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The Community Blog is one of the most important platforms for how information and news about the Fedora community, for the Fedora community, is shared. There’s a few guidelines and important steps to consider when reviewing articles to be published on the Community Blog. Following these steps will help keep the Community Blog organized and easy to navigate, and help boost things like search engine optimization (SEO) and accessibility of content. If you are reviewing an article, follow these checks and guidelines to help prepare an article for publication.

Metadata

Article metadata means things like categories, tags, and other content used internally to WordPress. Using the right metadata helps keep content organized so that users and Community Blog administrators can find things without an issue.

  • Categories
    • Every article should belong to one, and only one, category (with the exception of event-related articles).
      • The reason for this is that usually every article is related or about one specific sub-project. If an article is about a test day for a Fedora Server feature, it would be better to categorize it in the Quality Assurance category. If an article is about a new feature for Fedora Server, it would be better categorized in the Server category.
      • Event articles are the only exception. For example, if an article is about a FAD for the Design Team, it should be selected as the Design and Events category. In the user interface, the Design category would be the primary category (the Events category is always a secondary category). This helps specifically with SEO.
    • The Fedora Project Community category should be avoided when possible – it’s a catch-all category for anything that doesn’t belong anywhere else.
      • If multiple, related articles are being published that don’t belong in an existing category, a new one should be created.
  • Tags
    • Every article should have 3-5 relevant tags with the article.
    • Avoid creating new tags when possible. If you do create new tags, follow proper capitalization rules where possible.
      • If creating new tags, think strategically. Think of keywords that are important about the article. The tags are a helpful tool for SEO to make your article pop out more. Using “development” isn’t a good keyword because it’s generic, but using “Anaconda” or “Diversity and inclusion” are better. They highlight the critical points of your article.
  • Featured images
    • Featured images are great to have, but not required.
    • If you add a featured image, use the same article title for the alt tag text box when uploading.
      • This is another SEO boost.
    • If you create a featured image, send it as a pull request to the Fedora Community Blog images repo on Pagure. Please don’t forget this step if you are making featured images!!

Content

  • Always use the “Read More tag” for articles.
    • The button is on the top row of the editor interface – it’s two thick lines with a dotted line between.
    • After the first paragraph or two of an article, this should be inserted. This helps keep the homepage of the Community Blog clean, so that one long article won’t fill the entire homepage. It helps keep recent content discoverable.
    • Using this tag also helps bring readers directly to the Community Blog. If the article is reposted or reshared on other sites, using this tag will help bring readers to the Community Blog directly, instead of reading it only on a third-party site. It makes our content more discoverable.
  • Articles should always have one picture – if there isn’t a picture, follow-up with the author to try to find a relevant picture, image, or graph.
    • When inserting the image, also be sure to add relevant keywords to the image alt tag (another SEO boost).
  • For longer articles, try to break up content into headers where possible.
    • Even if an article is about an interesting and exciting topic, long articles are hard to read and it’s more likely the reader won’t finish the article. Headers are a helpful way to organize and shape the article, and help make it more readable.
    • Using important keywords in headers is also helpful – search engines especially use headers to help filter and find relevant pages for searches.
    • This doesn’t mean long articles are bad! But they might need some more thought than shorter, quick updates. For an example of this, you can see the Diversity FAD 2017 report.

SEO plugin

The Community Blog doesn’t use many plugins for WordPress and it’s unlikely you’ll need to use many other than one: Yoast SEO. The Yoast SEO plugin is a helpful tool that gives you live feedback on your article and provides tips for finding ways to improve your article. You can find it towards the bottom of every article, after the main article text box ends.

Since this is the only plugin editors will need to interact with most of the time, it will be the only plugin covered in these guidelines.

  • For the Focus keyword field, this is specific to one word or one phrase.
    • Using multiple, comma-separated keywords will throw off the algorithm.
  • Always add something to the article snippet field – this is the text that will show up with the article when posted to social media websites or other platforms.
    • In the area above the Focus keyword field, there is a button for Edit snippet. This will let you edit that text.
    • Make sure to use the keyword or phrase you entered into the Focus keyword field. This is a significant boost for SEO and helps make the article more discoverable.
  • Generally, resolving the red-bubble suggestions is helpful, but don’t feel like you have to resolve them all.
    • If it doesn’t feel like it makes sense or you will have to drastically revise the article, don’t worry about it. The Community Blog isn’t focused on an external audience and is mostly for contributors. It’s better to get some of the big points right and ship it soon. A more rigorous editing would be common for the Magazine, but not the Community Blog.

Scheduling

  • Try to publish no more than one article per day.
    • Publishing more than one article reduces the total number of views for both articles. For urgent topics, like an upcoming test day or another announcement, you need to do it. But when possible, try to avoid double-publishing because it will cut the impact of both articles published.
    • For slower weeks, you can try aiming for Tuesdays and Thursdays. These dates balance against the Fedora Magazine, which normally publishes on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Tuesdays and Thursdays are more “competitive” dates for Community Blog articles. This makes it complement the Magazine more than competing against the Magazine (but again, this is only preferred, it’s not a hard rule).
  • Share content that might be interesting to a wider audience (e.g. users) with the Social Media team.
    • The best way to do this is to send a link to the social-media mailing list. Writing a subject line and dropping a link is all you have to do. You don’t have to type an essay about what the article is about – the social media team can read it. 🙂

Issues with the theme / design

If you notice issues or problems with the theme / design for the Community Blog, there is a Pagure repo for the theme. Ryan Lerch is the designer for the Community Blog theme and is the best point of contact for getting support with the theme.

Community Blog theme repo


Updated: 2017 May 26