5 More Things To Know About Your WordPress Admin Area

About 3 weeks ago I wrote a post titled 5 Areas You Should Know More About In Your WordPress Admin Area. Some folks who commented said they’d love to know more. I don’t always do an “ask and you shall receive” type of post, but in this case I’m making an exception, so here’s 5 more things to talk to you about.

1. Screen Options. At the top right of every admin page, there’s something that’s called Screen Options. If you click on it, every box you see on that particular page will have a check mark in it. There might be some unchecked you want, and you might see some that you decide you don’t need to see anymore. This is another way to help customize everything, and if you’re someone using All In One SEO and you’ve done the latest upgrade you’ve probably noticed how it’s added some columns to your Posts admin page, and thus things are looking screwy. Going into Screen Options allows you to get rid of some of those things you probably don’t care about.

2. Permalinks. Unless you’re pretty savvy, you probably have the date contained within your link right now. That’s not a drastic problem, but it’s killing your SEO and making your link sometimes 8 characters longer than it has to be. If you look at it, you’ll see 5 options for changing how your link will look. I suggest going to the last option which has nothing there, then typing this in (or just copy it from this post): /%postname%/. What this does is puts your title in the link all by itself, with each word separated by a dash. Take a look at my link and you’ll see it there. Now, this won’t go back and fix any of your previous posts, but if you want to do that I suggest a plugin called Permalinks Migration Plugin. It works great, but then you’ll have to remember to go back through all your posts and in any of them where you linked internally you’ll have to manually change those links, otherwise they won’t work for your visitors.

3. Widgets. Almost anything you see in your sidebar that you didn’t actually go in and create is probably a widget. You have the ability to add, remove, or move these widgets around so that you can customize the look of your blog.

To get there, first click on Appearance, then click on Widgets. Once there, look to the far right. You’ll either have one sidebar option or more than one, depending on how many columns your blog has and how old it is. Click on the arrow next to the sidebar and you’ll see a list, if you have any widgets, of what’s in there. To the left you’ll see a bunch of other widgets that you can add to your sidebar. At the bottom you may or may not see some widgets. Anything not already in play can be pulled back in; all you have to do is click on the top bar, hold it with your mouse, and move it wherever you want it to go.

The Text widgets all need some kind of customization, because they’re empty. This is where you’d pop in code for things you might want to see, such as affiliate banners or books like I have or other such fun things like images. For all the other widgets, there might be some minor customization you can do before saving the widget. For instance, if you add the Archives widget, you’re given 2 options and a chance to rename it.

4. Categories. If you’re writing on a general topic but there are different issues involved, you wouldn’t hurt yourself to add categories to your posts. Oftentimes your blog will start ranking well on search engines because you end up having a lot of posts in certain specific categories that you’ve defined up front, and it gives you something easy to do internal links to from time to time. You can do it one of two ways. You can add a different category every time you create a new post, or you can go to Categories and put some in there ahead of time. This is also where you can delete categories if you’d like.

To get to Categories, click on Posts, then Categories. You’ll see on the left is where you create a category, and on the right is a list of categories. If you’ve never created any thing all you’ll have is probably Uncategorized; that’s terrible for your SEO, so I hope no one has kept that. Put in your category name in the first spot. Where it says “slug”, just ignore that. I have no idea how that could help anyone unless you have a very long category and want to shorten it, but that wouldn’t help your SEO all that much most of the time so just leave it be. The next thing is Parent, and I leave that alone, but you don’t have to. For instance, if you were writing about Roses you might decide to then add categories such as red roses, pink roses, blue roses, planting roses, growing roses, etc. Or you could just always select the general category of roses, which is what I do. That is, on something else, not roses. lol Hit Add Category and it will show up on the right.

5. Media. I’m not sure why they didn’t just call it Images, since all you’ll see in there are images. Media is every image you’ve ever put into a blog post. The only thing you might ever really want to use this for is if you want to change the written information about the image, or delete an image without having to go back to the post. If you click on Edit you’ll see the choices of information you can modify, including the title of the image. All of these choices are the same as if you were adding images by using the little box above the area where you write your content.

And there you go. If these 10 things don’t help make you more knowledgeable about your admin area, I don’t know what will. Happy reading!


Everything for the Fan

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Writing A Press Release

Okay, by now everyone should know that I’m putting on a social media workshop on Thursday with Renée Scherer. Well, at least you’d think that. What I found out just after the last one is that no matter how many times I put the link out on Twitter, people seemed to miss it. I mean, what the hey? This included people I talked to often on Twitter; that was discouraging, and of course if people don’t know about it, they’re not coming.

Grafik Magazine: Hand Drawn Type Spread
Carolyn Sewell via Compfight

This led me to considering the idea of writing a press release for this one and seeing if the newspaper would put it in. Of course, one can have a press release go to many other outlets as well, but there’s only one main newspaper in town, and I know the rules for writing a press release, which is pretty much only one main rule; make it sound like a news story and not an advertisement.

Having said that, there are some basic rules for writing up a press release; here they are:

1. You need to make sure there’s contact information in it

2. You need to indicate what the press release is for, hopefully giving them a title they might be able to use. I did that within the article, and I told what the event was up front.

3. You should have someone quoted in it. That’s not quite a necessity, but it helps to have a quote or two.

4. It needs to be in 3rd person. No “I’s” or anything like that unless it’s contained in the quote.

5. It needs to look “newsy”. In other words, it should read like it’s a story in the newspaper, even if it’s a short one.

I created the press release and I passed it by one of my Twitter friends who also happens to work at the newspaper. She said it was perfect, and that she’d give it to the powers that be. This isn’t my first press release, by the way. I’ve had two others put into the newspaper, one in 2004 when I was giving my Keys To Leadership seminars, and another when I was promoting a customer service workshop in 2005. So, it had been awhile, but my hope was that I hadn’t lost the skill of putting one together.

I hope it shows up in the newspaper, but there are never any guarantees. Actually, I’m writing this days ahead of time, so if you see this line then it probably won’t make it in time. In either case, another friend of mine in media said I should put it on my website to make sure it’s at least seen by someone. I decided to share it here:

Press Release:

Social Media Marketing Workshop
Hope Lake Lodge, August 19th, 2010

Following up on a successful first presentation on July 22nd, Mitch Mitchell of SEO Xcellence and Renée Scherer of Presentations Plus are putting on a second workshop on the topic of social media marketing. Titled “Make A Splash With Social Media Marketing”, they put on a 5 hour workshop that talks about social media strategies that have been used by many companies across the United States to enhance their business profiles and interact with customers.

“Smaller companies found out first how successful they could interact with current clients and grow their client base by using social media marketing, and now bigger companies have hopped on the bandwagon and establishing themselves as players in the game as well,” said Mitch Mitchell, who’s been working with clients on social media marketing strategies for 3 years now. “Anyone who hasn’t figured out that they need to embrace at least some aspects of social media marketing are going to fall behind, and it’s not going to be easy to catch up.”

Since both Mitchell and Scherer are from the Syracuse area, why start at Hope Lake Lodge? “I’m a skier and I love Greek Peak,” stated Scherer. “Once I realized how much more they had and that they’d love finding ways to help promote the new Cascades Water Park it seemed like it would be a nice marriage.”

They are working on setting up a workshop some time in September in the Syracuse area, then hoping for at least one more presentation at Cascades Water Park before deciding where to take it next. “I’d love to take it on the road, as it’s become a very hot topic”, said Mitchell.

So, what do you think?
 

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