The basics of writing a blog post for your WordPress blog
If you’ve chosen to begin your own blog, you already know that a blog’s purpose is to give you a platform to share with your readers your thoughts, advice, community, business, etc, through updates to your site’s blog page. But how exactly do you write a blog post?
Once your blog is set up, you’ll be able to log into your blog’s back-end–called your Dashboard, where you have access to everything that changes your site. For WordPress.com blogs, you’ll log in at WordPress.com; for self-hosted WordPress.org blogs, you’ll log in at http://www.yoursite.com/wp-login.php — the “yoursite” part of the address being replaced with whatever your domain name is that you have the site hosted on.
From your dashboard, you can see on the left a sidebar; find the tab labeled “posts” and hover over or click on it. If this is the first time you’ve checked out this section, WordPress will have a default first post already live on your site — which you’ll want to delete. To delete this automated post, go to the “all posts” section under the posts tab. Hover over the post entitled “Hello world!”, and click the delete link that pops up below.
Now to write your post!
1) Click on “new post” under your posts tab; this opens up your post editor.
2) Type in your post’s title in the top text box where you see the gray words “enter title here” (if you change your mind, you can edit this later, just like with everything else about a post!)
3) The bigger text box below is for the body of your post; it can include text, pictures, video, or a variety of the three.
- Text: just start typing away in the box. You can change the font, size, color, and more by using the formatting buttons in the toolbar right above–it’s very similar to using Microsoft Word.
- Pictures: click on the “add media” button located above the toolbar on the left. Choose “upload files” on the top left, then “select files”; locate and choose your picture from your computer. WordPress will show you the attachment details of your photo on the right; you can change the title, alt text (good for SEO), caption, alignment, link, size, etc. Then click the blue “insert into post” button. Edit by clicking on the picture, then choosing the picture symbol hovering over the top left of the photo; delete by hitting the red no sign. More here.
- Video: for simplicity and ease of use, I’d suggest embedding videos from YouTube, Vimeo, or another video hosting site, rather than uploading. Let’s use YouTube today: when you have a video on YouTube you want embedded, click the “embed” tab below the video, then highlight and copy all of the code in the box. Read my article on embedding videos into blog posts.
4) The toolbar on the right allows you to choose which category you’d like the blog post under (for example, since this is an article on a basic concept you’ll need to know for blogging, I have it under my “basics” category). If you don’t have any categories yet, you can create them there as well. Beneath categories, you also have tags. Learn more about categories and tags here.
5) Lastly, the top section of the right-hand toolbar gives you options to: save, schedule, publish, and more–you can see the defaults in the photo to the left. Click the “save draft” button often to avoid losing your work! Click on any of the “edit” links to change an option, such as when you’d like the post published–just click “ok” after you’ve made a specific change. When you’re ready — and only then! — click “publish”; I always “save draft”, then view the preview post, before publishing it.
In the future, should you need to change part of a past post or continue with a saved draft post, you can find all of your posts under the “all posts” section of the posts tab. To begin a brand-new post, just click on “add new” under the posts tab, as discussed above.
Extra tips about writing a blog post
- Save your draft frequently!
- For additional formatting options, install an editor plugin.
- Don’t know what to blog about? There’s a post specifically on how to get over blogger’s block!
- Also, to protect yourself legally, I’d advise checking out my post regarding using other people’s written work here: NOT your post.
- Learn how to change permalinks (the web-post address that you see beneath your post title) — better for both readers and SEO!
- You can access the “publicize” option from the right toolbar (see photo on point #5 for the publicize section). It’s a Jetpack feature that you can activate; check out Utilizing Jetpack: Publicize.
- Add a text box to your post.
- Change up your fonts.
- Add a poll.
- WordPress has a computerized proofreader available, find out more here.
- Insert a photo slide show.
Did I miss anything? Feel free to tell me/ask away in the comments section below.
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