Category Archives: Social Media Tips

Adding Social Media Icons to your WordPress Blog

Adding social media icons to your blog makes it easier for people to connect with you; it’s as simple as that…..

social media Icons

 

Having a set of icons that represent all your social media outlets looks neat, and placed at the top of your blog page means there’s no scrolling and searching to see if you are on twitter, Facebook, Instagram and the rest. So here’s how to add them for a WordPress blog……..

 There are loads of great free icons out there, Google them and you’ll see. The Site Geek Fairy is a great safe site to find icons and also includes lots of other tutorials which can help enhance your WordPress blog. Our very own icons are from this site. When you’ve selected the icons you like click on DOWNLOAD

This will download a file that contains all the social media icons in that design.

Now you need to select the ones you want to use, and move them / copy them / save them to a file on your computer where you can find them easily. I often put mine on Desktop and remove them once I’ve finished with them.

Once you’ve done this open a New Post in your Blog. In the Post select Add Media and then upload your first icon, just as you would do with an image for your blog.

You then need to attach the URL for your social media icon, so the address of your Twitter home page or your Facebook page, for example. There are a couple of ways to do this.

In the Add Media pop up, there is a section to add a link, see below…socIcon3

Or in the post click on the hyperlink icon and add your link there.socIcon3

 

You may also, at this point want to resize your icon. This can be done in the image editor, when you click on the image in the post, image editor appears.

Repeat this process then with all the icons you want to include on your blog. Once this is done save as a draft and then switch to TEXT view of your post, top right hand corner. Copy all the text in the post.

Open Widgets under Appearance in your Dashboard Menu and click on Text Widget. Drag the Text Widget into your sidebar at the position you wish it to be viewed, near the top is probably best.

Copy the text into this widget and add any header you may require above the widgets for example “Come Connect with Me..” and Save.

Now check their appearance on your blog and make any adjustments required. If they look too big you can re-size them in the draft post or maybe you would prefer to re-position them in your side bar.

Save the draft post so that you can return to them at a later date if needs be.

All Done.

Making friends on Twitter

tweeting2

 

Previously we did an article on how to set up your twitter account, with special considerations you might want to make when tweeting about adoption, you can find out more here.

Here we aim to give you some tips for getting around twitter and how to find other people to tweet with.

 

HOW TO FIND PEOPLE TO TWEET WITH
Twitter will make recommendations for people to tweet with in your side bar. If you click on the name or picture (the avatar) it will take you through to their profile, where a brief bio will give you information that might help you decide if you’d like to follow them

If you are looking to tweet with people who share a particular interest, like adoption, you can use the search tool in the top bar. Type in adoption and then select people in the bar to the left, and a list of those involved in adoption will come up. This will include organisations as well as individuals.

twittertips

 

Another way is to access the following or followers list of another person. Select a person, group or organisation in which you are interested in, go to their profile and click on following or followers. From this list you will be able to select those you might want follow with a single click.

We have a twitter blogroll on the site, down on the right hand side of the page, scroll down and you will find lots of great adoption folk to follow.

THE BEST WAY TO ENSURE YOU GET FOLLOWERS AND FOLLOW BACKS
Make sure you fill in your bio and include an avatar image (sometimes known as an avi). People will be suspicious of you if you don’t provide even a small amount of personal information or present a personality. None of the information needs to be too informative or personal, but it will be how people identify with you. Maybe list hobbies and likes and if you want to tweet about adoption, mention it in your bio.

If you have a blog include it in your bio and remember to include your twitter tag on your blog, it’s easy to add a follow button in your sidebar. To see how to do it follow the link below.

https://twitter.com/about/resources/buttons

If you have a blog to promote it is also a good idea to incorporate the name of it into your twitter tag, that way people can instantly link them together. 

What you tweet about will also influence  whether people follow you. It’s up to you what you tweet about but people will be more drawn to you if you appear friendly. 

Comment on other people’s tweets, if you have a relevant reply, and retweet posts that you feel may be of interest to your own followers.

The favourite tag is used by many as the “like” button is on Facebook, to indicate that you agree with a comment or just “like” it.

If you read other peoples blogs leave comments on their posts and if you really like them share them on twitter, people will often check you out if you support them and follow you in reply.

There are no hard and fast rules for tweeting but remember to tweet with others as you would like to be tweeted with yourself. 

Adding a photo to your blog on WordPress

We’ve previously spoken about how useful and important images can be on your blog, and last week we looked at how to add images to a Blogger post. We haven’t forgotten you WordPressers though, here are some instructions on adding photos to your blog in WordPress.

WordPress has a Media Library, that you can add to any time, so if you have an image that you know you’re going to use at a later date, you can just add it to the library. However, today we’ll look at how to add a photo during the writing of a blog post.

Whether you’ve written you post already and are adding photos in, or whether you’re adding them as you go, the instructions are the same – place your cursor where you want the image. Then click on ‘Add Media’ which is just above the box you’re typing into. You’ll see a screen similar to this (but probably with no images listed):Insert media on WP

Click on Upload Images – see it up the top there, then click on Select Files. Navigate to the place where your desired image is saved and select it. After a short while, it’ll load into your Media Library and you’ll see it, like you can see some of our images above.

The next thing is to click on the image and it’ll become highlighted, and on the right hand side you’ll see some options for formatting the image. Selecting the image in WP

You can select how big or small you want the image to appear in your post, you can select whether you want it to sit the middle or either side of your post. You can give it a caption here too. Once all these options are to your liking, click insert into post.

Great, so now your image is in your post and looks fantastic. But if you want to change the caption, or decide that it might look better aligned to the side inside of the middle, you’ll need to be able to edit the image.
Moving it is simple, just click on it, then drag to move it’s position. But to edit it, click on the image and then the little image button that appears in the top left corner of the photo…Editing an image in post WP

A box will pop up where you can edit certain information, once you’re done, click Update, and you’ll be returned back to your post with the image as you want.

You can add as many images as you want to a post, some as they are if you wish, or perhaps some edited with different effects, or frames. Remember to consider pixelating faces to help keep those people unidentifiable – see our post on PicMonkey here, you can also use PicMonkey to add those effects and frames too.

Simples hey?

Adding a photo to your blog on Blogger

A few weeks ago, we talked about the importance of adding photos to your blog, the week before we gave you some tips on how to obscure them. And we’ve had some feedback to say these were useful. But we’ve also had some feedback from others who don’t know how to get those lovely photos on your blogs so this week we’ll look at how to add a photo to a blog post in Blogger. If you’re using WordPress, then check out our post next Wednesday.

To add a photo to a Blogger blog post:

Write your post as usual. Up in the tool bar (that’s where your fonts, font size and colour, link and other options are), there is a little icon that looks like a picture – click on it.

You’ll see a screen like this: Selecting a file in Blogger

Click on ‘choose files’ then navigate to where your photo is saved. It’ll then upload, as above, and you’ll see your image (just like you can see my Egg and Spoon photo here). We’re assuming here that the image you want to add has been previously stored on your computer, and is saved as a normal file.

If you click on your image, it’ll highlight with a blue box around it. Click the blue button at the bottom there that says ‘Add selected’ and it’ll pop straight into your blog post.

Once it’s in your post, you can click on it like I have in the image below, and you’ll see that extra toolbar pop up – here you can change the size, whether it sits in the middle of the post, or either side, you can add tags (through the properties bit) and you can add a caption.Editing your image in blogger

Once you’ve finished, you can click anywhere else in the post and continue writing, or publish as normal.

I hope you’ll find this tutorial straightforward, but do comment or email us if you have any questions. We’re happy to help if we can…

 

Why images on your blog are important

So, you’ve written a cracking blog post. It says everything you want it to, the highs, the lows, emotions shared and you know it’s one of your better posts.

Excellent. So now you can go and post it. Then share it for all to see.
But stop.
Is there a way you can make your already brilliant blog post even better?

Well, the simple answer is yes.

I’d like you to consider images. There are plenty of blogs out there who just use words, or just images, but there are a number of reasons why images are becoming important on wordy blogs. We all want our blogged shared so as to attract new and keep existing readers, and if you think about the ways we do that – via Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and even Pinterest, more and more often we see images attached to the posts that have been shared.

A striking image can be the difference between a reader clicking your blog or the one above it.

You might know that The Adoption Social is on Pinterest. We have a pinboard for each themed week of the Weekly Adoption Shout, and we pin the blogs of those who take part. To do this, there must be an image on those blogs that can be pinned. You’ll be able to tell from our pinboards that some of our bloggers don’t use many images, because the only image we’ve able to pin is our Weekly Adoption Shout Out badge on several sites. This is great advertising for The Adoption Social, but it doesn’t make those blogs stand out.Images 1

Another reason to consider images is to break up your site a little bit. Many of us use the same themes on our blogs, and even with some personalisation, they do still look pretty samey. Photos will make your blog stand apart from others with the same theme.

And do you know what? They just add a bit more interest and bring your writing to life.

If you use your images on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+ too, hopefully you’ll be able to develop something of a style, and people will be able to look at any of those tools and know whether any given post is yours or not.

HandsAmongst the adoption blogging community, particularly amongst adoptive parent bloggers, there is concern over safety. That’s natural, some of our children are at risk of being found, some, well, you just want to protect their identities. This is why it’s important to think creatively about your images. They don’t have to be of your children’s faces…I’d discourage anyone from doing that unless you know exactly who is looking at those photos. But start thinking about taking pictures that show what your child is doing without showing them. Focus and zoom in on busy hands, backs of heads as they look out at something or scuffed trainers next to your own feet. There are many ways you can do this. Photograph what they’re doing or playing with, not them doing it or playing with it.

If you’re writing about school, what about taking a photo of their book bag and school shoes? If it’s a post about their favourite pastime – what about a photo of their drawings, favourite books, or their cycle helmet hanging off their bike?Big Ben

If you’re writing about a holiday, or a day out – how about a some nice landscapes, a funky sign, your clotted cream tea or even a landmark – holiday landmarks show where you’ve been, not where you live so aren’t as risky as local places.

Sometimes, the only appropriate photo you can find will feature your children or a local landmark. Don’t automatically dismiss it as unsuitable, because there are ways of disguising and obscuring their faces and other objects. See our post about pixelating and distorting images here.

I appreciate that we’re not all designers. We have something to say and we want to get it out there, but there’s no reason that we can’t develop our blogs to become more pleasing to the eye, as well as interesting to read.

Don’t worry if your photography skills aren’t top notch, or you don’t have a professional camera. A camera-phone works just as well for small images on your blog, and there is free software out there to improve your photos. See our post about Instagram here, and consider checking out the free online editing tool Pic Monkey at www.picmonkey.com.

Just have some fun playing with images and see what works on your own blog – enjoy!

A quick word on copyright:
We’ll touch on copyright at a later date, but if this is something you are worried about you can very easily add your blog name over your image as a watermark in Pic Monkey – similar to the top image in this post, but in more subtle colours and perhaps smaller. My suggestion would be to put the watermark over the middle of the image so it can’t be cropped off and used without your consent. And be sure that if you use someone else’s images on YOUR blog, get their express written permission first, unless you are buying that image and permission from a stock photography website and have proof you can use the image.

Introducing Instagram

Instagram

Heard of Instagram but not really sure what it’s all about?

Well, it’s basically an app for your phone (Iphone or Android) whereby you can take photographs and edit them, or edit your existing photographs.

Once you’ve done that you publish them to your very own Instagram timeline.

A little like Twitter, you can follow other people and therefore their photographs appear in your timeline. Other people can follow you, and your images then appear in their timelines.

You can ‘like’ or comment on your own photos, or those in your timeline. And again, like Twitter, you can tag your images with #hashtags and tag other users by including their Instagram @ handle in your comments.

The editing capabilities in Instagram are limited, you can change the overall look of your photograph by selecting an effect – some make it look old, some brighten your image, some turn it black and white, there’s a range of effects. You can also choose whether to include a frame or not, but you don’t get to choose which frame is used. You can also blur parts of your photographs, which helps both obscure parts of an image you might to keep private (your children’s faces for example), and it can also draw focus to something, by removing or blurring distractions. You can brighten a photograph and rotate it too.

That’s pretty much it, but it’s enough to turn a dull picture into something a little more special. Here are 4 versions of the same image…OK, so it’s not a great image, but you get the idea…

4 different effects

When you upload an image to Instagram you are given the option to share the image to various other places – Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Tumblr and even FourSquare, so your friends on those platforms can see your photographic efforts too.

I rarely include photos of my children on Instagram but if you want to, there is a helpful security setting which you can turn on – this means only those you approve can follow you. It’s a simple yes/no to accept/reject potential followers.

Very recently, Instagram have also launched a video aspect to the app, where you can take or view videos as well as images, but I’ve yet to test this feature.

If you’re wondering if it’s worth it, then I’d say yes!
For me, it’s a really simple way of quickly improving my photographs, and sharing them with other people who like photography. I can include images from my blog which helps with drawing people to my blog, and I can create a ‘look’ if I want, styling my images similarly so people instantly know they’re mine.

I have different people following me in different places, so having the ability to share a photo on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook all in one go is great for me.

I can do it on the move, and because copies of all my Instagrammed pictures appear in my phone’s gallery, I can very easily add them to my blog too.

If you want to get into Instagram, then you’ll need to download the app from the Android Play Store or the Apple store. You can follow myself (@BoysBehaviour) and Sarah (@PuffinDiaries) to get you started too.

For more information on Instagram, go to www.Instagram.com.

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