Category Archives: Blogging

What is a ‘sticky’ post?

Have you ever been on a blog or forum, where the same post sits at the top for some time? Even though other posts are being or have been published since?

Well, that post is ‘sticky’ – it’s stuck to the top of the page. Another term is ‘pinned’ i.e it’s pinned to the top of the page (although that seems to be used less now we always use the same term within Pinterest).
There are many reasons why you might want to do this – to draw attention to a particular post, to advertise a post with a deadline in, or like we did here on The Adoption Social over Christmas – to keep our linky #WASO as the first piece that people would see when they visited our site.

So how do you do this in WordPress? Well, it’s actually very simple. Create and schedule/publish your post as usual, or find an old post that you want to make sticky. Then click ‘Quick Edit’ beneath it.

Near the right, as shown below, is a tick box called Make this post sticky. Simply, click on that box, and your post will remain stuck at the top of your page until you quick edit it again and remove that tick.  sticky postSo, that is a sticky post.
If you have any other terms that you would like explaining, then don’t be shy, please let us know and we’ll write or research a post. Chances are, if you don’t understand something, then there are others out there in the same position who would appreciate a reference point.

Pixelating a Photo in Picmonkey

pixel pic

We are Re-sharing this post as it is our most popular post on Blogging, so just incase you missed it, here it is….

PicMonkey is a great photo editing website that is easy to use and free. There are lots of great effects that you can use when you are editing pictures and it is well worth having a play with, there are hours of fun to be had. In this post I’m going to show you how to pixelate a section of a photo. What this means is you can distort a portion of the picture, like the face or maybe a landmark, making a person or area unidentifiable. This can be useful if you want to post images on your blog that include your children.

  • So first things first go to the site www.picmonkey.com
  • On the home page click on Edit a Photo
  • This will open your files on your computer and you can scroll to find the picture you would like to edit.
  • Select the photo you wish to work on and click open, this will move the image into PicMonkey and your screen should look like the image below.

picmonkey2

  • Select the second icon down on the left hand side of the screen, the little chemistry bottle representing EFFECTS (highlighted in the red circle above)
  • Scroll down through the side bar of EFFECTS until you reach AREA and click on FOCAL PIXELATE 
  • Your screen will now look like the image below

Pic monkey

  • The normal settings for this effect is to pixelate the whole image and provide one clear area, what you want to do is pixelate a small area and keep the rest clear, so first click REVERSE EFFECT.
  • Hover the mouse over your photo and a circle will appear, move the circle to cover the area you want to pixelate.
  • Slide bars on the left hand side will allow you to change the size of the circle and the size of the pixels. The large the pixels the more distorted the image will be.
  • Once you are happy with the image click APPLY
  • Now Save the image onto your computer, selection the SAVE option above the image.
  • You will need to select where you save the image on your computer and it likes you to add .jpg after the name of the image.
  • Once stored in a file you can now upload the image onto your blog.

 

 

How to add your Blog Post to #WASO

Ever wondered how you could put your blog  on #WASO…here’s how. 

It’s really encouraging to see lost of new people joining the adoption twitter community and some have even taken the plunge and started to a blog as well. We love this wealth of shared experiences that makes us all feel less alone, helps us to make more sense of our own lives and offer empathy to those who require support. It is the main reason we started #WASO, to encourage the community to grow.

So today I’m going to run through just how simple it is to join your blog post to the weekly #WASO link up.

1. On the Friday #WASO post ,scroll down the page until you see the blue writing stating Click Here to Enter  (as indicated by the red arrow below), click on it. linky1

 

2. The screen in the image below will then appear.

linky2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are four sections which you are required to fill in. The important thing to remember is that the only information which will be visible on the link is the title you use in the first box. So either use the title of your post or the title of your blog in this box or only information you are happy for others to read.

The second information that is required is the link to your post. The easiest way to do this is to cut and paste the link from your blog. That is the address that appears at the top of the page when you are on the post, as indicated in the image below.

linky3

 

Then you add your email and a name and click enter your link. 

You then follow the link back to the linky4post and your entry should appear as shown below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You see, really simple BUT if you ever have any problems please contacts us, we are happy to help.

WordPress Tutorial – Creating and Inserting a Custom Made Header

Customise your blog, to make it your own with a personalised header…

I’m going to show you how to make a personilised header using photographs edited in PicMonkey, like the one shown below. I will be using the Theme Twenty Twelve for my example but lots of Themes will allow you t insert a customised header.

TATHEADER

Step 1

Open Picmonkey and select the collage option, as the arrow indicates below.

Head1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 2

Select your photographs that you wish to use from their saved location, most of mine are on my computer. You need 4 to make the header shown above.

These photographs will appear in the left column of the screen as shown below.

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Step 3

Select which configuration you want your collage to be in. For this header choose Ducks in a Row, four boxes.

Then move your photographs into the squares using your mouse/cursor.

Head4

Step 4

Now select the Edit function from the grey toolbar at the top of your screen. This will open Editor.

In Editor you can add words and symbols to your header and add effects to your photgraphs.

In my header I used the Intrepid filter from the effects.

Selected a stamp seal (white circle of stars) from the symbols and added text in Chunk Five. I also changed the colour of these items using the colour bar.

Head5

Step 5

Finally, you may need to resize your header, bottom option on main editing page of PicMonkey. Where you add your header in WordPress  ( I’ll show you how to get to that in the next step) a suggested size for your hear will be give. As I’m using the Twenty Twelve theme I resized my header to the correct with of 960 pixels. To keep the proportions of my picture the pixel height is slightly out but you should be able to edit that in WordPress, as I will show you next.

NOW SAVE YOUR WORK

Step 6

From your WordPress blog dashboard select Appearance and then Header, from the left side bar.

Click on the Choose File box and select your header from it’s saved location.

Now click on Up Load

Your chosen header should appear on the screen, with a Crop and Publish box below. As shown here.

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Use your mouse/cursor to manipulate the movable lines and create the area you would like to crop.

When you are happy with the crop area, click Crop and Publish.

Now when you return to your front page your beautiful Header should be on display.

Head8

There you go…happy header designing to you all.

Choosing Your WordPress Theme.

Today is about what to think about when selecting your WordPress Theme.

There are so many wonderful WordPress Themes to choose from, some free  and some you pay for.

If you have already started to set up your WordPress blog as I showed you in our last post How to Start a WordPress blog, you will have reached the section on selecting a Theme.

Here I will tell you about three different Themes you could choose from,ones that I have used and what their features are.

If you are unsure of what Theme you might like, visit some of your favourite blogs and, if they use WordPress, scroll to the base of the home page where the Theme name is usually listed, (occasionally bloggers like to remove this information and the design is therefore unknown).

It’s important you think about what you want to be able to do on your blog, what is it about the appearance that matters to you?

Do you want to insert your own header design?

Do you want a sidebar menu? Which side would you like it?

Does the colour of the text / background matter to you?

Do you want your blog to be responsive Theme, meaning your site will adapt to  mobile devices and other formats, the site fits the screen of the device it is viewed from.

So now you’ve had a think about what it is you want here are the examples.

Twenty Twelve

This Theme looks like the image below, in it’s most basic format.

TAT1

The 2012 theme for WordPress is a fully responsive theme and its features include a front page template with its own widgets, an optional display font, styling for post formats on both index and single views, and an optional no-sidebar page template. You can also make it your own with a custom menu, header image, and background.

What I love about this Theme is how creative you can be with it. There is lots of information on the web about how to customise this Theme.

Blogs that use this format include The Adoption Social and The Puffin Diaries.

Forever

Looks like the image below in it’s most basic format.

TAT2

With this Theme you can customise the background, colours, header and menu. It is great for featured images and you can have a full width template to enhance the display of your images.

What I love about it is the clean simplicity of it.

I used this on the blog Freda and Me.

Oxygen

In it’s most basic form it looks like the image below

TAT3e Tr

With this theme you can customise the background, colours, header and menu. You can have featured images and slider images if you choose. You can have a post on your front page or feature small excerpts from your recent posts with a feature image.

This was the first Theme I ever used and I still love its clean professional look. 

Hope this has been helpful, next time I will show you how to create your own header design and insert it into your blog.

 

How to start a blogger blog

Last week we showed you how to create a blog in WordPress. The other popular alternative blogging tool is Blogger/Blogspot. So here’s how to start a Blogger blog…

Step 1

Go to the website www.blogger.com. Click on Create Account. Blogger is tied into google/gmail/google+ and much more, even if you already have a gmail email account, I’d suggest that you don’t use that with your blog, and create a blog specific one.

starting on blogger

Step 2

The next page will require you to create an account. Consider your own security here, you might not want to use your real or whole name.

You will be required to verify your account by phone/text message. But your number won’t be public.

You’ve made a google account – you now have a new email address and can connect it to your blog.

Step 3

Now you need to confirm your profile – I suggest selecting a limited Blogger profile rather than a Google+ profile. Safer for adoptive bloggers who might need to consider safety and security more than other bloggers.

Select your profile name – this is how you would like your name to appear. You could use the blog name you hope to use? Continue on…

Step 4

The next page will take you to your ‘dashboard’. Here you’ll see any blogs you’ve created, and a few basic statistics about them.

Now you can create your blog. Click on the NEW BLOG button on the left.create your blog 2

Step 5

Here you’ll choose your blog name and web address. Your web address will be unique – but your blog name and web address don’t have to be the same.

As you type, you’ll see whether you’ve picked a unique name or not.

You can choose a template on this screen too, but don’t worry – you can easily change this later.

That’s it, your blog is create. Blogger is very helpful at getting you started – just click on the prompts that appear. If you want to return to your dashboard at any point, then click on the B icon in the top left corner.

setting up blogger 3

Next time I’ll talk you through design a little bit – and how to change the look and style of your blog.  In the meantime, if you have any questions, do drop us a line at theadoptionsocial@gmail.com

How to Start a WordPress Blog

Today we are going to show you the very first steps to take in creating a blog in WordPress.

Step 1

Go to the website wordpress.com

WP1

 

Step 2

the next page will require you to add your email a Username and the name of your blog.

The Blog name will be unique. type it into the section indicated below and WordPress will let you know if the name is available.

Here I’ve started a blog called TheAdoptionTimes.WordPress.com

WP2

 

Step 3

Once you’ve entered the required information and found a name for your blog, scroll down the page and click on Create Blog button.

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Step 4

The Next page will show details of your blog which you can move on from by clicking the NEXT button, bottom right of the screen.

 

Step 5

Here you will be asked to select your theme for your blog. The Theme will determine how your blog looks, the layout, the colours, font and also dome of the technical attributes of your site.

At The Adoption Social we use Twenty Twelve but have a look at all the themes and experiment with them. It can be fun.

Next time I’ll talk you through Three different Themes and their different attributes.

 

VOTE for The Adoption Social

It’s Award Session………

BiBbigLogo2014a-300x300

We are in celebration mode at The Adoption Social because we have been shortlisted for a very prestigious blogging award. Yes in the category of Social Media we have been shortlisted for a BiB Award ( Brilliance in Blogging). These awards are organised by Britmums who we are very happy to be associated with through our monthly Adoption and Fostering Round Up.

When we set up The Adoption Social we recognised the support that bloggers were finding through our Weekly Adoption Shout Out and we wanted to extend that community through the use of other elements of social media; twitter, Facebook and pinterest. We wanted to encourage more people to join the world of social media and find the friendships that we ourselves had found invaluable as part of our support network.

As the number of our readers and followers continues to grow, we feel very much that our community is blossoming and we both feel hugely inspired by all the people who continue to be involved in this online network.

So if you feel that we have made a difference for you and helped in any way, please vote for us in these awards. Imagine if we could call ourselves The Award Winning Adoption Social, it would be an award for all of us.

To Vote Click on the Badge Below. Each person only has one vote in each category. Our Category is Social Media.

VOTE FOR ME BiB 2014 SOCIALMEDIA

CLICK ON THE BADGE TO VOTE

Oh and Whilst you’re there both The Puffin Diaries and The Boys Behaviour are nominated in the Inspire Category so please Feel Free to cast your vote there too!

VOTE FOR ME BiB 2014 INSPIRE

CLICK ON THE BADGE TO VOTE 

And as always a massive thank you to everyone for their continuing support, every one of you plays their part in making The Adoption Social.

Adding keywords to your blog

Keywords, labels, tags – call them what you will, they’re important in blogging. Keywords are usually a word, or short phrase, that relate to the content of your post.

If you think of your blog as a filing cabinet, then think of keywords as the labels on the top of the files that allow you to organise and re-find a post, and also help anyone else that visits your blog to find relevant posts too.

Not only for you, and your readers, but also search engines.

Adding keywords in Blogger

As you write your post, you’ll see the ‘labels’ box on the right hand side. Type in keywords, using commas to separate them. Use one or two-word keywords, perhaps using details like ‘gingerbread recipe’ or ‘attachment counselling’ rather than general words like ‘food’ or ‘therapy’. Though on most of our blogs ‘adoption’ would be general, but fairly useful.

Press ‘Done’ once you’ve entered all the keywords that are relevant.

Keywords in blogger

Adding keywords in WordPress

After writing your post, look for the ‘Tags’ box on the right hand side. Type in the tags you want to include, using commas to separate them. As above, use detailed keywords rather than general words.  

Hit ‘Add’ and then ‘Publish’, and your post will go live.

tags in wordpress

On both WordPress and Blogger, a list of keywords will appear under your published post. And in both, you can search your posts by keyword from your Dashboard (that’s the back-end bit only you can see, where you can edit/delete/publish posts).

Only you can choose which keywords are relevant, but have a think about the most important points in your post – and use those.

If you have any tips or hints on using keywords or tags in posts, do let us know in the comments…

Secret Santa round-up

We decided to have some festive fun at The Adoption Social and we organised (Vicki organised) a Secret Santa. Our version found bloggers, who wanted to be involved, gifting a guest blog post to CYMERA_20131211_155809another blogger.

All the names were placed in a hat (vintage glass bowl) and picked out at random. We were all then notified who we were writing for and asked to create a post, something written or a picture, to gift to this blogger. The Adoption Social (Vicki) coordinated it all and once all the posts were in, they were sent to their recipients.

All the posts will be appearing on the participating blogs this week. So to help you all enjoy our little bit of festive fun, we’ve provided you with a link to all those who have taken part. The links will take you to the post, if already posted, or the blog main page…

Enjoy…..

On The Road To Adoption

Suddenly Mummy

The Puffin Diaries

Adopt & Keep Calm

3 Pink Diamonds

Sally Donovan

2 Mums, 2 Kids?

The Boy’s Behaviour

Mo & Bro

Getting There

Dear Daughter

Adopting Safe Mummy Ways

3 Bees and a Honey

Travels With My Son

Grey Street

Last Mother

We hope you like reading them as much as our bloggers enjoyed writing them…