You’ve started a blog, written a few posts, and are ready to jump in with two feet. The only problem?
WordPress can seem intimidating.
Uploading plugins, creating posts that look the way you’d like, and keeping everything organized in the process is enough to make a new blogger’s head spin.
I remember, because for many months I was hesitant to move from Wix to WordPress. Several wiser bloggers gave me the thumbs up, suggested I make the switch, and I did jump in with two feet.
And I was overwhelmed.
I’ve learned a few tricks along the way that I’d like to share with you – tips that have made using WordPress simple.
So, let’s get started with…
10+ WordPress Tricks Every New Blogger Should Know
1. Toolbar Toggle
Open the ‘Toolbar Toggle’ when writing a new post to gain access to some important tools for customizing the look of your post.
You’ll be able to add headers, colored text, indentation, and more. And yes, everyone needs headers & colored text in their blog posts. Please add colors and headers in your blog posts.
2. Quick Edit
If you need to make changes to your blog post organization without opening each individual post, click ‘Quick Edit’ under the post title. This brings up a menu with the option to add/delete categories, change the title, add tags, and more.
This is helpful because you will most likely change your blog categories at least once (if not more) in the future. It would take forever to open each individual post & update the categories and tags. Just scroll through and quick edit all of the posts you need to update. It will take half of the time.
Quick note of caution: the slug is the URL of your post – like alisontiemeyer.com/slug. If you change the slug after you publish a post, the old link will go to a 404 Error page. Not good. So, don’t change the slug unless the post is still in draft mode.
3. Let’s chat media.
You’ll upload all photos and downloadable freebies to the media library. So, say you’ve created a free printable and you want your reader to be able to download the freebie at the click of a button.
Upload your free printable (preferably as a PDF), then copy the image URL.
Now, link the button to the image URL you just copied, and save.
4. Linking Buttons & Text
Highlight the text you’d like to link. Then click the paperclip looking icon in the post-editing menu. It will open up a small window where you can click the pencil icon, paste your link, and tell it to either open in a new window or not.
Under the ‘Appearance’ tab, click ‘Widgets’. Widgets allow you to customize your sidebar & footer. They are simple to use, and you can change out widgets quickly. Just drag an available widget into a space on the menu.
Menus are important, because they are like a roadmap for your blog for new visitors. Click ‘Menus’ under the Appearance tab. You can add posts, pages, categories, custom links, and more to your menu.
Simply check the pages, posts, or categories you’d like to add, click ‘Add to Menu’ and they will appear at the bottom of your menu to the right. You can arrange your menu by dragging the categories and posts into the proper place.
Drop-down menus are created with sub-items, like my Let’s Talk Relationships series under Bold Relationships.
7. Yoast SEO
Grab the Yoast SEO plugin to start optimizing your pages & posts for Google search engines.
Upload the plugin. Then at the bottom of all posts & pages, add a keyword. You can also click on the title of the post to open a few more options for customization & adding your keyword.
Bonus: always add your keyword to the SEO title. This will help those red/orange lights to turn green. Whoop whoop!
8. WP Clean Up
Also grab the WP Clean Up plugin. You want your blog to remain as fast as possible, and piled-up revisions and orphan comment data can slow down your site.
Download the plugin, then under ‘Settings’ click ‘WP Clean Up’. Delete everything except drafts and auto drafts.
After deleting, you should also scroll down & click the ‘Optimize’ button.
I recommend doing this 1-2 times a month. If you are a beginner blogger, it may not make much of a difference until your blog grows and you have more content. But get in the habit of cleaning up your site frequently so that your blog stays clean & quick.
9. Featured Images
Add a featured image to all blog posts. You can find this in the right-hand sidebar on the page where you create/edit a post.
The featured image is the picture that will be shared on social media (unless you specify otherwise in the Yoast SEO plugin), but it will also be the image your blog uses on your home page & blog post page.
I strongly suggest keeping this image text-free & always using the same size image. For example, I always use an image that is 900×720. You could use a square, a Facebook image size (1200×628) or something else entirely. Just be consistent. A clean & organized homepage really makes a difference when someone visits your blog.
10. Front Page Display
If you’d like your homepage to be separate from your blog posts page, click ‘Reading’ under the ‘Settings’ tab. Change your front page display settings to look like mine.
11. Bonus Tip: HTML
Oftentimes bloggers will ask for guest post submissions in HTML. You can find your HTML code by clicking the ‘Text’ tab within your post editor. HTML carries over headings, text links, images, and more for sharing posts and content.
12. Bonus Tip #2: PW Protected Pages
You can create password-protected or private posts & pages by clicking ‘Edit’ next to ‘Visibility’ on the right hand side of your post editor. This is good for subscriber-only content that you’d like to have protected in case someone stumbles over the page.
WordPress is hands-down the best tool to use to build a blog or online business. Upon first glance, it can be intimidating, but I trust that before long you’ll be zipping around WordPress with no problems.
Have a question related to WordPress? Ask it in the comments below! Or email me at alison (at) alisontiemeyer (dot) com.
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