We prefer to manage posts through the WordPress blog system, not by email. This helps ensure that posts look the way you want them to. It also means that the editors can spend more time editing and writing posts and less time manually entering your posts. The instructions below will walk you through signing up for and using WordPress.
1. Get started
First, register for Biofortified Blog (the Register/Login link is at the very bottom right hand corner of our website). Fill out at least some of your profile, including a profile image. Any posts you author will have a link to your profile page, your picture, and the “Biographical Info” from your profile.
We strive to keep everything as transparent and open as possible on the Biofortified Blog. This means that we prefer for you to use your real name, except in very special circumstances. We also require that contributing authors disclose financial conflicts of interest. This helps improve transparency for our readers. Contact us to discuss details.
Once your profile is ready, contact us to request Contributor status. If we haven’t already talked, tell us a little about you, such as whether you have any relevant expertise or what sort of post you’re interested in writing. If you have a website or any writing samples published online, provide a link. No prior experience is necessary, but let us know how you think your post will contribute to discussion at the Biofortified Blog.
Once you have Contributor status, we will send you an email, and you can begin writing posts. We will assign you to an editor who will review your posts after you submit them. The editor will also be your contact for any questions.
We will not reply to any emails that appear spammy. If you are a real person, show it! If you work for a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) company, forget about it. We take pride in what we write and publish, and we are not interested in empty posts designed to boost search engine hits for other sites.
2. Create a post
Log in to Biofortified if you haven’t already and go to the Site Admin page. In the left-hand side bar of the WordPress Dashboard, click on the Posts button which will open a dropdown menu with an Add New button. Click on Add New.
Add your title just below the text “Add New Post”. The title should be fairly short yet describe what your post is about. Creative or catchy post titles are encouraged! If you aren’t sure what topics to cover, visit our What to Write About page. For technical information on writing posts in WordPress, continue reading or consult the WordPress Codex.
3. Use the WordPress Visual Editor
There are 3 rows of buttons above each text entry box. The 1st row, next to the text Upload/Insert, can be used to insert images and videos into the post. WordPress accepts many file types, and they have great tutorials on Media, including: Insert Images and Upload Documents.
The 2 rows of buttons below Upload/Insert in the Visual Editor can be used to format text. These buttons will underline, indent, change the text color, and more. Two of the buttons look like little clipboards, one for pasting as plain text and one for text copied from a Word document. The first will strip any formatting from the text you paste in and the second will retain formatting from Word. For a full explanation of the buttons, visit the WordPress Visual Editor support page.
You can also use HTML to edit the text if you would like. Just click on the HTML tab at the upper right hand corner of the text box, or click on Visual to get back to the Visual Editor. Allowed HTML tags are listed at the WordPress support page.
4. Write your post
- This Surprising Reading Level Analysis Will Change the Way You Write is a nice overview of the importance of plain language.
- Tips for Using Plain Language from the US government.
- Readability Score calculates the grade level of your writing using a few different tests.
5. Add images
Images are worth 1000 words – and go a long way to making posts visually interesting! When adding images, please upload the images to the Biofortified Blog instead of hotlinking to other sites. This way, the images will always display on the post, even if the site you got the image from has been taken down or the web address changes.
Make sure to secure permission to use images that aren’t yours. Using images that have a Creative Commons license is a great way to achieve this. If an image doesn’t have a CC or other obvious license, make sure to ask permission from the artist, author, or copyright holder. Flickr is a good source for images labeled for re-use, and Google Image Search also has an option to find only images that are labeled for reuse. You can also add images from our huge photo album, just look for the blue and pink circles above the editing box. In the image caption, add the source, including whether you had to get permission to use it, and add a link back to the original source. For example, a caption might say “Ear of corn, by John Smith via Flickr”.
6. Finishing touches
At the end of your post, add any references that you used, with links to the source.
In the right-hand sidebar, you may add tags to your post, which will help readers find similar posts. It is best to use an already existing tag rather than add a new one that is similar to it. Don’t worry about putting your post in any categories: an editor will put it in the right category when they review the post.
7. Submit the post
You may save your draft(s) and finish them later. Once a post is complete, just click on the Submit for Review button. The blog will automatically email your editor – but if more than a week has passed and the post hasn’t gone up, please follow up with your editor via email in case the automatic notifications aren’t working!
Your editor will review your post and make changes as needed. Most changes are minor edits for formatting and language. If major changes are needed, the editor might send the post back to you. You should receive email notices when your posts are accepted or sent back for revision. Writing a post is not a guarantee that it will be published, but so far all submitted posts have made the cut!
Last but not least, don’t forget about the comment thread on your post. Join in on the discussion and help commenters understand the material you wrote about. You might even learn something from the community!