Step by Step Instructions
Click HERE for a downloadable PDF version of these instructions.
Last Revised 6/24/19
a) WRITE OFFLINE
BindleSnitch has a pretty good text editor, but we STRONGLY recommend that you write your articles off-line, especially for longer articles. Use any word processing program (or even an email program) and then paste the finished article into the BindleSnitch Editor. You will find it much easier to write and proofread your articles this way.
b) EDIT ONLINE
Once you have inserted your final text, review and edit your articles online, inserting text embellishments, hyperlinks to sources, and images. Pay particular attention to inserting spaces between paragraphs, and removing extra spaces following periods, question marks and exclamation points.
c) FEATURED IMAGES ARE REQUIRED!
The BindleSnitch format require at least one image for each article. This image will become the featured image that is attached to the links that point to your articles. Additional images are recommended at the rate of one image per 200 words.
d) KEEP TRACK OF YOUR SOURCES
If you use information from copyrighted sources, it is a good idea to credit those sources and, if possible, to include links to the sources from which you gathered your facts. We simply put the URL for each article right into the text of our drafts. (You can also insert them into hyperlinks. )
2. CUSTOMIZE YOUR MEMBER PROFILE
In order to customize your profile, you will need a cover image, a head shot, and a short blurb about yourself. Estimated work time: 10 minutes or less.
CLICK HERE TO CUSTOMIZE YOUR PROFILE
(This link only works if you are logged in.)
3. CUSTOMIZE YOUR USER OPTIONS
The USER OPTIONS is a built-in WordPress page. (This page is also called the Profile Page, but it is different from the visible profile page described above.) Here, we recommend that you do NOT change any of customization that was already installed for you EXCEPT the section that allows you to install links to your profiles on the most popular social media platforms. We recommend that you fill out this section with the URLs for your social media accounts so that we can send notifications to those accounts for you whenever you post an article or a comment.
CLICK HERE TO REVIEW AND UPDATE YOUR USER OPTIONS
(This link only works if you are logged in.)
4. GOOD MEMBER PRACTICES
- Visit BindleSnitch at least ONCE per day
- Check for messages on your MEMBER PROFILE
- Visit the HOME PAGE to read the newest stories
- Be sure to drop a comment on each story, so the writers will know they are actually being read.
- If you find stories you would like to promote, copy the url and post it on your social media accounts.
- Check out the most recent comments on YOUR articles
- Be sure to answer every comment even if it is only to stay thank you.
- Try – really hard – to post at least one new article every day. (Okay, three a week will be great.
This daily routine will not guarantee success but not doing them WILL guarantee failure. The only way this venture can succeed is if we all use social media to promote the site and recruit new readers because that’s where the new writers will also come from, and we need at least one hundred regular contributors to make the site economically viable.
5. HOW TO POST AN ARTICLE
Go to the MEMBERS Tab on the Main Menu (as shown below.) When this menu opens, select NEW POST from the Drop Down menu:
INSERT YOUR HEADLINE
Headline writing is an art unto itself. Try to follow these rules:
- Do not start a headline with a conjunction (and, but, or, nor, for, so, yet), punctuation mark, a Roman or Arabic number, or an article of speech (the, a or an). It screws up the archive functions.
- As a matter of fact, don’t use punctuation marks anywhere in headlines. They take up space you might need.
- Use Headline Case (and read the Associated Press Headline Case Rules)
- All headlines must be between 44 and 68 characters, including spaces and punctuation.
- Go to BindleSnitch Headline Tips and Tricks for more information on this subject.
Insert your working headline in headline box where it says, “Enter title here.” You can change the headline later if you need to. It’s a good idea to start with the headline because it is difficult to find articles that don’t have headlines.
LOCK IN YOUR HEADLINE
NOW (and we do mean now) SAVE YOUR ARTICLE AS A DRAFT TO LOCK IN THE HEADLINE.
(Don’t worry! You can change the headline later if you want or need to, but it is a real bother trying to find an untitled article.)
The Publish box moves around depending up your level of permissions. You will usually find it at the bottom of the page. When the red exclamation point turns into the PUBLISH button, you are good to go.
INSERTING ARTICLE TEXT FROM A WORD PROCESSOR
If you are pasting the text from a word processor, make sure that the Text Editor is in TEXT mode. If the editor is not in text mode, you may not be able to paste the article into the text box. (Sometimes it works in visual mode, but don’t depend on it.)
Copy the entire text from your word processor and paste it into the text box.
Review your text. If you have lost your paragraph breaks, replace them manually. Our style rule is that there should be a single paragraph space between paragraphs.
If You Are Composing on the BindleSnitch Text Editor
Simply write your article as you would in any word processor. Make sure you are in visual mode. Make sure that you end each paragraph by clicking enter. This should insert a space between paragraphs. If this does not happen automatically, insert spaces manually.
- If you did not add text formatting (boldface, italic, etc.) BEFORE the transfer, you can add formatting to your text. (All of the formatting tools shown in the example above are available to you.)
- If you are using sub-heads (recommended for articles longer than 500 words) highlight the TEXT you want to use as the sub-head, click on the paragraph drop-box, and select HEADLINE 3. DO NOT USE ANY OTHER HEADLINE SIZE.
- Do not change ink colors. Use only black ink.
- Save your work after each change.
A hyperlink is the address of a resource or asset on the Internet. Most of the time, your hyperlinks will be the addresses of articles on the Internet that you have used in your research or from which you quoted. They are a mechanism for giving credit where credit is due. We recommend that each article have at least three hyperlinks. Search engines like hyperlinks.
Sometimes hyperlinks do not get transferred properly. It is important that you check to make sure that the hyperlinks are in place. If the hyperlinks are missing, go through your draft, find each occurrence where a hyperlink should be, highlight the anchor text and insert the correct URL for that hyperlink.
Here are the steps for creating hyperlink in the BindleSnitch text editor.
- In your article, highlight the name of the person or publication to which you are linking. (This is called the anchor text.)
- Click on the hyperlink symbol as shown below:
This opens the hyperlink dialogue box as shown below:
- Switch to the tab or window where you left the article you want to link to or re-open that article in another window. (It’s a good idea to keep your source articles open until you finish your article.)
- Copy the entire link address from the browser window as shown here:
- Paste the hyperlink into the blue text box and click on the Blue Arrow to save the hyperlink.
- Repeat as needed for additional hyperlinks.
|Categories are used to determine the section in which your articles will appear.
Each article can have only one category at a time. (The system will not allow you to enter more than one category.)
DO NOT USE ***UNCATEGORIZED, **bindlesnitch or **top picks. These are reserved categories. If you use any of these categories, your articles will not appear anywhere on the website.
*artwork, *fiction, *music, *poetry, *salon and *video are BONUS CONTENT categories that are only visible when readers are not using an ad blocker. These categories will not appear on the home pages.
The ET CETERA (ETC) category is a catch-all for articles that don’t fit into any other category.
We reserve the right to reassign articles to more appropriate categories at our discretion.
You can also change the category to which your articles have been assigned in order to earn more views.
Note: Tags do NOT appear on your posts, but they are readable by web crawlers.
Excerpts are VERY important.
Right now, we are using the excerpt to brand your articles in the post listings. Here’s how you can do this:
At the beginning of your excerpt, enter your byline like this BY ALAN M. MILNER (using your name of course,. not mine but do put it in ALL CAPS.)
Add three spaces after the byline and then add up to twenty – thirty words to the excerpt blurb.
This is temporary measure. We are trying to write a piece of code that will automate this.
IF YOU CAN’T SEE THE EXCERPT BOX:
In the NEW POST form, you will find a tab called SCREEN OPTIONS in the upper right hand corner of the screen, directly below your user name. Click on this tab. You will see a list of options that includes EXCERPT, CHECKLIST, TAGS, CATEGORIES and FEATURED IMAGE. These should all be checked off for the system to work properly.
If the Excerpt box is not checked, simply click on it and you should get your excerpt box back.
While you are here, pay some attention to the LAYOUT section, where you can choose between one and two column displays. The one column display places the control boxes UNDER the main data entry area. The two column display puts the control boxes in a sidebar.
NOTE: if you switch from a one column to a two column display, your Excerpt Box will show up in the sidebar.
MORE ABOUT EXCERPTS
Excerpts are picked up by our WordPress theme and used to provide formatting for our site. They are also used by search engines to define your articles. BindleSnitch is designed so that you cannot save an article until you have inserted an excerpt.
Here are the excerpt guidelines. Excerpts should be approximately twenty words. The first two and a half lines of text from your article usually works out to be the right number. (This will often be identical with the lead sentence of your first paragraph.) This is what the excerpt box looks like. It is directly under the text area:
BindleSnitch requires that each article have a “featured image.” The featured image helps to differentiate articles from each other. They give readers an instantaneous first impression about the contents that they will be reading when they click on your article. Articles with featured images outperform articles without featured images.
USE THE TITLE OF THE ARTICLE AS THE NAME FOR THE FEATURED IMAGE: We recommend that you always name your featured images with the same name you have given to the articles in which the featured images will appear. Makes it easier to find, update or replace those images when it is necessary to do so.
NEVER USE OBSCENE OR PROFANE LANGUAGE WHEN PUTTING A TITLE ON AN IMAGE: On slower systems, or with a slower wi-fi connection, the name of an image may briefly appear on the screen before the image loads. Never use anything you wouldn’t put into the text of your article as the title for an image.
FOLLOW THESE STEPS TO INSTALL A FEATURED IMAGE
- Images must be royalty-free, common domain materials or your own original work product. Go to WORKING WITH IMAGES ON BINDLESNITCH for more information on this subject.
- Images should be 480 pixels wide and 360 pixels tall. (You may see other ratios elsewhere on the webs site. Ignore them.) Smaller images may or may not work. Images should not be more than 640 pixels wide by 480 pixels tall.
- Find (or create) your featured image.
- Make sure the featured image is stored in your Pictures directory on your hard drive so that you can find it more easily.
- Scroll down to the Featured Image Dialogue Box in the right hand column. it looks like this:
- Click SET FEATURED IMAGE. You will see a box that looks like this:
- Click on UPLOAD FILES
- This will open another screen that will look like this:
- Select the file you want to upload and click on the OPEN button in the lower right hand corner.
- When the image appears in the Featured Image Box, you have completed this step.
- DO NOT REUSE FEATURED IMAGES (unless it is your own photograph.)
INSERTING OTHER IMAGES INTO ARTICLES
Rod Stewart was right. Every picture tells a story. That’s why we recommend that you insert at least one image per every 25o words in your articles, not including the featured image. There are two methods for inserting images into the body of your articles:
The Copy and Paste Method
- Locate the image you want to use from an internet page. (Remember that the image must be a royalty-free, public domain image.)
- Highlight the image with your pointing device and right click to bring up the edit menu.
- Select “COPY IMAGE.” (Do not select “copy image address.”)
- Click back to the window where your BindleSnitch system is located.
- Position the cursor at the beginning of the row where you want the image to appear.
- Make this easier by positioning the image between paragraphs.
- Right click to bring up the cut and paste menu.
- Select “PASTE.”
- Use the image control systems described below to adjust the size and position of the image.
- Note: You cannot use this method with images that are stored on your local machine. The images must be somewhere on the internet.
INSERTING IMAGES USING THE BUILT-IN ADD MEDIA SYSTEM
This system is virtually identical to the featured image system!
- Position the cursor at the point where you want to insert the image.
- This works best if you locate the image in a blank line between paragraphs.
- Click on the ADD MEDIA button at the top of the screen, right under the headline.
- If the image you want is already in your Medial Library, simply click on that image and then click on INSERT INTO POST in the lower right hand corner of the screen and adjust the image according to the instructions below.
- To add an image that is not in your Media Library , save the image to your PICTURES directory on your local hard drive, then click on UPLOAD FILES and follow the same instructions you used to insert the featured image into the media library.
- Once the image has been saved to your Media Library, click on INSERT INTO POST.
- The image will then appear in your article at the insertion point you indicated with your cursor.
ADJUSTING IMAGE POSITIONS
Once the image has appeared in your article, you can change the appearance of the image but, if you have to move the image, it is better to delete it and reinsert it where you wanted it in the first place. When you click on any image, a number of controls appear.
|The first button above the image will force the image to the left margin and allow text to run to the right of the image.|
|The second button forces the image to the center of the screen and does not allow text on either side of the image.|
|The third button forces the image to the right side of the screen and allows text to appear to the left of the image.|
|The fourth button forces the image to the left side of the screen but does not allow text to run to the right of the image.|
|The pencil allows you to insert a caption that will appear under the article. This can be used to give credit to the source of the image.|
|The x box obviously deletes the image.|
ADJUSTING IMAGE SIZES
When you select the pencil tool, you get the Image Details box. This gives you the option of selecting the alignment of the entire image and also gives you a number of choices of standard sizes for the image. You can insert a caption. We recommend that you use the caption box to credit the source of the images you are using. The link box at the bottom of the dialogue box allows you to link the image to a media file (which is useful for attaching an audio file to an image), a specific page on the website (don’t use that one), or any valid URL. Note: You can also adjust the size of the image manually by clicking on any of the anchors at the corners of the image and dragging the image to shrink or enlarge it to meet your needs.
- When you think you are finished, click SAVE DRAFT. If the “DON’T PUBLISH” WINDOW POPS UP, CLICK ON DON’T PUBLISH.
- Click on the Spell Check button on the Text Editor Menu Bar. Correct spelling errors.
- Check for double spaces between words by clicking on your browser’s FIND button from the browser control panel. Insert two spaces in the search window with your space bar. Colored bars will appear wherever there are two spaces instead of one. Remove all double spaces between words. Save draft again.
- Make sure there is one full space between paragraphs. Check the entire document from top to bottom.
- Make SURE that your headline is between 44 and 68 characters (including spaces). Click off the Headline item on the check list.
THE FINAL CHECKLIST
|The checklist lists everything you need to do in order to complete the submission process. It’s a handy reminder that makes it possible for you to make sure you’ve done everything “right.”
The first five items on this list are automatic. They will only change from RED to GREEN when that task has been accomplished.
The second group of eight items on the list are REMINDERS. They won’t change automatically. You have to click on them to switch them from “To Do” to “Done.”
Is this a pain in the ass? You betcha, but it beats having to tell new users over and over again about the things they need to do to get it right.
ALL 12 ITEMS MUST BE GREEN IN ORDER TO PUBLISH AN ARTICLE.
REMEMBER THAT YOU HAVE TO CLICK ON THE ITEMS WHERE THE X IS SURROUNDED BY A BOX IN ORDER TO MAKE THEM TURN GREEN!
- CLICK PUBLISH BUTTON which will appear when your checklist is all green.
- Click on View Post. Read the entire article. If you need to edit or revise your article, you can do so simply by scrolling to the bottom of the article and clicking on the EDIT button that you will find there. Edit your article, then save the changes by clicking on the UPDATE button, which will replace the PUBLISH button in the dialog box.
- Click on the BindleSnitch Logo to return to the Home Page. Make sure your article appears on the Home page.
- Click on the category on the main menu that you used for your article.
- Make sure that your article appears in the category page and that the headline fits in the space.
- Finally, make sure you tell everyone you know that you are publishing stuff on BindleSnitch. See below for the details. That’s called marketing!