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How to Blog on RVillage: Step by Step Tutorial

  • I’ve been blogging for about 13 years now, and my numerous blogs depicting various stages of life are littered across the Internet. When my husband Eric and I began full-time RVing in early 2014, sharing our adventures through a blog was a natural choice.

     

    Every individual decides to blog for different reasons. We view our blog, RV Wanderlust, as an online journal that’s more for us than anyone else. As full-time RVers, we see and experience so much that it’s a challenge to remember all the details. With each blog post we write, we tie down our memories, capturing them in words and photos, so we never forget.

     

    It’s an added bonus that blogging allows us to publicly share our adventures and newfound knowledge with others. Family and friends who we’ve geographically left behind can remain close to us through blogging, and we meet a ton of fascinating people along the way by having an online blogging presence.

     

    The beauty of RVillage’s Blogs section is that you don’t have to worry about creating your own website, which takes time and resources. RVillage offers a ready-made blogging platform for all users to take advantage of.

     

    Whatever your reason for wanting to blog on RVillage, this is your step by step tutorial to doing it right.

     

    Blogging Do’s and Don’ts

     

    As you get to know the Blogs section of RVillage, keep in mind that not all blog posts are created equal. If you have a question about RVing, it would be more appropriate to post it on the Homefeed or in a group related to your question. Just because you can post a question in a blog post, doesn’t mean you should!

     

    Blog posts are designed for sharing extended thoughts, complemented by multi-media items like images, videos and links. If you’re wondering what you should post about, here are some ideas based on our own blog posts on RV Wanderlust: 

     

    • Upgrades you’ve made to your RV
    • Lessons you’ve learned on the road
    • Where you’ve gone for maintenance and repairs
    • RV resources you’ve discovered
    • Campground reviews

     

    These are only examples—feel free to come up with your own topic ideas! Use feedback from others to refine your blog post topics. Comments on your blog posts are one way you can get useful feedback from others.

     

    If you’re already blogging on another website like we are, it’s totally okay for you to copy blog posts onto RVillage. You can even share the introduction, and then offer a link to your external blog where people can continue reading and see your other blog posts. Sharing your blog posts on RVillage can bring new readers and traffic to your website. 

     

    Getting to Know the Blogs Section of RVillage 

     

    Before you get started, make sure to log into your RVillage account with your username and password.

     

    From the home page, click on Blogs. Actually, no matter where you are on RVillage, you can always visit the Blogs page using this button.

     

     

    Now that you’re on the Blogs page, you’ll see the latest RVillage blog posts from all users, listed in reverse chronological order (newest at the top).

     

    To narrow down the blog posts you see, use the menu on the left side of your screen:

     

     

    This menu allows you to see posts from the bloggers you’ve subscribed to as well as your own blog entries. If you’ve never blogged on RVillage before, this is where you’ll go to write your first blog post!

     

    If you don’t have time to browse, the Search section is where you can find blog posts on the topics you’re most interested in. Try searching for the name of your RV brand to connect with owners like you. Or you can search for the name of a city or state as you make travel plans!

     

    You can search for any word or phrase in the search bar. The more general your search, the more results you’re likely to receive.

     

     

    Getting Started with Your Blog Post

     

    Ready to write your first blog post? Don’t be intimidated – we can’t wait to read what you have to say!

     

    Remember, the menu on the left side of the Blogs page is where you go to get started with your blog post:

     

     

    Click on Write New Entry, and you should see this page:

     

     

    Before you even start writing your blog post, consider your topic. Think back--wayyyy back--to high school English and the outlines your teacher made you create for your writing assignments. Having a rough idea of what you’re going to write about will give you direction and ensure that your article is helpful for your readers!

     

    Once you narrow down your topic, enter a title for your blog post in the top box. Use as few words as you can – 55 characters is a good rule of thumb.

     

    Underneath the title box, you’ll see a box where you can enter your tags/keywords. Adding tags will help RVillage users find your blog post and learn from it! For example, if you’re writing about your recent trip to Grand Tetons, your keywords might include:

     

    • grand tetons
    • wyoming
    • national park
    • wildlife
    • mountains

     

    You don’t need to capitalize your tags.

     

    Moving down the page, it’s time to set the status of your post. If you want to publish immediately, leave this dropdown set to Published like this:

     

     

    If you want to write a little bit now and come back later to finish, set this dropdown to Saved as Draft. This means no one will be able to see your blog post until you come back and select the Published option.

     

    Note: once you publish a blog post, you cannot switch it back to a Draft.

     

    It’s Time to Start Writing!

     

    Phew! Who said blogging was nothing more than slapping a few words up on a web page! Are you really ready to write now? Here’s where you’ll do it:

     

     

    Your blog post can be as simple or fancy as you like. If you’re the no-frills type, write your paragraphs and be done with it!

     

    But if you want to take advantage of the many features that RVillage Blogs has to offer, you may be wondering what all those little buttons do! Here’s a quick key for the three sections of the toolbar, from top to bottom:

     

     

    1. Undo: Undo your last change.
    2. Redo: Redo your last change.
    3. Clear formatting: Get rid of links and formatting like bold and italics, going to plain text.
    4. Paste as text: If you’ve copied text with messy formatting, Paste as text allows you to paste it into your blog post without any formatting.
    5. Source code: View the HTML version of your blog post and make changes if you like.
    6. Insert/edit video: Insert a video from YouTubeor Vimeoby pasting the link to the video.Once you’ve added a video, you can edit its settingsby clicking this button. Keep reading for step by step instructions!
    7. Insert/edit image: Insert an image from an online source by pasting the URL. You can also add a description and control the size of the image. Once you’ve added an image, you can edit its settings by clicking this button. Keep reading for step by step instructions!
    8. Upload an image: Upload an image from your computer. Keep reading for step by step instructions!
    9. Insert/edit link: Insert or edit a link in your blog post. To insert a link, highlight the part of your text you want to hyperlink. Then click this button and paste the link in the box.
    10. Fullscreen: Enter fullscreen mode to eliminate distractions. To exit fullscreen mode, press the button again.
    11. Preview: Preview your blog post to see what it will look like when it’s published!

     

     

    1. Font Family: Select your font by highlighting the text you want to change, then clicking the down arrow to the right of Font Family.
    2. Font Sizes: Select your text size by highlighting the text you want to change, then clicking the down arrow to the right of Font Sizes.
    3. Bold: Bold your text by highlighting the text you want to change, then clicking this button.
    4. Italic: Italicize your text by highlighting the text you want to change, then clicking this button.
    5. Underline: Underline your text by highlighting the text you want to change, then clicking this button.
    6. Strikethrough: Strikethrough your text by highlighting the text you want to change, then clicking this button.
    7. Text color: Select your text color by highlighting the text you want to change, then clicking this button.
    8. Background color: Select your background color by highlighting the text you want to change, then clicking this button.

     

    Wondering what it looks like to “highlight” text? In the example below, the word “phenomenal” is highlighted:

     

     

     

    1. Align left: Align your text to the left side of the screen.
    2. Align center: Align your text to the center of the screen.
    3. Align right: Align your text to the right side of the screen.
    4. Justify: Justify your text, making it reach fully from the right to left side of the screen.
    5. Bullet list: Insert a bulleted list into your blog post.
    6. Numbered list: Insert a numbered list into your blog post.
    7. Decrease indent: Decrease the indent of your text.
    8. Increase indent: Increase the indent of your text.
    9. Toggle blockquote: Insert a block quote in your blog post by highlighting the text you want to quote, then clicking this button. Here’s an example of what a block quote looks like:

     

     

    If you’re not sure how some of the toolbar buttons work, the best thing you can do is experiment with them! Write your blog post, and then try out each feature to see how you can make it “pop.”

     

    Step by Step Guide to Adding Images

     

    One of the most common additions you’ll want to make to your plain text blog post is the addition of images. Images make your blog post much more interesting for readers, and they also help to illustrate your adventures and tutorials.

     

    We’ve already introduced the buttons you’ll use to insert an image from an online source or your computer, but here’s a step by step guide to this important feature. 

     

    Option 1: Inserting an image from a website

     

    If the image you want to use is on a website, follow these instructions.

     

    1. Decide where you want to place your image in your blog post. Click your mouse on the place you want your image to go:

     

     

    2. Click the Insert/edit image button.

     

     

    3. Copy the URL (link) for the image you want to use.

     

    4. Back on RVillage, paste the URL in the Insert image box.

     

     

    5. In the same box, write your image description and resize your image if you want to. Remember, you can always hit the Preview button to see how your blog post looks so far.

     

    Option 2: Inserting an image from your computer

     

    If the image you want to use is saved to your computer, follow these instructions.

     

    1. Decide where you want to place your image in your blog post. Click your mouse on the place you want your image to go:

     

     

    2. Click the Upload an image button.

     

    3. Click the Choose File button to find the image on your computer. Note: you cannot upload an image larger than 5mb.

     

    4. Click the Upload button. 

     

    Step by Step Guide to Adding Video 

     

    If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video must be worth a million! RVillage makes it quick and easy to add videos from YouTube or Vimeo, the two most popular video sharing websites.

     

    1. Decide where you want to place your video in your blog post. Click your mouse on the place you want your video to go:

     

     

    2. Click the Insert/edit video button.

     

     

    3. Copy the URL (link) for the YouTube or Vimeo video you want to use.

     

     

    4. Back on RVillage, paste the URL in the Insert/edit video box.

     

     

    You can leave the Alternative source and Poster fields blank. The Dimensions will be set automatically, but you can resize your video to be larger or smaller by changing the dimension numbers. After you click the Ok button to insert your video, don’t forget to preview your article to see what it looks like:

     

     

    Once you’ve added a video, you can edit its settingsby clicking the Insert/edit video button again.

     

    Don’t Forget to Link

     

    Many times as you’re writing a blog post, you’ll think of a related website or web page on the same topic that would be interesting and helpful to your readers. Rather than repeating what another website says, link to it! For example, you could include a link to a restaurant’s reservation page, or the map for a national park you’re writing about.

     

    Remember, to insert a link, highlight the text you want to link. Then click the Insert/edit link button and paste in the URL. Easy peasy!

     

    Almost Time to Publish Your Blog Post!

     

    After you’ve finished writing your blog post and adding photos and links, there are just a few more items to look at before you press that publish button!

     

     

    1. Privacy: Decide who is able to see your blog post once it’s published. You have four options: Everyone, Friends of Friends, Friends Only or Just Me.
    2. Set your comment privacy. You have the same four options here.
    3. Decide whether you want your blog post to appear on the Homefeed. If you do, check the button!

     

    You’re all done! Hit that Post Entry button and your blog post will be “live!”

     

    Finding Your Draft Later

     

    If you weren’t able to finish your blog post in one sitting, it’s easy to come back later to finish up and publish. From the Blogs page, click My Entries, and then Edit Entry on the blog post you want to edit.

     

     

    This is the same page you’ll go to if you want to edit or delete a blog post you’ve already published.

     

    Sharing Your Blog Post

     

    Blog posts are meant to be shared! We encourage you to share your recent posts with your friends by posting them on websites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. We make it simple for you.

     

    When you write and publish a new blog post, you'll automatically see a popup box asking whether you’d like to share your post on Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus. Take advantage of this option to promote your fresh content!

     

    If you’d like to come back to share a blog post at a later time, follow these instructions:

     

    Go to the blog post you want to share. You’ll do this by going to My Entries, and then clicking on the name of your blog post:

     

     

    Scroll down just a little bit, and you’ll see the Share buttons on the left side. You have the option to share to Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and more with just a couple of clicks! To see all of the social media sharing options, hover over the orange “+” sign:

     

     

    No matter which social network you want to share your blog post on, make sure you’re logged into that site before you try to share.

     

    Say you want to post to Facebook. Click the blue and white “f” in RVillage, and this box will pop up:

     

     

    By default, the post will be shared to your Timeline, or your own personal profile. If you like, you can post to a friend’s timeline, in a group, or on a page instead!

     

    Add a short comment about your article to entice others to take a look. Once you’re done, click the Share Link button!

     

    Sharing to Twitter, Pinterest and the other social networks follows a similar process. Just a couple of clicks and you’re all done.

     

    When you’re writing a blog post, you can also ask your readers to subscribe to your blog if they enjoy hearing from you.

     

    Remember, people don’t have to have RVillage accounts or be logged into RVillage to read your blog articles! Blog articles are publicly accessible to everyone. Because of that, you can share the link to your blog posts anywhere, including in emails or on RV forums. Don’t be shy! (Note: if you want to, you can tighten your privacy settings on a per-post basis, as shown above.)

     

    Closing Thoughts 

     

    Every RVer has unique experiences and advice to share. By creating blog posts, we can inform and entertain one another and build the one thing no one should do without: community!

     

    Don’t forget to add to your text with images and links. They make your posts more visually interesting and helpful for readers.

     

    The team at RVillage wants the Blogs section to be the best it can be. As you can see, there are many useful features you can take advantage of. So let’s see your blog posts!