So, You’re a G&B Writer. Now What?
Welcome to the Geeks & Beats writing team. We’re so glad you’re here! The content you write helps us with so much more than you think. It helps us start conversations with our followers, it helps drive traffic to the website thus increasing our subscribers, it helps us with topics for the Big Show, and most of all, it gives you guys the opportunity to write about whatever you’d like (in the Geek or Beat realm, at least.) We mostly focus on music and technology, but feel free to jump into pop culture too. Just keep in mind our main audience when writing your stories.
What We Need From You
As a writer, we need your hand in making sure that your articles are published live on the website as soon as possible. As a result, we need your assistance in maximizing your post before you submit it for review. Here are the items that need to be done before we can publish your article:
- Featured Image
- Yoast SEO – SEO Score and Readability
Now stay with me, I’ll walk you through everything in detail so you know what to look for.
First, make sure your screen is set up properly. To do this, check your Screen Options. It looks like this:
When you open the menu, make sure everything you need is checked off. It should look like this:
Your headline is at the top of the page. Make it interesting, something that’ll make users want to click on it.
You guys know how to write, that’s why you’re here. Just remember these points:
- Topics must qualify as either Geek or Beat. No minerals or vegetables.
- Posts may be short form blog entries or long form articles. Long form is better, because it’s more likely to get picked up by the podcast and discussed at length leading to a bigger spike in your popularity than that time you went to school with that stolen pack of cigarettes
It’s recommended that you add subheadings within your article. To do this, highlight the text and choose “heading 3” from the drop-down menu. It looks like this:
Some style preferences: song titles should be in quotes; album, movie, and book titles should be italicized. Ex: “Sweet Virginia” on Exile on Main St. by the Rolling Stones.
An excerpt is a short summary that sits at the top of each article and is what Google uses to determine whether your article gets included in search results. It should be short sentences, three max, that outline the whole article. You may find it helpful to actually start writing the excerpt first. It will help you focus on the overall piece. You can find this box right under the main text box.
Your featured image is what is the main image of the story. Try to find something that’s relevant to your story and high resolution (640px wide or greater if possible). You’ll find this on the side bar.
Choose the category that your story belongs in. But only choose one category. Things seem to break when more than one is chosen. This is also found on the sidebar.
These are your keywords. We should really maximize what’s listed here so that when people are searching for any of these words, they end up on your article (when relevant, of course.) Enter in these keywords, separated by comma. You can keep adding to this list too, if you’d like. This is also found on the sidebar.
Yoast SEO – SEO Score and Readability
This is the section where most team members (including us) find difficulty. The Yoast Plugin is found directly under the main text box where you enter your article, and it gives us tips on how to make our articles the best they can be for easy reading and search engine optimization. The box looks like this:
It gives us either green light (great), amber light (ok), or red light (not ok) on different parts of our articles. The end goal is to get the “Keyword” and “Readability” tabs to both give overall green lights. Now, sometimes this just isn’t possible no matter how long and hard we play with our text. As long as it’s not a red light, we’ll let it slide. But STRIVE for that green light!
You may find these articles helpful:
This is what the list will look like on the SEO tab, so you know what you need to improve on. Again, pay attention to those “lights” on the left of each point.
As for Readability, this is what it looks like. I’ve circled an eyeball. By clicking on this, it’ll actually highlight in your article the sentences that need to be repaired in order to bring that red light to green.
Clicking on that eyeball shows this in your article:
This will help you out, so you know where the changes need to be made.
So there you have it! When you’ve checked all these things from your list, you can submit your article for review!
And, as always, if you have ANY questions whatsoever, please feel free to reach out to us. We’re always here to help you maximize your content!
Thanks again for helping get the band back together, we’re thrilled to have every one of you on board!
Michael, Alan & Vanessa