One easy way to make a blog post more interesting is to add an interactive element like a link, a map, a video, a poll or even a document.
WordPress allows you to create a limited number of these either by pasting a URL in a post, or by embedding what is called a shortcode.
Inline links are embedded in the text like this to look like part of the sentence.
To embed a link:
- Copy the URL of the page you want to link to.
- Open your blog post and highlight the words you want to link
- Click the chain-link button in the menu
- Paste the URL into the destination box
- Select new window for an external link.
One of the most useful embeds for news stories is a Google Map with a pointer for a key location in a story.
To create a Google map in your story, first go to the Google Maps webpage and enter the address or name of the place you want to locate.
‘This is a pull quote’
Then click on the link button at the top of the left hand column.
If you click on the hyperlink that says “Customize and preview embedded map” you can create the map the exact size you want.
Then you copy the HTML code from the box below and paste it into you blog where you want the map to appear.
An example of a Google Map embed
Generally in WordPress it looks best to have the maps be the full-width of you column, because the text will not wrap around them like a photo.
You can find the width of your column when you upload a image.
For this class I’m going to expect you will have all your maps the proper width.
Maps should have a title too, which you can create with some bold formatting.
You can also embed videos in your posts from YouTube, Vimeo and other websites.
You do this by simply by plugging in the URL you get from the share button under the video.
Avoid embedding videos in your class blogs that you did not create yourself just to make them look pretty. Ideally your story should be about that particular video or some aspect of it.
Tweets can also be embedded in news stories like this one about Simon Whitfield.
To embed a tweet you simply find the tweet in twitter, click on the time stamp to take you to a unique page for the tweet, and copy and paste the URL for that page into your post.
If you want to change the width of the tweet to fit your column there are full instructions on the WordPress support webpage.
News stories often have documents you can upload for readers, such as lawsuits, safety or accident reports, leaked information or other things of interest.
One program to use for those is Scribd, which allows you to embed PDF’s in your post.
You first need to create an account, then upload your document and finally grab a short code from the share tab. Full instructions are on the WordPress support website.
Guidelines for embeds
It is important to note that when you embed something in a news story on your portfolio blogs it should be directly related to your story, and it should enhance your story.
Don’t try adding other people’s YouTube videos just to make your post look jazzy.
Also do your best to make you embeds look tidy, and put titles on them when need to explain what or where they are showing.
Here is a list of all the embeds you can do with wordpress.com.
Try adding a few of these elements to your practice story.