If you know how to use MS Word or another word processor, adding articles to your blog will be a snap.
There are four ways to add articles, or posts, to your blog:
- Use WordPress’ internal editor
- Write your post using Word or another word processing program and then transfer it into WordPress
- Use an external tool that uploads automatically to WordPress
- Set up your WordPress installation to accept uploads by email
Although they can be very easy to use, I do not recommend the last two methods because they create extra security holes that hackers can use to damage your site. Why make it easy for them?
So I’m just going to talk about the first two methods here.
Use the WordPress Tools
Go to your WordPress dashboard and click on Posts/Add New. You’ll see a window that looks like this.
First is your title line — and WordPress nicely prompts you to “add title here.” Type in your working title — don’t worry, you can change it later.
My working title for this post is “Blogging for Expats.” If your eyesight is good, you can see underneath the title the words “Permalink: http://futureexpats.com/blogging-for-expats-2.” This is the actual URL, or web address, for the post.
Notice your input/editing box has two tabs on the upper right, labeled “Visual” and “HTML.”
You’ll probably want to select the Visual tab, which shows you a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) view. The HTML tab is for people who prefer to enter or edit the code manually.
Ready? Start typing. . . and remember to save frequently using the “Save Draft” button to the right of your editor.
Use the buttons at the top of the edit box to format your text. You can create headlines and subheads, format text with bold or italic, center or move your text to the right or left, add bulleted and numbered lists and more.
It’s all pretty intuitive. Just highlight the words you want bolded, for example, then click the box with the big B on it.
Want to see what it looks like? Click the “preview” button on the right.
It probably doesn’t look like much — yet — but we’ll have it all dressed up before you know it.
When you’re ready to make your post available for the world to see, hit the “Publish” button on the right.
Use Word and Transfer your Post into WordPress
When you’re starting out, you may find it easier to do your actual writing outside of WordPress using tools you’re familiar with — it’ll save you some time and aggravation.
I’ll assume for a few minutes that most of you will use Word. The principles are the same, no matter which word processor you use, though.
Go ahead and write, then save your post. Don’t worry about special formatting at this point — you’ll see why in a minute.
When you write your blog posts in Word, the program adds bits of code that can cause problems in a web browser, so the first thing you need to do is ensure you’re uploading clean copy.
Use the HTML Tab Inside WordPress
OK, you’ve written your post in Word, because that’s the program you’re most familiar with. Now,
- Open WordPress and click Posts/Add New
- Select the HTML tab
- Copy and paste your Word article into the WordPress edit screen
Now just click over to the Visual tab do add your formatting and other embellishments.
Writing Your Title and SEO
Your post’s title is also its headline and will become the URL (web address). I’ll talk about the art of headline writing in another article — because it’s an entire topic all by itself.
Be aware, though, that your title should use keywords that will assist your SEO (search engine optimization) efforts.
With that in mind, go back and rework your title. Try to make it intriguing so people will click on it and read your post.
Once you’ve chosen your real title (as opposed to the working title you started with), you have one more change to make.
I’m going to change the title of this post from “Blogging for Expats,” which was the working title, to “Adding Content to Your Expat WordPress Blog.” (Not really, I’m just using it as an example here.)
If I let WordPress create the permalink, it will create “http://futureexpats.com/adding-content-to-your-expat-wordpress-blog.”
That’s a long URL, so I’m going to shorten it just a little and make it “/add-content-expat-wordpress-blog.” This keeps the SEO value, letting Google and the other search engines know what it’s about, while shortening it a bit for humans.
Just under your title, click the Edit button next to the line that starts with “Permalink.” You’ll notice an editable area. Change this, if appropriate.
When you’re done editing the permalink, click “OK.”
Click “Publish” (or “Update”) and you’re good to go!
Notice we haven’t talked at all about adding other types of content — images, videos, sound, etc. We’ll get into that next time.
If Your Blog Has Gone Beyond These Basics. . .
If you’ve already outstripped these tutorials, congratulations! It’s not that difficult to master the technical aspects of blogging with WordPress. . . but what about the making money part of it? After all, you want the blog to help you support your expat life, don’t you?
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What WordPress questions would you like me to address in these tutorials? Leave your comment — I’m here to help. . .