The great thing about a website that’s built on a Content Management System (CMS) is that it’s nimble. It uses software to help you create, edit and publish content without having to know how to code – or even how coding works.
More than half of all websites are built using a CMS. One of the most popular CMS platforms is WordPress, with an estimated market share of more than 50% and running over 27 million sites. So as the owner of a WordPress website, you’re in good company.
In this post, we’ll go through the steps of how to add a new blog post to your WordPress website. As you’ll see, it’s an intuitive process and the software enables you to customise the content – within the limits set by the website theme.
A survey of blogging statistics in 2020 showed that 25% of more than 1 200 bloggers believe that their blog delivers “strong marketing results”. So producing regular, high-quality blog content remains a great way to network online, build likeability and future-proof your business.
Here are the 7 steps to add a new blog post to your WordPress website:
Step1: Log in to your WordPress website
To access the administration section of your WordPress website, also known as the Dashboard, type in the URL (website address) followed by /wp-admin and complete your sign-in details. Your web developer would have sent your user credentials once they handed the site over after development.
Step 2: Select “Posts” > “Add New”
A WordPress website comprises plugins and dedicated sections where content is created and published. Most of the content “lives” in the Media section and the Pages and Posts.
While it’s not strictly the case, Pages tend to make up the more static content of a website (service pages, contact pages), while Posts are the more dynamic (blog) content.
Selecting “Posts” gives you the complete list of all the posts on your website. You can toggle between published posts, drafts, archived, among other options. Editing options are also displayed beneath the Post title.
Step 3: Add text, select options, optimise
Add in a keyword-rich title and paste the text. Format the text, keeping in mind that adding subheadings, using bold, italics and block quotes makes your text look less intimidating for your reader.
Remember, most people aren’t going to read your content word-by-word. They will scan the page, so you will need to make it as easy as possible for them to quickly understand your content.
Formatting your subheadings using the H2-H4 tags not only helps your user navigate their way through your content, but it also sends signals to search engines about what you’re writing about. This is useful when it comes to optimising your post. You can select the formatting options from the drop-down menu below the “Add Media” button.
If you are linking to external sources (good for SEO) be sure to check the box for an external link. This way you will keep the visitor on your site while giving them the option to explore the content on the link you provided in another browser tab. To create a text link, highlight the text, select the linking tool (see below) and paste in your URL.
Next, select a format for your post. The popular option is to use the Standard format, but you can select the image or gallery option if your post contains a lot of images. Choose a category and add in tags, if desired.
To help you optimise your post, you can use the Yoast plugin (free version available). The snippet function is helpful when writing a keyword optimised page description. It also generates some of your website pages that you can reference using internal linking.
Step 4: Add Featured Image
Visual elements are vital for an engaging post. Images help to pique the interest of your audience even before they’ve read a word. Non-text content such as images, graphics, videos, audio clips and PDFs are handled in the Media section of your WordPress website.
Before you can add a featured image to your post, you have to upload the image file to the WordPress Media Library. Under the Media menu, there are two screens. The first screen “Library” lists all the files in the media library. These files can be edited and deleted from the library. The second screen is “Add New”, which allows you to upload files.
Select “Set featured image” > “upload files” tab > and drag and drop the image into the designated area or use your file explorer to locate the file. Select “Set featured image”.
The WordPress media editor enables you to edit images right from your WordPress admin area. Under the edit screen of your library, there is an option for photo editing that allows you to crop, resize, and scale images right from your WordPress admin area.
Step 5: Add other media, if required
Inserting media into a post is handled in much the same way as adding a featured image. Place your cursor where you’d like to add in an image or graphic. Select “Add Media”, choose your file from the Media Library or upload if it hasn’t been uploaded yet (see Step 4).
Blogging experts advise inserting a visual element at every scroll depth to keep your reader engaged. Images, charts, quotes from contributors (in graphic form) work together with the text to make your post interesting.
Step 6: Preview
Before hitting the publish button, it’s a good idea to preview your work and make any adjustments if necessary. At the top of the right-hand navigation, below the heading “Publish”, select “Preview”. This will open a new tab in your browser and show you what the post will look like once it’s published.
If you need to make some edits, now’s your chance. Remember, the post is automatically saved as a draft so if you sign out and sign back into your WordPress Dashboard, you’ll find your post under the drafts tab under all posts. All set? Let’s publish!
Step 7: Publish!
You can publish your article immediately or schedule publication for a later date. You may need to seek approval from a line manager before going live. If this is the case, you can change the status of the post to “Pending Review” (edit status) on the available drop-down menu. Once the post has been approved, it can be published.
Digital ink is never dry, as they say, so once a post is live it can still be edited. If you need to remove the post you can either trash it or change the status to draft. This will remove it from the live site.
Creating useful content that is relevant (and helpful) to your audience is a sure way to add value to your prospective and existing customers alike.
Remember, though, that once you add a blog post to a WordPress website you can’t expect prospects to magically beat a path to your door. It’s critical to distribute and promote your content. But that’s a story for another day.