Posting a blog does not have to be intimidating or overwhelming. You can type it up in a word document and the copy it into your blog site or type it right into the blog itself. Both ways are acceptable. Do what works for you.
BASIC STEPS FOR BLOGGING
Log in: This will take you to the Dashboard of your blog.
Add Post: In the menu column to the far left click on Posts then select “Add Post”. This will open a new template screen.
Title: At the top is a line where you type in the Title. You want to limit the Title to no more than 60 characters if possible, avoiding punctuation if you can. (Search engines read most punctuation in titles as coding so it’s best not to use if you can.)
Body: In the body (the big blank square) you will put what you want to say. In here punctuation is not an issue, just write naturally. Tell your story like you would to a friend. Think about telling your story at two levels. Write the story you want to tell, but then go back and pick out the key thought of a paragraph and make that the subheading above that paragraph. At the end of the piece look back and see if someone could get the main idea of what you were sharing by just reading those subheadings. Ideally this is what you want to shoot for.
Once you’ve gotten this far you could publish it, but you really want to take the time to do a few more things.
Once you have completed writing your Post there are a few other things you want to do before you Publish it.
Kitchen Sink: Make sure the Kitchen Sink icon section is open on the tool bar above the body of your Post. This will give you 2 lines of icons/boxes for editing. While you can use all of them I am only going to talk about 2 of the icons/boxes at this time.
Spell Check: Make correction where appropriate. Add words that may not be in the dictionary that you know you will be using again.
Header Settings: Next to “Paragraph” is a down arrow. Clicking on that will open a drop down menu that can be used to turn parts of what you’ve written into Heading and Subheadings. The smaller the number the bigger the size of the lettering. Make sure that whatever you want to enlarge is on a line of its own with space above and below.
There are a variety of different SEO plug-ins available for WordPress based websites. Here are the 2 plug-ins we have installed into the websites we build.
SEO Settings: In boxes below the Post are your SEO Settings. You will want to copy the Title of your Post into the Title Tag. You can modify it if you want, but again for best practices keep it to 60 characters or less without punctuation if possible.
Meta Description: Enter a brief description about the topic of the Post. You can take a main thought or write a teaser of what you want people to know about the Post. Make sure it fits the topic. Try to keep this to 140-160 characters, about the size of a Tweet, as search engines may clip it off if it is longer.
Excerpt: Again you will want to enter a brief description about the Post. You can spin this a little more than the Meta Description and usually this can be a slightly longer piece. This will appear on your blog’s Category page as the teaser content encouraging people to read more.
Keywords/Tags: Dependent on your blog theme you will have either a Keyword line in your SEO Settings or a Tags line either below or to the right. You want to put no more than 10 keywords or phrases about what is in your post. Keywords and tags are not necessarily a single word, but a keyword/tag can be a phrase of 2-4 words. (Example: Art Unlimited, au, web design, designing a website, website design,…)
WordPress SEO By Yoast:
WordPress SEO By Yoast: In boxes below the Page Content area are your SEO Settings. First you will see a “Snippet Preview” This is what will show on the Search Engines.
Focus Keyword: Using lower case letters, put one key phrase you expect this page to be found for.
SEO Title: This may automatically be filled in with the Title of your Page, but you may also write another Title that is more descriptive, where you can use punctuation, telling what the page is about in 70 characters or less.
Meta Description: Enter a brief description about the topic of the Page. You can take a main thought or write a teaser of what you want people to know about the Page. Make sure it fits the topic. Try to keep this to 156 characters, about the size of a Tweet, as search engines clip it off if it is longer.
Categories: Moving up the right side of the screen is Categories. Select the one that you expect people to look under for your post. We will have several for you to select from. Avoid using “Uncategorized”
It is always a good idea to preview the page before you Publish it. This allows you to see how it would look on the blogsite and discover if you need to make adjustments in the Header sizes, alter any images you may have added, or whatever else you may find. Clicking the “Preview Changes” button under the “Publish” section on the right will open a new window (so you don’t have to worry about how to get back to the page you are working on). Just click the Tab that says “Edit Post” and this will put you on the page you want to be at to finish working on your post.
Once you have everything in place you are ready to Publish. At the upper right side is a box that says “Publish”. If you are ready to let everyone read this post just click the blue Publish button. You have now posted a blog!
NOT READY TO PUBLISH
If you do not feel that you want the world to read this post right away click the “Save Draft” button. Once you have Saved your post you can move to another page or end your time on the blog. When you want to go back to that post, on the left column click “Posts” and just go to “All Posts” and click on the Post you want to Edit. You can then make the changes you want. Once you are done you can either save your draft again, publish immediately, or set a date and time to publish.
TO PUBLISH AT A LATER DATE
If you have your Post ready to publish, but want to publish this at a later date you have the ability to schedule when it will appear. In the Publish box at the upper right you will see “Publish immediate” Edit. Clicking Edit will open up a line to select the date and time for when you would want this published. Set it to what you’d like, click OK, click Schedule. Your post will automatically appear on your blogsite at the scheduled date and time.
So there you have it. Everything you need to know to get started blogging. Have fun!
Photo Credit: Stuart Miles