How To Create A WordPress Post – Pt. 2

In this tutorial, you will learn how to create and publish a new post on your WordPress site or blog …

For a white label version of this tutorial visit WPTrainingManual.com.

How To Create A Post In WordPress – Pt. 2

How To Create A Post In WordPress - Pt. 2

In Part 1 of this tutorial on how to create a new post in WordPress, we covered the following:

  • Types Of Content You Can Publish In WordPress
  • WordPress Post Features

In Part 2, you will learn how to create an effective post using the basic WordPress features and functions discussed in Part 1 of this tutorial.

To review Part 1, go here: How To Create A Post In WordPress – Part 1

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This tutorial shows you how to create a post using the WordPress Classic Editor.

We also have a tutorial that shows you how to create posts using the new WordPress Block Editor.

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A Post Is More Than The Sum Of Its Parts

WordPress is an easy-to-use, powerful, and flexible content management system (CMS) and online publishing platform. The more you understand and learn how to use all of its features and functions, the more effective your posts will be, and the more effectively you will use your site as a tool to promote your website and grow your business online.

Although creating a post in WordPress is easy enough as you will see shortly, as discussed in Part 1 of this tutorial, to create a truly effective post that will generate the kind of results you would expect (e.g. more traffic, better user engagement, higher conversions, etc.), requires understanding, coordinating, and employing various features and functions throughout the content creation and publishing process.

To save time, here is the flowchart of the WordPress Post creation process again, as shown in Part 1 of this tutorial:

WordPress post creation and publishing process flowchart.
What you need to know to create an effective post in WordPress.

Creating an effective post, then, requires more than just typing in some words, formatting text, adding images or other media, and hitting the publish button. It requires a combination of various processes, such as:

  • Content Planning – This process involves developing a content strategy, knowing what to write about, researching content topics and ideas, creating and presenting an outline, developing a publishing schedule, etc.
  • Content Creation – This process involves figuring out who will write or create your content, assigning and managing the work, editing, proofing, etc.
  • WordPress: Configuring Site Settings – Before you can create a post, your site should be hosted with a reliable web server, designed to improve your conversions across all devices and web browsers (e.g. using a modern and fully responsive WordPress theme), set up correctly and optimally configured for things like SEO, image optimization, fast loading pages, measuring statistics, tracking results, etc.
  • WordPress: Understanding Main Features – When it’s time to publish content, you don’t want to waste time trying to figure how to use your site. Knowing basic things like how to log in and navigate around your dashboard and understanding what the main features of WordPress do is covered in our other tutorials.
  • WordPress: Using Post Features –  Knowing what to do with your content, which features of the content and Post editor will enhance its effectiveness, and which buttons to press and in what sequence to get it published is the focus of this tutorial. This process, however, doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It is dependent on all the other processes discussed here.
  • Online Marketing – You should have processes in place to promote, track, measure, manage, and improve the results of your published posts. Otherwise, all the time, effort, and money you put into creating posts could be a waste of energy and resources.
WordPress blogger
Image: Pixabay

As stated above, the focus of this tutorial is to show you how to use the WordPress Post features to get content published on your site.

Now that we’ve touched briefly on the “big picture,” let’s go through some useful guidelines for creating and posting effective content on your site.

Guidelines For Creating Effective Post Content

We recommend reviewing and applying the guidelines below when creating web content. These will help you create effective posts:

Who You Are Writing For?

Think about your target audience and make your content all about them.

Also, make sure to put all necessary measures and precautions in place to protect your site, the privacy of your readers, and anyone you plan to post or comment about.

Add Value With Quality Content

Avoid taking shortcuts with your content. Don’t fall for SEO strategies that deliver filler content or publish articles that are thin on substance. Whatever you publish on your site should enhance your reader’s experience and add value to their lives.

Also, make sure you have thoroughly researched your topic, any facts you plan to use to support your arguments, and your competition. Make sure you “know your stuff.”

An excellent way to focus your writing on your content is to compose your initial draft using a plain text editor. Remove distractions like images, text formatting, etc. and focus on getting the words of your message or communication right first. When you are happy with what you have written, copy and paste it into the WordPress editor, then format, style, and embellish it as required to create a great article that users will want to read, engage with, and share with others.

Practice Accessibility

Think about users with learning difficulties, disabilities, or impairments who may struggle to navigate your site or read your content.

Become familiar with web standards for accessibility and make sure that whoever creates your content complies with accessibility standards.

Examples of making your content more accessible include making sure to use descriptive ALT tags in your images, using legible typography and high-contrasting colors, and even presenting content in different formats (e.g. audio files of your posts created using text-to-speech technology).

Screenshot of Image Details screen highlighting Alternative Text field.
Adding descriptive alt tags to your images will help to improve your site’s accessibility.

Use Paragraphs

Avoid long, run-on sentences.

Break up your content into short paragraphs to make it more readable.

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WordPress automatically detects double-spacing between paragraphs and inserts paragraph tags (<p>) into your text.

Use Headings

If you plan to write a long post or a complex, serious article, consider using HTML heading tags to break up your post sections.

Headings are set using tags like h1, h2, h3, h4, and so on. You can also insert headings by highlighting content in your post and selecting one of the heading options from the “Format Style” drop-down menu in your WordPress Content Editor.

Learn To Use Basic HTML Tags To Format Text

You don’t need to know how to code to create richly formatted content. You can easily format content using the menu buttons in the WordPress Visual Content Editor.

Having some basic HTML knowledge, however, will give you control over areas like proofing, editing, and styling elements in your content, such as styled boxes, columned text, tables, headings, nested layouts, etc.

For a basic guide on using HTML to format your content, see this tutorial: HTML Guide for Beginners

Spell Check And Proof Everything

Check your spelling and proof your post before publishing live content on your site.

There are a number of spell-check tools, browser add-ons, and WordPress plugins available to help you do this (e.g. Grammarly).

Think Before You Publish

Once your content goes live, it can be viewed by other people, shared on social media, and picked up by search engines. This makes it harder to make your content “unseen” or to take back something you shouldn’t have said.

So, take the time to plan and think about what you are writing. Read, re-read, edit, and review everything before you hit the publish button.

Make Use Of Commenting

Comments allow your site visitors to engage with your site, give you valuable feedback, and share ideas and suggestions.

You have complete control over what gets posted on your site and you can edit or delete any negative comments posted by visitors. You can also disable commenting on your site or on a post-by-post basis.

Make use of the WordPress commenting feature and make sure to let visitors know that they can contact you via your contact form too.

Don’t Worry About Web Design

How your site looks is important but it’s not essential to getting your message or point across.

WordPress Themes let you grow your readership starting with a basic site design. You can change your web design templates later with a few clicks of your mouse without losing any of your valuable content.

As mentioned earlier, focus on publishing quality content. Great content will attract and keep your readers engaged even if your web design is not great. Get to know your audience and their needs first using tools like commenting, heat maps, and analytics, then adapt your web design to fit your audience’s needs.

With WordPress, you can easily do this. WordPress lets you customize and change anything and everything, including the entire look and feel of its design, page layout, etc. using themes.

Use Media

Adding images and videos to your content helps make your posts and pages more attractive and interesting. They can also help your readers engage better with your content.

See the tutorials below to learn how to add media like images and embed videos into your posts and pages.

If using the WordPress Classic Editor:

If using the WordPress Block Editor (Gutenberg):

Publish Content Regularly

When it comes to publishing content, consistency is the key.

Create a regular content publishing schedule and stick to it.

We have created an entire email training series designed to help you come up with endless content ideas for your site, blog, or newsletter. You can subscribe to it below:

Next Step …

Now that we have gone over some useful guidelines for posting content on your site, let’s go through different ways to save posts in WordPress.

Saving Posts In WordPress – Your Options

Autosave

WordPress has a built-in function that autosaves your content at regular intervals.

WordPress Post Revisions feature
WordPress autosaves your posts at regular intervals so you won’t lose your work.

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This feature helps to prevent you from losing your work should something unexpectedly go wrong, like a power outage causing your computer to shut down or lose internet connection, or if you accidentally close your web browser in the middle of your work session.

WordPress automatically records the date and time of your post when the post is first autosaved.

Learn more about the WordPress autosave feature here: WordPress Autosave And Post Revisions

Save Post As Draft

Until your post is published, your post content will not be visible to your site visitors. Instead, the post will be saved in Draft status (or Pending Review) until you publish it.

Posts - Draft Status.
Save Posts as drafts until you are ready to publish.

The ‘Publish’ section lets you save your posts as a draft or publish it live. Depending on which of these options you choose, you will either see a Save or Publish button displayed.

WordPress Post Publish section.
WordPress Post Publish section.

To save your post as a Draft, go to the Publish > Status section of your Post screen and click on Edit.

WordPress Post Publish section - Draft Status: Edit
Click Edit to save your post as a draft.

Select Draft from the ‘Status’ drop-down menu and click OK.

WordPress Post Publish section - Draft Status
WordPress Post Publish section – Draft Status

With ‘Draft’ selected in the “Status:” field, click on Save Draft.

WordPress Post Publish section - Save Draft button.
WordPress Post Publish section – Save Draft button.

Your post will be saved as a draft post. Right-click on Preview post to preview your saved content in a separate window.

Post draft updated - Preview post link.
Post draft updated – Preview post link.

‘Preview Mode’ lets you see what your post will look like when published. (Note: Until you publish your post, this content will not be made visible to your site visitors).

WordPress Post - Preview Mode
WordPress Post – Preview Mode

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You can also preview your post in a new browser window without saving or publishing it first by clicking the Preview button in the ‘Publish’ section.

WordPress Post Publish - Preview button.
WordPress Post Publish – Preview button.

Once you are ready to publish your post, click the Publish button.

WordPress Post - Publish button.
WordPress Post – Publish button.

After publishing your post, right-click the View Post link to open it in a new window.

Post published - view post link.
Post published – view post link.

Your post should now be visible to your site visitors. The post can also be accessed and linked to via its unique web address (URL).

Published post URL.
Published post URL.

After publishing, preview and review your post to make sure that all of the content has been added and formatted correctly.

WordPress Post example.
Review your post after publishing.

If you need to make any changes to your post content, go back and edit your post, then republish.

Note: You can also change your published date and time by editing the settings in the “Published on:” section, clicking the OK button, and then clicking the Update button to save your new settings.

WordPress Post publishing settings
WordPress Post publishing settings

To learn how to edit your post, see this tutorial: How To Edit Posts In WordPress

Note: After publishing, the button will change from ‘Publish’ to ‘Update’.

WordPress Post Publish Section - Update button.
WordPress Post Publish Section – Update button.

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You can revert your post status from ‘Published’ to ‘Draft’ or ‘Pending Review’ by clicking on the Edit link next to the Status field and selecting another option from the drop-down menu.

WordPress Post Status menu.
You can change your post status anytime using the Status dropdown menu.

To resave a published post as a ‘draft’ post, go to the Publish > Status section of your post screen and click on Edit.

WordPress Post Status: Edit Link
Click Edit to change your WordPress Post status.

Choose Draft from the Status drop-down menu and click OK.

WordPress Post Publish section - Draft Status
Select ‘Draft’ and click ‘OK’.

With ‘Draft’ displayed in the Status field, click on the Save Draft button.

WordPress Post Publish section - Save Draft button.
Click the ‘Save Draft’ button.

Your post will revert to ‘draft’ status and no longer be visible on your site.

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Note: If someone attempts to visit the web address of a post that was previously published, they will see a “page not found” error message (this is called a ‘404’ or ‘Not Found’ error page).

Example of 'Not found' error page.
‘Not found’ error page.

Next Step …

Now that you know how to create, save, and publish a post in WordPress, let’s review the steps involved in the post creation process.

Creating A New Post In WordPress – Quick Recap Of Steps Involved

As mentioned in Part 1 of this tutorial, with WordPress, publishing your content is as easy as 1-2-3:

  1. Think …
  2. Write …
  3. Publish!
Blackboard image with WordPress logo - WordPress: 1.Think, 2. Write, 3. Publish.
Publishing content in WordPress is as easy as Think, Write, Publish.

After deciding what topic you plan to post, the next step is to write your content (or get it written for you), and publish it online.

WordPress makes publishing content easy. We recommend following the steps below to publish an SEO optimized post that will get your content indexed quickly by search engines:

WordPress post publishing process.
Follow these steps to publish an SEO-optimized WordPress post.
  1. In your WordPress dashboard menu, select Posts > Add New to bring up the ‘Add New Post’ screen.
  2. Add your post content (post title & body content). Make sure that your site’s Permalinks have already been set up and configured. Modify the Post Slug if required.
  3. If you have an SEO plugin installed (recommended),  type in the search engine optimization metatags and content into the SEO fields. This will only take an extra minute or two, but it will help your content rank better in search engines.
  4. Add a Post Excerpt into the ‘Excerpt’ section.
  5. Select a Post Category.
  6. Add Post Tags (tip: use the keywords you have entered into the SEO section).
  7. Publish your post.

Congratulations! Now you know how to create and publish a new post in WordPress! To learn how to edit  or delete your post in WordPress, see this tutorial: How To Edit And Delete A Post In WordPress – Part 1

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"Learning WordPress has been a huge stumbling block for me. I've been looking for something that covers absolutely everything but doesn't cost an arm and a leg. Thank you so much ... you have just provided me with what I have been looking for! Truly appreciated!" - Tanya

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For a white label version of this tutorial visit WPTrainingManual.com.
Originally published as How To Create A WordPress Post – Pt. 2.