One of the most important, and constantly overlooked, things that you should do when first starting your website is posting regular content. This is done by creating blog posts about the subject that you are most passionate about, and the reason you created your website in the first place. This is the mainstay of any website or blog. The phrase “content is king,” is so very true, because without good content your site can become stale, dull, and potentially, unvisted.
Sure, you will get the initial visitor, but you have to have something to make that visitor turn into a regular to your site. You do this by having dynamic content, hence, the blog post.
Let me explain the difference between a post and a page.
Posts are entries listed in reverse chronological order on the blog home page or on the posts page. Posts are also displayed in the RSS feed of the blog. You can control how many posts are displayed at a time in the Reading Settings. The URL for a post includes the date the post was published like this: http://blogname.wordpress.com/2008/11/30/post-title/ Posts are the dynamic content of your website.
Pages are static and are not listed by date. Pages do not use tags or categories. An About page is the classic example. Pages can be displayed in the sidebar using the Pages widget, and some themes display pages in tabs at the top of the blog. If you have 50 pages and you use the Pages widget, then all pages will be listed all the time. The URL for a page looks like this: http://blogname.wordpress.com/page-title/ Pages are normally set up intially when creating the website, and the content remains the same (static).
Create Regular Blog Posts
Creating regular blog posts tells the visitor about your site, what’s going on, who you are, and what you are passionate about. We all have a story to tell and information that is relevant to others. Blogging this information makes you an expert in this field. So, you had better know what you are talking about, or the reader will see right through it.
There are different thoughts on how long the blog post should be. Some have said that they should be at least 1500 words, while others say between 300 to 500 words. At any rate you should write posts that contain good helpful content that offers something that the reader wants and needs to know.
You want the reader to stay on your site as long as possible, but you also want them to come back for more. I would say don’t focus too much on the quantity, but on the quality of the post. If you must have a number, I would advise between at least 500 to 1500 words. This article you are reading is about 1500 words, so do you think its too long?
There are Three Things to Remember When You Are Writing
Make your text scannable. So what that means is that whenever possible, without overdoing it, use bold text, italics, bulleted lists and horizontal lines. These items help break up the text so that it doesn’t look dull. Your visitors may only stay on your site for a few seconds, so these methods help lure them in, and make the text more interesting to read, so they might stay longer.
SEO. Include keywords in the title of the post or page. Key words are descriptors of the page or site. But you may want to emphasize the ones with which you want to be found by search engine. So I may want to put web designer and developer in my headings more often than not as I mainly want to be found on Google for people searching for web designers and developers. However, only include words that are relevant to the article.
Save. As soon as you start writing click the “Save Draft” button. And click this intermittently through the writing process. Also, click the “Preview” button (you can do this straight after even if it hasn’t finished saving the draft) from time to time and see how your post looks. This opens it in a different window of your browser (or tab if you are using them) and if you keep this window open it will update every time you hit “Preview”. Don’t worry, the unfinished post or page is invisible to your website’s visitors until you click the “Publish” button! WordPress does have an autosave function but I find this the best method.
Adding the Title of Your Post or Page
OK, this may be pretty obvious. The box at the top of the “Add New Post” or “Add New Page” screen (just below where it says “Add New Post” or “Add New Page”) is for the title. Remember this title is very important for SEO terms so cram it full of keywords.
If you have your permalinks set to %postname% (as is highly recommended) the permalink will be displayed beneath the post title. WordPress is quite good at generating these pretty permalinks. However, if you’ve taken a while to write the title you may find that not all of the words are in the permalink. In this case you can type in all the words you want, separated by hyphens.
Writing – what all those buttons mean above your WordPress text editor?
Writing a WordPress post can be like writing in a word processing package. Well, nearly, but not quite…
There are two tabs above the text editor – Visual and HTML. If you are a beginner with HTML I would advise you to start to flick between the two. If you know about HTML you’ll probably stay on the HTML tab all the time.
The following bulleted list is my explanation of the buttons along the top of the Visual editor and their results in HTML.
- Bold: Fairly simple one to start with. It emboldens the text in Visual mode and wraps <strong>tags around it in HTML mode.
- Italic: You guessed it. This italicizes the text in Visual mode and wraps <em>tags around it in HTML mode.
- Strikethrough: This puts a line through the text in Visual mode and wraps <del> tags around it in HTML mode, it usually means that the word was in the original version of the text but is to be discounted now.
- Unordered list or bullet points: Click to add a bullet and then hit return for subsequent bullets. Hit return twice to end bullets. In HTML mode, click <li>when each individual bullet point is highlighted, then select all bullets plus <li> tags and click <ul>.
- Ordered list or numbered points: Much like above. Click to add number 1 and then hit return for the following numbers. Hit return twice to finish the numbered list. In HTML mode, click <li>when each individual numbered phrase is highlighted, then select all phrases plus <li> tags and click <ol>.
- Blockquote: This defines the selected text as a block quotation. It is indented and most themes will put in a colored background. It is a very good way of breaking up text and I must confess I don’t always use it for a quotation but as a method of differentiating a block of text from the main article.
- Horizontal line: This puts a horizontal line between text and is used to break up the text and give a distinct separation of the text.
- Align left, center and right: Pretty obvious really. Adds style=”text-align: left;”, style=”text-align: center;”or style=”text-align: right;” into whatever element the cursor is blinking in.
- Insert link: This is very useful in both modes. Once the text you want to anchor the hyperlink is selected and this button is clicked a window will pop up with a handy (or not so handy) http://already there. Put the whole link into this box (for example http://www.google.com/) and in the HTML mode you will see <a href=”http://www.google.com/”> at the beginning of the anchor text and </a> at the end.
- Unlink: Select the colored underlined text in Visual mode and click this and it’ll get rid of the link.
- More: This breaks a post into “teaser” and content sections. Insert this tag after a few sentences of your post and on your blog’s home page you’ll see only those first few sentences followed by a hyperlink (more…), which when clicked displays the rest of the post’s content.
- Toggle Toolbar: When clicked this will bring a whole second line of formatting options as you can see above in the image.
This is only a brief description of using the text editor in Visual mode. Remember to constantly flick between Visual and HTML tabs and you will learn a bit about HTML.
If I lost you with all of those descriptions of the the buttons in the text editor, then don’t worry, this just goes to show that there is more to writing a WordPress page or post then just………….writing.
Hopefully this article showed you how to design a web page but also showed you how to design and write a blog post.
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