BlogBourne is a new site, and it’s still in Beta mode while everyone is getting settled in here. I think many of us will find that it’s pretty easy to navigate. And a lot of our questions have been anticipated before we arrived here to write.
But, as with any new writing site, there are bound to be some growing pains. The site is still growing in terms of membership, content, and even some features that will be added by the owner to improve everyone’s experience. And it’s understandable that sometimes we won’t be able to find the information we need on the first try.
My friend Daisy (@purpledaisy56) has written a great post asking questions about BlogBourne and making suggestions for little things that would improve the site. This post is my answer to what Daisy said in hers. I’m not an official of BlogBourne: this is just my way of helping out a friend.
1) Who Is the Site Owner?
Well Daisy, the site owner is @opledulnuan, or Mike Ople Dulnuan. He is the sole owner and also looks after the programming and just the overall technical aspect of the site. Mike keeps the site running smoothly and resolves technical issues as they arise. Mike is assisted by an editorial team that, at the moment, consists of me and John, aka @iwrite.
Ople (aka “Mike”) is pretty quick to respond to questions and he has made it known that if ever an explanation isn’t clear, he’s happy to elaborate more as needed. Watch for his posts too, because he writes about how the site works and about how BlogBourne will be different from other writing sites. If you have a question for Mike, you can use the contact form (see the “Help” menu in the left sidebar) or you can ask it in the “Questions and Clarifications” section of the the “Support” forum. To get the latest site news, check out the “News About BlogBourne” forum.
2) Getting the Word Count for Posts
Word count isn’t an issue for me because I always write my posts offline using a free word processor called LibreOffice. But I agree that it would be helpful to see the word count in the submit form. In the meantime, if you need a way to check the length of your posts, 400 words are about 4-5 paragraphs of moderate length. You can verify the exact count on sites like Word Counter, which also doubles as a word processor and a keyword density checker. This is a handy tool for writing your posts and optimizing for SEO!
3) Featured Image Size
The featured image, also called the cover photo, goes at the top of every post. It also gets used, in a smaller size, as the thumbnail for your post when it displays on the front page of the site. In your post, the title will display against a background of your featured image. So try to avoid images that are overly busy, that have text in them. or that have a pale or white background. All of these tend to look less attractive with the white title overlay.
For your featured image, you want to choose a photo that is in the landscape orientation, or horizontal. That means it should be wider than it is tall. This is important because vertical images often get cut off when used as a feature image. The cover image size for our profile pages is mentioned as, “larger than 625px wide, and 225px tall,” and when I first started posting on BlogBourne I just used that as my guideline for the featured images because they both display over pretty much the same area. Remember that images tend to get cropped or stretched if they don’t fit exactly. So it’s best to save your post as a draft, and then preview it from the drafts tab to see whether the photo or graphic you’ve chosen displays how you want it to.
Remember that images tend to get cropped or stretched if they don’t fit exactly. So it’s best to save your post as a draft, and then preview it from the drafts tab to see whether the photo or graphic you’ve chosen displays how you want it to. I like to use actual landscapes, still life images, and so on, rather than images of people or animals in my featured image. If part of a flower or a mountain range is cut off in the display, it can still look just fine. But if you’re only seeing a person from the neck down or you’ve got a puppy who’s missing his head, it isn’t exactly the most attractive header for your post!
I’ve been using Pixabay photos for most of my featured images, and that generally works out quite well for me. Just to be on the safe side, I choose the medium or large images rather than the small ones that I use for other writing tasks. These tend to be around 900-1200 pixels wide and that seems to be plenty big enough. I’ve also been using Canva to create images that are optimized for Pinterest. These I insert into the body of the post. They are 735 px wide x 1102 px tall. They are displaying just fine in the body of the posts and I have no trouble at all inserting them. You cam add images anywhere in the body of your post, but remember to use the left or right alignment options if you want the text to wrap around your images.
4) Why the Excerpt?
I already answered this in my comment on your post but I thought it was a good idea to explain here too. I’m sure you aren’t the only one wondering about this! The excerpt is a short post summary of no more than 30 words. So don’t worry that you have to write a lot more once your post is done! Try to find a sentence or two that gives the prospective reader a basic idea what your post is about. If you’re not inspired to write more text, you can try to find a sentence or two from the body of your post that acts as a good summary.
The excerpt will be used when your post shows up on a search engine results page and when it gets shared to some social networks like Facebook or Google+. It helps the search engines figure out what the post is about, and it helps human readers decide if it’s what they’re looking for. Having an excerpt is important for SEO. I hope you’ll find that once you’ve written a few posts, it just becomes second nature to add one.
5) How Much are Coins Worth?
The reason there isn’t a table to convert coins to dollars is that the value of a coin is variable. The way John originally explained to me is that the site revenues will be tallied up after each month’s revenues come in. First, the site will take 50% for operating expenses and improvements. The other 50% is the revenue share the members will divide amongst ourselves.
Mike will calculate the value of each coin by looking at how much money is in the revenue share and how many coins were awarded. Once he has that value, he’ll post it so everyone can see it. Right now, there isn’t any official value for the coins because the site is brand new. We have to be patient for a month or two before any payments can be calculated or issued.
You can see more info on how the payments will work on the FAQ page.
I hope that I did a good job of answering those questions for you, Daisy! I’m sure Mike will have more to say, as well. But I think it’s good that we can share the things we’ve learned in our own explorations. Happy blogging!
Are you thinking about joining BlogBourne? Check out my post about what makes this new site different from other social blogging sites!
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Original content © 2016 Kyla Matton Osborne
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