Add New Post To WordPress

How to Create, Format and Fine-Tune a Post in WordPress

| 16 Comments

Creating a WordPress post is the most elementary thing you can do in WordPress, but also needs to be mastered so that you can tailor your post to augment your SEO efforts rather than harm yourself.

This tutorial assumes that you have All In One SEO Pack ( or something like WordPress SEO by Yoast) installed on your WordPress installation, as it is perhaps the single most important plugin you can add to your site, helping you to put together all the essential information for each post so that search engines have no trouble understanding what your post is about.

Add New Post

To write a post, you will first need to get to the right screen – once you log in to WordPress, you can either select the “Add New” button from under the Posts menu, as shown above, or you can select the New Post button from the top-right of the screen.

Post Title

The post title is an essential element of your post and requires that you put some effort in to ensure that you’re facilitating would-be visitors to arrive at your site.

Your post title should always be less than 60 characters. This is because search engines generally only provide enough room to show 60 characters, so anything over that is pointless, as people typically won’t see it.

You also need to craft your title so that it is both fully descriptive and enticing to your readers. When it pops up in search engine results, you want to ensure that people click on your result over anyone else’s.

You also need to think about your post’s keywords (see below) and get the most vital ones into your post title, which will help search engines get a good handle on what your site is really about. If you’re writing a post about how to write a WordPress post (such as this one), you want to be sure to at least have the words WordPress and Post in the title – the nearer to the beginning of the sentence, the better.

One final thing is to capitalise every word except small words like the, a, of, and, the and to, to emphasise the important words in your title.

Content

The text portion of your post goes in the large box, just below the title. Obviously, I can’t tell you how to write your post, but there are a few tips to bear in mind that will make you more successful, engaging and noticeable.

You should bear your keywords in mind when you write your post – remember what the topic is and don’t stray from it. Now more than ever, people have less and less time for every activity, so be sure to be concise. Incorporate your keywords into your post frequently – not for the sake of it, but where it lends itself to do so, then add them in. This is known as keyword density and is above the scope of this tutorial, but is something you can research if you want to go further.

Content Formatting

Now that you’ve got all your content written down, you’re going to want to format it, to make it look good, provide interactivity and put the finishing touches on your on-page SEO.

WordPress Post Formatting Editor

The formatting toolbar should look like the one above. If you haven’t played with your editor too much, the chances are that you might only have one row of buttons. To fix this, you need to show the “Kitchen Sink” by selecting button A, which will bring up a second row of buttons. If it looks nothing like this, you might be in HTML editor. Switch to the Visual editor by hitting the Visual button at the top right of the editor window.

Bold / Italic / Underline

To stylise some text by either bolding, underlining or italicising, simply select the text and hit either the Bold, Italic, or Underline button (buttons 1, 2 and 11 respectively)as you would in a word processor. Adding some of these elements to key parts of your text, help to highlight them to your readers.

Bulleted List / Numbered List

To create a concise set of points, or a set of numbered steps for your readers to follow, you can create a list. To start a bulleted list, hit button 3 and hit enter whenever you want a new bullet. Numbered lists (using button 4) work in the same manner. To end the list and continue writing, hit Enter twice.

Alignment

You can either left align, right align, justify or center your text or images by selecting the text or images and clicking on buttons 5, 6, 7 & 12.

Hyperlinks

Any good blog will have links to other associated articles, both internally (your own writings) and externally (articles by others). The best way to link text is to create the link using text that connects it to the destination. For example, to link to a post titled “My Top Blogging Tips”, you might use text like “these blogging tips” in a sentence and create the link from there, rather than “great blogging tips on this article I found. Click here” and using “Click here” as the link text, which is unrelated to the destination.

To create a link, highlight the text and press button 8 and enter the destination URL where it says Link URL. You’ll be well served to also enter a title which describes the destination. If the destination is perhaps not somewhere that you want your blog to be associated with, for fear of being seen unfavorably by Google, then you will need to use a little HTML and add a rel=”nofollow” attribute to your href. (HTML can be added manually by entering the HTML editor, rather than the Visual editor).

To remove a link, select it and hit button 9.

Semantic markup

Semantic markup is a way of breaking posts up into sections. By way of example, I have broken this post up into many sections, giving each one a title. The major sections (such as Add New Post and Content) have been marked up as h3 and the minor sections (such as Alignment and Hyperlinks) have been marked up as h4. This is a good way of letting search engines know in general what your article is about, as you’ve told it about the important components.

Headings h1 and h2 are typically used elsewhere on the page, such as the blog/post title and tagline and should not be used within a post. Instead, start at h3 and work your way down for less and less important headings.

To do this, just highlight the section title and select Heading 3, or Heading 4 etc. from button 10. The styling of this text is set by your theme’s CSS file (no need for bold or making it larger).

Images

WordPress Image EditorImages bring a post to life and are excellent way of illustrating your subject, or guiding you through something (as I am doing with the images in this post).

To add an image, hit button 13, which will bring up a new window. Before you upload an image, you should try and rename the image to something descriptive, as it can help earn you visitors from image search engines. You can either upload an image from your computer, or import one from an URL. The process is fairly self explanatory, but once you have uploaded an image, you are presented with the window to the right.

The important things to make sure you do are to change the title of the image to something descriptive and to add some alt text, so that if the image doesn’t load, the alt text is displayed. Images without alt text is something to avoid at all costs. If you would like to display a caption below the image, insert some text in the caption field.

Further down the page, you will see options for deciding which size you want the image to appear (the thumbnail, medium and large sizes are set in your Media Settings) and how to align it. There is also an option for where you want the image to link to. You may want to link it to the larger version of the image, somewhere else entirely, or you may not want it to link anywhere. Hit the button which best suits your wants, or manually enter the URL where you want it to link to.

When you’ve set all your options, you can hit Insert Into Post. If your theme supports it, you can also hit the “Set Featured Image” button. You can also change a few more option images, such as borders or padding, by highlighting the image once you’ve already inserted it into the post body and hitting the image button that comes up over the image. You can delete the image by hitting the “no entry” button.

Categories

Categories help to organise your post content. The panel on the right of the post editor enables you to select which category (or categories) you want to add the post to. You can also use this panel to add a new category on the spot if the category doesn’t already exist.

Tags

Tags are a group of keywords which you would associate with the post. They don’t have much bearing on SEO, but are helpful for linking similar posts together. For example, I might tag any post where I’ve mentioned a plugin with the tag “plugin”, which I can then link to, so that readers can find other posts which have also been tagged with “plugin”.

All In One SEO Pack

The All In One SEO Pack panel has three fields which need to be completely for every post you write. The title should already be taken care of, as you filled it out further up the page. Simply copy it to the to the Title field.

The description field should be tactically written – it is the text that people will see below the title of your post on search engine results, describing the post a little more. For the same reasons that your post title should be kept to less than 60 characters, your description should be kept to less than 160 characters, so that your full description can be displayed. The same kind of techniques for completing your title apply to your description – using keywords and being concise and descriptive.

The keywords field should be filled with 4 or 5 phrases of 2-4 words, which are the phrases which, when searched for in search engines, you would hope to have your post displayed as one of the results. As an example, the keywords that I have listed for this post are “create wordpress post, wordpress post tutorial, all in one seo, wordpress post seo, format wordpress post”. Note how each phrase is separated by a comma. Despite me mentioning this last (just because it is the last thing on the page), it is something that you should think about early on and incorporate your keywords throughout your post.

Excerpt

Some themes use excerpts to display a little description of what your post is about when displayed with groups of posts, such as on the front page. You can copy the description that you wrote for All In One SEO Pack if you like, or you can elaborate a little.

Slug

Lastly, WordPress already does a good job of providing SEO-friendly URLs, but you can give yourself the edge by modifying the slug to suit your article.

The slug is the part of the URL that comes after your domain name. You can tweak it by removing any unnecessary words and leaving just the keywords in there. One reason for doing this is for shortening your URL, which is more likely to be displayed in full in search results and also helps Google to understand what’s in your post just by reading your URL.

Thoughts?

So how easy was this to follow? Are there other common editing functions you use that I haven’t covered here? Is there something else you would like me to cover? I’d like this to be a comprehensive guide, both for my clients and for my visitors, so feedback is much appreciated!

Categories: The Basics | Permalink

What next?

Hire me

If you couldn't quite manage this yourself, find it too intimidating, or just don't have the time to do it, you can always hire Dave to do it. Please get in touch so that we can discuss your needs.

Leave a comment

If you have a question, update, or comment about the tutorial, please leave a comment. I try and respond to every comment, though it may take a few days, so please check back soon.

Let a WordPress Expert help you

Do you want to try this, but feel like you need a helping hand, in case something goes wrong? My service, The WP Butler, gives you access to WordPress expertise whenever you need it. Better yet, I'll keep your site backed up, updated and secure, so that you don't have to worry about it. It's all part of the service. Use coupon DIWW and save 15% on all plans.

Visit The WP Butler

Author:

Dave has been tinkering with WordPress for many years, and he now shares his WordPress knowledge here on Do It WIth WordPress to help others realise its impressive power. He can also be hired to help with your WordPress needs. Dave, who is British, is married to his best friend, Marti, with whom he has a beautiful daughter, Ellie. When he's not dabbling with WordPress, he's probably eating Triscuits or hummus, watching an indie film or British TV show, spending time with friends or family, or exploring the world.

16 Comments

  1. Dave, this is a solid foundational post for anyone getting into WordPress. I don’t really have anything to add, but I just wanted to say great job!

    • Thanks Tristan, that’s my intent. To get all the basics down. The intent of this blog was to give my clients the resources they need to maintain their own blog, so this post is intended to be a go-to guide for creating posts.

  2. Dave!

    Very basic but very useful, you know i hate those visual tab actually when i create a post LOL.

    I usually switch to HTML tab, which is more easy to control.

    But i am sure those who don’t know HTML at all, visual indeed the best.

    Thanks for sharing, cheers.

    • Hey Kimi,

      Yes, it is fairly basic, and it’s intended to be that way, so that my clients (many of whom have no website/blog/HTML experience) have a reference article that they can use to get them posting on their own.

      I actually go back and forth between HTML and Visual editor. I typically use the visual editor, unless I have need to use the HTML editor (such as to add a rel=”nofollow”), but I would think that beginners would be more open to working with the visual editor.

      Thanks for your comment. Always appreciated :)

  3. I for one am a huge fan of articles that discuss basics and fundamentals. There are new bloggers coming online all the time and content like this is timely for them. Well written and I hope some beginners find this. Your efforts are appreciated by the war worn veteran. :)

    • Thanks Donnie! Yeah since I work with a lot of people who are new to the world of online publishing, I aim to provide them with informative and helpful tutorials that enable them to take control of their own sites, while providing some more advanced tutorials for those who want to take the extra step. Thanks!

  4. Dave, this is surely a good and detailed tutorial and definitely helpful for beginners. One plugin that I like to use for post editing is Advanced TinyMCE. It adds useful controls to the Visual Editor which further make it easy to control the look of posts for beginners as well as advanced users.

    • I’ve never looked into another plugin to expand upon the editor, because I’ve personally never seen the need, so I don’t know much about Advanced TinyMCE – what extra does it add that you find useful?

      • First, it adds useful Table Controls. Now, HTML is easy but I choose Tiny MCE as it makes it fast and gives lot of formatting options. It also transforms Link and Image controls into Advanced Link and Advanced Image which let me access many useful functions for links and images and lastly, it lets me arrange the editor icons as I like.

        • Ahh OK. It’s maybe something I should look into one day, but since I’m getting on fine without it, I don’t see the sense in adding another plugin unnecessarily. Thanks for the information!

  5. I use Deans FCK editor meself to write – so far, it’s been treating me well (except the first time you install it, it kinda sorta mangles all your previous posts if you want to update those).

    As I’ve been using it now for over 2 years, it’s no longer an issue.

    Great basic tutorial!

    • Someone else mentioned that they use a different editor. I’ve never used one myself. What are the advantages? What can it do that the standard editor can’t do?

  6. Although I’m not in WP I like reading tips for it – more if I need it in my future or using this platform to make my HTML.

    Cheers,

    Gera

  7. Only a year after the original post I have found your excellent article. I needed to instruct some people from the Baseball Club, whose site I run on, how to post articles direct to the site. I had already started writing my own article when I discovered this one. You’ve saved me a lot of work. I have circulated the link to your article to the relevant people at the club. As we say here in the land down under, “Good onya Dave”.

    One small concern though. The last paragraph of the All In One SEO Pack section you recommend filling in the keywords field. Perhaps I’m wrong, I often am, but my understanding is that none of the major search engines give any weight to these any more due to the chronic abuse during the early days of our beloved interwebs. Love to hear your thoughts on this.

    Cheers,

    Adrian

    • Thanks for your encouragement Adrian. I’m glad you found the post so useful.

      I have to agree with you about AIOSEOP though. Not only do I not use AIOSEOP (I use WordPress SEO by Yoast), by I also don’t bother with keywords as I believe their influence is minimal if anything at all. I need to go through my articles and update some of them, this one being a prime example. Thanks for bringing it to my attention mate ;)

      Dave

Leave a Reply