Does my vocabulary look too British in this?

This list was a lot of fun to read through! I have to admit I picked up most of my UK vocabulary watching Coronation Street (originally, and later a whole list of other great British TV series.) I knew many of the words in the list, but a few didn’t match the usage I was familiar with.

Do you recognize any of the terms?

Notes from the U.K.

The differences between British and American English are an endless source of—well, pretty much anything you can name: confusion, fascination, amusement, bad temper, accusations (subtle and otherwise) of either ignorance or stuffiness, depending on which side of the Atlantic taught you your rash assumptions.

I’ve written about the differences between British and American English before, which means I’m supposed to slip in a link or ten to tempt newcomers deeper into the blog. That sounds ominous—step deeper into the dark and trackless blog, my dears. But I have to do it anyway. Who am I to defy the rules of the blogosphere? (Note: I already do with my irrelevant photos, and I’m not likely to stop, but once in a while I should behave like a serious blogger.) So here’s the link: This will connect you to a whole category of posts. You can pick through and see what…

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No StumbleUpon Button on Your WordPress Blog? You Can Fix That in 3 Easy Steps

How to add a StumbleUpon button to your WordPress blog | #socialmedia #blogging

StumbleUpon is one of the most powerful social networks you can use to promote your blog content. It’s much less used than social media sites like Facebook or Twitter but according to TechCrunch, it was outstripping Facebook for social media traffic referrals as early as 2011. KissMetrics calls StumbleUpon “one of the best traffic generators among the top seven social media sites, referring more than other social bookmarking and voting sites such as Digg and Reddit.”

Having a StumbleUpon sharing button on your blog will help remind your readers to take advantage of this lesser-known social media site. But if you have a WordPress blog, you may have noticed that a StumbleUpon button isn’t included in the standard set of social media sharing buttons.

StumbleUpon sharing buttons are available in a number of social sharing widgets for different blogging platforms. You can also create a StumbleUpon badge in one of several styles, using an easy utility on their website. This works just great if you happen to be blogging on a platform like Blogger, but you probably already know that it’s not so easy to add many widgets and services on WordPress. Anything that requires you to use JavaScript probably won’t work. So you have to go the extra mile if you want to add a sharing button for StumbleUpon to your WordPress blogs.


How to add a StumbleUpon button to your WordPress blog | #socialmedia #blogging
StumbleUpon refers more traffic to blogs than Facebook
(Image from a public domain photo by geralt/Pixabay)


How to Add a StumbleUpon Button to Your Blog

It isn’t hard at all to create a StumbleUpon button and add it to your blog with the rest of the sharing buttons. But it’s not always easy to find the instructions that tell you how to do it! If you follow these three simple steps you can easily create your own StumbleUpon sharing button in just minutes. So bookmark this page for future reference, in case you need to do it again in the future!


1) Find a StumbleUpon Icon

You will need a 16×16 pixel icon for your sharing button. StumbleUpon icons are available for download from the company, but you’ll find these ones are a fair bit larger than what you want. You could resize a suitable logo, or you can simply do a web search for a 16 x 16 px StumbleUpon icon or save one from a blog that already has a button.

Save the icon to your computer, and then upload it to the Media Gallery on your WordPress blog. Copy the URL of the icon from your blog. You’ll need this later.


2) Open the Sharing Settings in Your WordPress Blog

Go to the dashboard of your WordPress blog: now select Settings and then Sharing. You should see a text link for “Add a new service” just beneath the available social media sharing buttons. Click this link to open the form where you’ll create your StumbleUpon button.

Accessing the Sharing Settings in Your WordPress Blog
How to access the sharing settings on your WordPress blog


Add a New Sharing Button
Click “Add a new service”


3) Fill in the Form

The form asks you to supply the service name, a link to the icon, and the “sharing URL.” I just enter “StumbleUpon” for the service name. The icon URL is the one you saved above when you uploaded your StumbleUpon logo. And for the sharing URL you need to enter the following URL for the StumbleUpon site:

Now just click “Create Share Button” and your new StumbleUpon button should now appear under Available Services. (N.B. If your button doesn’t look right at first, don’t panic! When I created my StumbleUpon button, it looked as if the button didn’t have an icon on it at first. When I dragged the button to Enabled Services, the logo showed up in the preview.)

Fill in the Form to Create a StumbleUpon Button
Fill in the form to create a new StumbleUpon button


Concerned About Trademark Issues?

Are you worried that creating your own sharing button might be considered an inappropriate use of a trademarked logo? I’m not a lawyer, but it’s my understanding that StumbleUpon wants us to have sharing buttons, just as other social networks do. They provide the site logo for download in larger sizes. They also provide a tool that allows you to select one of several sharing buttons to add to your website.

The problem is simply that their button creator uses a JavaScript that won’t work on a WordPress blog. We can’t expect StumbleUpon to offer badges that will work on 100% of sites, nor to keep up with changes on every blogging platform. They try to offer buttons that work for most people and to point you to alternative resources where those exist.

As long as you’re not using the logo to generate profit (as on a t-shirt or coffee mug that you sell) or to imply a relationship with or endorsement by StumbleUpon, you should be able to make use of the logo for legitimate purposes – such as creating social media sharing buttons or blogging about the site. So feel free to go ahead and create a StumbleUpon button for your WordPress site, and reap the benefits of encouraging your readers to Stumble your content. It won’t be long before you see it pay off with increased traffic from the social network!



How to add a StumbleUpon button to your WordPress blog in 3 easy steps | #blogging #WordPress
Follow these 3 easy steps to add a StumbleUpon button to your WordPress blog
(Image from a public domain photo by Eukalyptus/Pixabay)



What is the Ideal Size for Pinterest Images? by Kyla Matton Osborne | #RubyWriter (modified from an image by Tungilik/Wikimedia Commons/CC0 1.0)
Want to get more from Pinterest? Learn how to optimize images for best results!
(Image from a graphic by Tungilik/Wikimedia Commons/CC0 1.0)


5 Cool Tips to Help You Get the Best from #Pinterest by Kyla Matton Osborne | #RubyWriter | #socialmedia
Looking to grow your blog? Check out these 5 tips for getting the most from Pinterest
(Image from a graphic by mkhmarketing/Flickr/CC BY 2.0)


Original content ©2016 Kyla Matton Osborne

This article was published on my writing blog, RubyWriter. If you are reading this content anywhere else, it has probably been stolen. Please report it to me so I can address any copyright infringements. Thank you!

How Can You Write Killer Content in No Time Flat? Learn the Art of Outlining!

Write Killer Content in No Time Flat | #blogging #writingstrategies

How do you write a blog post? Writing strategies among bloggers tend to be fairly loose. If you’re like most bloggers, you use a freestyle approach to content creation: you write a post from title to end without any planning, editing or proofreading. You might run a spellcheck, but that’s about it. Doing anything else is just too much work!

But what if I told you that you may actually be working harder than necessary? What if you could find a way to work faster and to write a better blog post? It’s very simple, actually: just learn to outline your posts before you write them!

Killer content in no time flat | #blogging #writing
Most writers think outlining takes more time when in reality it increases productivity
(Image created in Canva using free elements)


How to Write an Outline

Many bloggers don’t know how to write an outline. Because they believe it will take more time, they prefer to free-write their posts. They don’t realize that creating an outline can help them to get more writing done in a shorter amount of time – and it can even be better quality writing!

Writing an outline is pretty painless. While you may think it’s going to take you more time, outlining is actually one of the writing strategies that successful freelance writers use to get their work done faster. Here’s how to create an outline for your blog post:

Step 1: Brainstorm Some Details

Before writing a blog post, take a few moments to jot down some of the things you already know about the subject. Just write the ideas as they come to you, in no particular order. You can write them on a notepad or in a word processing document, or you may prefer to use a graphic organizer.

Don’t try to write out full sentences at this point. Bullet points are fine at this stage. And don’t edit. This is an exercise in generating ideas, not judging them. Just create a list of as many ideas as you can generate in a fixed amount of time – say, five minutes. Once the time is up, stop writing.

Step 2: Choose Your Main Points

Once you have your list, see if you can group any like ideas together. In the process of grouping your points, you will likely notice that some are major points while others are sub-points or serve to explain or illustrate those larger points. It may help you to arrange these sub-points and other details under the bigger points; you’ll flesh out these arrangements later.

Once you’ve attempted to group all like points, look for points that don’t belong to any group. These are likely points you’ll want to leave out of your post. They might be a great starting point for a later post on the same topic, though! So never throw them out completely.

Most writing consists of between 3-5 main points, so pick out at least 3 but no more than 5 main points for your post. Try to choose ideas that will work well together. Any unused ideas can be reserved for a later post, so resist the urge to try and jam it all in!

Step 3: Create Your Outline

Arrange your main points in an order that makes sense and flows well. If there is a natural chronological order to your subject (as in a recipe or how-to post) just go with that order. If you are writing a persuasive piece, you’ll want to put your strongest arguments at the beginning and end of your post; put the weaker or less significant arguments toward the middle of your outline. If you are writing a comparison, you might choose to alternate back and forth.

Whatever the arrangement, each major topic of your post is now a sub-heading. And all of the sub-points are going to be sentences in the paragraph you write for that sub-heading. At the beginning, you’ll have an introductory paragraph, which is often used to list the topic areas you’ll cover in your post. At the very end of your post will be a conclusion, which you may want to use to pose a question for readers to answer in the comments, or to deliver a call to action.

Now you have the skeleton of your post. It takes a few extra minutes of work to make your writing outline but your post is now better focused – and the bonus is you also have ideas ready for the next post on the same topic!


Benefits of Outlining Your Posts Before You Write

  • Brainstorming, freewriting, and mapping ideas are all great ways to combat writer’s block;

  • Creating an outline helps you narrow your topic, which can help boost SEO;

  • When you write a blog post from an outline you tend to be better at sticking to your topic;

  • Writing a blog post from an outline means less editing once the post is written;

  • In the process of eliminating topics from your outline, you will discover ideas for future blog posts.


Boost writing productivity by using an outline| #howtowrite #outlines
Learn how to write an outline and boost your blogging productivity
Please Pin this article – remember sharing is caring!
(Image from a public domain graphic by Viktor Hanacek/PicJumbo)


Original content © 2016 Kyla Matton Osborne

This article was published on my writing blog, RubyWriter. If you are reading this content anywhere else, it has probably been stolen. Please report it to me so I can address any copyright infringements. Thank you!