The Blogs

The marketplace of ideas

How to create beautiful posts and connect with your readers

Our updated design, launched in July 2018, offers up a vivid and dynamic world of opinions, ideas and stories:

  • The Blogs section homepage is now reimagined as a far more dynamic gateway into The Blogs’ world of ideas and voices.
  • Featured images and video bring blog posts alive, both on the website and on social media platforms, where a post’s link can now be shared with a featured photo, and not only an author photo as was the case before.
  • Smart and seamless content scrolling paves an easy path to discovering relevant writing, whether from voices readers want to hear more, or on topics of special interest.
  • Bloggers are now able to embed Getty Images in the body of their posts, with convenient access to more than 50 million visuals from one of the world’s leading photo agencies.
  • And bloggers can now establish a bold, personalized presence on the platform — a homepage of sorts — by branding their blogs with a cover image and tagline, while providing as much detail as they wish about who they are. They also have the option to allow readers to engage with them via email.

See below for instructions on using the new posting and user profile features.

Note: You can access this article when you’re in the blog editor platform. Click on (?) Help on the left side of the blog header.

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Here’s how to:

Lead with a featured image or video
Embed Getty Images in the body of your posts
Embed video and audio in your post
Add Topic Tags
Set a Cover Image for your user profile
Add your Tagline
Edit your Biographical Info
Let your readers contact you directly with ‘Contact Me’
Get More Help

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Lead with a featured image or video

A featured image appears prominently above the body of a post and becomes the face of your post when it is promoted via a link, whether on our website or on social media. Use of a featured image is optional, but recommended, as a way to quickly convey the subject of a post, and command readers’ attention.

You can also feature a video above your post by entering a URL address from YouTube or one of the other listed video services. Keep in mind that only still images appear when a post’s link is shared on social platforms. It is therefore advisable to add a featured image, even for a post that already has a featured video.

To feature an image:

  1. Select Add or Upload File
  2. Choose an image that is suitable for the fixed display width:height ratio of 8:5. (Photos that diverge from these proportions will appear cropped.)
  3. Select Use this file

You can opt to use your author headshot (Profile Photo) instead of a Featured Image for sharing a post on social media.

To do so, Select Profile Photo in Photo for social shares.

NOTE: If you switch the social shares photo after the article has already been posted on Facebook, you will need to “debug” the link, This can be done here, at Facebook’s Sharing Debugger.

To feature a video

In the Featured Video field, enter a video URL (not an embed link, just the simple URL) from any of these video services: YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, DailyMotion, SoundCloud

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Embed Getty Images in the body of your posts

Bloggers now have access, free of charge, to more than 50 million images from one of the world’s leading photo agencies, for use within the body of your posts.

To use Getty Images

  1. Place your mouse cursor in the post editing field at the location where you wish to add an image, and click the Add Media button above the editing window.
  2. Select Getty Images at the top left. For first time access, you’ll be asked to choose between the “Embeddable Images” option and the “Getty Images Customer” option.
  3. Select Access Embeddable Image. Then review the Getty Images terms of use. Agreeing to the terms of use will give you access to Getty Images’ vast image library.
  4. Search by keywords, such as the name of a public figure or a special event or a location, and click the image you’d like to add into your post. Recommended Display Options are “Align None” and Size Full Size.
  5. When ready, select Insert into Post. The selected image will be inserted as a link initially. But once you preview or save your post, this link will display in the post as an embedded image.

Return to the menu

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Embed video and audio in your post

You can display videos in your post from YouTube, Vimeo or Facebook. Here’s how:

Copy the video URL link — not a special embed code, just the URL from the browser’s address bar. Here are examples of what valid URLs look like:
YouTube:
https : // www. youtube.com/watch?v=NRjo3KIXj4E
OR
https : // youtu. be/NRjo3KIXj4E

Facebook:
https : //www.facebook. com / eveningstandard/videos/2072274642816186/

Vimeo:
https : // vimeo. com/121099448

Insert the link as its own paragraph, plain with no formatting, as shown:

Inserting a YouTube video.

The video should display in the draft.

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Add Topic Tags

The new blogs platform emphasizes topics as a way to offer posts from multiple bloggers on particular issues of interest for readers.

Clicking your cursor in the Select topics field opens a list that begins with starred core topics. Typing letters will bring up any term that contains the sequence of letters that you typed:

This means you can scroll down the list and find the topic(s) you want to use for your post:

Or you can type a few letters to find the topic(s) you want:

NOTE: Select only topics that are particularly relevant to your post, typically no more than 5.

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Set a Cover Image for your user profile

You can now upload a suitable image that will display as the background for your blog’s header, such as in the example below. The Cover Image is a background image, not your author photo, so choose one that will work as background or abstract wallpaper for your headshot photo.

To set a Cover Image:

  1. Select an appropriate image, one that: suits the narrow, horizontal dimensions (a .jpg or .png file suitable for a display size of 1600×300 pixels); contains little or no text, does not have a white background. As with all images, be sure your cover image is free of copyright restrictions and complies with Times of Israel standards barring offensive content and advertisements.
  2. Enter the blog editing platform and select Profile from the menu on the left
  3. Scroll down to Cover Image.
  4. Add an image that meets the Image Guidelines* below.
  5. Select Update Profile

*NOTE: There may be a time lag in displaying updated elements in your blog.

Return to the menu

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Add your Tagline

Your Tagline offers a brief idea of who you are, whether it’s a motto, catchphrase or job title, and appears below your name next to your author photo. If you leave the Tagline field empty, no text will be displayed in the designated space.

To add your tagline:

  1. Enter the blog editing platform and select Your Profile from the menu on the left.
  2. Scroll down to Your Tagline
  3. Add your text.
  4. Select Update Profile

*NOTE: There may be a time lag in displaying updated elements in your blog.

Return to the menu

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Edit your Biographical Info

Your Biographical Info allows you to describe yourself in full, such as by noting various positions you’ve held, major life decisions and interests. The text you add here will appear in the About Me section of your blog. Bloggers are required to provide a description of themselves in this field.

To edit your biographical Info:

          1. Enter the blog editing platform and select Your Profile from the menu on the left.
          2. Scroll down to the Biographical Info field.
          3. Add your desired text.
          4. Select Update Profile

*NOTE: There may be a time lag in displaying updated elements in your blog.

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Let your readers contact you directly

The optional Contact Me function allows readers to send email directly to you. Your email address is not made public anywhere on the site. Contact Me will not appear on your blog if you leave the Email for ‘Contact Me’ field blank. As shown here, the sender is asked to provide his or her name, email address, subject and a message, as well as meeting a reCAPTCHA verification challenge.

To enable Contact Me:

  1. Enter the blog editing platform and select Your Profile from the menu on the left.
  2. Scroll down to Email for ‘Contact Me’.
  3. Add your desired address (Your Contact Me address does not need to be the same as the one you use for your user account.
  4. Select Update Profile

*NOTE: While a user who sends you email must meet a reCAPTCHA verification challenge, the emails are not screened prior to sending. The Times of Israel and its partners can not and do not guarantee that email messages will be free of unwanted or offensive content. Bloggers are enabled to remove the Contact Me feature at any time.

*NOTE: There may be a time lag in displaying updated elements in your blog.

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Get More Help

Still confused? We’ll do our best to assist — email us at blogs@timesofisrael.com

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