WordPress: Adding a Post to Your Blog

Business Owners | Client Resources

WordPress: Adding a Post to Your BlogSo you’re ready to add a post to your WordPress site – Awesome! Welcome to the blogging world! Here are a few things you’ll need to know to make the most of your posts.

How to get there

If you’ve never logged in before, start here. You’ll want to log in by going to: yourdomain.com/wp-login.php

Once you’ve logged in, you’ll be on your Dashboard. On the left there’ll be a bunch of links including one (toward the top) called POSTS. If you hover there, you’ll get a submenu where you can view all Posts, Add New, view the Categories, or view the Tags. We’ll start with ADD NEW.

“Edit Post” Page Walk-Through

Let’s start with walking through this page. At the top you’ll have the title of the page – Edit Post. The first empty field is for the Title of the post. The title is one of the “hooks” you’ll use to get people to click to read this post, so make it informative and inviting.

Directly underneath that is the Permalink. This is the friendly URL that leads people to your site. When you enter a title it will automatically create a permalink for you, but you might want to make sure you like it. For example, if you use an “&” sign in the Title, the auto permalink will remove it. Click the EDIT to change the permalink. There are no spaces allowed; use dashes (“-“) instead. The VIEW POST button does just that: let’s you view the post as a user would view it.

There is another button there: ADD MEDIA that we’ll come back to in a second, but for now, we’re skipping to the big text area below. It’ll probably look familiar to you, with the Bold, Italic, etc. buttons on top.Wordpress Edit Post Page If you only see one line of buttons, click on the icon on the right. If you’re unsure what anything does, just hover over the icon for an explanation.

You might notice that there’s no option for font size: that’s on purpose. In web development, font size is not supposed to be set “willy-nilly”. It should all be pre-decided in the coding to keep the design congruent.

If you look at the top right side of the text area, there are two tabs: VISUAL and TEXT. Visual shows you how your text is looking. Text shows you any backend coding that makes the text look correct. To see an example, type something in the box and then switch to text. Same text, right? Probably just a different font. Now go back to Visual, highlight that text, and choose Bold from the icons in the top. Switch back to Text and you’ll see something like this: “< b >” around the text. That’s the coding that makes it bold.

Why do you care? Well, if you’re adding a youtube video or you’re copying and pasting any type of coding, you’ll need to switch to the TEXT tab so WordPress knows it’s code. Otherwise, WordPress gets confused.

Let’s get back to that ADD MEDIA button we skipped. Use this to add an image or a PDF to your post. When you click on the button, you’ll see an MEDIA LIBRARY and an UPLOAD FILES tab. The Media Library tab is everything that’s been uploaded to your site. Wordpress - How to Add Media ButtonThe Upload files tab is for uploading a file (obviously).

If you either click on one of the images already there, or you upload an image, you’ll get something like the image to the right. See the Title, Caption, Alt Text, and Description? At the least, you’ll want to fill in Title and Alt Text. Then you can set a few options: if it floats on the right, left, center, or none; if the image links to something; and the size you want the image. Once you click the INSERT INTO POST button, it will show up in the text box. Then drag the image wherever you’d like. You can also edit any of the options once it’s in the text box by clicking the image and choosing the pencil icon.

Moving on to the right side of the page, you’ll see a PUBLISH box. Within it, you have a few options. You can save the post as a draft if you’re not ready to post it, you can preview it, change the status of it, the visibility, schedule it, or move it to the trash.

Click the edit button next to any of these to change it. The two that might be a little confusing are the Visibility and the Publish immediately options. With the Visibility option you can make it public, private, or password protected. These options tie into the setup for your site, so check with your web developer for more information. The Publish option allows you to schedule posts. If you click Edit, you’ll be able to enter a time and date. To make the most of your blog, you should post on a regular schedule. This allows you to create posts anytime and schedule them to publish on your set timetable.

Below that is the Categories. If you’re just starting out, you won’t have anything but Uncategorized here. Ideally no posts should ever be in Uncategorized. Simply choose the option below “Add New Category” to add a new one. Think carefully about how you’re organizing your blog in the beginning and it will save you lots of time in the future.

There’s just two more sections here. First, the Tags. These are kind of like Categories in that they’ll help people find the articles that interest them. But they’re much more specific then Categories. You can add tags by typing them in with commas in-between.

Second, there’s a Featured Image area. If you don’t have this, talk to your web developer (as with everything I’ve mentioned). Depending on your site, this featured image may or may not show up on the front end, but to save yourself time later (when you update the design), always add a featured image to each post.

Make Your Post Effective by…

Unfortunately the “create it and they will come” doesn’t really apply for blogs. To make your post the most effective it can be, make sure you do these things:

Set a Category and add Tags

I talked about these above, but they’re easy to forget. Make sure you’ve got your blog organized well to help users.

Add a Featured Image AND at least one image within the Post

Again, we talked about the featured image, but make sure you include an image within the post as well. Ideally, whatever image you add for both should be something that has the post title on it (for example, the image at the top of this post). This is primarily for Pinterest and other sites that save websites by images. If a user can’t Pin an image for your post, you’re cutting out that entire audience.

Use Headings

At the top of the big text box, you’ll see a drop-down that says Paragraph. Click the drop-down and there are several options including different headings. Google reads a page like an outline, so when you’re creating your post, use the Headings as outlines. Heading 1 is reserved for the title of the post (you don’t have to set that – it’ll have to be automatic in the coding), but Heading 2 and down are available for you to use in the text box. I use at least Heading 2s (“Make Your Post Effective by…” is Heading 2), and sometimes Heading 3s (“Use Headings” is Heading 3), but usually have no need for any after that.

Set SEO settings

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization which is all about making your post be the best it can be – for Google (mainly – I guess Bing users too…). I didn’t mention this above because the plugin I use to do this (All in One SEO Pack) may not have been installed by your web developer. At the least, you need to have a plugin that allows you to set the title, a description, and preferably some keywords. The area to enter this should be somewhere below the text box.

The title should just be the title of the post – nothing special there. The description should be the hard-core “hook”. Besides the title, this description will either convince them to click or convince them to move on. Take your time crafting it. The keywords are much like the tags. While most search engines don’t lend any credence to them, I always add them just in case.

Summary

If you follow the tips above, you’ll start out well.

I’ll be honest with you – blogging isn’t for the weak. It takes discipline, lots of writing, and a “stick with it” attitude. But if you can persevere through the months of hardly any readers, it can yield huge dividends for your business or personal brand.

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