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Once you have made the decision to start a blog for your business, you will need to learn all of the tips and tricks on how to write a blog post so that it attracts traffic and builds your audience.
If you are still unsure on whether it is worthwhile creating a blog on you business website take a look at this post on how to start a blog, it covers why it is worthwhile and what the first steps are to create one.
How to write a blog post in 10 steps
- Login to <domain name>/wp-admin with your user name and password.
- Create your post.
- Enter your title – remember your keywords.
- Enter your text content – remember to Save Draft as you go.
- Create your images.
- Add your images – remember to include keywords in the descriptions and Alt text.
- Categorise you post.
- Set your featured image.
- Check your SEO.
- Publish or Schedule for a later date.
Login to your WordPress website.
If The Web Pixie created your website it has been built on a framework called WordPress.
So the first thing you need to do when learning how to write a blog post is to log in to your website’s WordPress account.
This will usually be found at www.<website>/wp-admin. You will have a login and a password to access this.
Once logged in you will be taken to your Dashboard which will look something like this, in Fig 1.
Depending on the permissions your user has been given you will see many options in the black navigational panel on the left of the screen in Fig 1. All the options in this panel indicate the functions you can do.
We will only concentrate on Posts at this time.
Create your post.
Once logged in, click on the Posts option on the navigation panel. This will take you to the Posts list screen as in Fig 2.
The Posts screen shows you all of the Posts that exist already. The Green square shows a list of your posts.
From here you can filter the Posts so you can only see specific posts. The yellow box shows your filter options. You can filter by status, Categories, Dates and SEO score (if you have a plugin that rates your SEO).
The red boxes show you all of the ways you can Add a New Post.
Whichever option you choose to create/add a new post you will be taken to a New Post screen, Fig 3.
The green boxed area in Fig 3 is where you put your Post content. The Yellow box is an SEO plugin that is installed (in this instance it is Yoast SEO). This allows you to enter your keywords and it ranks how good your content is based on your keywords.
The red box is where you set Categories, featured image and publishing date and a few other bits and bobs that I will cover later.
Enter your title.
For a blog post to become viral, or to just have a better chance of getting viewed, you need to make sure you have a click worthy title.
By default, whatever you use as your title will become your slug. The slug is the part of the url to get to your post after your domain name. www.<website>/<category>/<slug>/.
Try and keep the title relevant to your post, not too long and keyword rich – within reason!
Once this is entered and you Save Draft the url will be created, so it’s useful to get this out of the way.
Enter your text content.
The latest version of WordPress has seen changes to the Post editor and it now creates your content using what is termed ‘Blocks’.
A block is just a piece of content of a specific type. The type can be text, images, or image galleries (i.e. more than one image), quotes, lists, or numerous other things.
If you click on the + symbols in Fig 3 (highlighted by pink circles) you will be shown all of the different types of blocks you can create (Fig 4 or Fig 5).
If you ignore the + and just start writing (or you select a text or header block) you get shown the text formatting bar, see Fig 6.
Add your content in this way until you have created your post.
Every time you make a change to your post you can hit the Preview button, top right Fig 3, and see what the impact is without saving the change.
A post does not become ‘Live’, i.e. visible to anybody else, until it is Published.
Not all text is the same
There are 6 types of headers (as can be seen in Fig 7 – H2, H3, etc).
Each header type can be formatted differently, depending on what your website theme has defined. The formatting can usually be changed somewhere in the Appearance settings but it may differ from theme to theme.
These settings have probably already been defined by your web designer as they would be used for your web page content as well.
H1 is usually reserved for your Title of the Post. It is expected that you only ever have one H1 on a post.
H2 – H6 are just different variants of header formats you can use. Normally the number indicates its seniority over the previous one, i.e. H1 beats H2, and therefore keywords in H1 are more important than H2. But to be honest, if you have written a decent length of post with a good splattering of your keywords throughout you may find that trying to fit the keywords into the headings makes no difference to your SEO score.
You don’t have to use all of the header types in a post, in fact it may look better just to stick to one or two for consistency, otherwise your post may look a bit too complicated.
I will go into more detail on how to structure your blog post in a different blog post.
Create your images.
Social media spoils you with its ability to just let you upload your pictures from your phone without impacting the performance of your post. Unfortunately your website is not so accommodating.
When using images on your blog post, you will need to make sure that you minimise the size of the image so that it does not slow down your website. I will cover how to optimise your images here.
Before uploading the images, change the file name of each image to something useful, ideally including your chosen keyword.
Add your images
There are several routes you can take to import pictures (also known as Media) into your post. Fig 2 shows you how to add a new post, well, the same places can be used for images, but replace Post for Media.
Additionally, you can also add an image from your Post, using the featured image functionality, as shown in Fig 10.
The Fig 8 option appears to be specifically for a Featured Image, but you can still import many images at once and then just select one for your featured image.
If you choose the option in Fig 8, or the Image icons in Fig 5 and 6, you will be taken to the Media Library. From here select the Upload Files tab, Fig 9.
From the Upload Files tab, Fig 9, you simply select the ‘Select Files’ button, or drag your files to the page. You can select multiple files in one go if you want.
Once the files are loaded, you will automatically be taken back to the Media Library tab with your new content added, Fig 10.
Categorise you post.
Hopefully you have already defined the general topics you will be covering in your blog and created them as Categories. This is covered in more detail in the How to start a blog article.
Once you have your categories, you simply select the appropriate one from the Post panel on the right of the screen, you can see this in the red square in Fig 3.
Set your featured image.
For every blog post you can set a featured image. This is optional depending on the styling of your website.
A featured image is normally the image that appears on your static Blog page as a thumbnail, or whatever size has been defined for your theme, to represent your post. It is the first image the reader will see to tempt them in to look at your post.
Ideally the featured image has a consistent look and feel across all of your posts so that your Blog page looks nice and is well branded.
Again, depending on the styling of your website, the featured image is often the first image that is displayed on your post by default. So you don’t need to add this image in the post itself.
Play around with how you like your posts to look to determine what works best for you.
Add your featured image from the Post panel on the right of the screen. This is found in the red square in Fig 3 or Fig 8.
Check your SEO.
For good SEO it is a good idea to try and get your keywords into the following areas of your post:
- Blog post title – this is used in an url so has max impact on SEO
- Headers – this is the second best place to put your keywords
- your text
- your images
- SEO Title (in the Yoast Title plugin)
- Meta Description (in the Yoast Title plugin)
Obviously a good sprinkling of your keywords throughout your content is key, whilst avoiding keyword overload. It still needs to be readable and make sense to the reader. This is covered in more dtail in this post – How to write SEO friendly blog posts.
Publish or Schedule for a later date.
Once you are happy that your Post is finished, the final thing to do when learning how to write a blog post is to make sure you Publish it to the outside world.
When you are happy all is done then select the Publish button, top right of your post page, Fig 11. From here all you need to do is decide whether to publish it ‘Immediately’ or at a specific time in the future, or past.
To do this first check you have filled in all of the necessary content:
- Previewed your post and are happy with the way it looks.
- Checked your SEO is good.
- Categorised your post. You can select multiple Categories for you post.
Obviously if you choose a date in the past it effectively publishes it immediately but it is timestamped with the date you enter. This is often useful of you want your posts to appear in a specific order.