So you’re new to the world of blogging and need to know how to write a blog post in WordPress, huh?
This beginner’s guide is my secret recipe for crafting the perfect blog post every single time (without the guesswork).
I hear it all the time…
You’ve got your website set up and you’re ready to rock and roll…
But then you sit down and see that blinking cursor, and a wave of overwhelm hits…Along with the realization that there’s more to blogging than just typing out your mega cool thoughts and sharing them with the world.
I remember that feeling… And, truth be told, it almost kept me from moving forward!
Eventually I figured it all out, and now I use the same process each time I sit down to write.
It’s the same 10 steps that I’m going to show you today, and you can follow this guide each and every time you sit down to publish a post.
Sure, there are more complicated strategies you can use, but today we’re going to keep it SUPER BASIC so you can overcome that overwhelm and remove any resistance you may feel as you sit down to write.
Okay…Let’s get started.
First thing’s first…
Login to your site and create a new post.
Once you are inside the editor, follow these steps to craft a perfect post every single time…
Step #1: Know Your Topic.
The first step of writing a new article is not actually writing the article…
Crazy, right? I know…But before you can start writing, you have to know what you want to write about…
It is a great idea to keep a journal specifically for this. I have a hard-back notebook that I carry with me, and when I get an idea, I jot the topic down at the top of a page and write my initial thoughts as notes underneath.
Don’t neglect this tip…Keep that notebook with you all the time! There’s nothing worse than having an amazing idea that you can’t remember later…
Okay…Now that you know what you want to write about, it’s time to write, right?
The next thing is to…
Step #2: Choose Your Keywords.
The three most dreaded letters to a new blogger are S…E…O…
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and if you have spent any time at all reading about how this works, your brain has likely come close to exploding.
The first time I read a Neil Patel article on SEO I couldn’t even make it through.
It was like trying to drink from a fire hose… (P.S. Neil Patel is freaking awesome…I highly recommend all of his content. You should devour it all once you get your bearings!)
Long story short, SEO is complicated.
We could literally spend hours talking about the ins and outs of the whole thing, but right now I want to break it down and make it as easy as possible.
So basically what you need to know is that SEO is based on keywords…
Think of it like this: For everything that you write, you will choose keywords that act as little name tags for your content.
That way when someone goes on Google to search, Google will be all like “Oh, you want to know about cooking outside naked? Great, here’s all the content wearing that name tag.”
Make sense? Okay…Let’s move on.
As you probably know, Google puts the best related content on the first page. Those are the most popular pieces of content wearing that name tag.
And the truth is, most people will ignore results on subsequent pages.
That’s why learning how to use basic SEO is important.
If your content is wearing a “name tag” that gets it closer to the highest-ranked results, then your content will more likely get clicked on…and that’s the ultimate goal–for people to read what you are writing.
So why do I have choosing keywords as step #2 instead of at the end?
Well, most serious bloggers find keyword work easier to do at the beginning because there are some strategic places where you need to be adding your keywords and it is just easier to do as you go instead of trying to squeeze them in after you’re done.
Top bloggers have keyword secrets…But don’t worry! I’m not keeping them to myself!
Here are the things you need to know about keywords…
- Keywords should be words that people are actually searching for. Using a tool like Keywords Everywhere (a Google Chrome or Firefox extension) can tell you how many times a word or phrase is searched for. Click here to get it now.
- Keywords should be “long-tail.” I know, that’s a jargon word, but don’t let it scare you. The term “long-tail” just refers to super specific search terms. Let’s look at our earlier example, “cooking naked outside.” That would be considered long-tail. Simply using the keyword “cooking” would be a mistake. Think about how many types of content there could be wearing that name tag! There would be A BAJILLION search results and you’d likely never be able to rank near the top for that word. Makes sense, right?
- Your keyword(s) should be used in the following places when writing your post. IN THE TITLE, IN THE URL (slug), IN THE META DESCRIPTION, AND TASTEFULLY SPRINKLED SEVERAL TIMES THROUGHOUT YOUR POST.
Now onto step #3…
Step #3: Choose Your Title
Now that you have your topic and know your keywords, it is time to write your title.
It is really tempting to get cute with your titles…and I was SUPER guilty of this when I first started blogging…
However, it is best to remember My Three “C’s” of Titling…Make it:
- CLEAR…You want the reader to know what you’re talking about.
- CURIOUS…You want to pique their curiosity so they want to read your words.
- CLICKABLE…You want them to want to click on your post. Remember that in all things people ask “What’s in it for me?” Make sure your title tells them exactly what they’ll get out of reading your content.
Along with WIIFM (What’s in it for me), remember this other truth that comes from the marketing world. A confused mind never buys. (Nor does it click.)
That brings us to…
Step #4: Write It.
Yep, we made it to step #4 and you finally get to write!
As you sit down at the keyboard, there are a couple of great tips that I have for you…
If you look at anything that I write, you will notice that it doesn’t look like a research paper from English Comp.
Each thought has it’s own paragraph…and no paragraph has more than 2-3 sentences…
I write in this style because most content is viewed on small screens now. That means a short paragraph, or even a long sentence, can seem like a full-size paragraph.
Keeping your paragraphs short will help pull your readers through your content by making it seem much less intimidating than a looooooooong stream of text with no end in sight.
Let’s face it…we’re lazy.
Another way we keep readers happily scrolling through our content is by breaking text up with headings or images.
Most headings throughout your post will be the H2 style. Using your keywords in at least one of your headings is recommended.
(And remember to tastefully sprinkle those keywords throughout your article, too!)
Done writing? Then move on to step #5…
Step #5: Proofread It.
I’m going to be real with you…
I work from home and I have 4 kids, two of which are still at home all day long with me.
That means that when I am writing, I’m normally interrupted 927 times to get a snack, get a drink, wipe a booty, clean a mess, snuggle, play, etc.
I can proofread a piece 10 times and still have an occasional error…And since I don’t hire a professional editor, some errors make it to publishing.
My niche is moms, so thankfully most of my readers are gracious. (thank you!)
They (you) understand what it’s like to work from home while raising kids at the same time…
Your audience may not be as forgiving depending on your niche, so proofreading should not be overlooked.
When you’re done, move on to step #6…
Step #6: Add Links
Adding links into your content is a great idea! You can link to your own related content, or you can link outside your site to other high-quality content that your audience may find valuable.
**If you are contributing to this site (yes, you can do that! If you’re interested, email me at email@example.com to find out more!), then I ask that you DO NOT include spammy links or links to affiliate offers.
Step #7: Add Images and Alt Text
Like I mentioned before, you can use images to break up text and to help illustrate your point.
But be mindful of the images you choose.
When blogging it is important that you do not violate copyright laws. So, whatever you do, don’t just google something and use any image that comes up.
You can also pay for stock images or use your own original photography.
The bottom line is, you want to make sure you aren’t using images that are copyright protected.
When adding an image to your post, you will need to include “Alt Text” as well.
You’ll find the space to add the alt text when you upload a new image. (I use my post’s keywords as alt text).
Each image that you add to your site should have alt text attached to it.
Step #8: Choose a Category
If you use categories on your site instead of dumping everything into a blog section, or if you are a contributor here, you will need to select a category before publishing your post.
This is where your post will “live.”
On this blog, you will find the following categories: Parenting, Self-Care, Relationships, Household, For Mompreneurs Only (for anything business, blogging, or leadership related), & Stories from the Tribe (for any personal stories that get shared by our contributors).
Before publishing, you should select a category so your post is indexed on your site correctly.
Sometimes a post may fit into more than one category, but you should only choose one. Choose the category that it fits in the best and then use tags to tie content together…
Think of these tags like hashtags for your blog. They serve to connect a bunch of different posts from all over your website together and make them easily searchable.
If you write an article about working from home while raising toddlers (looky there, I actually wrote that article and added the link into this post), it sounds like it could easily fit under the “Parenting” category or the “For Mompreneurs Only” category.
But I only choose one. It doesn’t really matter which one. It works either way. And if I choose to file it under the “For Mompreneurs Only” category, then I can use the following tags, too:
- working from home
- work-life balance
Time for the next step…
Step #9: Add a Featured Image
Depending on your theme, your featured image size can differ. My theme uses a 16:9 image ratio, so I use Canva to create a image that is 795 pixels by 447 pixels.
If you are writing as a contributor for this site, then you get access to our team template in order to create featured images that are on point with our overall site vibe.
I recommend using a similar feel throughout your site. This helps your content become recognizable when it is shared.
Also keep in mind to use fonts that are easy to read (handwritten, scripty fonts are pretty, but if people can’t read it, they won’t take the time to click it).
Use colors that are easy to see as well.
And don’t forget your alt text on this image, too!
Your featured image serves as the thumbnail that will be shown when someone shares your post on social media, so take time to create something that stands out.
**You should also know that if you ever plan to run ads to your post, then Facebook has this text ratio rule. If you have too much text, or the text on your featured image takes up too much of the overall space, then your ad will not run. If you are planning on running ads to a piece of content, use this tool to check the text of an image to make sure it complies with Facebook’s image guidelines.
And last but not least…
Step #10: Add an Awesome Meta Description to Your Post
On my site, I use the Yoast Plug-in.
Yoast helps with SEO because it gives you a section where you add in your keywords and your meta description. It also analyzes your content and gives you a red light, yellow light, or green light based on your structure.
A meta description is what is shown as the little snippet when you search for something.
You want to add a meta description that hooks your potential readers and gets them to click on your content rather than some other person’s content on the same subject.
I hope that helps clarify exactly how you can write a blog post in WordPress, even as a beginner…
Becoming a contributor to an established site can be a great way to learn more and develop your own audience and skills.
If you’d like to learn more about contributing to this site, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll contact you with more info as soon as possible.
Plus when you become a contributor, you also gain access to my Secret Facebook Group where I share writing tips, prompts, and mini coaching for free.
I’d love to have you join us, so email me now to get started (pssst…it doesn’t cost you a thing).
Welcome to blogging! I wish you the very best!
Want a printable checklist of this post like the one below??? CLICK HERE to download it now. No strings attached…It’s just my gift to you.