How To Write A Blog Post
This blog post will show you how to write a blog post using WordPress. This blog post is part of a series on how to build a website or start a blog using WordPress. You can check out the other articles in the series below:
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If your blog is already setup and ready to go, you will want to log in to your WordPress admin by heading to your wp-admin page at www.yoursite.com/wp-admin where “your site” is the name of your website. But before we actually learn how to write a blog post, we are going to show you how to create some WordPress categories as well as setup WordPress menus for your website.
Creating WordPress Categories
A WordPress Category is an easy method to generally group similar blog posts together to make it easy for readers to find topics of interest to them. To create WordPress Categories, go to Posts and then Click on Categories.
It should bring up the add new category page. On the right side it shows the existing WordPress categories for your blog. If this is your first time creating WordPress categories you will notice that the only category that exists is Uncategorized. This is the default category that blog posts fall under if you don’t specify a category when you create a blog post.
Enter a name for your category. It should be specific enough to make it obvious to the reader what the category is about but at the same time you need to try to keep it relatively short as we will be adding these categories to your WordPress menus later so that users can navigate to them from your home page.
The slug of the category will be the URL of your category. What this means is that this will be the actual webpage address that will show all blog posts you designate as part of this category.
Parent category would only be relevant if you have a hierarchy of categories. Since categories will vary by niche, it is totally up to you if you want sub-categories or not. For example, I am setting up new categories of Written Tutorials and How-To Videos. If I wanted I could have a parent category of Tutorials with Written and How-To Videos as sub-categories.
The Description is not important as most WordPress themes do not display this item. When finished, click the Add New Category Button to save your new WordPress category.
You should now see the Category Name, the Slug and the number of posts in each category listed. You will also see these new categories listed as options later when we show you how to write a blog post.
Setting Up Your WordPress Menus
Before we show you how to write a blog post we also want to show you how to setup your WordPress menus. This is so that we can add our new WordPress categories to our WordPress Menu and then assign new blog posts to these categories allowing users to easily navigate to specific types of blog posts. In a separate blog post we will also show you how to create a contact page for your website and how to add that to your main menu as well.
To setup your WordPress Menu Go To Appearance and then Click Menu.
Right now, all that exists is your home page and depending on the theme you installed possibly some sample pages.
I’m going to remove the Sample Page from the Menu by clicking the drop down on Sample Page and then Clicking Remove.
When adding to your WordPress menu you have the option to add:
Pages – Adds links to specific pages on your website.
Posts –Adds links to specific blog posts on your website.
Custom Links – Adds links to any URL.
Categories – Adds links to WordPress category pages which only show blog posts that belong to that category.
What Is The Difference Between WordPress Pages and WordPress Posts
If you are just starting out with WordPress, there is a good chance you might be wondering what the difference between a page and a post is within wordpress. The main difference between WordPress Pages and WordPress Posts is that pages are not time sensitive. Blog posts are meant to be listed on your blog in reverse chronological order. In other words, the most recent blog posts show at the top. Pages stand the test of time. For example, the contact page we will adding in another blog post should always be static and available on your menu at all times.
When ready to start creating your WordPress menu, give your menu a name, since this is the Main Menu I am calling it Main Menu. Now we are ready to add the new categories to the menu.
Click Drop Down on categories. It will default to showing the most used categories so you might not see your new categories until you click on View All.
Check the categories you want to add to your Main Menu and then click Add To Menu.
Once it is added, you should be able to now see the new menu structure. Keep in mind the menu isn’t saved yet. You can see by looking at the attached images that I checked the “How To Videos” and the “Written Tutorials” categories and I added them to my Main Menu and I can now see those categories listed under my menu structure.
When the WordPress menu is setup the way you want, Click Create Menu and then Click Save Menu.
Next click on the Manage Locations tab. This is where you will tell WordPress which location on your website this menu will be used.
Click the drop down next to Main Navigation and select Main Menu and click Save Changes. Now if you go back to visit your home page you should see your new menus.
Creating a Menu Hierarchy Using WordPress
If you wanted to create sub menus you could do so just by dragging the menus to different levels within your menu structure. For example, if I had created my categories as a Parent Category of Tutorials and sub-categories of Written Tutorials and How-To Videos, I could drag them to a sub-level below that of the Home link and the Tutorials menu. See image below to view how the menu structure looks with sub menus.
Now if I save that menu structure and go back to my home page you will see that my previous two menus now show up as sub menus under Tutorials.
How To Write A Blog Post
Now that we have setup our categories and menus, you are finally ready to do what you really wanted to do, which was learn how to write a blog post. From your WordPress Dashboard click Posts and then click Add New.
At the top you will enter a title for your blog post. For this example, I am calling it This is my first blog post!.
If you want to properly learn how to write a blog post, then you need to understand the permalink structure of blog posts. The Permalink is what the URL of your blog post will be. You can edit this if you want. It should be descriptive of what your blog post is about. Mine is https://wpstepbystep.net/2018/06/18/this-is-my-first-blog-post/
I don’t recommend including the dates in your blog post URLs. After some time passes, it will make the blog post look old and stale. If you keep it updated and re-release it you would need to then change the URL and that would require setting up a redirect to your new URL. It’s much easier to just remove the dates from the URL right from the start.
How To Change The Permalink Settings For Your WordPress Blog
You can’t actually remove the date from the permalink at the blog post level, it is embedded in there based on your blog’s permalink settings. To remove the dates from your blog posts URL, you actually need to go to Settings and then click on Permalinks. There you will see all the different Permalink setting options. Change the setting from “Day and Name” to “Post Name” and then click Save Settings. You should then be able to name your blog post anything you want without the embedded date. My new URL for my first blog post is now https://wpstepbystep.net/this-is-my-first-blog-post/ You can see that the dates have been successfully removed.
Now that we have modified our Permalink settings we can get back to writing our first blog post. On the new blog post page, just below the Permalink you will notice an area to type your blog post. There are buttons to format fonts, make it bold or italics, insert html, insert hyperlinks, etc. The add media button allows you to insert images or videos to your blog post.
There are also page builder plug-ins available that allow you to build a blog post using a drag and drop editor.
On the right side of the Add New Blog Post page you will notice a few buttons:
Save Draft Button – This will save a blog post as a draft without actually publishing it to your website for everyone to see. This is very useful if you are writing a long blog post and don’t finish it all in a single session.
Preview Button – This is where you can preview exactly what your blog post will look like when not in edit mode. It is helpful to verify everything is exactly how you want it before publishing the post.
Publish Button – This will publish your blog post to your website for the world to see it whenever it is ready to go.
Below the Preview/Publish buttons you will see the categories box and you should see the new categories we added earlier. Choose the appropriate category for your blog post. I am going to add my first blog post to the How To Videos category for demonstration purposes.
Below categories you see the Tags box. Tags are similar to categories except they are used more like hashtags are used on Twitter. You can add multiple tags to a blog post. For example, I might have a category called Tutorials, but within that category I might have Tutorials about Wix, Weebly or WordPress so I could tag each of them appropriately. That would let a reader easily find other blog posts about Wix, Weebly or WordPress on my website without me having to devote an entire category to each of them.
Setting A Featured Image In A WordPress Blog Post
The last thing you will see on the right side is Set Featured Image. This is the image that will be displayed with your blog post throughout your website as well as on social media like Facebook and Twitter when your blog post is shared. This is not the same as images you embed within your blog post. To set your featured image you can upload a File or use one already uploaded to your media library. After uploading click the media library tab then click the image you want to use.
At the right you have the option to set the Alt Text of the featured image which is important because it is used to tell google what the image is about. After selecting your featured image and updating the Alt Text click set featured image.
At this point if you have previewed your blog post and are finished proofreading and happy with the content then you are ready to publish your first blog post. Click the Publish Button.
Once published, you should be able to go directly to the URL of your blog post (the permalink you set earlier). There you will see your image and your blog post along with the option for people to add comments to your blog post. If you click on the Home Page of your website you will notice that your blog post is now first on the list of blog posts. The sample posts from your theme (such as the Hello World post) will be pushed down below because they are now older blog posts.
If you click on different menu options on your home page, they should only show the blog posts from each of those categories. For example, if I click on How-To Videos it only shows my first blog post. If I click on Written Tutorials it doesn’t show any blog posts because I have not set that category on any posts yet.
The Sample Hello World Blog Post was in Uncategorized. You can switch a blog post category by going back to Dashboard, then click on Posts and click on Edit of the blog post you want to edit.
Now you can uncheck uncategorized and check the appropriate category. When finished click on Update to save the changes. If you want to delete a blog post go to Posts and then click on trash instead of edit.
OK, so now you know how to write a blog post using WordPress. If you want to learn how to create a contact page using WordPress check out our next blog post in the series.
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