You are now ready to learn how to write a blog post or a page. Writing a blog post is not difficult given all the features of the WordPress wysiwyg editor. In the last tutorial we went over the WordPress editor and covered in detail all the functions it offers. In today’s WordPress tutorial, I will show you how to write a blog post using all the “bells and whistles” of the WordPress default editor.
Topics Covered In How To Write A Blog Post Tutorial
You can access all topics from here. Click on the link below and you will be taken to the topic of your interest, if you don’t want to go through the whole tutorial. As well, at the end of each section, there will be a link: Back To Table of Topics, which will bring you back here.
- Accessing new blog post editor
- Blog post Titles and Permalinks (URLs of your blog posts)
- Adding and formatting text
- Adding bullet points or numbered lists
- How to add images to your blog post (including Featured Images)
- Adding links to your text and images
- Adding Categories and Tags to your post
- Creating excerpts of your blog post
1. Accessing new blog post editor
When you want to write a blog post, you need to access the editor of a new post.
- In your Home Dashboard, click Posts option
- Click “Add New”
Image 1. Accessing New Blog Post Editor
As soon as you click “Add New”, you will be brought to your new blog post editor. This is where we’ll stay until the end of “How To Write A Blog Post” tutorial.
2. Blog Post Titles (Headlines) And Permalinks
Image 2. Adding New Title To Your Post
- Choose and enter the title you want to assign to your new post. Make sure to include your keyword in the Title. For example, today’s tutorial is titled: How To Write A Blog Post Step-By-Step Tutorial. The keyword phrase is “how to write a blog post”. These keywords provide a clear understanding of what the post is about to both, the readers of my blog and the search engine bots.
- The additional words in the title: Step-By-Step Tutorial further let the reader know that the topic will be covered in detail and likely, such a topic will draw beginner bloggers to read the post.
- Capitalize first letters of the words in your title.
- The best is to keep the Title only 60 characters or less (including spaces) because most search engines cut out the titles beyond 60 characters. If the title will be longer it will shown as “Part Title…”
- As soon as you enter the title, save your new post and make sure that your permalinks are set up correctly (This topic was covered in Customizing Dashboard Settings). Let’s have a look at the correct and incorrect permalink settings.
The demo of the permalink is from my demo blog and the title of the new post was: How To Write A Blog Post
a. Incorrect Permalink Settings
Image 3. New Blog Post – Incorrect Permalink Settings
Image 3. was taken at the demo blog demo.ditahelp.me. Notice that the permalink is http://demo.ditahelp.me/p=19. What do you think this permalink says to the reader or the search engine? Big Fat Nothing!
If, after saving your blog post, you get this type of a designation of the permalink, it means that you have not changed the settings of the default permalink structure.
Luckily, WordPress let’s you know. On the editor, next to the permalink, it offers you the opportunity to change the permalink. Click on the “Change Permalink” window and you will be brought to Permalink Settings screen. There, select the proper Permalink structure. You want to select “Post name”.
Make sure to save the settings. Once you save the Permalink settings, this new structure will be applied to all your blog posts and blog pages.
Image 4. Selecting Correct Permalink Settings For Blog Posts
b. Correct Permalink Settings
Let’s have a look at the correct permalink of your new blog post.
Image 5. Correct Permalink
The new permalink is: http:// demo.ditahelp.me/how-to-write-a-blog-post. Obviously the new permalink is more informative to the readers and search engines, plus it looks much more professional.
c. How To Shorten Permalink
Since your title will automatically become the URL of your post, if your post Title is long, so will be the URL. You do not necessarily want an overly long URL.
There is a little trick you can do if you have a long title and you want to shorten the URL. This change will not affect the Title of your post
Right under the Title, after you save your draft, next to your Permalink you will see an Edit option. Click on Edit and you can change your permalink. Always keep the words separated by a dash and in small letters. After you edit the permalink, click OK and that will change the permalink.
For example, the Title of today’s post is: How To Write A Blog Post Step-By-Step Tutorial. I changed the post title portion in the permalink to: how-to-write-a-blog-post and the complete permalink is: http://bloggingspree.com/how-to-write-a-blog-post. You can actually see the permalink in your browser address bar.
3. Adding Text To Your New Blog Post and Formatting The Text
Adding text in your editor is really simple because WordPress Editor is a wysiwyg (what you see is what you get) editor. In the Visual mode of your editor, everything looks like it would appear on the browser when someone is reading your blog post. All you need to do is write, just like you would write on a piece of paper.
To format a text you need to:
- highlight the text you want to format
- click on the function you want to format your text with (for example, B for bold, I for italic an so on)
Most of the text options are pretty self explanatory. All you have to do is explore them within your text.
4. Adding Bulleted List Or A Numbered List To Your Blog Post
Adding a bulleted list and the numbered list is a wee bit trickier, so I’ll show you how to create bullet points. Use the same principle to create a numbered list.
How To Create Bullet Points
- Click On the “Bulleted list” option
- Enter information to the first bullet
- After the text line, hit enter key on your keyboard to create another bullet
- Enter an new line of text and hit enter key
- If you don’t want anymore bullets, place your cursor besides the last bullet and click the bullet list option again. That makes it “delete”. As well, you can hit the “Delete” key on your keyboard to delete it.
- Check how the bullets look in Preview
Image 6. Creating Bulleted List in your blog post text
5. How To Add Images To A Blog Post
Adding images to a blog post is very simple.
Step 1. Place the cursor where you want to place the image
Step 2. Click on the Add Media option on your editor tool bar
Image 7. Adding Images To A Blog Post: Step 1-2
Step 3. Choose the image in the Media Library. You have a choice to choose an image from the Library of your images or your computer. Since you don’t have any images, select the image from your computer.
Image 8. Selecting Image From Your Computer
Step 4. When you click on the image in your computer, and click Save or Open, the image will automatically be uploaded to your blog. In this demonstration I am going to add an image of Millionaire’s Brain advertisement and I am going to place the image in the center of the text.
Step 5. Fill out all image details in the Image library
Image 9. Important Image Details Need To Be Filled Out
This step is very important. You need to fill out all the information I indicated on Image 9. Let me go over them.
- Title – this is the keyword title of my image. The keyword is important for SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Note that the title is the same as the name you saved your image under on your computer. You can change it.
- Alt Text – search bots cannot see images. They can only “read” images. They read the Alt Text, so make sure you fill it out and use a keyword (same as your Title, but without the hyphens)
- Alignment – chose the option that suits your intent. I chose “center”, because I wanted the image to be in a center on this blog post.
- Link to – I usually select “None”. If you don’t choose something, by default, WordPress links your image to your Media Library. This is unnecessary!
- Insert To Post (blue button) – as soon as you fill out all information, insert the image into your blog post.
Image 10. Added Image To Blog Post
Right now, when you click on the image, it does not lead you anywhere, because it is not linked to another resource.
Some of the images (and text) you will want to link to either other posts or to a sales page, if your image is an advertising image, as the image is in this example. In the next section I will show you how to hyperlink text or images.
How to add Featured Image To Your Blog Post
On the right hand side, in the sidebar of the editor, right under Tags, you have an option to add Featured Image to your post. If you don’t see this option, scroll all the way up your screen and, on the right hand side, you will see a tab “Screen Options”. Click on it to expand it. Inside, you will find a Featured Image option. Make sure it is selected. Once selected, the Featured Image option will show up on the sidebar.
When you add Featured Image to your post, typically, it is this image that will show in the excerpts on your Home page. As well, these images will be selected when you use Related Posts plugins that use images.
Adding Featured images is very much the same as adding images within the text of your post. You can follow the same instructions as discussed above.
6. Adding Links To Text And Images
Links, also called Hypertext or Hyperlinks, are added to text or images to direct them to other source of information.
When you have many posts on your blog, you want your readers to access the other posts. The easiest way is to do that, is to hyperlink a text in your post to the other post you want the readers to see. When the reader clicks on the link he or she will be taken to the page you intended them to see.
Linking between the posts is very important, not only for readers, but it is really important for search engines. (I have written extensively on the subject of importance of internal linking here…). As well, interlinking between the posts keeps the old posts from fading into obscurity and lastly, this practice helps keep your blog’s bounce rate down.
Apart from internal links you can also add external links, for example to products you want to sell, your Facebook page and so on.
1. How To Add Links To Text Within A Post
- Highlight the text you want to link
- Click on “Insert/edit link” on top of the editor toolbar (the option looks like a paperclip)
Image 11. Adding Link To A Text or An Image
- Enter the URL where you want the text to redirect people into the link window
- Select “Open New Tab”
- Click “Add Link”
- Check in “Preview” to make sure that the link is functional
Image 12. Inserting Link Into Text Or Image
- In this window add the URL you want your text link to.
- Skip Title – you do not have to fill this out. If you add it, when people hover over the link whatever you enter in this field will be seen).
- Tick off “Open link in a new window/tab. You definitely want your readers to open the new page in a new window so that they can comfortably return to the original article.
2. How Yo Add Links To Images Within a Blog Post
The process of adding links to images is very much the same as the process of adding links to text.
The only difference is, that instead of highlighting the image, you click on the image and then follow exactly the same steps as outlined for text links.
Image 13. Adding Link To An Image
When you click on the image within the editor, the image becomes editable. Notice little “squares” around the image, as well as the editing option above it. When in this state, the image can be hyperlinked.
As soon as you add the link, the image becomes clickable. If you click on the image below, you can see it will take you to the video presentation of one of my favorite programs that I followed.
Image 14. Clickable Image – Try It
Always check your links, both text and images, in Preview before you publish the post to make sure that the links are clickable.
7. Adding Categories and Tags To Your Blog Post
Both categories and tags provide a helpful way to group related posts together.
►Categories – Your post MUST be categorized. If you do not select a category for your post, WordPress will categorize it in the default “Uncategorized” category.
I have discussed Categories and Tags in detail in WordPress Categories Tutorial and I stressed that you have to create categories before you start posting on your blog. Think of Categories as a table of content of your blog and a guide to your readers. There is no sense in blogging seriously, if your blog posts are not categorized!
Select only one category per post. In rare instances, you may place your post in several different categories.
►Tags – are keywords that you use to describe the content of your post. They are used by search engines to “classify” your post. You can use as many tags as you want, but since they may be displayed on your posts, too many would look very unprofessional. Definitely, keep the number under 10.
To add tags, simply add the keywords in the “Add” field, separate them with comas and then click “Add”.
As well, like categories, tags are used for selection of Related Posts, when you have such a plugin installed.
8. How To Create Post Excerpts With “More Tag”
Although many themes automatically create excerpts of post for the Home page, WordPress default themes do not automatically create them. That is too bad, because when you publish a post, it will show on your home page in its entirety. If you choose to show 10 articles on your home page, as is the norm, imagine how crazy it would be. Your home page would be very, very long. You can trust me that no one would bother to scroll forever, just to find out the titles and topics of your posts.
Luckily, in the editor there is a function called “More Tag”. This option allows you to set up excerpts for every post manually and achieve the same summarized look on the Home page as the themes with the automatic excerpts option offer.
To demonstrate, I will use the demo site: ditahelp.me
Step 1. In your post place the cursor where you want the excerpt to end.
Image 15. Selecting Excerpt
Step 2. Click “More Tag” icon
Image 16. More Tag Added -Excerpt Created
Although not seen in the editor, the More Tag will also add a link to the end of the excerpt “Continue reading…”. When your visitor clicks on this link the excerpt will expand into a whole post.
Image 17. Home Page with More Tags excerpts
The Home Page with excerpts looks much more professional and user friendly as it offers a reader an excerpt of the blog posts you published recently.
After you complete your post, categorize and tag it, preview it to make sure that all looks good and the links work, click Publish and your blog post will be visible online!
To summarize, you have learned how to write a blog post and how to make it appealing to your readers. Apply all the techniques you learned in this WordPress tutorial to every post you publish and your blog will be a pleasure to “see” and with a good compelling content, a pleasure to read.
Congratulations! Now you are a blogger. You have just learned how to write a blog post! Go ahead and publish your very first blog post for the whole world to see!
Let me know when you do that! I would love to see your first blog post. Leave comment below and the comment will link to your new post! And, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me and I will try to help you.
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