu item on the screen called Blog …

Page added - Blog appears on menu

… but when you click on that, all you see is an empty page with the title Blog:

Page added for Blog but not linked to the Posts

Oh no! But don’t worry, you just need to tell WordPress what you want your readers to see when they navigate to this page.

To set the Blog page to display your blog posts, go into Dashboard, then Settings and Reading:

 

Setting home screen

Once in the Reading Settings screen, you can choose what the Posts page (or blog / news page) displays. Here, the default is currently set to nothing (“– Select –“), meaning that no page has been selected to display any blog posts. Click on the down arrow and choose Blog from the list of pages that you have set up (if you have more than two pages, all of them will display here):

Setting the posts page

Click on the page you wish to select. You can now see that, after following these two sets of instructions, you have set a home or landing page (static page) and a page on which to display your blog (or news, constantly changing and updating):

Both bome pages set

Click on the Save Changes button at the bottom of the screen. When viewing the website and clicking on Blog, you now have a menu item and page that your readers can navigate to in order to read your blog.

Blog page set up

Yes, this is a bit convoluted, but it’s how to make a posts page that’s easily findable by your readers. If you look at the top of this blog post, if you’re viewing it on my website rather than in an email or via an aggregator, you will see Home and Blog among the menu items at the top, and most good sites will have something of the sort.

I hope you’ve found this post useful. Please do share it using the buttons below so that other people can find it and benefit from the instructions! Thank you!

Related posts on this website

You can find all of the social media and blogging posts, including WordPress, in my Resource Guide

Adding pages to WordPress blogs

 
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Posted by on May 8, 2014 in Blogging, WordPress

 

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