You have set up your blog. You have activated the theme of your choice. Customized it to your feeling. And you have installed the right plugins to get you started. What is now left? Your first blog post.
Yes, you need to write and publish your first blog post. You need to let the world know that your website is up and running. It’s overwhelming. I know this. And that’s why I have developed this guide.
In this guide, you will learn how to write, edit, format and publish your first WordPress blog post.
WordPress editor has two sections, plain text (Visual) and the html section (text)
Visual section enables you to write your blog posts in plain text. It is easier to use since you don’t have to worry about the html tags while writing and formatting your blog posts. You actually get what you see.
HTML section on the other hand gives you the opportunity to use html tags while writing your blog posts. If you are good with html and css, this is the right section for you.
HTML section kind of looks advanced but believe me, you only need to know a few HTML tags and you are good to go. And with time, you will begin to enjoy writing and formatting your blog posts in the HTML editor.
In this blog post, I will show you how to write, edit and format your blog posts on the Visual section.
On the visual section, writing a blog post is as easy as writing on a Microsoft Word editor.
The WordPress editor has almost the same features as the PC
To write your first WordPress blog post, first you will have to log on to your WordPress admin section (WordPress dashboard).
Click on the Dashboard ->> Posts ->> New
A new window will be opened with an editor.
Enter the title of your blog post then move to the larger editor.
At the top, far right, there are two buttons, “Text” and “Visual”.
Click on the “Visual” button to begin writing your post on the visual editor.
Let me assure you this; writing on this editor is as simple as counting 1-10.
All you need to do is write. Just write. Don’t worry about the spelling or anything else. Just write.
Once you are done, you can begin to format your blog post.
If you have been writing articles on a PC using a PC Word Tool then this should be a walk in the park.
A. Formating a Blog Post.
Formating a blog post involves the activities like adding files like video or images, changing the appearance of certain texts within the blog post, adding links, changing the positions of some texts and so on.
You do realize that headings in this blog post vary in terms of size. For example, the heading, Formating a Blog Post is larger than the sub-heading, Headings.
This is simply because there are six (6) types of heading, Heading 1 to Heading 6, with Heading 1 being the largest and Heading 6 the smallest.
A blog post is supposed to have one Heading 1 and usually, the title of the post takes the Heading 1. I’m not saying that it’s a must that the title takes the Heading 1 but with most of the WordPress Themes, the title of the post does take the Heading 1.
Use the headings in a hierarchical order.
If the title of the blog post takes Heading 1, main titles within the post should take Heading 2 with their respective subheadings taking Heading 3 and so on.
To change the heading, select/highlight the text you want to change to be a heading and then click on the “paragraph” button to select the type of heading you want to assign to the text.
2. Strong and Emphasised Texts.
Bold and italicised texts change the mode or the tone of the text.
To change text to bold, select the text and then click on the big B. The text will be bold.
Also, select the text and then click on the I to italicise the text.
3. Text Alignment.
Here, you can change the position of a text or a group of texts within a blog post.
By default, all texts are aligned to the left. However, you can align texts to the center or to the right. All you have to do is select the text and then click on the side/part of the post you want the text aligned to.
Adding links to other web pages is very important for your users and the search engines. Links to other web pages related to the blog post help explain your points to your readers. It also convinces the search engines that you know what you are doing and that you did your research well while writing your blog post.
To add a link, select the text (this text will be the link text) and then click on 🔗. Once open, fill in the fields, i.e the url and the link text.
If you will want the link to open to a new window when clicked, check the box.
5. Text Color.
The other way of making a text more noticeable is by changing its color.
Some readers skim through the blog posts and by changing the color of some texts within a post, you not only show them how important those texts are but also make the blog post to be colorful.
To change text color, select the text and click on the text color button to choose a color.
Visual editor provides two types of lists. Ordered and unordered lists.
Unorderd lists have bullets (black circles).
For example, if I were to list down my favourite football players, I’d have something like this:
- J. J. Okocha
- Luis Ronaldo
- Leo Messi
For an orderd list, the list items would be numbered and I’d have something like this:
- J. J. Okocha
- Luis Ronaldo
- Leo Messi
To create lists, select the list items and then click on the type of the list of your choice.
B. Adding Media Files.
You can add media files like images, audio files and video files on your blog post by clicking on the button add media which is located below the title.
After clicking on the button, you can choose to select a media files from the media library or upload one from your device.
After adding the file, edit it by writing its title, description and alt text.
C. Adding Contact Form.
In the blog post: Must Have WordPress Plugins: The Right WordPress Plugins To Get You Started, one of the plugins I stress on installing is the JetPack by WordPress.com. It enables you to enjoy some of the features that are only available on WordPress.com on your self-hosted WordPress site.
One of the features you get to enjoy using is the contact form. You can be able to add contact forms on your web pages and blog posts just by a click of a button. No coding involved.
A contact form gives your blog visitors a safe and easy method of contacting you. They will only need to fill in a few fields before they submit the form.
To add a contact form, click on the Add Contact form. You can edit the form by adding/removing/renaming the form fields.
D. Saving and Previewing The Draft.
While writing and formating the blog post, be saving the draft by clicking on Save Draft, which is located below the editor, everytime you’ve made a significant change to your blog post.
That way, you will not lose your work because of issues like power outage when you are working on a desktop.
The WordPress editor does a tremendous job of automatically saving your work but this only happens when there is a constant internet connection. Manually save your work though.
To see how the post will look like once published, click on preview.
E. Crafting the URL.
Just below the title of your draft blog post, you should be able to see a permalink.
A permalink is basically the url of that particular blog post.
It is a combination of your blog’s domain name and the slug.
WordPress editor automatically adds the title of the blog post as a slug.
The default URL for this blog post was https://www.luminousblogging.com/how-to-write-and-publish-your-first-wordpress-blog-post/
The slug in this case is /how-to-write-and-publish-your-first-wordpress-blog-post/ which is very long and contains meaningless words (stop words).
To shorten the url of the blog post, edit the permalink by replacing the slug with a shorter and more SEO friendly phrase.
If your permalink structure isn’t in the format domainname/post-name, no worries, you can change it later by going to Settings ->> Permalink Settings and choose one of the common settings or write your custom structure.
F. Categories and Tags.
Categories are like classes.
Your blog posts will need to be grouped into classes to make navigation easier within the blog.
In this blog, grouped my blog posts according to what they are addressing. Blog posts about SEO have been put under the category SEO Tips &Tricks. Those that are about Blogging and WordPress have been put under the category Blogging & WordPress.
It means that if a user is interested only about SEO, visiting the category SEO Tips & Tricks will see him through undisturbed with blog posts about other things.
To create a category for your first blog post, click on create new category and then name the category.
You can add other categories later on by going to Settings ->> Writing ->>Categories.
Tags on the other hand are small labels.
They give users and search engines the idea of what the post is all about.
You can add tags to your first blog post by entering the tags (labels/names, separating them with a comma and then finish up by clicking add.
G. Setting Featured Image.
Featured image is the image that usually shows up whenever a blog post is shared on the social media.
It is also the image that is displayed alongside with a few characters of a blog post within a blog on the homepage.
It is not shown within a blog post.
An image within a blog post can be set as a featured image but I prefer to use something more appealing and catchy as a featured image and never to use it within the blog post.
Look for the button set featured image. Click on it to add an image file either from the media library or from the device by uploading it. Edit the image and then set it as a featured image.
H. Sharing and Publicising Your Blog Post.
Would you like to automatically share your blog post on your favourite social media platforms upon publishing it? If your answer is YES then first you will need to connect your social media accounts with your blog.
Once you do this, your first blog post and the subsequent ones will be shared automatically on social media networks via the accounts you connected to your blog.
To connect your social media accounts, go to publicise and edit settings.
You can also add social media sharing icons for your blog post by checking the box in the sharing section. This will allow your readers to share your blog post on social media with their friends and followers via their own social media accounts.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. These are activities done on a blog post to make it more visible in the search results.
Let’s say you were searching for a tutorial on “how to win Olympics gold medal.” You’d see lots of results. The “best” articles will be on the first pages. Best according to search engine crawlers.
These articles were optimized for search engines.
To SEO your first blog post, a plugin called Yoast SEO will come to your aid.
You can begin with adding your keyword and fulfilling every item in the SEO checklist as provided by the YOAST SEO.
Once every item on the list has changed to green, it means your blog post is SEO friendly. You can now proceed to the last step.
Finally, you’ve come to the last step to sharing your first blog post with the world.
Before you hit the publish button, preview your blog post, proofread and correct any mistakes that might still be there.
Is everything okay? If yes, hit the Publish button.
You have written and published your first blog post.
These are the same steps you’ll be following while writing other blog posts.
Keep writing more posts and pages for your blog. Write. Write. Write. Write.