When I started the Toolbox article series, I originally envisioned it as various tools you can use for your business or for fun. These tools would be plugins, applications, scripts, etc. but today, we I am doing something a little different.
We are going to look at a couple of tools that really aren’t software or tech. One tool helps you create your own writing style guide, and the other helps us address accessibility for hyperlinks. We are also going to look at a map.
So, saddle up.
Today, we ride.
Creating a Writing Style Guide
From time to time, I get asked about content for a business in the WordPress community.
Let me say a couple of things.
If you are going to scale your content product beyond one person, you need two things:
First, you need to know how to create a writer’s brief so that you can clearly communicate what you need to writers your hire.
Your second task is to develop a writing style guide.
Both help eliminate unnecessary miscommunications.
I can talk about writing briefs another time, but if you need help with that, look at Kaleigh Moore’s website. She has a resource you can purchase.
As for the style guide, thankfully, we have an expert in the WordPress community.
And that expert is Maddy Osman.
She is the founder of The Blog Smith, expert SEO writer, and author of the book “Writing for Humans and Robots.”
I highly recommend this book, especially if you’re trying to grow your business blog.
She will help you create that style guide, give you lots of guidelines for writing for the web, and also technical information that will help you with SEO.
You should have that book on your desk.
In May, Lars Arboleda wrote a nice primer for creating a style guide at The Blog Smith website.
One thing that is needed by most teams, especially if they are small, is the use of something like Grammarly or ProWritingAid. Both now have features that allow you to input your writing style guide into the software.
The article lays out some solid reasons you should have a style guide (a great tool!) to help mature your company’s blog writing.
And, if you need a place to start, The Blog Smith has an example you can download.
These tools are a must-have for any business looking to expand their blog writing.
Creating Accessible hyperlinks
When it comes to accessibility, I am still learning.
I have learned a lot from resources provided by Colleen Gratzer and Amber Hinds.
One thing that I have had to relearn in recent years is how to create my hyperlinks.
Colleen recently published a fantastic resource for the accessibility of hyperlinks.
In that article, she says,
A hyperlink is not accessible just because it’s clickable with a mouse. Not everyone can use a mouse, such as people with a motor disability or someone with a broken wrist.
Also, mouse users are sighted people. Individuals with low vision or blindness may use a screen reader or other type of assistive technology instead of a mouse.
It makes you think twice about what you are doing.
She gives 9 tips, advice really, for doing hyperlinks correctly for accessibility.
Note to self: stop using “click here.”
Note to self: test hyperlinks!
I’m still learning!
This article makes a great checklist just for hyperlinks.
Another option is to use the Equalize Digital Accessibility Checker Plugin for accessibility.
It’s a start.
We can do a better job of publishing more accessibility content.
The WP World Map
Chalk this “tool” up to something being fun. Dennis mentioned it in the MainWP Users Facebook Group this week.
It is pretty cool.
The project belongs to Marcus Burnette. The form being used to submit your information is from WS Forms.
Thus far, I am the only WordPress person from Arkansas to find the map.
The map is integrated from Google Maps. You can see where WordPressers, or Pressers as he calls them, are located across the globe.
As for why he started this map, Burnette explained:
The reason I decided to start this project was based on our active hurricane seasons the last couple of years here in Florida.
I wanted to know who to reach out to after hurricanes had passed to see if everyone was okay or if there was anything that anyone needed.
I didn’t know who lived in the path of the hurricanes, so I decided to create this map to help with that.”
“A happy side-effect that I’ve seen from others though is that they have been able to see who lives near them, and I’ve heard from several folks who have made connections with nearby people that they didn’t know existed. In fact, I even learned of a WordPress agency that is located about a minute from my house that I had never heard of before!”
Who is located in your area?
If you add yourself to the map, let us know in the MainWP Users Facebook Group.
Wrapping it up
Initially, I associated the toolbox articles with software.
And there are tons of those available, both functional, and some fun.
These resources today are just as important as most pieces of software you may have in your toolbox.
What kinds of non-techy tools do you have in your toolbox? Let us know in the MainWP Users Facebook Group.