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UF/IFAS COMMUNICATIONS

UF/IFAS COMMUNICATIONS

Blogging

Blogs.IFAS is a strategic communications digital space that serves as a platform for UF/IFAS Extension, Teaching, and Research employees to directly post content to share with their clients and stakeholders. If you have not taken a tour of Blogs.IFAS we encourage you to do so. We currently have more than 700 bloggers feeding content regularly into more than 100 blogs! Below you will find some helpful links:

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  • 2022 UF/IFAS Blogger Awards

    Announcing the call for submissions for the 2022 Blogs.IFAS Blogger Awards!

    UF/IFAS Communications is grateful to all those using Blogs.IFAS for outreach & education to help improve the lives of Floridians & beyond. We’d like to show our appreciation by recognizing the effort & dedication of outstanding bloggers.

    Follow this link to the submissions form: https://forms.office.com/r/RBy0fjgYWY

    Please provide your submission by Friday July 15, 2022.

    Thank you for your participation! View previous winners from the 2021 UF/IFAS Blogger Awards

  • Blogs.IFAS Redesign Awards

    The Communicator Awards 2022 awards the Blogs.IFAS Website Redesign!

    • Blogs.IFAS Website Redesign: Features: Website Redesign Distinction Award
    • Blogs.IFAS Website Redesign: General: Blog - Cultural Distinction Award

    balloons confetti

  • Blogging Best Practices 2022
  • Blogs.IFAS 2.0

    IFAS Web Services is thrilled to announce the launch of Blogs.IFAS 2.0. We’ve updated the look and feel and added features that will allow greater interaction to encourage readers to browse and read more of the amazing blog content you all have created!

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    Blogs.IFAS 2.0 Features & Functionality Training: https://mediasite.video.ufl.edu/Mediasite/Play/3c6449e563164305acacba922beb15f21d

    This training includes: 

    • Adding co-authors and guest authors
    • Adding a blog series to your author bio page
    • Accessing statistics for ‘hearts’ on your blog post
    • Accessing statistics for video plays on videos embedded on your blog post

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    Many of the improvements for Blogs.IFAS 2.0 were “under the hood”, including coding the site in HTML5, improving accessibility, improving YouTube analytics tracking, and other performance enhancements. These improvements help ensure that users can find our blog, use our blog, and stay on our blog.  

    And many of the updates you can see achieve these same goals, as well! We have updated the look to be sleek and modern to ensure users know that this site has fresh content.

    The navigation is re-designed to retain more users and encourage browsing.

    blog navigation

    The homepage includes more blog posts and a new section for Featured Blogger, to highlight our bloggers on a weekly basis and give readers a chance to see the people behind the posts.

    blog homepage

    On blog posts pages, readers now have the opportunity to interact in a new way…with our new “heart” button!

    blog post heart button

    In addition, related posts will be displayed below blog posts to encourage readers to explore more Blogs.IFAS content.

    On Author Bio Pages, bloggers now have the option to include a Subscribe button that is unique to their blog posts, allowing subscribers to get updates on their posts. Also, if the blogger has written or participated in any blog series, they are displayed on their Bio Page distinctly below their posts.

    featured blogger

    Authors will also now have the ability to be listed as co-authors on a single blog post.

    co authors

  • Author Profile

    Having an author profile can boost your readership and let readers know a little about you. Here are our recommendations for a great author profile, including how to format your email to avoid spam.

    • Author profiles should: 
      • Be complete sentences
      • Be in the third person
      • (optional) End with preferred contact information
        • Email, formatted: name [at] ufl [dot] edu or 
        • Social media handles
      • Include a profile photo or avatar 

    If you have a blog series, it will display below your blog posts. Reach out to webteam@ifas.ufl.edu for more information on developing a unique blog series tag and displaying your blog series on your Author Bio Page. 

    featured blogger

    You can edit your profile by clicking on your username in the upper-right corner when you are logged in to WordPress. Biographical Info is your profile and your Avatar is your profile image. 

  • How Do I Become a Blogger?

    Three simple steps!

    • Submit a request to be added to blogger training. You will receive a response with instructions to take an online training course at your leisure.
    • Once you finish, e-mail webteam@ifas.ufl.edu again and tell them you'd like to be added to your blog. 
    • Write your author profile, upload your profile image or avatar, and start blogging! 

    Read more about Getting Started on BlogsIFAS

  • How Do I Crop Photos for My Blog Posts?

    Featured images on blog posts must be either 1650x470 pixels or 1338x357 pixels. Reach out to webteam@ifas.ufl.edu if you encounter any issue uploading your featured image. 

    A variety of photo editing tools can be used to crop your photos to the required size. For many of these tools, our team has developed video tutorials to help guide you through the process: 

  • What Images Can I Use in My Blog Posts?

    Photo Release Form

  • Blog Tags

    The tags you assign to your blog post will help search engines to better understand what your post is about.

    For a list of commonly used tags and their importance, check out the UF/IFAS Blog Tag Lexicon.  

    • Blog Tag Tips
      • Tags can be a keyword or keyphrase (these words/phrases would also be found within your post)
      • Recommend 3-7 tags per post
      • Avoid repetitive variation (ie, horse, horses, equine. Stick with just one.)
      • Use author name as a tag to promote yourself or the author for whom you are posting
  • Blog Categories

    The categories you assign to your blog post determine where your post is organized: 

    • Blog Category Goals
      • These categories will allow your post to appear when users select a Category in the "Browse by Category" page.
      • The cateogories also allow your posts to appear in the digest when users subscribe by category. 
      • If you are a County agent, selecting a major category allows your blog post to appear in your County's SFYL homepage blog feed. 
    • Blog Category Tips
      • You can select one or more categories and subcategories.
      • Don't forget to de-select "Change Category". 
      • Don't use the category "Uncatogorized". 

     

  • How Do I Create a Blog Series?

    Writing a blog series is a great way to break up content into easy-to-digest posts and get readers excited about upcoming content. Here are the ways to identify a post as part of a series. 

    Follow this guide to Create a Blog Series and Add to Your Author Profile

    A post that is part of a blog series will have one or all of the following: 

    *A series is required to have a unique tag to identify the series. Ensure your tag is unique enough to only capture your blog series. Reach out to webteam@ifas.ufl.edu for guidance on developing your series' tag. 

    Reach out to webteam@ifas.ufl.edu to ensure our series appear on your Author Bio Page! 

  • Can I Schedule Out When My Post Will Be Published?

    Yes! The Delay Publish option can be a great way to manage when your posts are published. You may want to use this option when you have several posts ready at once, but you don’t want to publish them at the same time. It is a best practice to publish only one post in a day: this will allow your content to be displayed in multiple email digest alerts, giving readers additional opportunities to find your posts. You may want to delay publishing for another reason. Follow these steps to Delay Publishing a Blog Post

  • Blog Analytics / Pageviews

    The webteam already has analytics running on your blog so if you would like access to them please use the following steps. Both Google Analytics and Google Data Studio can be used to provide analytics for blogs. 

    Access Google Analytics

    1. Submit a Web Work Request for Google Analytics access. 
    2. The webteam will help connect your account to Google Analytics.

    Notes

    • We recommend using Chrome as your browser for this activity. Agents who have used Firefox or Internet Explorer tell us the data would not populate. 
    • Navigate to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages to view pageview statistics.
    • The system will default to show data for just the last seven days. Remember to change your date view to the timeline you need. 

    Google Data Studio

    Google Data Studio is an alternative tool for accessing Google Analytics. This tool is currently available for County agents, but if you are interested in accessing your data through this view, reach out to webteam@ifas.ufl.edu.

    Access Google Data Studio

    1. Click on the name of your agency in the Google Data Studio Listings to access your Google Data Studio.
    • Page 1 is a Dynamic Snapshot showing statistics for the entire blog.
    • Page 2 shows pageviews by author (exportable list).
    • Page 3 shows pageviews by post (exportable list).

    Notes

    Some users receive an error when trying to access their Google Data Studio Report. If this happens, try logging out of Google or access the report from a different browser. 

    Resources

     

  • Video Tips for Bloggers

    Adding Video Content to Your Blog

    The best way to include a video in your blog post is to first upload it to YouTube (if your unit does not already have a YouTube account you can create one for free), then you can easily embed the video within your blog. This has the added bonus of YouTube captioning your video for you, providing ADA compliance and allowing users to turn on captions when needed.  

    • How to Embed Video in Your Blog Post
      • Navigate to the YouTube video in your browser.
      • Copy the URL from the browser window.
      • Paste the URL in your blog post. 
      • Note: This can be done for videos and video playlists. 

    Viewing Video Play Events in Google Analytics

    You can access statistics for video play events on videos you have embedded on your blog posts. Follow directions here for How to View Video Play Events for Blog-Embedded Videos.

    Recording & Editing Videos for a Blog

    You may want to edit out the first few seconds of your video--perhaps you were getting your camera set up or you were giving attendees extra time to arrive for a live stream. Check out the following video tutorials for great ways to trim out unnecessary video content and help keep viewers engaged! 

     Recording & Posting an iPhone Video: 

    Recording & Posting a Zoom Meeting:

    VIDEO TIPS For Bloggers Webinar

    UF/IFAS YouTube Channels

    Visit the UF/IFAS YouTube Channels for videos you can include in your blog posts related to your content. 

  • Accessibility / ADA Compliance

    Follow these tips when writing your blogs to ensure that all users can read them: 

    • All images that you upload (including featured image and images placed within blog posts) should include an "alternative text". Screen readers will use this alt text for visually impared users to communicate the content of the image, so ensure that the alternative text is descriptive. 
      • Alt text also helps search engines index your images. 
    • Use headings to organize your post
      • Screen readers use these headings to jump through the page to help the user determine which section to read. 
    • Use PDFs that are ADA compliant if embedding into a blog post
    • For more information on ADA compliance, check out this ADA compliance webinar 
  • What to Blog About

    Have you ever struggled to come up with topics for your blog posts? Try out these...

    Top 5 Blog Brainstorming Questions!

    1. What do your colleagues want to talk about?
    2. What blog post title would catch your eye?
    3. What blog post would you share on your social media?
    4. What is something inspiring or funny you’d like to read about?
    5. What is a process that you wish you’d had a guide to help you through?

    For more tips on what to blog about and which blog formats perform better than others, check out this blog post or this shareable one-pager on What to Blog About

    For more ideas for your blog, check out the Blog Events Calendar, also at the bottom of this page! 

  • Promote Your Blog on Social Media

    After you write a blog post, we encourage you to promote it on your social media accounts.

    Tag the UF/IFAS social media accounts in your posts: 

    • Facebook: @UFIFASNews
    • Twitter: @UF_IFAS
    • Instagram: @ufifas_solutions
    • YouTube: @IFASVideo

    Also, here are some great hashtags to include in your posts!

    • UF/IFAS Anytime Hashtags
      • #UFIFAS, #IFASExtension, #IFASResearch, #IFASAtWork

    For more hashtag recommendations, check out UF/IFAS Hashtag listing

     

  • En Español Blog

    To ensure your blog post appears in the En Español blog, tag your posts with "Espanol". Bloggers should include accent marks where possible on posts. To add special characters, follow the steps in the screenshot below when editing your posts.

    Tag: Espanol

    Espanol Special Characters Wordpress Classic Editor For Bloggers

  • Florida 4-H

    All Florida 4-H agents should include these categories and tags on their content to maximize post visibility:

    • Category: 4-H & Youth
    • Subcategory: Camp, Curriculum, Clubs & Volunteers
  • Florida Master Naturalist Blog

    To ensure your blog post appears in the Florida Master Naturalist blog, tag your post with the tag "Florida Master Naturalist Program" and/or "FMNP". 

    Tag: Florida Master Naturalist Program, FMNP

  • Master Gardener Blog

    To ensure your blog post appears in the Master Gardener blog, all Master Gardeners should tag their posts with the tag "Master Gardener Volunteer". For bloggers with non-ufl.edu email addresses, the Master Gardener Coordinator will post their blogs on their behalf. New Master Gardener Coordinators can submit a Web Services Request to set up this access.  

    Tag: Master Gardener Volunteer

  • Florida Sea Grant

    All Florida Sea Grant agents should include these categories and tags on their content to maximize post visibility:

    • Category: Natural Resources
    • Subcategory: Coasts and Marine
    • Tag: Florida Sea Grant

Blog Calendar Events

Hurricane Season: Preparing The Inside of Your Home

Hurricane season is from June 1 to Nov. 30, but storms can happen any time the...

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Disaster Preparedness: Planning for medically dependent sheltering

Regardless of a physical or mental condition, we all need...

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