How to Publish an Article in WordPress
Your content marketing strategy is written, youâ€™ve put together your first blog post, and now youâ€™re ready to get it on your website. If you use WordPress to host your business website, posting an article couldnâ€™t be easier. WordPress started as a blogging site in 2003, so theyâ€™ve had almost 20 years to perfect the uploading process. Now, WordPress hosts complex websites for multinational corporations. With such capacity, your business’s online presence can get a real boost from something as simple as a WordPress post. This is a step into the world of content marketing.
How to Log In to WordPress
With a brand new WordPress website, a lot of people ask â€œhow do I log into WordPress?â€. You can see your website, but you need to get into the management dashboard if you are going to publish a WordPress Post, add new pages or plugins. Your WordPress login page URL is essential to getting to work on your website.
For business websites, it is likely that your WordPress hosting provider used a different slug for security. Contact them to find out your WordPress login URL.
Once youâ€™ve found this page, you can use your username and password to access the WordPress Dashboard.
How To Create A New WordPress Post
The Dashboard area of your website shows you any WordPress updates, news from your theme providers and tools you may need. Youâ€™ll see an option to create a â€˜Quick Draftâ€™, with text boxes for a Title and Content. This tool can be useful if you need to quickly upload text for someone else to work on, but it should not be your first choice for posting.
Using the toolbar on the left of your WordPress Dashboard, navigate to Posts and select New Post or Add New.
A blank post will open, with a space to add your title and type in your content. You can type directly into this interface, but you may find it easier to draft in your preferred word processor and copy it into a WordPress post later.
How To Use The Block Editor
Once all the text is in place, you will want to start formatting it. In the good old days of WordPress, you had to know a little HTML to be able to do this effectively. Then came the classic editor, which had a toolbar similar to Google Docs or Microsoft Word.
Since 2019, WordPress posts use the Gutenberg Block Editor, which offers a huge range of ways to present your content. The intuitive controls may take some getting used to, but there’s lots of handy micro-copy to advise you. Once you know what youâ€™re doing, you can use the WordPress Block Editor to create some stunning posts.
This editor provides preformatted blocks which you can arrange in your post with a simple drag and drop action. The blocks are wide-ranging, including tables, audio, columns, buttons, categories and embedded content.
How To Create A Heading
For your first WordPress Post, let’s keep it simple. Your text will automatically enter in a Paragraph block. You can use the block editor to put headings throughout your post, making it easy for readers to skim through to the bits relevant to them.
- Select the text you want to turn into a Heading. A toolbar will appear with formatting options such as Bold, Italics or Text Alignment. The far left button on this toolbar shows the type of block you are using.
- Select the Block Type button. This gives you a list of options to transform your paragraph block, including bulleted list, quote or even verse.
- Select Heading. Your text will change size and become bold, indicating that it is a heading. Upon publication, WordPress will automatically format this text differently from the rest, using your branded design choices.Â
- Select Heading Level. You will see the toolbar has changed to include an option for changing the heading level. This is useful for articles which have nested headings, so that you can choose whether to use H2, H3, H4 or H5. H1 is used for your main article title, so avoid using this in the middle of the post.
Pro Tip! If youâ€™re writing content in a separate word processor, such as Google Docs, the heading levels you choose there will carry across when you copy and paste them into the WordPress editor.
Adding Images to a WordPress Post
Adding images to your articles makes them more engaging and helps to break up long text. There are two ways to do this within the block editor.
Method 1: Adding Images From Within the Text
In a new text block (just press Return on your keyboard), type “/image”. the block will become an image block straight away. To remove blocks, press “shift+alt+z”.
Alternatively, hover your mouse between two blocks or paragraphs. You should see a â€˜+â€™ symbol appear. When you click this, an interface will popup with commonly used blocks and a search bar.
Select the Image block. The block will appear even before you select an image.
Method 2: Adding Images From the Block panel
Select the blue â€˜+â€™ in the top left corner of your window. This opens the block library.
Select the Image block. The block will appear below the previously selected block.
Now you can choose whether to upload images from your computerâ€™s hard drive, from your WordPress Media Library, or from a URL.
Often the simplest method is to upload directly to the post. Once youâ€™ve chosen the image in your files, click â€˜Openâ€™ and it will be added to the Media Library.
If you have lots of images to add at once, the Media Library makes this simple. You can open the media library from within the Image block.
Using the Media Library
Here is where all of your images are saved for easy access. Using the â€˜Upload Filesâ€™ tab, you can drag and drop files from your computerâ€™s file explorer, or select them manually. This screen will also show you the maximum file size you can upload (ours is 2MB).
Once your images are uploaded, select the one you want to use.
A panel on the right shows the image data, such as the file name, size and upload date. This is where you can insert Alt Text, a caption and more.
Pro Tip! Use your target keyword as Alt Text for at least 1 image per article to increase your SEO score!
You can also use this panel to edit or delete the selected image. WordPress photo editing options are currently limited to crop, rotate, flip and scale, so itâ€™s best to make sure your images are publication ready before uploading them.
Finally, click the blue â€˜Selectâ€™ button in the bottom right of the Media Library window to insert an image into the post.
You can also edit Alt Text, Image Size and style in the Block Settings panel, accessed via the cog symbol on the right hand side of the editing window.
Before you hit â€˜Publishâ€™, as tempting as it seems, you should make sure you have supplied everything your website needs to get the most out of this post.
Click on the cog wheel at the top right of your window. This opens document and block settings for your post.
In the Document tab, you can choose whether this will be a Public or Private post, schedule it to publish at a later date, and edit the URL Slug.
Hereâ€™s a quick checklist to run through before publishing that first WordPress Post:
- Make sure public posts are set to public
- Use target keywords in the URL Slug
- Categorise your post so website users can find it easily.
- Add tags to assist with navigation and SEO
- Set a Featured Image. Without this, WordPress will automatically use the first image in each article when displaying your blog archive. Choose an image that highlights the core of the article.
- Check your SEO with Yoast
How to Edit a WordPress Post After Publication
Once youâ€™ve published your WordPress post, you can go back and edit it whenever you need to.
Simply go to â€˜All Postsâ€™ in the dashboard, and select the post you wish to edit. This will open the editor and you can use it as needed. Make sure you click â€˜Updateâ€™ when youâ€™re done.
If you donâ€™t need to change the copy, but want to change the category, edit tags or make the slug more SEO-friendly, you can choose Quick Edit.
You published a WordPress post! Now whatâ€¦
Congratulations on becoming a blogger – youâ€™re part of the club now. Give yourself a pat on the back. The next challenge is getting people to read your post.
Some organic traffic will come through search engines, IF your SEO is strong enough. Find out how we make sure our articles hit the top spot here.
To get your business blog in front of a wider audience, you need to do some Digital PR. You can read more about how we do this here.
Share links to your article on social media or in your business newsletter, and encourage friends and colleagues to do the same. Send your article to third-party publications such as Medium or Flipboard and local/industry newsletters, encouraging them to share it on your behalf.
You should also consider using Pay Per Click Advertising to give your article a boost. With an eye-catching title and a clear target keyword, paying to have your article at the top of a search engine result page can bring in huge amounts of traffic, leading to an increase in interest in your business.
Donâ€™t forget to write!
Once youâ€™ve published a blog post on WordPress, you may not see the benefits straight away. Content marketing works on a curve, in which the more you post, the better each of your articles does. Regular, consistent content, builds your brand and brings the right people to your website again and again. Keep going!