Welcome back to our fourth installment of my Just the Tip Tuesday: Back-to-School for Bloggers Series.
If you’re just joining us, I’ve dedicated most of the Tuesdays in September to better blogging.
You can catch up on the series here.
And really, you should, because you’ll learn critical things like:
Sadly, I see this egregious mistake on Twitter every day (I’m not talking about back and forth tweets that are intended to be a conversation, I’m talking about people who are TRYING to share something with all their followers and fail), and then I KNOW they don’t read my blog and/or care about maximizing the reach of their tweets. Bless their hearts.
Do you back-up your blog?
My Fairy Geekfather (a.k.a. “tech guy”) told me to do it weekly and so I do.
I use WordPress but I imagine the process is somewhat similar on every platform. (Oh for fucks’ sake, just Google it, Aunt Doris.)
To begin, open up your Dashboard and go down to the Tools tab like so:
Then click Export and this screen will pop up:
The .xml file of all your content will be magically teleported into your downloads folder (or wherever you download your stuff) and then you should upload a copy of it to the cloud (or somewhere offsite) just in case your dog eats your hard drive.
Easy peesy. Make it part of your Monday morning routine.
Next up. I owe you an apology.
It has come to my attention from a very good source that I have steered you astray with my recent post about how to do a proper ellipsis!
Oh, the shame!
One of my best friends from high school is a very talented and renowned artist and graphic designer in San Francisco. Her name is Denise Jasper and she is FABULOUS.
Denise left a very thoughtful comment on my post about ellipses that you may have missed:
“The main problem with doing the dot-space-dot-space-dot…is that the 3 dots could get broken up between lines (one or two at the end of one line, and then the next one/s on the next line).”
But Denise, I specifically said:
“Just make sure your text doesn’t wrap around and spread your ellipsis out over two lines. That would make doves cry.”
To which Denise elaborated:
“…but you have no control over how the end-user has set up their browser default font size and that could really change the line length and where the ellipsis falls on the line.
The other problem I see is that it spaces out the ellipsis too much. When I studied typeface design, one of the things we were taught was to not create “holes” in blocks of text. The dot-space-dot-space-dot method creates a big hole, which is a no-no in typography.”
OMG. Denise is totally right. You have no control over how someone VIEWS your blog!
Another possible issue? If you are submitting a piece to be posted on someone else’s blog, you have no idea how skilled their editors are at things like typography. Believe you me, you do NOT want to write a wonderful blog post and have some exhausted and grossly underpaid editor (ahem) not catch and correct a funky spacing glitch. That just makes YOU look like a shitty writer.
The other day my buddy Kim, who is part of my team of weekly columnists at In The Powder Room, submitted a hilarious post for me to edit about her broken b-hole.
As I was editing her Word document, I saw that she had included a manually spaced ellipsis the way I taught her, and I was very pleased.
But when the post was uploaded into our blog software at In The Powder Room, look what happened to her poor ellipsis:
DOH! Luckily for her, I caught it and corrected it by removing the spaces between the dots before we published it. I did not want Kim to look like an ellipsis-spreading-ho. (Particularly since it was my fault she was spreading her ellipsis in the first place! Just call me Madam Ellipsis.)
People. For the love of all that is Holy, don’t let someone else spread your ellipsis behind your back. (Ouch!)
The only way you can control that is if your ellipsis reads like one character and the only way to do that is to not insert the spaces between the dots.
I feel horrible.
This is all my fault.
I should have my ellipsis license suspended.
Will you forgive me?
Please disregard what I said in my other post and do not insert spaces between the dots in your ellipses. Sorry for the confusion.
Denise also taught me how to insert a more attractive ellipsis using HTML. Check this out:
See how the third ellipsis on the right is less crowded than three periods in a row, but less spaced out than the dot-space-dot-space-dot method? Pretty sweet! If you do that, graphic designers will probably throw roses at your feet. Probably.
So how do you do it? You type a sentence and then go over to the HTML side of your post, insert your cursor where you want the ellipsis to go and type this:
If HTML isn’t your thing, you can also insert ellipses in the visual editor of your blog post with the following keyboard shortcuts:
And if that’s too hard. Just do dot-dot-dot. No spaces. Got it?
Let us never speak of this again.
If you’ve made it this far, you deserve a Gold Star and a special treat.