My Local News Author Tips & Techniques

Please check back here often in that I will be updating this page on a regular basis.  If you have questions that I am not answering please let me know.  It is also always a good idea to check out your article on the community home page and Facebook Page to make sure everything looks the way you want it.   Thank you for being a contributor and Author to My Local News – Arizona.   Joseph

Logging In:

  • To login for the first time go to the home page of the site you have been given access to. In the right hand column under “Links” click on the “contributor / author login link”.  If it is your first time logging in you will want to reset your password by using your registered email.
  • Your username will be your first name and last name run together.  For example mine would be  “josephlewis”
  • You have been setup as an Author which means that you have access to all posts on a given site however you can only edit and add your own posts.

Featured Image:

  • Including a “Featured Image” is extremely important in that this is the image which will follow your post around social media and be included within the newsletter.  Simply including an image within your post will not accomplish this task.
  • 1. Find the Featured Image Box to the right of the screen.  You may have to scroll down.
  • 2. You can drag this box up to the top of your screen, if you like, and it will stay there for each new post.
  • 3. Click on “Featured Image” and it will take you to the “Media” page where you can choose an image or upload a new one.
  • 4. Once you upload an image it will appear in the box.  Hint: Photos work better than logos in that they often get cut off.

Formating:

  • The easiest and quickest way to create a post is to copy and paste your material from Word or another source.
  • If you would like to include photos within your post simply place your curser where you would like the photo included and then scroll up and click on the media icon at the top of the new post page.  Do not however include an image at the very top of your post in that the Featured Image will automatically be included there.
  • If you would like to include a link in your post simply highlight the text you would like to become a link and then scroll up and click the link icon which looks like a chain link. Then open a new window and go to the page that you would like linked.  Highlight the URL address at the top of the screen and copy it to the link area on the previous screen. Save and you will now be able to test your highlighted link.

Right Hand Column Features:

  • Please try to include a category for your post.  If one is not checked your post will be posted as “uncategorized” and will not be displayed correctly.  If you feel that a category should be added to the list please let me know.
  • Tags are included as # in social media.  For example if your post has to do with a farmers market you may want to include the following under Tags  “farmersmarket, freshfood, organic”   You DO NOT need to add the “#” symbol in that the system will input it for you.  You will see your hashtags on Facebook after you post.

Profile:

  • This is the area where you market yourself  or your organization and will appear at the bottom of every post.  I encourage you to take advantage of the profile section.
  • Make sure your byline appears correctly.  You can change the “public display setting” under your profile.
  • Upload your photo or “Avatar” once to Gravatar and it will follow you on every WordPress site you post or comment on utilizing the same linked email.  Your photo or other image is also much nicer than a gray shadow box as well.
  • Include your social media links.
  • Include a bio about yourself or information about your organization.  Readers are often interested in knowing more about an Author.

Content:

  • Our site is all about what is happening in the readers back yard.  Always think “LOCAL”.   Ask yourself what you would be interested reading about in your community.  Local events, entertainment, restaurant reviews, sports, arts, politics and anything else that you feel is particular to your special area of Arizona.
  • If you are writing about something broad, say a recipe for example please, try to tie in the local community in some way if possible.
  • After posting share your post on social media with the links at the top of the page.  This will widen the circle of readers.

Publishing:

  • Once you get the hang of things there is nothing wrong at all with “post-dating” a post for a future date.  Sometimes it is easier to create several posts at the same time, however you want them to post on different dates and times.  This can easily be accomplished by setting the “Publishing On” function.

Cities and Towns: (Updated 10/20/15)

  • Many of our community websites and newsletters start government officials asking “can you do that for us”.  The simple answer is yes we can however we ask in turn that you post content on a regular basis.
  • Please keep in mind that a successful publication does not come over night.  We work long and hard to build our subscriber base for each community.  The only way (that we know of) is to accomplish this task is relevant and interesting content.
  • You may already have several systems in place to disseminate information including your website, social media posts, water bill flyer and auto emailing press releases.  These efforts are to be commended and your guess is that your public relations department are working harder than ever.   Why My Local News then?  First off it is very easy, quick and you control the content plus the look and feel of the final post.  Secondly, we widen the reach through  through our community page, social media posts and easily digestible excerpts within the newsletters.  Last but certainly not least it is free only requires approximately five minutes of time for each post.
  • Other community stake holders are welcome to create an account as well.  Chambers of Commerce, Social Services, Tourism Centers, School Districts etc. are all groups that we welcome to login and post.
  • The Author Byline can be anything you feel is appropriate.  I.E.  Queen Creek Town Hall, Tempe Tourism and so forth.

The Process of Publishing a New Community Newsletter   (Updated 10/20/2015)

  • We receive enough interest from a given community and commitments to post that we move forward with launching the site.
  • A template site is setup with sample posts under the communities name with a URL such as www.mylocalnews.us/tempe.
  • Author accounts are then established and users can start logging in and posting under any byline you choose.  Example “Queen Creek Town Hall”.  It should be noted that we do not start marketing the site until such time where everyone agrees that it is content rich.
  • We create a Facebook Account for the community where articles are auto posted to.  Here are some examples.  Tempe  Queen Creek  Downtown Phoenix
  • We also post to our Twitter, Linkedin and Google+ Accounts under My Local News
  • We work on obtaining a subscriber base.
  • When all of the players feel confident that there will be a minimum of five posts for week we start sending out the Weekly Newsletter.  Examples of Newsletters: