July 16 2010 Editor Assistance Newsletter
Several editors have written me recently with questions about partially written articles and feature dates. I thought I'd email the article on the topic to all of you, so that everyone understand how this works! I know it can be a little confusing, so feel free to ask me if you have any questions on this!
Editors are sometimes curious about the ability to load partial articles into the system, to work on and put live later. For many reasons, all articles loaded into the BellaOnline system (and really any online system) should be final, complete content.
* Pre-Posting Content is Good *
First, it's important note that any content loaded into the BellaOnline system always goes live immediately. Yes, you might choose not to feature it on your homepage, and you might choose not to display it in your archive files. However, the ID number of the article is created the moment content is loaded in, and that article is therefore being indexed by Google, indexed by Yahoo, and is found by all major search engines. BellaOnline does this on purpose to help future dated articles be found and provide high results when their date comes around.
Here is an example. Say someone writes an article, in January, about Easter. They give it a featured date sometime in April. The article sits in the system, getting indexed by Google and other engines that whole time. That way, when people on Google start looking for the Easter content in April, those search engines already know about the article, are all set with it, and give it as a high result in their searches. If, instead, the article only "appeared to the world" in April, it would not necessarily gain that same level of attention in time for people to find it.
So it's a great practice to get into for all sites you write. You should post content that is of a seasonal nature -ahead- of that season, so it is known by all the search engines well in advance.
This might then have you wondering, what if I start "working on" those articles ahead of time, but don't quite finish them?
* Always Post Full Content *
It is an important practice to get into, for all websites you run, to only post final versions of your words on the web. You might -think- your half written content isn't being read by anyone if you post them on your personal website or on a web server. However, chances are that people are somehow finding and reading it anyway. Your reputation is going to be affected by people finding "half written" content pieces. It is critical for you to control and manage the "brand" that is "you". Take every step you can to protect and nurture that brand.
This leads into a third issue - that of where you write your content.
* Write All Content on a Home System *
On BellaOnline, we strive daily to help editors learn healthy, professional techniques to use in all their web writing projects. One key part of this training is to help editors learn to write their content on home, on their personal PC, and to back up and store their content completely within their own control. Only when content is fully done and spell checked and reviewed should a -copy- of it be loaded onto a website.
This is a safety technique for their use across all websites they work with.
Editors (and web writers in general) should always write all content on a home system where it's being backed up and kept safe. Then, when the content is all set, they should load it onto the web where that is a "secondary" copy. That ensures if a web server goes down, or bursts into flame, or is hacked, the writer doesn't lose all her content.
I'm not saying BellaOnline's servers will burst into flame of course :) We have our machines in a secure facility which is watched 24x7, which has all sorts of state of the art protection. However, life is never certain. A giant sinkhole could appear and suck the server into its inky depths. You want your hard work and energy safely in your own hands. You want to know your backup copies are safe too. It is a critical skill to learn for any and all web projects you work on, anywhere.
Please let us know if you have any questions at all!
Lisa Shea, owner
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