Writing a new WordPress post is pretty straight forward, you login, click Add New Post and the Write Post screen appears. But depending on what plugins you have installed you may have some different options available to you. This WordPress guide will cover all the important options available within the WordPress write post screen.
The title of your post should be carefully considered, especially if you are writing with search engine optimization in mind. Make sure to get your keywords in the title and try to categorize the post with the same keywords. In the blogging world, keywords are known as tags.
- Also Read: SEO Process for WordPress
For a category, found on the top right side column typically, I rarely use more than one, but this would depend on your blogs topic. If you have a pretty wide range of topics then there may be a temptation to add your post to a few categories. I also suggest adding categories in the Manage Categories panel and not from the right post panel. Read more about WordPress categories.
You have two options when writing a WordPress blog post, the Visual and Code editor. The purists swear by the Code editor but for those that are Geek impaired, myself included, the visual editor helps to add links, lists, and other formatting options with the click of a mouse. The code editor is very useful however if you have some code to add , say a banner ad or AdSense, it must be placed within the post in the Code editor.
Example of the visual Editor:
Some common mistakes made are copying an article from an existing website, an email or writing a post in MS Word first and pasting it into the visual editor. This will bring in the HTML formatting of the copied text and could make your blog look horrible. If you want to copy and paste do so into the code editor box. I would suggest not copying content to use on your blog post not unless you add that section in quotes and give a linkback to the original author. This is a big SEO tip to remember. (How I Stopped Blog Content Theft)
Another common mistake that can ruin a blog are showing long raw URL’s. Some WordPress themes will not wrap long URL’s or text. So if a URL or string of text is longer or wider than the post content area it will project off it into (usually under) the sidebar area.
Linking The Post
Adding links within the post is done by first highlighting the anchor text and then in the Visual editor clicking on the little chain icon in the right post tool bar. An Insert/edit link pop-up box will open. Enter the URL, you can optionally choose to open the link in a new window by clicking on the Target drop-down box. Adding links in the Code editor is done using the link button on the tool bar, no new window options are available in the Code editor.
Tagging a Post
At the bottom right of the write post box is the Tags area. Here you should add tags that are keyword phrases that pertain to your post. You should at least add a tag that matches the category of your post here. Don’t overdo it though, keep the tags relevant to the posts content.
- Worth a look: Using category and tag pages for SEO
Depending on your SEO Plugin, next are the All in One SEO Pack options or Yoast SEO Options, another must have in the list of best WordPress plugins. This just more meta information to the post, simply copy the post title and paste it in the All in One SEO Pack title box. Then copy all your tags from the above Tags box and paste them into the Keywords box.
The plugin should do this automatically, so no need to do it again as the author commented below, Thanks Uberdose!
Moving down, next is the Upload area. Here you can upload files including pictures to show within your posts. You might need to add a folder called uploads into your WordPress directory within the wp-content folder for this to work. The options for uploads are under Options/Miscellaneous. You can manage the uploaded files under Manage/Uploads.
Next we find the Optional Excerpt box. Don’t underestimate the value of this area for SEO. This is another chance to get some keyword action in. I usually copy the first paragraph of the post and paste it in here or if you aren’t as lazy as me you can write a brief summary of the post in here. Be sure to strip any tagging or HTML out, plain text only in here!
Next is the Trackbacks box. Trackbacks are URL’s of sites, usually another blog, that have been referenced within your post. If you included a link to another blog post within your post it may show up as a comment on the referenced blog. You can also place the link in the Trackback box as well. There is some potential for spam abuse here. I have noticed trackbacks to my site showing up as comments on some of my posts, but with no reference or link to my blog on the referring site. So please don’t abuse trackbacks by placing trackbacks in this area without the courtesy of displaying the link in your post!
Sorry, we are not going to get into Custom Fields in this WordPress guide. If you really want to know about them check out the WordPress.org geek-infused explanation of them here: Using Custom Fields.
Moving to the top right side of the screen is the Categories box. Choose at lease one category and as I suggested already try not to choose more than two.
Below that is the Discussion box, both options should be checked in here by default.
Password Protected Post
The Post Password box, if filled in with a password will hide the content of the post and only show to those who have the password.
Really the most important box on the right side is the Post Slug box. If you are using custom permalinks that include the postname, which is the title of the post. You should shorten the URL of your post in the Post Slug box. For example if the Post title is “Life Is Like A Box Of Chocolates”. Without using a post slug the postname part of the URL will show that whole title in it. To shorten the URL use maybe two key words for the title. For the example above I would maybe use life-chocolate in the Post Slug box. Read more about Custom Permalink structure.
Next is the post status box, pretty straight forward here. You can change the status of a post using the options displayed.
Post Timestamp Box
And finally, we get to the Post Timestamp box. This is a handy little area where you can actually create a post and set it to publish any time in the future. So you can load up a bunch of posts and set the intervals for them to publish.
That covers this, not so short WordPress guide. The idea for this came from one of my subscribers asking me a simple question about writing a post. If you have a question and want more information or have an idea for a useful guide leave a comment below.