There are lots of things blogging related that I wish I could test run prior to committing to them. The fear of the unknown has always been the main thing that holds me back. So many of the new blogging tools (email service providers, landing page builders, photo editing programs and a variety of other things that I label as part of the Shiny Object Syndrome) require a monthly payment or an annual fee. Who wants to commit before getting a sample or an inside look at the new tool or platform? Certainly not me. I remember before I switched from Blogger to WordPress I was nervous about the dashboard and how I would compose a post. I had blogging friends on WP but I didn’t feel comfortable asking them to screenshot the dashboard for me so I could become familiar with it ahead of time and see if I would be able to figure it out on my own. I wondered if there others out there that felt the same as I did and this idea for this post was born. Today, I am sharing an inside look at a WordPress post.
An Inside Look at a WordPress Post
The dashboard is pretty easy to navigate in my opinion. It’s pretty straightforward. Where yours may differ from others is in plugins. Certain plugins will have their own place on the dashboard with its own settings. Speaking of plugins, be sure to check out some of my favorites here, here, and here.
Where do I Begin?
Click on Post and you will see 4 options show up; all posts, add new, categories, and tags. All posts will show you all of the posts that you have.
Looking at this you have variety of search options as well. You can search for individual posts by using the search bar. You can filter by category or tag or even date. Clicking on an individual post will allow you to edit the post.
Creating a Post
In order to write a new post, click on Add New.
After coming up with the title for your post, feel free to edit the permalink if you so choose. Simply click on edit and you can change it to something that may rank higher in SEO. When changing the title, be sure that you put a “-” between the words. Leave out “stop” words as well (ex. the, a).
If you are sharing your post with someone prior to publishing it, you can copy the permalink and send it to them or click on “Get Shortlink” and use that as well.
- Title (once you start typing the permalink will show up below it).
- Want to create a list (bullets or numerical)? Click on either of these and start typing.
- Under this drop down menu you will find your headings. A post will be written in paragraph form. Using headings (H1, H2 H3 etc) is recommended for SEO and helps to break up your post and makes it easier to read as well.
- Want to add links? Click here and a menu will appear (more on that in a moment).
- Visual mode is where most blog posts are created. Simply start typing!
- Text mode is where the HTML of your post can be found. Sharing a post with someone else? Click on text, copy and paste the HTML and send it off…your pictures, links, and post will all be sent intact.
WordPress makes it simple to add links to your posts. Click on the link button and this will appear.
You can enter the link to an external site. Be sure to check “Open link in a new tab” as you don’t want to send people directly off of your site. The rel=”nofollow” is part of a plug-in I use so you may not have that option.
If you want to link to past posts of your own, simply type in the post name or topic and a list of posts will appear. In the example above you can see what posts contained CoSchedule. Click on the post that you want and it will populate the link for you.
Each post should have a graphic right? Once you have created your graphic(s) you will need to upload them to your post. Click on “Add Media”.
Simply upload the graphic or drag and drop it onto the screen. Click on “Insert into post” and align the graphic to your liking.
Upon uploading a photo or graphic be sure to add a title and the Alt Text.
Perhaps you want to reuse a graphic that you have already uploaded. You can search for graphics by date of entry (month) or by title. This may not seem like much but it will save you time by not having to re-upload and take up more space on your blog.
Add Categories and Tags
By adding categories and tags you are making it easier to search for things on your blog. Categories to me are the main things you blog about. They are general headings. For example, Let’s say the category is movies. That’s pretty general right? However, within that category you could have more specific tags. Tags under movies would be comedy, drama, horror, or suspense. In this case, my post is under the category of “Blogging” with tags of “WordPress” and “Blogging Platforms”.
Set Featured Image
Once you are all done with your post be sure to set the featured image. This option is located on the bottom right of your screen.
My featured image is a template that I use for all of my blog posts so that I have a cohesive look. Once you click on “Read More” and go into my individual posts you will see the graphics that I create for each post. This is entirely personal preference.
Whatever you do, be sure to proofread, proofread, proofread. Click on the ABC button in the toolbar and review the suggestions. I am infamous for typos (great example: I always type form in place of from and vice versa) that may not get caught in a spell checker. Be sure to preview your post (upper right hand corner). This not only allows you to check for those correctly spelled typos but it will also allow you to check for spacing, alignment and other visuals as you are seeing your post as it will look once it goes live.
SEO // Schedule Promotions
2 of my favorite plug ins make these two tasks a breeze as they take place right directly below the post writing area in WordPress. Yoast SEO is amazing and simple to use. The goal is to have a green dot as an SEO ranking for each post. The plug in gives you guidelines as to how you can make that happen.
CoSchedule allows you to set up your social media promotions. Schedule your promotions for the day that the post is scheduled, the following day, the following week, or any date of your choosing. Choose the graphic you want shared or opt to just have the link. I can’t recommend this plug in enough. It’s well worth every penny.
In the upper right hand corner you will find the scheduling section. Let’s break it down a bit.
- This is the Yoast SEO indicator. Depending on your SEO ranking it will be red, orangish-yellow, or green.
- Preview your post to check for any errors/typos.
- You can opt to publish your post immediately or by clicking on edit you can set a date and time in the future.
- Once you have decided upon your posting time hit “Publish” or “Schedule” if you are opting for a later date.
- If you don’t want to schedule your post be sure to hit save draft so you can go back to it at a later point.
Odds and Ends in the Toolbar that I Frequently Use
- Choose an alignment for your posts: left, center, right and justified (bottom row of toolbar).
- By hitting the quotation marks you will get a block quote as seen in the example below:
Creating a post in WordPress isn’t as difficult as I thought it would be!
- You can add a dividing line between your posts by using the horizontal line icon.
- Click to Tweet is a plug in I use. By creating a premade tweet you are making git easy for your readers to share your posts.
There you have it…an inside look at a WordPress post!
Have any questions that I may have missed? Ask below!
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