Best Practice Guide
For 2023 and beyond we want to firmly cement ABRA’s position as the industry leader for all matters relocation. Our combined knowledge base is the most extensive in the Belgian industry, so why not maximise our impact?
If you have published a white paper, conducted industry related research or have the answer to a particular topic or current affair, then here is your opportunity to showcase your area of expertise with our readers.
Practical information such as “ten tips for developing a successful global mobility policy” or “how to find the perfect home for you and your family” are great ways in which to start a conversation and to get yourself noticed for your in-depth knowledge on the subject.
Industry Updates & Announcements
We have two places where you can share your news: Industry Updates and Announcements. Both sections are featured on the ABRA home page, but their purpose is slightly different.
Industry Updates is for featured articles that showcase your area of expertise. Announcements are where you can introduce new team members, share event invitations, job openings and more.
But before we dive into how to publish with ABRA further down this page, a few handy hints to help get you started.
Deciding upon a topic isn’t always easy. What is relevant and important in your mind, might be of absolutely no interest to the reader. Thankfully we have a simple rule of thumb: always look at it from the reader’s point of view. What is it that they really want to know?
Let’s say you will be offering Chinese classes from September and would like HR departments to know about this for their international assignees. “New course starting September!” is a simple announcement and may get a few thumbs up, but it is unlikely that it will stick with the reader unless they are actively looking for Chinese classes.
Instead, come at it from a different angle: discuss the growing importance of Chinese-Belgian relations in business, explain the dynamics and challenges of cultural differences, and the importance of understanding some of the most key terms and phrases in a cross-cultural workplace.
A well-researched and substantiated piece is much more likely to convince the reader that Chinese language classes are an important consideration for the assignee’s package. It gives food for thought and adds to the conversation, making it shareable content. And shareable content is what will drive increased traffic your way.
HINT: still struggling to decide on a topic? Ask yourself where your audience is hanging out.
Are you looking to reach that multinational’s HR department? Then join HR related interest groups on LinkedIn. Follow their newsfeed for a few weeks and take note of what questions keep cropping up.
What are the problems they keep running into? Can you provide an answer to their question?
Or alternatively: what questions are they not asking but should be?
Reaching your Target Audience
It all starts with a great title. Think about it, what would you take the time to read? “Chinese classes starting September” or “Why language and cultural understanding are essential in today’s workplace”?
The first states exactly what’s happening but doesn’t really excite unless you are actively looking for those Chinese classes. The second on the other hand is much more likely to catch the attention of a wider audience: managers, directors, and anyone else who is dealing with a multicultural workplace.
It is also important to decide which are your key terms. If you are writing about immigration, then make sure the word immigration is mentioned both in your title and in the first paragraph of the article if you want to do well in the search engines.
Hashtags and tagging (people or companies) are a great way to reach a wider audience on social media.
If you’ve conducted a study in collaboration with someone, then be sure to mention them by name, using the @symbol to tag them. This expands your reach and is a great way of acknowledging their contribution.
Hashtags are essentially a way of grouping together conversations or content around a certain topic, making it easy for people to find content that interests them.
How to Publish with ABRA
Now we have the basics agreed upon, let’s get into how you can share your news through the ABRA website. First off, let us know that you would like to share a post on our website. We can then attribute you a ‘contributor’ role in our admin system. Your article will appear under your own name, with a link to your company profile and contact details.
Next, log in to the member area as you would when signing up for one of our meetings. At the top left corner of your browser window you will see a little dashboard dial called ‘ABRA’, this brings you to your ABRA dashboard. There is also a ‘plus’ symbol which allows you to add a new article, image, announcement or even a PDF that readers can download.
Your ABRA Dashboard Explained
At a Glance: total number of posts on the ABRA website.
Activity: post titles and publication dates.
Quick Draft: write a little reminder to yourself for your next post. This will then be saved under your drafts for future editing.
WordPress News: ignore, unless you are interested in reading about WP system updates.
The Menu bar on the left provides you with the following options:
Posts: click here to see all your posts (drafts as well as published articles) or add a new post.
Media: click here to upload a picture for your article, or add a PDF that readers can download.
Announcements: Looking for a new team member? Have an event coming up? Share all your company announcements to the ABRA homepage.
Profile: create a personal bio, link to your social profiles, add your profile picture, or update your password.
Tools & Options: ignore, these have been disabled
The Post Page Explained
Top Line: your post title
Tagline: the subtitle of your post.
e.g. the title is “Surviving the Home Office” and the tagline, or subtitle, is “safeguarding sanity when working from home”.
Quote: add an attractive quote here that highlights the main sentiment behind your article.
Introduction: this is where your first paragraph of text goes. Your introduction should grab readers’ attention and explain th the main idea behind the piece.
Main Content (the box that doesn’t actually have a name): this is where the rest of your article goes.
You’ll see that the text editor is very similar to the programmes you are used to. Put text in bold, italics, add a hyperlink and more. The quote symbol is for additional quotes you’d like to add further down the text.
PUBLISH (right hand column):
You can preview and save your draft here, and when you are happy with it, send it in for review by the ABRA board who will then publish it for you.
CATEGORIES & TAGS:
Categories and tags make your article searchable on the ABRA website. Check the ones that you feel are appropriate for your piece. Categories are broad topics.
Tags are more specific. Choose from the existing tags or add your own, but just like with hashtags, think about which ones will give you the best results.
Feeling confused? Just think of your Netflix account: the category is the type of movie and the tag is the director or actor. E.g. your category is Action and your tag Jean-Claude van Damme.
Add an attractive image to go with your article. This will also show in the preview when you share your article on social media.
Adding Media To Your Post
When you click on the Media icon (camera) you can either choose from the pictures that are already in the ABRA library or upload your own. We recommend using an original picture that is at least 1MB for best results. The system will automatically scale the image for you. Smaller pictures may end up looking blurry.
Step 1: either drag and drop the picture or PDF file you would like to add from your computer into the upload box, or click the button that says ‘select files’.
Step 2: click on your newly uploaded picture or on the PDF to open it and SEO proof it as below.
Step 3: close the image and go back to your post.
SEO Proofing Your Image
Alt Text: here you enter a short description that is not visible to the reader so it needn’t be a full sentence, but should certainly contain your keywords. Search engines read this as an extra boost for the keywords used and will increase your ranking.
Title: make life easy and use the same title as for your alternative text. Again, it’s not visible to readers.
Caption: if you want to write a caption to go with your image, add it here. You can also leave it blank if the image doesn’t really need a caption.
Description: again a short description of your picture. This is mostly just for your reference and won’t show up anywhere public.
Gallery Links: ignore all these options.
SEO Proofing Your Article
Almost there! If you want your article to be picked up by search engines, you’ll need to perform a little Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
You’ll find a little smiley face in red, orange or green at the bottom of your post editor.
SEO Title: enter your post title, this should be between 30 and 60 characters including spaces.
Meta Description: write a short description of what the article is about, this should be between 155-160 characters.
Active sentences, subheadings, hyperlinks, key phrases, length of sentences, and more will all help improve your ranking. Feel free to have a play around with all the options and don’t worry if you don’t hit all the green lights: your SEO title and meta description are the most important ones.
When you feel your article is ready for publication, click on the ‘Submit for Review’ button in the top right hand corner of your editor to send it in.
How to Publish an Announcement
Of course, not all news is worth dedicating an entire article to. Sometimes short and sweet does the trick. Anything from event invitations to the opening of new buildings, even job opportunities, has a place on the ABRA website.
Announcements work much like blog posts, only are a lot simpler. Simply click ‘add new’ to add a title and enter the main body of your text as you would for an article. There’s no need to SEO proof your announcements, so this can be a quick and easy job.
The most important thing to remember is to include a hyperlink to your event registration page, job posting, or website. To add a hyperlink, simply select the section of text with your mouse, click on the hyperlink icon (the chain link) and copy-paste the correct url into the bar.
All that remains now is to submit it for review by the ABRA board!