I write blog posts daily. Typically they might be about a change in a social media platform, or a ‘how to’ strategy ranging anywhere from beginner to middle advanced. I don’t know why but the advanced advanced stuff turns people off.
Often times you’ll hear me mention that you always need to have a “Home Base”.
That typically means a blog or other type of site that you can easily change, modify and add items to.
When we say blog there’s quite a few platforms but for the sake of argument I’m going to say that refers to a self hosted wordpress website. We all have to start somewhere right?
Incredibly, I’ve never written a blog post on how to write a blog post… until now.
This post is for all of those people who have never written a post or don’t have a blog.
1. We’re talking wordpress here. Self hosted, own your own domain, wordpress.org type stuff.
2. Pictures are yours, you took them, you own them. They are not something you found doing a google image search.
When you go to your site you may or may not have a login link on the homepage. If you don’t – don’t worry. Just add a /wp-admin to the end of your URL and you’ll find it. For instance, this blog is https://areweconnected.com/ you can see my login at https://areweconnected.com/wp-admin.
You’ll need to be signed in to do any number of things on your blog from writing a post, adding a page, adding a plugin, moderating a comment or even changing themes.
Note: There are several login levels, the highest being “Admin” to the lowest being “Subscriber”. Depending on the login level assigned to you, you may not be able to do everything. Some blog designers purposely assign their clients (the owners of the blog) lower levels so they HAVE to come back to them to change anything.
Enter your username and password and you’ll be on the dashboard of your blog. Did you forget your username or password – there’s a handy dandy link right below that will get you back in business in no time!
OK, LOGGED IN AND READY TO GO?
On the Dashboard, top left you’ll find Posts and then Add New.
That’s where we start.
Next you’ll see what looks a little like email. That’s you, all set to write a blog post!
There’s a section at the top for the Title of the post.
There’s a menu bar for making things BOLD, italic etc.
Below that is a large area for the Body of the post. Here’s a side by side shot of Gmail (left) and WordPress (right). You can click on them to view bigger.
That’s why I say that If you can send an email, you can blog.
Start by giving your post a Title.
Next start writing your post in the body section. There’s a little tab over on the right that shows as Visual / HTML. Chances are you’ll want to make sure your on the Visual. That’s a “what you see is what you get” editor. The HTML editor is for when you want to embed a video and some other things.
LET’S ADD SOME IMAGES!
Images break up your text and can add significant value to your posts.
Start by putting the cursor where you want to insert the image. That might be somewhere in the middle of your body of text. Next, above the menu bar is a little Upload/Insert symbol. That’s how we start adding an image. (click it!). a Popup will load.
You’ll see three different options to source the image files; From Computer, From URL, or Media Library. Chances are the image you want is on your hard drive – so we’ll use From Computer.
You can drag and drop files or select – either way is fine. The image you selected is uploaded. When it’s done uploading, a dialogue will show up below it.
You’ll want to retitle your image, don’t use what your camera titled it (ex: img1000222.jpg).
Give it an alternate text (describing the image).
Give it a caption and description if needed.
If someone clicks on the image – would you like them to go to a specific URL? That’s the Link URL section.
How do you want the image to behave in your post? You can see above, I have some images to the left, some to the right and some in the middle.
What size would you like that image to be? A typical camera will take pictures anywhere from 2,000 px wide to over 5,000 px wide. Your post area is probably only 600px wide.
Finally, click the Insert Into Post. Yay!
READY TO PUBLISH?
You’ll see it also has the ability to save as draft. That means you can start writing a post, get called away to save the world, and come back later to finish it up.
The Preview button allows you see what the post will actually look like in your blog.
Visibility allows you to write a password protected or even hidden post. Why? I don’t have a reason – maybe you do?
Did you know you can also set the post to publish later. You can choose any date or time, in the past or in the future to post. I typically publish my posts at 5:00 am (while I am sound asleep). Click on the edit to change the date and time. If the time is in the future, the Publish button will become Schedule. Push the button and you’ve just written your first blog post! Congratulations!
HERE’S WHAT I LEFT OUT
Categories, tags, the kitchen sink, writing in Word, writing in LiveWriter, embedding video, inline css, meta titles, meta tags, meta descriptions, meta meta, keywords, keyword density, seo, galleries, finding creative commons licensed images, photo credits, copyright protection, featured image, exerpts, RSS feeds, comment systems and moderation, trackbacks, and forms., and 100 other things.
Why? This post is just the basic of basics. All that other stuff is more. Let’s keep this post simple.
A Tip: It’s not a term paper for English. It’s ok to break a few formatting rules. Make sure yur you’re your spelling is correct. White space is ok too!
Oh and one more Tip: You are not going to win a Pulitzer for your post. It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece. Write it, edit a little and be done. Move on to the next post.