Posting blogs on Wordpress really is as simple as clicking ‘New Post’, writing some text and clicking ‘Publish’... but it isn’t the Mayfly way to take the easy and lacklustre approach.
This is a guide to creating awesome blog posts which provide great content, looks great, has interactivity and rank well with SEO, even though it may be a little more complex.
Opening a blog page
To get started on your new blog, simply click ‘Posts’ followed by ‘Add New’ which can be found on the left side bar of your Wordpress Dashboard.
To access and edit previously made posts, you can click ‘All Posts’.
By clicking ‘Add New’ you will open a posts page which looks like what is pictured below.
Understanding the work space
This is where you add the title of your post. You need to make your post catchy to your target demographic and convince the reader the post will add value to their lives. Quick Headline Tips: 1. Keep it Short: Try to keep your headline under 70 characters so it doesn’t get cut off in search engine results. 2. Keep it Accurate: Don’t leave your reader disappointed because you didn't deliver what your headline promised. Think about long term loyalty of your readers. 3. Use Keywords: Keywords are great for SEO and help the reader understand what the article is about. 4. Make it sexy: There are so many articles on the internet, so make your headline a little spicy to entice the reader.
This is where you write your blog post text. Quick Formatting Tips: 1: Break up your blogs into many paragraphs, 1 line per paragraph often works a treat. 2: Break up text with headings and graphics. 3: Keep paragraphs short, with 1 idea per paragraph.
By clicking ‘Add Media’ The following window will open. Ref figure 1 The upload files buttons allows you to upload media to the Wordpress server using either ‘drag and drop’ or by clicking ‘Select Files’ and finding the media you want to upload. The Media Library lets you see all the media you have uploaded to the server. By clicking an image, a blue tick will appear and the image will appear on the right hand side of the screen. Here you can edit the image size by clicking ‘Edit Image’ and add Titles and Captions to your image. Once you are happy with your image click ‘Insert into post’. Quick Tip: Don’t upload photos bigger than what you need, this will slow down your blog load time and use up more space on your server.
Here are some buttons to help customise your text. Ref figure 2 Here you can customise your font size or add bold, italics, dot points, numbered points, “quotes”, text alignment, hyperlink and more.
You can switch your blog workspace to display in visual or text mode. Visual mode is recommended for beginners as you can clearly see what your post will look like. Text mode can be handy tool for those who know a little html to add extra customisation to their posts. However for embedding content such as videos, the embed code needs to be copied into the text mode version of your blog but you can switch it right back after you're done.
You can save your work as a draft, preview it, change visibility options, schedule your post to publish at a later time by clicking ‘edit’ next to Publish Immediately or publish it now.
Formats are special page layouts dictated by the theme you are using. The standard format which wordpress defaults to will do the job 99% of the time.
Who would’ve guessed, the categories allow you to categorise your blog posts. This can help your website visitors to find blogs which they are interested in. To add a new category, simply click ‘Add New’ and type in what you want to call your category. If you have a sports blog, the categories you might have the categories: ‘Football’, ‘Cricket’, ‘Rugby’, ‘Soccer’ and so on. You can click as many categories as you would like to associate with your blog.
Tags are almost like less important categories. While I may not want hundreds of categories which may be confusing to my website viewers, I can still use lots of tags. For this post I’ll tag wordpress, formatting, blogs, seo, social media and interactivity.
This is where we can add a featured image. The featured image appears as the thumbnail to entice someone to click onto the post. There are a bunch of websites where you can get free stock images to use for your blogs featured image such as Pixabay and Pexels. But before uploading your image, a bit of editing is good. Ref. Figure 3 Quick Tips, Tip 1: While your image shouldn’t have a lot of text, a small amount of text can look good. Tip 2: Try to put the most important things in your image in grid meeting points. This is more appealing to the eyes of the viewers. Look up rule of thirds. Tip 3: Make all your featured images the exact same dimensions. When the featured images are presented next to each other, this will look professional.
We don’t just want to write a good article, we want people to read it, and to achieve this we need to follow good SEO habits.
1. Use many keywords throughout your article but particularly in your headline and opening lines.
2. Use categories and tags to emphasise key areas your blog touches on.
3. When uploading photos, make sure the file has many key words in it so it appears on Google images.
4. Use SEO plugins which help format your blog for SEO. We recommend Yoast.
5. Links: link to other blogs, link to other pages on your website, link to your socials, and link back and every other direction. A web of links rises the tide for your entire website.
Along with SEO, social media helps brings eyes to our blogs... see how it all comes together! It is a good idea to share your blog posts on your social media platforms after publishing. This directs traffic from your social media platforms to your website. Track what posts people are responding to, to gain an understanding of what your readers want. You can also add share buttons on your blog, which will incentivize readers to share your blog on their social media pages. This is a short guide, a more comprehensive social media guide will be available in the Mayfly Guide to Social Media.
It’s one thing to get someone to click onto your blog and it’s another to get someone to stay reading. So this is where interactive content comes into play, but I’d much rather call it ‘cool stuff’. There is no end to ‘cool stuff’ you can add into your blogs but here are some ideas.
Interactive graphs: (Info.gramis a great site to use for this)
Interactive timelines and maps: (Knightlab have some cool stuff)
Interactive photos: (wordpress have a bunch of cool widgets and plugins which allow you to present photos with a cool twist).
Let's get to it!
The last thing you gotta do is get going. You’ll learn as you go and it’s ok to make some mistakes along the way. Good luck!