Writing your first WordPress post can feel like a challenge especially when you’re not familiar with the WordPress editor and Gutenberg blocks. This post will show you how to add WordPress posts to your website. We’ll also explain how to schedule, edit, and publish.
In no time you’ll be publishing your first post on your WordPress website.
Let’s get started…
What is the difference in WordPress pages and WordPress posts, exactly?
When you log into your WordPress website you’ll notice two options to add content – posts and pages:
What is the difference? How do I choose which one to add to my content?
A WordPress page is a static piece of content that is rarely updated and usually serves a timeless purpose. Examples of WordPress pages are: about, contact, disclosure, terms & conditions.
A WordPress post is often part of a blog, such as the one we have here at Blogging Wizard. It’s where we frequently publish and update content on an ongoing and continuous basis.
Understanding the WordPress block editor
Log into your WordPress site and you’ll see your WordPress dashboard. Then go to Posts → Add NewYou can find the admin panel on the left.
A new post will be created. Here you can enter all of your content using the Gutenberg visual editor.
Let’s have a quick overview of the WordPress editor and post settings. For the post setting to appear you’ll need to click the gear icon top right:
- Post title
- Post content
- Post author
- Categories and tags
- Featured image
- Post attributes
The stack of 3 dots – top right corner shows you the Options mode. You can view the post in fullscreen mode to remove distractions. Editor mode converts to Visual or Code editor (view in HTML code).
Let’s go through the post settings and what you should do.
1. Post title
Your headline is your title. It is a statement showing the reader what you’re going to deliver in the written content below.
Headlines can be in many forms: statements, questions, or numbered lists. Your headline should be a promise to the reader. You’re promising something of value and relevant to the reader.
2. Post content
Before you start writing your post content, you should have done research on your audience. pain pointsWhat they are looking for in a teacher. Next is to write a compelling blog postYour audience will love and share your content.
In this section, the sky’s the limit. Gutenberg blocks let you add text, images and embed audio and video. You can also add quotes and other information.
Gutenberg’s best feature is the multitude of third-party plug-ins that can be used to expand the standard block list and provide more customization options. The majority of them are free.
3. Post author
This is where you select the author of the post you’re publishing.
Your author account will automatically be selected. You can change the account of other writers by selecting it in the list.
Note:You can add a new author to your WordPress dashboard. Simply go to Users → Add NewAdd their details. You can choose a role that will affect the permissions they have. Most cases, Author or Contributor permissions will work best. After creating the account, you will be able to edit it and add your author bio. It will appear below their blog post. Your theme controls the display of author bios.
The permalink (also known by the post URL) is what determines the destination or home for your WordPress post. This can be seen in the address bar of any browser.
Your keyword will be included in the URL. For example, your title could be “The Beginner’s Guide To Cleaning Your Home,” therefore, the keyword for your post URL would be “cleaning-your-home.”
5. Categories and tags
Categories and tags are part of WordPress’s taxonomy system.
Categories are used to organize posts and are very useful for readers who are interested in learning more about a particular topic.
Categories can be broken down into parent and children categories. Parent categories are your top tier categories, they’re broader.
The following example is from Tone Island’sWordPress post editor:
The parent category is the term ‘Gear,’ the child categories are then listed below: pedals, guitars and amps.
On the frontend of your website, if you click on the category, it’ll redirect you to the archive page of the category. Here’s an example from Your Creative Aura if you click on the topic ‘songwriting’:
If you don’t assign a category to your post, it automatically goes to the ‘Uncategorized’ category.
Tags, on the other side, are optional and not used by all websites. We don’t use them here on Blogging Wizard.
Tags are a way to be incredibly specific about the issues you’re covering in your blog post. Both parent and child categories are fairly broad. Tags can be used to cover multiple keywords, single words or phrases relevant to the topic.
A tag cloud can be displayed by going to your WordPress admin dashboard and going to Appearance → WidgetsSelecting the Tag Cloud.
6. Featured image
Most blogs use featured images to visually advertise their posts. This will be displayed on the blog homepage and in the post. You can also share it on social media or via other networks.
7. Excerpt (optional).
An excerpt is a brief extract from a post that is used to summarize your blog posts.
If you leave this field blank, WordPress will automatically generate an extract for you. And that’s completely fine. That’s exactly what we do:
You can however manually set the excerpt in the post editor. It is worth noting that some themes, such as the. Kadence gives you the ability to alter the length of automatically generated extracts. They are 55 characters by default.
8. Post attributes
You can choose from different post templates using the Post Attributes.
You may not see this option at all and that’s ok if you don’t. This option will only be available if you have created another post template. page builder pluginYou may also find additional features in your WordPress theme.
You can choose to leave it as the default or to skip it altogether for now.
Now we’ve been through the main parts involved when adding a post to WordPress, let’s go through the physical part and add a post to WordPress.
How to add a WordPress post
You have two options for adding a post to WordPress: either by creating it from scratch or by copying it from a word processor. We’ll go through each one.
Write a WordPress post from scratch
Log into your WordPress website and head over to Posts → Add New, and you’ll be faced with a blank draft WordPress post.
To ensure that you are able to write a blog post successfully, it is helpful to have a process to follow. The order I show here doesn’t have to be the order you choose for yourself.
Note:Do your research before you start writing your WordPress post. It is also a good idea to create a draft of your post, including headings and an overview of each section.
1. Add a post title
Add a title to your new post. If you don’t have the best optimized headline yet, just type in a draft one because you can edit this further down the line.
2. Start adding your content
Although the Gutenberg visual editor has many features that are different from a traditional word processor, it is still very simple to use. Blocks can be added by clicking the plus button.
A popover will appear displaying the most commonly used blocks, such as paragraphs, images and headings. To see a wider selection, click Browse All.
The categories of blocks are text, media and design.
There are many third-party Gutenberg plugins, such as Kadence Blocks, however, throughout this tutorial I’ll be using the default WordPress Gutenberg blocks.
We’ll now go through the most common blocks you’ll likely use for your posts.
Note: Whilst writing your new post in WordPress don’t forget to click ‘Save draft’. WordPress does offer an autosave option, but it is best to not rely on this if you are experiencing problems with your internet connection or browser.
Text blocks – paragraphs, headings and lists
Here we have the introduction to a blog post, our title at the top followed by several paragraphs, a button (we’ll get to buttons later in the post), a heading and a bullet point list:
Let’s go through how we add and edit them.
You can start writing right away or add a block of paragraphs to the paragraph. A floating text editor will be displayed if we click on the paragraph.
You can edit the appearance of the paragraph block.
- We can start from the left and transform the block:
- Click and hold the dotted grid to move the block up or lower on the page. This will allow you to rearrange the order.
- For each click, we can move the block by using the up-and-down arrow.
- Alignment – left, right or center
- Bold or italic style
- You can add a link by highlighting certain words in the block.
- Drop down arrow – highlight text, change text color and more features
- Finally, click the 3 dotted button to access additional settings such as copy/duplicate and edit/html. If you are familiar enough with HTML code, edit as HTML is a useful feature.
There will be an option to change more settings. You will also see a tab on the right side that allows you to adjust your font size, line height, and color settings.
Let’s now look at headings. If we click on our heading from our example, we can see the floating text editor pops up again, however this time with an extra feature – an option to change heading levels.
A heading is added automatically as a H2 (which are the main headings of your content, H1 being the title). The hierarchy of headings can easily be summarized as follows:
- H1 – title
- H2 – main headings in a post
- H3 – subheadings to your H2’s
- H4 – subheadings to your H3’s
- H5 – subheadings to your H4’s
Note:You should remember the hierarchy of headings when you organize your blog posts.
Let’s now look at our bullet point list. If we click on our list from our example, the floating text editor will appear again with a few extra features specifically for lists – bullet point and numbered.
Note: At any point, if you’ve made an error with a block or need to change it you can click on the furthest left button on the floating text editor to transform it into a different block, such as a paragraph to a heading, or you can highlight a group of paragraphs and transform into a list.
Media blocks – image, video and audio
Images are visual representations of your post. They can be used to illustrate a point visually, or provide direction and guidance in the context of a tutorial.
Let’s go through how to add an image and its settings.
Select the image block to add images. A blank block will appear.
Just like all other blocks we’ve shown so far, a floating bar appears however with only a few settings. In the image block you have 3 options to add your image – Upload, Media Library and Insert from URL.
Upload and Media Library are two of the most common options.
Selecting Upload will allow you to drag and drop an image from your computer into your post. The Media Library will allow you to choose an image from your collection.
Using the same example from Blogging Wizard, here is a section showing an image we’ve placed into a post:
Now that we have the image in place, the floating panel gives us additional options: crop, replace, add text, as well as the tab on right-hand side the editor which shows additional image settings: alt text, dimensions. Alt text, which is the written part of your image, will be shown if it cannot be rendered.
WordPress allows you to crop, resize and resize images. However, it is best to use the best tools available. optimize your imagesThis will allow you to save hosting resources and speed up page loading times.
Let’s now look at adding audio and videos, both can be done in 3 ways: adding an audio/video block, embedding the audio/video depending on the platform it comes from or by adding a shortcode.
Adding the audio/video directly to your Media Library means it uses your web hosts resources, which for small businesses, solopreneurs or hobbyists’ may not be suitable if you’re on a small or limited plan. If not optimized, videos in 4K can eat up several GB of storage space.
The second option is to use a specific platform block like YouTube, Spotify, or SoundCloud (found under the Embeds section).
It’s as simple as finding the URL of the audio and pasting it into the audio block:
We can also embed our audio/video using the shortcode. This is done by copying the shortcode into a shortcode block (found under the Widgets section).
After your audio/video is uploaded or embedded, additional settings will appear when the block is clicked. Audio settings include autoplay or loop. Video settings include playback controls, autoplay or loop.
Design – buttons, columns, and spacers/separators
Gutenberg blocks allow you to have more control over how each post looks, especially if you look at the design block.
Button, columns, and spacers/separators are the most useful blocks. Let’s look into how each of them works.
Buttons are handy for directing your readers attention to something important, rather than placing a link in the text, you’d create a button. Buttons are used most often for calling to actions such as subscribe or affiliate buttons.
Here’s an example of a button on Blogging Wizard using the Gutenberg button block:
To add a new button, click on the plus button within the WordPress visual editor. Select Buttons. A blank button will be displayed:
By clicking on the button, you can label it, for example “Try This Tool”, “Subscribe” etc. The floating bar allows you to customize your button by adding a link, making it bold or italic. The tab to the right allows you to:
- Change the style of your button – fill or outline
- Change the color of the button or the text
- Modify the border radius and width
- Setting up a link
- You may also wish to add custom CSS
Click the plus button to add additional buttons to the block. You can also alter the alignment of your buttons:
Now let’s move onto columns.
Use the columns block to create a more diverse look for your posts.
There are many layouts for the columns block, including a 50/50 split or a 25/75/25/25 split.
Once you select a split variation, your columns block will produce a single row split into the variation you’ve selected. Here’s an example when we select the 50/50 split:
Now, our block can be divided into two even blocks. Each block can be added to with a new block.
This feature is extremely useful for news sites or review sites. You can be creative with the layout without requiring a third-party plugin.
Separators and spacers can be used to create more space or break down parts of your post.
These two features have a simple purpose and are easy to customize. You can drag the dot up with the spacer (it will be transparent on the frontend and not grey). If you click on separator, you have the option to change the style and color of the separator in the right panel.
So now we’ve been through the most common Gutenberg blocks and how to use them. What if you’ve already written your post elsewhere? How do I transfer my post to WordPress?
WordPress Word processor: Add a post to WordPress
Not everyone is able to write a WordPress post from scratch. If you’re like me, we’re used to being in Microsoft Word or Google Docs merrily typing away writing content for our website.
How do we get our content into WordPress in this situation?
Simply copy and paste the text.
Luckily, the WordPress visual editor is great at understanding the content that’s being put in it.
Here’s an example of a post from Google Docs and then it pasted into WordPress:
It will understand headings, paragraphs as well as images and bullet points and be able convert them into blocks easily.
If you’ve put embed codes in for audio or video files, WordPress will automatically convert them into embed blocks, and embed the audio or video in your new post.
However, they are a few edits you’ll need to do.
- The heading level will be transferred but not the formatting, therefore, you’ll need to change alignment, however bold and italic formatting will stay.
- Second, depending on the image file type, the image may not be transferred, however a blank image block will be in its place instead and you’ll need to upload it. If the image is transferred, you’ll need to save it to your Media Library by clicking the save button:
- Custom columns you create in a word processor won’t be recognized in WordPress and will be transferred as one row paragraph blocks.
Once you’ve pasted your content and formatted it as you wish, click Save draft.
9 steps to get your post published
Using either methods to add your new post to WordPress, you’ll eventually reach the point where your post is complete.
What are the next steps prior to publication?
This is a list of the best ways to get your post perfect before hitting the publish button.
- Set the author
- Set the permalink
- Choose a category and tag (if applicable).
- Select a featured photo
- Write the excerpt, if applicable
- Upload images to social media
- SEO title and meta description
- Check out the post
- Publish the post or schedule it
1. Set the author
Click on the tab under the author to select a name
When you select a name that person’s author bio will appear on the published post. WordPress themes present author bios in different ways. Make sure to check your themes settings.
2. Set the permalink
WordPress will give your new post an ID when you click Save draft the first time. If you don’t add a title, the post ID will default to WordPress’ numerical settings.
Edit the permalink using the relevant keyword/s from this post.
3. Select the category and tags (if any)
Categories organize your content and improve the reader’s experience when they want to learn more on a specific topic.
You can create child and parent categories. While parent categories are broad, child categories are more specific.
When you add a new category on your website, category pages will automatically be created.
The category pages allow the reader to view all content on a topic quickly, rather than having to browse through the entire website.
If you have enabled Tag Cloud widget on your site, you can add tags directly to your posts via Tags tab.
4. Select a featured photo
You can display featured images in your new post by going to the Featured image → Set featured image:
Upload your featured photo, set the alt text, then insert. Your WordPress themes settings allow you to modify how your featured image appears in your posts and on your blog page.
5. If applicable, write the excerpt
Some blogs don’t display excerpts on their blog pages. However, you can manually add one to the post editor.
You can choose to have the first few sentences displayed automatically by going to your WordPress themes settings.
6. Upload social media photos
It is a great idea to include social media images in your new post. This will allow readers to share your content on social media.
7. SEO title and meta description
It can be difficult for a new blogger to understand the purpose and benefits of SEO (search engine optimization). How to successfully implement SEO strategies into your content is an essay in itself – however, we have a fully fledged beginners guide to SEOFor more information, please visit:
There are many free and paid WordPress SEO pluginsThere are many options available, each with its own set of features. The most important is being able to have a SEO title and meta description.
Preview allows you to see how your post would appear in search results.
8. Check out the post
Before you hit the publish button, you’ll need to preview the post and check how the post appears on the frontend of the website.
Click the preview button, and select how you’d like to review the post: desktop, tablet or mobile:
If you are happy with the final step, publish it.
You can click pending reviews if the editor has reviewed the post before it is published. If you tick pending reviews, the post will be moved from the drafts tab to the pending review tab in your posts dashboard.
9. Schedule the publication or publication
You have two options when the post is ready for publication: publish immediately or schedule it for publication.
To instantly publish the post, click the blue publish link.
You can schedule a publish date by clicking on ‘immediately’ and a calendar will popup. You can then choose a publication date and time.
Once you hit publish, your post will now be visible on your blog for all your website visitors. Unless you choose a date in the past, all posts you create will be published on your blog’s front page.
Here’s the front page of Blogging Wizard’s blog:
Public posts will default be published by default. You can however have private posts or password protected posts.
Once you’ve published the post you can make edits and updates further down the line. Editing posts can be done easily by hovering over the post in the posts dashboard and clicking edit.
Once you’ve made your edits to the post, click update.
You are the best!
We have it! This is a complete beginners guide to editing, publishing and adding to a WordPress post.
Let’s summarize the process:
- Posts →Add New to add a post
- Type your headline
- Use the Gutenberg blocks to craft your content or paste your content in from a word processor – paragraph, headings, image, buttons and spacers are amongst the most common blocks to use
- Don’t forget to save draft throughout writing and formatting your content
- Once you have completed your content, get your post ready to be published by:
- Naming the author
- Setting the permalink
- Selecting a Category and using tags if needed
- Selecting a featured photo and uploading it to social media
- Write an excerpt if your topic is this
- Complete the SEO title & the meta description
- Final tip: Make sure to preview your post before you publish it.
What’s next? You’ll need to promote your article to get the word out.