24 Sep How-to publish your first blog post
Blog – kinda sounds like a dirty word right!? Well, it is in actual fact a very useful tool for your small business especially if your goal is to drive traffic to your website and boost your SEO ranking (which by the way, it should be!). We’ve put together a quick guide to get you prepped to start blogging today, oh and spoiler alert… it’s easy!.
Here’s 6 things to consider before you start writing followed by an instructional ‘How-to’ video below that will guide you through all options.
1. Choose a Relatable Topic to your Brand
Pick a topic that’s relatable to your audience – if you have an eCommerce store selling home wares, talk about the latest interior styling trends and colours.
2. Use Sub-Headings
Using sub-headings or bold type throughout your post to break up the content and make it easier for your reader to digest.
3. Engage your Audience
Open with something that grabs attention whilst summarising what you are going to be taking. Some ideas are to start with an engaging question, a simple fact or a relevant statistic.
4. Break up your Text!
Think short paragraphs and lists. No one wants to get bogged down reading large slabs of copy on a screen. Break it up into bite size paragraphs to keep it interesting.
5. Include Images
We’ll cover how to add a feature image later in the post but just quickly, it’s ok to use a free images found on Google (or elsewhere) but you remember to credit the source and link back to it if you can otherwise you could get into some copyright strife. We show you how to do this in the video below.
6. Call to Action
Tell your readers what you’d like them to do now they’ve read your post, is it sign up to your mailing list, purchase a product or connect with you on social media? Make it clear and simple.
Step 1. Enter a Title
Choose and engaging title that includes ‘keywords’ for SEO, e.g. “How to revamp your living room in 5 simple steps.”
Step 2. Permalink
This will be automatically created to reflect the blog title and will become the direct URL to your blog post. You can edit/shorten it if need be.
Step 3. Body Copy
This goes in your main content window. Again, remember to use keywords throughout your post to help with your SEO. Edit your text as you would in a Word Doc using the tools above the content window.
After you have completed the steps above, its time configure your blog using the options in the right-hand column. Here’s a breakdown of what’s what, starting from top to bottom.
Save Draft stores a draft of the post you are working on. Note: WordPress also auto-saves your posts as you write.
Preview shows a live preview of your post. You can use it to see how your post will look and proof your handy work before hitting the ‘publish’ button.
Status allows you to set a status for your post. WordPress automatically handles post status for drafts and published posts. If you accidentally hit publish and you don’t want it made public just yet, you can switch your post back to draft mode here and click update.
Visibility: Click on the blue ‘Edit’ link next to visibility to expand it and reveal the following options:
- Public: Means your post is visible to everyone. You also have the option to make your post ‘sticky’ on front-page which means it will be a featured article at the top of all other posts.
- Password protected: Your post will be hidden from your general audience unless you share the password you create for it with them.
- Private: allows you to privately publish a post on your WordPress site. The private posts will be visible to users who have editing privileges on your site but not your general audience.
Publish immediately – again click the ‘Edit’ link to reveal time and date options to schedule your post. Perfect for those who love to plan ahead and batch their content.
Move to trash allows you to delete a WordPress post. Deleted posts live under trash, and you can restore them if you need to for up to 30 days.
Publish button makes your blog post public straight away unless you scheduled in an alternative time and date.
The options here are all pretty straight forward and is set to ‘standard’ by default. You can choose ‘gallery’ if you have a series of images to include or you might like to begin your post with a quote, video or audio track as the hero element rather than an image. Our suggestion is to play around with the options and see what works best for your post. Simply use the preview button to see how it will look before you publish!
CATEGORIES & TAGS
Categories and tags exist to help you organize your content and make it easier for people to browse your blog. Using relevant categories and tags can also assist in the likelihood of being found via search engines.
For example: Category: ‘Home Renovations’ – Tags: ‘Kitchen’ or ‘Bedroom.’
- Categories are meant for broad grouping of your posts – think of them as general topics or the table of contents for your site.
- Tags are meant to describe specific details of your posts – think of these as your site’s index words.
Click ‘Set Featured Image’ to bring up the media uploader. Here you can select an image from your previous uploads or, upload a new image from your computer which is demonstrated in our video below.
Now you’ve got your blog post configured, it’s time to hit that publish button and give yourself a pat on the back, you’ve successfully completed your first blog post! Now it’s live, it’s time to share it with the world – copy the URL and post it on Facebook or guide your Instagram followers to head to your website to read it.
Remember, practice makes perfect. Why not give blogging a go today and potentially bring new visitors to your website as well as boost your SEO ranking.