How to write a blog post: The definitive 8,317-word guide your mom will understand

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We all do it.

Whenever people are talking about a topic, and we have no clue what they’re talking about, we play the game.

We smile. We nod our head.

We hope no one notices we are slowly backpedaling out of the room so we can Google the foreign topic on our smartphone.

And when we return to the conversation ten minutes later, we proudly share the information we learned.

Usually, the conversation has switched to a different esoteric topic, so after everyone gives you a puzzled look you smile, nod your head, and begin the dance anew.

When you’re new to blogging, a lot of the posts you read can make you feel the same way.

“Wait, what does esoteric mean?”

You read the comments, and all the other readers seem to know exactly what is going on, which only makes you feel worse.

“What language are they speaking? I don’t understand any of this!”

This happens because experienced bloggers long ago moved beyond the basics. “How do I add an image” and “how do I insert a link” have been replaced with questions related to on-page SEO and getting more email subscribers.

That’s why when you search “how to write a blog post” on Google, you don’t get beginner-friendly results.

You get wonderful posts from amazing sources in your results, yes, but they’re posts designed for readers who already know a thing or two about blogging.

They’re not designed for you. The new blogger.

I’m as guilty of this as anyone…

I am reading all your tips, but there is one flaw in your approach. You assume your readers know what you are talking about! This reader does not.” – Mom

Thanks for the email, Mom

She’s right.

What experienced bloggers forget is no matter how long we’ve been blogging, there was a day when everything was foreign to us.

A day when we didn’t have it all figured out (like we pretend we do now).

A day when we were newbie bloggers.

We often forget this, and as a result we leave readers like my Mom in the dark.

Let’s remedy this. Shall we?

How to write a blog post: The definitive 8,317-word guide

Yes, this post is 8,317 words (as of version 1). It’s a long read, but it’s a good read.

Why?

Because this post will walk you through the entire process of writing a blog post.

We’ll discuss choosing a topic, publishing the post, and “all the technical mumbo jumbo” in between.

I will be using WordPress in my examples, but the concepts are the same regardless of the blogging platform you use.

Lots of screenshots will be used (since they’re said to be worth a thousand words), and lots of links will be included to other great, helpful resources.

Ready? Let’s do this thing…

Choose a blog topic

confusedDo you already know what you’re going to write about?

Great! You’re ready for the next step.

However, if you’re unsure what you want to write about, or you want to learn how you can find topics to write about in the future, keep reading.

If your blog is a personal one (meaning you write about your own life), you’re in luck. You’re surrounded by inspiration!

If it’s related to your world, it’s blogging material. For example, you could write about…

  • Your loved ones
  • Your job
  • Your recent trip to the torture chamber known as “the shopping mall”
  • The time you went to work wearing mismatched socks
  • The time you gave your boss head lice

Really, the possibilities are endless.

If your blog is in a specific niche, a great way to find inspiration is to read the blogs of others in your niche.

What are they discussing on their blogs and social media accounts?

You could take their ideas and better them. Or, you could take an idea and go in a completely different direction with it.

“But how do I find other blogs in my niche?”

Alltop.

If you’re unfamiliar with it, Alltop is a website designed to aggregate the most relevant items from other websites and blogs. It lists hundreds of topics (broken down alphabetically), and within each topic are dozens of websites and blogs devoted to that topic.

So, if your niche is personal finance, click “P” in the navigation bar, and find and click “personal finance.”

alltop_example

Or, you could type “personal finance” or something related in the search field.

What you’ll discover are hundreds of blogs dedicated to the personal finance niche.

These blogs are treasure troves of topic inspiration. And beyond inspiration sources, these are the bloggers with whom you should be reading, commenting on, and building relationships. (But that’s a tutorial for another day.)

Still need more ideas?

Try an online topic generator.

HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator allows you to enter up to three nouns, and it will generate several blog topics on which you could write.

hubspot_blog_topic_generator

Entering “jogging,” “running” and “sore feet” in the available fields generates the following potential topics:

  • “10 Things Your Competitors Can Teach You About Jogging”
  • “How To Solve The Biggest Problems With Running”
  • “Why We Love Sore Feet (And You Should, Too!)”
  • “The Ultimate Cheat Sheet On Jogging”
  • “10 Quick Tips About Running”

Is it perfect? No. Capable of sparking an idea? Absolutely.

Another option is the Content Idea Generator by Portent.

Unlike HubSpot’s, Portent’s tool allows you to enter one word. This is the subject of your potential post.

However, you can get a seemingly-unlimited list of options for your subject by clicking the reload button.

portent_content_idea_generator

An added bonus of content generators like HubSpot’s and Portent’s is, with a little tweaking, they can give you titles for your blog posts. We’ll discuss titles a bit later.

Here are a few more tips for discovering topics:

  • Read the newspaper or watch the news
  • Go for a walk
  • Browse Facebook and see what  your friends and family are discussing
  • Take a nap and try again later

So, feeling better about picking topics for your blog?

Great! Let’s move on…

Types of blog posts

types_of_blog_postsThe types of blog posts you can write are almost endless.

You can write an instructional post, also known as tutorials and how-to’s.

You can write list posts. These are extremely popular.

You can write a post full of useful resource links, tools or quotes.

You can write reviews, post videos or infographs, or conduct interviews.

Let’s discuss a few of these in a bit more detail. If you want to skip this part and go to the next section, click here.

Instructional posts (tutorials, how-to’s)

instructional_postsThis is why Al Gore invented the Internet when he was a small boy.

To allow people to share information. To teach others. To learn how to do something.

When someone reads a how-to or a tutorial, they’re not doing so by accident. There is something they want to learn, so they find a blog post promising to teach it to them.

When you write an instructional post, you’re filling an information gap.

There is something you know. Others may not know it. You teach them what you know.

Examples of instructional posts:

The post you are reading now is also an example of an instructional post!

List posts

list_postsList posts are easy to spot by their titles.

See if you notice a pattern in the following examples…

Examples of list posts:

As you can see, the titles of list posts follow a distinct pattern.

10 tips… 20 rules… 5 reasons… 11 ways… 7 ideas… 25 excuses…

The idea may seem overly simplistic, but blog readers love list posts. It’s also, for many bloggers, the easiest type of post to write.

Little wonder list posts are arguably the most popular type of post.

Resource posts (roundups, list of links)

resource_postsIt’s easy to confuse list posts and resource posts due to their similarities.

Both may have a numbered list. The difference is a resource post curates the content of others, while a list post is primarily your own, original content.

For example, Top blog quotes by 101 amazing bloggers is an example of a resource post. It’s in a list format, yes, but rather than supplying my own content I am curating the content of other bloggers.

However, 22 ridiculously easy blog tips you can use right now is an example of a list post. It’s in a list format, and the content I provide is my own.

(None of this is to suggest resource posts are “easy” to do. You may be curating the work of others, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. A good resource post can take longer to put together than a regular post, in fact.)

Your head is spinning right now. Isn’t it?

The good news is it really doesn’t matter if you confuse list posts with resource posts.

Whatever you call it, resource posts are very versatile.

You can collect and share websites you enjoy, quotes you find inspiring, or tools you believe are super useful. Some bloggers do weekly roundups of posts they’ve enjoyed from other bloggers.

The applications are numerous.

Review posts

review_postsReviews are a fun type of post to write.

You can review movies, television shows, an appliance you recently purchased, a restaurant, whatever.

The kind of reviews you write will depend on the type of blog you own.

Again, if your blog is a personal one, you can review anything you desire.

But if you have a movie blog, for example, reviewing a car won’t make a lot of sense to your readers.

Examples of review posts:

Still with me? We’ll run through the last few quickly!

Video posts

As a new blogger, you’re unlikely to create your own videos and publish them to the web any time soon. However, inserting a video you find online into your post is certainly doable!

With video posts, you can insert a YouTube video into your post as an accompaniment to your text content.

So, for example, if you were reviewing the TV show “NewsRadio,” you could include in your review YouTube clips of the show.

We’ll cover inserting YouTube videos a bit later in the tutorial.

Infograph posts

What’s an infograph? If you don’t know, an example will probably help best:

Basically, an infograph is an image used to represent information.

Don’t know how to create an infograph? Don’t worry. You can find great infographs online and embed them into a blog post.

You will want to write a paragraph, two, or three of text so the infograph makes sense to your readers, of course.

Interview posts

Blogs allow us to channel our inner Walter Cronkite.

Bloggers interview other bloggers all the time. It’s a way to help each other out (through cross promotion), and it’s a great way to help others see you as an authority (if someone interviews you, you must be important, right?).

Plus, interviews are fun!

Whew! We’re done with this section. Let’s move on to the next one, shall we?

Further reading:

Choosing a title

grape-nutsYour title (also referred to as headline) needs to grab the attention of your readers.

However, it should be relevant to your topic!

Post Foods may be able to call its breakfast cereal “Grape-Nuts” despite the fact it contains neither grapes nor nuts, but the title of your blog post should make sense.

Your title should make readers want to read the first word, sentence, or paragraph of your post. If it accomplishes this, you have crafted a good title.

So, how do you write a good title that accomplishes such feats of strength?

The two online topic generators we discussed earlier should have given you some clues. Here are some of the ways a title can be good:

They ask questions which beg to be answered. Example:

They promise something of value to the reader. Examples:

They are fun. Examples:

They stir the pot and aren’t afraid to step on people’s toes. Examples:

They use buzz words like “free” and “best.” Examples:

Each of these examples bring a little somethin’, somethin’ to the table.

(Do you need to write your title before writing your post? Not necessarily. Do what works for you. I would suggest at least having a working title for your post before you begin writing it.)

So, do you think you are you ready to write a great title that captures your readers’ attention and makes them want to read what you’ve written?

Great.

Let’s keep going…

Writing content: Overview

According to Neil Patel (as well as many other knowledgeable bloggers), blog posts should follow a very predictable (but very effective) pattern:

  • Introduction
  • Point 1
  • Point 2
  • Point 3, etc.
  • Closing with CTA (call to action)

Seems pretty straightforward, right?

Now let’s look at each part of this pattern…

Writing your intro

Okay, so you’ve picked a title sure to draw in readers like a moth to a flame.

Now it’s time to keep the momentum going.

Blogger Mary Jaksch says a good introduction “invites the reader in” and makes them feel welcome.

Bloggers like Jon Morrow begin many of their posts with a question.

Many bloggers will begin their posts with quotes or statistics.

I’m personally fond of beginning posts with an anecdote.

There are many techniques for writing introductions, but the good ones have one thing in common:

They add value.

Introductions do not exist merely to transport your reader from Point A (your title) to Point B (the body of your post).

They do this, sure, but good introductions are so much more than primitive forms of transportation.

Brian Clark says your introduction should “capture the reader’s imagination and pull them deeper into your content.”

Lofty goal, but doable!

Body of your post

You’ve picked your topic, chosen what type of post you want to write, and written your intro.

Now it’s time to get to the meat of your blog post… the body.

This one is all on you. Your writing style, your thoughts, the way you look at the world… these are things which are distinctly you. Only you can write them!

But don’t worry, I’m happy to offer a few guidelines which have served me well over the years…

Write short paragraphs

Large blocks of uninterrupted text are very difficult for readers. Solution? Keep your paragraphs short.

A paragraph consisting of only one, two, or three sentences is quite common in blogging.

I realize this goes against what your writing teachers taught you in school, but trust me: It’s okay to have lots of one-sentence paragraphs in your blog post. Your readers will thank you for them.

Use heading tags

We’ll cover heading tags in more detail later in the tutorial, but “use them” is a tip warranting multiple readings. They help Google prioritize your content, and they help organize your content for your readers!

Proofread and edit

Don’t get into the habit of publishing the first draft of your blog posts.

Proofread them. Make sure there aren’t any mistakes. Look at your sentences with a critical eye, and see if you could rewrite them to make them better.

Give credit when credit is due

If you are quoting something or using an idea you found online, be sure to credit the source and hyperlink to them.

In addition to being the right thing to do, this has the added benefit of potentially getting the attention of the source. They might mention you on Twitter, or even visit your blog and leave you a comment.

Write long posts…or short…doesn’t matter, just write

If you haven’t already, you’ll eventually ask someone whether it’s better to write long posts or short posts.

Short posts allow you to write more frequently, which depending on whom you ask is either a great or horrible thing.

And long posts, in theory, should take longer to write. Which means you won’t publish posts as frequently, which, again, is either a great or horrible thing depending on the person you’re asking.

Some will tell you short posts help boost your blog’s traffic, while others will say short posts hurt the number of comments and social shares (people sharing your posts on Twitter, Facebook, etc) you receive.

And some have similar, or totally different, thoughts regarding long posts.

It’s a hornet’s nest of a discussion, in other words.

My take?

Well, my take doesn’t matter.

I just think you should write.

If that means writing short posts once a day, great.

If that means writing one long post once a week, awesome.

Once you’ve learned the ropes about blogging, please do analyze your publishing habits and see if there are tweaks you can make.

Maybe you’ll discover long posts work better for you. Maybe you’ll discover short posts fit your writing style and your audience better.

But right now?

Just write.

Too many bloggers talk about blogging rather than ACTUALLY BLOGGING!” [tweet this]

Your Closing

You’re in the home stretch! All that’s left to do is tie a ribbon on this puppy and you’re finished.

And by “tie a ribbon,” I mean write the greatest closing paragraph (or paragraphs) in the history of blogging!

Easy, right?

Too many bloggers, yours truly included, botch the end of their posts. We’re so happy to be finished, we rush to the Call to Action.

As a new blogger, you need to develop good habits early on. You need to value your closing paragraph as much as your introductory paragraph.

You need to realize your last paragraph is just as important as your first.

So what makes a good closing paragraph? Well, it depends on your particular post.

Maybe your closing needs to kick your readers in the rear and propel them to action?

Maybe your closing needs to reassure your readers?

Maybe your closing needs to ask a question your readers must answer?

Whatever your post needs, make sure your closing provides it.

To use a sports analogy: Don’t fumble the ball on the one-yard line.

Further reading:

Call to action

Your post is complete! Time to sit back and relax with a glass of orange juice, right?

Not yet!

Have you given your readers a call to action?

No?

Well, it’s a good thing you’re reading this.

Let me ask you a question: What do you want readers to do after reading your post?

Do you want them to leave you a comment?

Follow you on Twitter?

Sign up for your mailing list?

Whatever it is you want your readers to do, tell them to do it.

Don’t assume they’ll know you appreciate comments. Or really hope to be friends on Twitter. Or to grow your mailing list.

Tell them.

Publishing

It’s time to publish your post!

Aren’t you excited? Well, I’m excited.

Let’s look at the details you should know when publishing a post…

Categories

categories_areaTo the right of your writing area, you will notice a section for “Categories.”

When you first start WordPress, you will have one category available to you: Uncategorized.

You can edit categories (add them, delete them, rename them, etc) by going to POSTS in your WordPress Dashboard and selecting CATEGORIES.

However, you can also add new categories on the fly while writing your post!

Click the “+ Add New Category” link and you’ll be able to create a new category. WordPress even allows a hierarchical order, so if you want your new category to be a “child” of an existing category you may do so.

“But what is a category,” you ask?

Categories are broad groupings for your posts.

Need an example?

Let’s say you have a blog for reviewing movies, television shows, etc on Blu-ray.

You could have a primary category called “Reviews”, and you could have “child” categories like:

  • Movies
  • TV
  • Documentaries

And for non-review posts, you could have another parent category called “Announcements” or “News.”

So, if you were reviewing “Field of Dreams,” you would put it inside the “Movies” category.

If you review the TV miniseries “Hatfields & McCoys,” you would mark it as “TV.”

And if you wanted to write a post about Kevin Costner being cast in a new movie, you would mark it in the “Announcements” or “News” category you created.

Make sense?

A post can be marked for multiple categories, but it has to be in at least one.

Don’t worry. If you forget to select a category, your post will be marked in your default category.

(Your default category is your first category, which is “Uncategoried” or whatever you chose to rename it.)

Tags

tags_area“Okay, but what are tags?!”

Great question.

If categories describe your posts in broad terms, tags describe them in more detail.

So, continuing our “Blu-Ray review blog” example from earlier, the movie “Forrest Gump” would go in the “Movie” category.

However, you can give it tags such as:

  • Tom Hanks movies
  • Comedy
  • Drama
  • Oscar-winning movies
  • 1990s

By adding tags, you are better connecting your related posts.

Without tags, “Forrest Gump” and “Turner and Hooch” would only be related by both being in the “Movies” category. But with tags, they’re also connected by the “Tom Hanks movies” and “Comedy” tags.

How detailed you want to be with your tags is entirely up to you. And you can also go back later and add new tags to a post if you like.

Note: While your post must be in at least one category, it does not have to be in any tags. So if you don’t add a tag to it, WordPress will not add a tag for you.

Edit your URL

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By default, once you click the “Save Draft” or “Publish” button WordPress will make the end of your URL whatever the title of your post happens to be.

So, if you wrote a post titled “20 reasons Kevin Costner is the greatest actor in the world,” WordPress would turn the end of your URL to “20-reasons-kevin-costner-is-the-greatest-actor-in-the-world” (but without the quotes).

This is a pretty long URL.

So, if you wanted to shorten it (or you just wanted to customize it), you could click the “Edit” button.

Be sure to separate your words with dashes. Also, only use numbers and letters. Keep it simple.

Publish your post

publish_areaLet’s look at each area of the screenshot.

Save Draft

WordPress will automatically save your changes every so often. However, clicking the “Save Draft” button periodically is a good idea.

Preview

If you want to see what your post looks like so far, clicking the “Preview” button will open it in a new tab/window.

Status

The status of your post can be one of several. For most of your blogging needs, it will come down to two:

  • Draft
  • Published

If the status is “Draft,” it means you haven’t published it yet and no one (but you) can see it.

If the status is “Published,” it means it’s visible to the world.

Visibility

You have three options:

  • Public
  • Password protected
  • Private

“Public” is what most all of your posts will be, and your post is marked public by default.

However, if you want to allow only certain individuals to read a post, you can password protect it. Only readers who have the password you enter will be able to view it.

Finally, you can set a post to private. This means it’s published, but the only person who can see it is you.

Revisions

How many times have you clicked “Save Draft” or “Update” is reflected in the number of revisions.

My number is usually quite large!

Publish…

By default, your posts are set to “Publish immediately.”

However, if you click the “edit” button, you can choose a different date for publishing (either in the past or future).

If you set the publish date for some time in the future, your post becomes “scheduled.”

And when this scheduled time arrives, WordPress will publish your post for you.

This is very handy if you have written a post before going away on vacation, but you want it to publish several days later.

SEO

You will only see this option if you use the WordPress SEO plugin I use. In other words, don’t worry about it.

Publish

When you are ready to publish your post, click the “Publish button.”

Once your post is published, you will see the status changed to “Published,” the “Publish…” changed to “Published on” followed by the date and time, and the Publish button itself change to an “Update” button.

If you make any changes to your post in the future, click the “Update” button to make those changes appear on your blog.

And that’s it. You did it!

You published your post!

Ok, but how do I…
(The technical mumbo jumbo)

If you’re anything like my Mom, this entire time you’ve probably been thinking:

That’s great, Kevin, but how do I actually write a post? Where do I go?? What button do I click?!

It’s time to dive into some of the technical aspects of writing a blog post.

Up first? The formatting toolbar…

The formatting toolbar

If you’re familiar with Microsoft Word or Open Office, you should be familiar with a few of the buttons on the formatting toolbar.

Let’s briefly go over the key ones. Those which require emphasis will be discussed further a bit later.

Visual Editor and Toolbar Toggle

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Visual Editor

By default, you will be writing your posts in WordPress’s Visual editor. Unless you are familiar and comfortable with HTML code, you shouldn’t use the Text editor.

The pretty buttons you see in the image above will go away and, depending on what you have written, you will see HTML code sprinkled throughout your blog post.

If all this sounds Greek to you, just remember one thing: Stay in the Visual editor.

Toolbar Toggle

At least for this tutorial, you’ll want to be able to view all the formatting options available to you.

To show all the options (including underlining, changing the font color, and the undo button), click the Toolbar Toggle button. Conversely, you can click the button again to make the extra options go away.

Bold, Italics, Strikethrough, Underline, and Font Color

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Bold and Italics

You don’t want to overuse them, but making a word or sentence bold (like this) or italics (like this) can help important parts of your content stand out.

Strikethrough

Another way to highlight your text is to strike a line through, like this.

Underline

This button lets you underline a word or group of words, like I’m doing here.

Use it sparingly. Readers are conditioned to associate underlined words as hyperlinks. If you are underlining words which aren’t links, your readers could become confused. Similarly…

Text color

If you want to change the color of a word, you can use the highlighted button.

Just please don’t overuse this. In fact, feel free to never use it.

However, if you do use it, make certain you don’t change any words to the same color your blog uses for hyperlinks.

In other words, if hyperlinks on your site are the color red, don’t make other text (which aren’t links) red. It will confuse your readers.

Lists and Blockquotes

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Bulleted (aka unordered) list

If you have a series of short points to make, using a bulleted list is a great way to do it.

  • Here is my first point
  • Second point
  • Third point

A bullet list is an unordered list, which means there is no hierarchical order. Each item has the same bullet to the left of it.

Numbered (aka ordered) list

On the other hand, numbered lists (also called ordered list) do have a hierarchical order. Here is what they look like:

  1. My first numbered point
  2. My second point
  3. My third point
Blockquote

The blockquote is a super handy formatting option when you’re writing a blog post.

If you have a quote or piece of text you want to emphasize or set apart, highlighting the text and clicking the blockquote button will give you the following:

(Superheroes) can disappear for months or years and then burst back onto the scene with a climactic display of their impressive powers. Okay for superheroes, not okay for your content. It might feel boring and constraining, but publishing consistently brings results.” – Amy Harrison

How blockquotes are styled is different from one WordPress theme to another, so yours will probably look different.

Text Alignment

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Left align

By default, your writing is going to be left-aligned. What this means is your text starts at the left-most margin of your display area. This is an example.

Center align

If you want to center your text, the “Align Center” button will do it for you. This is an example.

Right align

If you want push your text to the right-most margin, use the “Align Right” button. This is an example.

Justify

To duplicate the look you find in books, where the beginning of a line touches the left-most margin and the end of the line touches the right-most margin, use the “Justify” button. If you write long paragraphs, Justify can offer a nice, pleasing look to your text. This is an example.

Hyperlinks and More button

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Insert/Edit link

If you want to add a hyperlink to your post (which will take the user to a different web page when they click on it), highlight the text you want to turn into a link.

Next, click the “Insert/Edit link” button you see highlighted. It will look like chain.

You will be shown a popup similar to the following:

add_link

In the “URL” field, enter the address you want users to be taken to when they click on your link.

In the “Title” field, enter the text you want to display when the user hovers over your link. For example, if you were linking to BeABetterBlogger.com, an appropriate title would be “Be A Better Blogger” or “The Blog That Changed My Life.”

Checking the box with the label “Open link in a new window/tab” will do exactly what it says. If you leave it unchecked, when a user clicks your link the destination address will replace your blog. Effectively, the reader will have left your blog.

However, by checking the box, the destination will open in a new window or tab, leaving your blog in its existing window or tab (and making it easier for your reader to return to your blog).

Clicking the “Add Link” button will complete the process.

If you need to edit your link, click the linked text in your WordPress Visual Editor, and re-click the “chain” button.

Remove link

If you want to remove a hyperlink, click anywhere inside the linked text in your Visual Editor, and click the “Remove link” button.

Insert ‘Read More’ tag

If you want only the first part of your post to be displayed on your blog’s home page or archive pages (as opposed to the entire post), use the “Insert Read More tag” button.

When you do this, a link will be placed directly after your excerpt text, which will take your reader to the full post once they click it.

To use it, place your cursor where you would like your text to stop. A common place would be after your first paragraph, or after your introduction.

Then click the “Read More” button.

Headings, Paragraph, etc formatting

format_toolbar_6Headings

Throughout this tutorial, I’ve been using different headings to break up my text.

Have you noticed the larger, bold text used to introduce each new section? Those are headings.

I add them by typing the words (such as “The formatting toolbar”), highlighting the words, and choosing “Heading 2″ in the drop-down box highlighted in the image.

There is a hierarchy with the “Heading” elements, with Heading 1 being most important and Heading 6 being least. Here is how they look:

Heading 2

Heading 3

Heading 4

Heading 5
Heading 6

Please note: Your particular WordPress theme could have different sizes for each of these headings.

I omitted displaying “Heading 1″ because you really shouldn’t use Heading 1 tags within the body of your blog posts. There should be only one instance of Heading 1, and that is your blog post’s title at the top of the page. (Your theme will use a Heading 1 tag for your title for you, so there is no extra steps you need to take.)

Beyond improving the readability of your post by breaking up chunks of text, heading tags help search engines like Google. Your title (hopefully) describes what your post is about, so you don’t want it competing with other Heading 1 tags for Google’s attention.

(This is one of those on-page SEO things I mentioned earlier. Don’t dwell on it, just know Heading tags have benefits which go beyond readability.)

Further reading:

Paragraph

The “paragraph” formatting element is used for most of your post’s text. It’s the “normal text” you see when reading a sentence such as this one, and you can add additional elements like bold and italics by clicking the appropriate buttons on the formatting toolbar.

Address

The “address” formatting option is for, you guessed it, displaying mailing addresses. It italicizes the text and pulls the lines closer together. Honestly, I’ve been blogging for almost 10 years and I’ve never once needed to use this particular option.

Preformatted

The “pre” formatting option is commonly used when you need to display code inside your blog post. Keep it in mind if you have such a need, but a majority of bloggers won’t ever need it.

Paste, Undo, Redo, and Keyboard Shortcuts

format_toolbar_7
Paste as text

If you have copied text from somewhere else (another web page, a Microsoft Word document, etc) and you would like to place it within your blog post, the “Paste as text” button is your solution.

When you’ve clicked and activated it (you will see a border appear around the button), you will now be able to paste the text your copied without inserting any strange formatting. You’ll be inserting the text and only the text.

With your cursor placed where you would like the text to go (and with “Paste as text” activated), paste your text using one of the following methods:

  • CTRL + V (While holding down the CTRL key on your keyboard, press the V key)
  • Right-click your mouse and choose the “Paste” option

Note: Copy and Paste works differently on tablets and smartphones.

Undo button

If you accidentally make a mistake, such as deleting an entire paragraph, the undo button will be your best friend. Click it and your previous action, whatever it may have been, will be undone.

You can undo several previous actions if needed.

Redo button

If you need to cancel an “undo” action, click the redo button.

So, for example, if you accidentally clicked the undo button and the paragraph you’ve just written disappears, clicking “redo” should bring it back to you.

Keyboard shortcuts

Want to learn keyboard shortcuts, such as CTRL + V and CTRL + C? Click the keyboard shortcuts button and you’ll be presented with a list of handy shortcuts you can use for when the need arises.

Decrease and Increase indent

format_toolbar_8

If you are using a bullet or numbered lists, you can increase or decrease the indention of those lists. For example:

  • This is a point I’m making in a bullet list
    • Here is a sub-point I’m making
  1. And here is a point I’m making in a numbered list
    1. And here is a sub-point

This comes in especially handy with longer lists.

Add a Photo (aka Add Media)

format_toolbar_9

Ready to learn how to insert photos into your blog posts?

kittenLet’s say you wanted to insert an image of this adorable kitten.

Where do you go?

What do you do?

Don’t worry, it’s really easy!

First, you need to click the “Add Media” button you see highlighted in the example image above.

After clicking “Add Media” button you’ll see…

add_media_1

(If you have trouble viewing the image clearly, click it to see a larger version.)

1. Media Library

By default, you’ll see the “Media Library” tab. This displays all the photos you have already uploaded to WordPress.

2. Upload files

If you want to insert an image saved to your computer, this is the tab you’ll want to select.

3. Photos already in Media Library

If you haven’t uploaded any photos yet, this will be empty. However, assuming you’ve uploaded photos in the past, you will see all of them here.

4. Insert photo from URL

Be careful with this one.

If you have images stored on another blog you own, for example, you could grab the URL of the image, click the “Insert from URL” link in the above image, and paste your image link.

This would be fine.

However, don’t use a URL belonging to someone else! This is called hotlinking, and you’re stealing bandwidth from the owner of the image.

In short, if you don’t own the domain where the image is located, don’t link to it.

5. Insert into post

Once you’ve chosen the image you want to use, clicking this button will insert it into your post.

After clicking the “Upload Files” tab you’ll see…

add_media_2

If you’re handy with your computer’s operating system, you could drag one or more images to this window and WordPress will upload them.

Or, you can manually choose images by clicking the “Select Files” button.

After clicking “Select Files” you’ll see…

add_media_3

Find the image you want to use. Click the image and then click the “Open” button.

Note: My images were all stored in my “Downloads” folder. Yours could be on your Desktop, in your Pictures library, or somewhere else entirely.

After selecting image and clicking “Open” you’ll see…

add_media_4

(If you have trouble viewing the image clearly, click it to see a larger version.)

1. Your photo

Once uploaded, your picture will be highlighted (notice the blue border and check mark).

2. Align, link to and size

You will have the following alignment options:

  • Left – When selecting this alignment, your image will be to the left of your text
  • Right – When selecting this alignment, your image will be to the right of your text
  • Center – When centering, your image will be in the center of your content area, and your text will be below it on the following line
  • None – Your image will default to the left, and your text will be below it on the following line

You can also make your image be a hyperlink. Options include having the image link to a larger version of itself (which comes in handy when you have a large image forced to be made smaller to fit into your post), and having the image to an entirely different URL such as BeABetterBlogger.com.

Finally, you can choose what size your image will be in your blog post.

If it’s a large image, you can choose “full size”, “medium” size, “small” size, and “thumbnail” size. The smaller your image, the fewer options you will be given.

3. Insert into post

Clicking the “Insert into post” button will place your image wherever your cursor was located.

Congrats! You’ve inserted an image into your blog post!

FAQ Mom Questions

Certain topics didn’t fit elsewhere in the tutorial (or did, but were removed for brevity’s sake).

We’ll go over those here.

How to find links?

“How do I find links to use in my posts? How do I find links to Facebook pages”

No problem! Let’s start with finding a link for a basic webpage.

Finding links for regular pages

What if you wanted to use the URL for this post of mine you’re reading right now? (He writes pretending he’s not wishing and hoping you’ll want to do so.)

Scroll up to the top of the page and look for the following:

grab_url_1

(Pay no attention to the hundreds of tabs I have open!)

The highlighted portion is the URL for this post.

Simply highlight, copy it (hold down CTRL and C on your keyboard, or right-click your mouse and select “Copy”), and you’ll be ready to use it in your post.

Find the link to a Facebook page

grab_url_2Guess what? If you’re using a laptop or desktop computer, you follow the same steps as above!

Just scroll up to the top of the screen and copy the URL in the address bar.

However, what do you do if you’re using a Facebook app on your tablet or smartphone?

How do you find the link to the Facebook page?

Great question.

Let’s use the Facebook page for Unveil the Web in this next example.

You should see something similar to the attached image.

If you click the “More” button, you should receive an option to “Copy Link” or “Show Link.”

This is the link to the Facebook page.

How to embed YouTube videos?

Okay, let’s say you wanted to embed a YouTube video into your blog post like you see on other blogs.

How do you do it?

Well, let’s walk through how you would embed the following YouTube video from the hilarious-TV-gem-from-the-90s, NewsRadio.

When you view the video on YouTube, beneath it you’ll see info similar to the following:

embed_youtube_1

By default, you will see the “About” info for the video.

Click the “Share” button and you will then see…

embed_youtube_2

First, you’ll see all the different social media files where you could share the video you found. (Keep that in the back of your mind if you want to do this one day.)

We want to click the “Embed” button.

When you click the Embed button you’ll see…

embed_youtube_3

This is where the magic happens.

If you want to change the default video size, you can do so in the available drop-down box. There are other options available to you as well, which you can check on or off.

Once you’re happy with your options, highlight and copy the code like you see in the image above.

Now it’s time to take this code and put it into your blog post.

For the first and only time in this tutorial, we will leave the “Visual Editor” and use the “Text” editor.

embed_youtube_4

Depending on whether or not you have any formatting in your post (bold or italic text, headings, numbered lists, etc) what you see when you click the “Text” editor tab could be confusing.

Fear not! Ignore the odd symbols and focus on the words you understand. Find in the text the location where you want the YouTube video to appear in your post.

embed_youtube_5

Make room by hitting ENTER, if necessary. Then paste your YouTube code.

(Remember: You can paste by holding down the CTRL and V keys on your keyboard, or by right-clicking the mouse and selecting “Paste.”)

And that’s it!

That wasn’t so bad was it?

Further reading:

Where to find photos I can use?

Searching Creative Commons images for Flickr is a very handy resource for finding photos for your blog posts.

It’s what I use.

By default, you’ll search for photos whose owners permit their images to be modified and to be used for commercial purposes.

When you find a photo you like, click on it. In the bottom right-corner you’ll see options, including an option to download the image.

Also in the bottom-right corner you’ll see a link to the copyright information.

If it says “Some Rights Reserved,” you’ll be permitted to use is so long as you follow the citation instructions. Typically, all you have to do is provide a link to the image on Flickr.

If you need a citation example, simply look at the bottom of any post at Be A Better Blogger.

Log in?

wordpress_loginIt’s time to open a new tab in your favorite web browser.

Depending on whether or not you checked the “Remember Me” option when previously logging into your blog, you might still be logged into your blog’s dashboard.

Go to the following URL:

  • example.com/wp-admin

Change “example.com” to your your blog’s domain.

Now, if you’re already logged in, WordPress will take you to your dashboard. However, if you aren’t, you will be redirected to the login screen.

Your username

Whether you registered for a free WordPress.com blog, or you’re self-hosting a WordPress blog, you picked (or were given) a username and password.

Don’t worry, I can help you remember if you’ve forgotten.

Hopefully.

If you have a free WordPress.com blog, your username is the same as your domain.

So, for example, if your blog’s domain is peanutbutterfan.wordpress.com, your username is peanutbutterfan.

You can also check your email. When you registered, WordPress should have sent you a welcome email.

If you self-host a WordPress blog, the odds are very good your username is admin.

(For security reasons, “admin” isn’t a good username. But that’s a topic for another tutorial.)

Again, if you’re unsure, you should have been sent an email when WordPress was installed.

Now, as for your password…

What’s my password?

wordpress_password_requestIdeally, the password you selected is one impossible for anyone else to guess.

It should be unique and unlike any of the other passwords you use for email, banking, etc.

And it shouldn’t be written down anywhere, especially on a sticky note adhered to your monitor.

Also, hopefully you remember what it is!

However, never fear if you don’t. Beneath the “password” field on the login page is a link for “Lost your password?”

Clicking it will take you to a page for retrieving your password.

Simply enter your username or the email address you used setting up the WordPress account.

Instructions for resetting you password will be emailed to you.

Once your password has been reset, return to the login screen (using example.com/wp-admin or example.com/login) and log in using your credentials.

That wasn’t so hard. Was it?

Start a new post?

If you’ve never seen or actively used the WordPress dashboard before, you might feel overwhelmed at first.

However, for writing a blog post, all you need to know is where to go to write a post. Thankfully, you have three options.

wordpress_dashboard

The “New Post” link in the top-right corner is going to be your easiest option.

Click it.

You will be taken to the “Add New Post” screen.

new_post

Congratulations! You’re ready to write a blog post.

Further reading:

Final Thoughts

It can be difficult for new bloggers out there.

So many buttons, so many steps, so many things to remember… it can be quite confusing when it’s all brand new to you!

And what people tend to forget is you could be a blogging novice, but still be a writing savant.

Take my mom, for example.

Don’t let the title of this post fool you…

My Mom is sharp as a tack.

She’s an amazing, witty writer, too.

She’s new to blogging and the “technical” aspects of it (hence the reason for this tutorial), but this doesn’t change the fact she has writing talent in spades.

You’re probably the same way. You have writing skills, you just don’t have blogging skills.

Yet.

Don’t let being unfamiliar with all the “technical mumbo jumbo” get you down.

Don’t let any feelings of being overwhelmed discourage you.

Don’t compare yourself, your blog, or your writing to those who have been blogging for years and years.

We all were new bloggers, once upon a time.

Never forget that.

Did you found this tutorial helpful? Are there any parts I need to clarify? Anything I need to add or edit? Let me know in a comment below, and please feel free to share this lengthy tutorial with your friends.

To all the newbie bloggers out there: I salute you!

Creative Commons Images via Christian Schnettelker (adapted), CollegeDegrees360 (adapted) and Nicolas Suzor.

Comments

    • says

      Hey John,

      Welcome to my blog! It’s so nice to have you as a visitor!

      You’re very welcome. I was more than happy to feature Kate’s post from Entrepreneur on Fire. Great stuff. Just hard to believe I didn’t discover the site to very recently!

      Thank you for sharing this post with your Twitter followers. I really appreciate it!

      Hope you have a great day, John.

  1. says

    Kevin, what an INCREDIBLE resource!! Great stuff. I can only imagine how much time this took you to put together: true sign of stopping at nothing to provide something of incredible valuable to your readers. Thank you for this, and thanks for the “fun” mention :)

    • says

      Hi Kate,

      Welcome to the blog!

      THANKS! How very kind of you to say. Yes, it DID take me quite a while to put this one together. I usually write lengthy posts anyway (1,500 to 2,250 words) once a week. So, this was equivalent to a month of blogging for me. Haha. :-)

      I’m so glad you enjoyed, and you’re very, very welcome on the mention.

      Thanks for commenting! Hope you have a wonderful day.

  2. says

    Hey Kevin,

    First off … thanks for the shout out and the sharing of my post. Appreciate it.

    WOWZERS!!! What a post. Kate is right, this was an epic resource and not only am I honored to be included, but I’m happy you did this.

    Your mom raised a valid point and you’re right when you said, “What experienced bloggers forget is no matter how long we’ve been blogging, there was a day when everything was foreign to us.”

    But those topic like “How do I add an image” and “how do I insert a link”, while they’re beginner topics, you eventually have to evolve and move away from the basic stuff. Which is why “how to write a blog post” when searched for, doesn’t give beginner frendly results. I understand your point, but I think that it’s just an evolution of the blogger.

    Wow, just when I think I can’t learn anything else, you go and present a gem that I never heard of before. Hubspot Blog Topic Generator is something special. Just tried it right now with three random words and it did shoot out some pretty interesting topics. I’ll have to thank you for this and play around with it much later.

    There are various types of posts for any blogger to choose from and apply for their next blog post. After reading this post, and providing the examples that you did, there shouldn’t be any excuse as to why people can’t come up with great posts. Alot of what you listed there are great examples.

    Headlines is something that is of the utmost importance and is something that I continuously work on. Granted, I don’t write 50 headlines a day that Jon Morrow does/did but I do write my fair amount of headlines for each post that I come out with and spend the most time trying to craft a headline perfectly. Many bloggers don’t pay attention to that too much and it’s costing them visitors and readers.

    As far as beginning a post, truthfully, I go with what I feel at the moment. But I found that keeping the intro short to be effective. But the introduction is important because if you have a crappy introduction, people are most likely going to leave your blog. The quote by Brian Clark is 100% correct on that matter.

    I prefer long posts as opposed to short posts. But one great thing long posts do is keep people on your site for a longer timeframe. And it increases the potential of them clicking around and exploring more of your site. But that’s my own opinion.

    This was one HECK of a resource Kevin. Kudos to you for that. This really should be the ONLY REFERENCE used for new bloggers to start a blog … it’s just that good, that detailed, that EPIC. I take my hat off to you because I was checking your site for the past few days just wondering when you were coming out with a new post. In fact, I was going to send you a G+ message about it then I checked and saw this post.

    Great stuff, once again.

    Sit back, relax, and have an adult beverage my friend. You’ve done well.

    – Andrew

    P.S. Next up I guess would be an How To Promote a Blog Post – A 9472 word guide your mom will understand … right?

    • says

      Hey Andrew,

      Thank you for the EPIC comment!

      You’re welcome regarding the post mention. Happy to do it!

      “WOWZERS!!!” is the reaction I was going for with this post. Haha.

      So you had never heard of the Hubspot Blog Topic Generator? Awesome, I’m glad you found it useful. I use it occasionally, but I’m sure there will come a time where it’ll be helpful for me.

      Thanks for the kind words, Andrew. I hope people do consider it an epic resource and will link to it, refer to it, share it, etc. After all, if the people who could benefit from it don’t get to see it, it’s not a very beneficial resource. :-)

      I’ll have to wait for the weekend to relax, but I’m looking forward to it!

      Thanks again, Andrew. Have a great one…

  3. says

    Hi Kevin
    I don’t have any other prompt reaction to express except saying “vow mind-blowing post”.

    I recall the post of Steve Pavelina on “how to earn money with your blog” of nearly 5000 words that has become a reference post in blogosphere. Whoever is asked how he learnt to earn money with his blog his reply is just the mentioing of this post.

    I am dead sure your post will be the most referred post on “how to write a blog post – the complete guide” once it gets necessary indexations and submission.

    I never read such a comprehensive post on this topic. You confined the ocean of info into this obviously quite a lenthy but to-the-point post.

    While reading it I kept open my pad to note down what you missed in it. I do accept here despite several time its reviewing I never found any point you missed in it. So we can say it is an authority post on “blog post writing”.

    I don’t have appropriate words to thank you for doing much much hard work to write it and fully covering all its aspects very effectively.

    Just one suggestion me and all your blog readers would love to get its PDF copy if you place it here somewhere.

    Thanks a lot and have a wonderful weekend ahead.

    • says

      Hi, Mi Muba.

      Thank you!

      “I am dead sure your post will be the most referred post on “how to write a blog post – the complete guide” once it gets necessary indexations and submission.”

      That sure would be great. Haha. Here’s hoping!

      Your PDF suggestion was a wonderful one. A few people after you mentioned it, but you came in first! I spent a little bit of time yesterday and some this morning, but I now have a PDF version of the post. There is an email sign up form in the sidebar to the right. (I’ll also work on adding the form within the body of the post, for my mobile readers.)

      Thanks again for the comment, compliments, and suggestion! Have a great weekend, Mi Muba!

  4. says

    Hi Kevin!

    Epic! And not just because Freddy the Fijian cockroach received another social mention ;) Awesomeness, thanks so much for referencing my post and thanks so much for putting together an authority guide on the topic.

    I am just so huge on titles these days. The post must deliver in a massive way but without one of the title types you note, all goes to naught. Spend a while thinking through how you can best draw in readers.

    Lists posts rock. The bigger a number, the better. This title rocks Kevin because of the 8,000 word note.

    Seeing numbers like these creates order in your mind, and an orderly mind moves forward at peace, and in a calm, confident fashion.

    As for the roach topic, recounting a story from my life and making it kinda funny, with a shocking twist – see, 4 inch cockroach, really helps you to draw in interested readers too.

    Thanks so much Kevin!

    Tweeting now.

    Ryan

    • says

      Hey Ryan,

      You’re welcome. I’m happy to give the Fijian roach another mention (although, I’ve had nightmares since reading your post about him)!

      Thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed it, Ryan.

      Totally agree with you regarding titles. Good or bad, we’re in an age where your title must jump out at readers if you’re going to get their attention. It’s competitive out there.

      Hopefully this is one of those posts which will get me noticed. I’m fine with being the “guy who wrote the 8k word post on writing a blog” or the “guy who wrote the Weird Al Yankovic blogging thing.” It’s a start, right? :-)

      Thanks for the Tweet, Ryan!

      Have an awesome weekend.

  5. says

    Hi kelvin,

    When I saw the length of this blog post, my heart skipped, and I thought to myself ‘ why would a blog post be so much lengthy?

    However, the analysis, indepth explanation you have given in writing and posting a quality post merits such length of words.

    The issue here is the sort of fear that is crawling in my mind; does it mean I have to write such long blog post to be successful, especially with my new pain management medical blog.

    Thanks for sharing this educative post, I’m pretty sure you wrote it for newbies like me.

    John

    • says

      Hey John,

      Haha. I bet most people thought the same as you. Why does this post need to be so long??

      Thank you. I’m glad you enjoyed it and saw benefit in the post!

      Let me put your mind at ease: No, you don’t need to write such lengthy posts on your own blog. :-)

      Posts like this one are very rare. I usually write posts in the 1,500 to 2,500 word range and those are probably longer than 95% of the posts out there.

      So no, you don’t have to write so many words. Long posts just work best for me. :-)

      Glad you enjoyed it, John. You’re welcome.

      Hope you have a great weekend.

  6. says

    Kevin, thanks for the kind mention!

    Seriously though – this post is INSANE!

    8,000 words, this is a monster and I love how you have used a dynamic sidebar with a funky table of contents.

    Impressive stuff my friend!

    • says

      Hey Adam,

      Welcome! This is your first time commenting isn’t it? Glad you could stop by.

      You’re welcome! Happy to mention Blogging Wizard. It’s one of the top blogging on blogging sites out there after all. :-)

      Thanks! Yeah, the dynamic sidebar with table of contents was a must for a long post like this, I thought. I pity mobile-device readers who don’t get to benefit from it!

      Glad you enjoyed it. And thanks for the social mentions! I really appreciate it.

      (And I haven’t forgotten, I owe you an email!)

      Have a great weekend, Adam.

      • says

        Hey Kevin,

        Yep, it’s long overdue – I launched a new site last month which has taken up all of the time I usually spend on comments (and a lot more).

        Hopefully I’ll be able to re-focus my efforts soon once I find my new groove.

        Thanks for the kind words about Blogging Wizard – I really appreciate it!

        No worries, it’s a shame mobile readers couldn’t benefit, but it’s so handy for desktop readers. And I love the opt-in you’ve added below too.

        My pleasure – more people need to be reading your stuff!

        It’s all good!

        Have a great weekend too.

        Talk soon,
        Adam

  7. says

    Let me be quite frank Kevin! If I tell you I have read this book (sorry, I mean post) I will be a liar. It’s insane like Adam puts it. the sidebar makes it very easy to read. I never saw this before elsewhere

    And to think that you gave me a shout out in this most complete How-to write a blog post is a reason to shout. But one thing I didn’t find was how to down load to PDF

    Maybe the link is hidden something. When I’ll be going through the second time, I may find it.

    Do you need some wine or some food stuff to regain some energy?

    • says

      Hey Enstine,

      Haha. Hey, at least you’re honest. ;-)

      I honestly don’t expect most people to read all of it. Even for novice bloggers, there are parts which are relevant and parts they might already know. So, why read “How to embed a YouTube video” if you already know how to do it, right? :-)

      Since both you and Mi Muba asked for it, I’ve added the capability to have a PDF copy emailed to you. Thank you both for the idea! Honestly, it’s something I should have had upon publishing.

      As soon as I was finished, I had a glass of orange juice. Needed the energy!

      Thanks again, Enstine. Talk to you soon.

  8. says

    Wow Kevin, this post seriously covers everything you need to know. You could easily have made this into an ebook!

    Your right, bloggers that give tips often forget that newbie bloggers actually don’t know the basics. I remember when I started I didn’t actually know what a “blog” was. Sad but true! So everything from there on was just another language.

    You have done a great job of breaking everything down into nice easy and clear to follow instructions. The other links you have put into this just seal the deal.

    A job well done here!!

    • says

      Hey Catherine,

      Thanks! I thought about going the eBook route (for about 2 seconds), but decided I want to offer a free resource, a blog post, people could reference and, most importantly, link to. :-)

      Blogs don’t link to eBooks and the same way they link to blog posts. And I wanted links. Haha.

      I was in the same boat as you when I first started. I think we all were!

      Thanks for the kind words. Hope you have a great weekend.

    • says

      Hey Supreeth,

      Welcome to my blog! Thank you for stopping by and reading this long post of mine. I’m glad you liked it. :-)

      I checked out your blog. Looks very nice!

      I noticed a few link issues you might not know about regarding your social media icons at the top of your page. Facebook and Google+ are fine. But Twitter isn’t pointed to your Twitter profile. Also, Pinterest, RSS and LinkedIn all appear to point to your site’s home page. Minor fixes! No worries. :-)

      Thanks again for visiting. Hope to see you here again soon.

  9. says

    Hi Kevin,

    I guess this post is complete already, I don’t know which part to add because you just explained it so well. One thing for sure in blogging is that finishing a blog post is not the end of blogging job. We have to promote it to get the best out of it.

    Thanks for this wonderful post. Wish you have a great weekend

    • says

      Hi Okto,

      Welcome back! You’re right, after you write a post you have to promote it. I wonder if that will be my next tutorial? (Answer: Yes. Yes it will be.) :-)

      Thanks! Glad you liked it.

      I appreciate you stopping by and commenting, Okto. Hope the rest of your weekend is a great one.

  10. says

    Hi Kevin,
    Wow, this is a really detailed post! I’m sure this will be a great resource for new bloggers that will continue to be useful for months and years to come.

    Over the years I’ve set up sites and blogs for a number for a number of people, and most of them need some direction. This is especially true for those who are new to WordPress, so I think this post can serve as an excellent resource and guide.

    • says

      Hey Marc,

      Thanks! I sure hope so. My goal was to create a resource people could link to and use, and hopefully I accomplished my goal. I’ll have to keep adding to and tweaking this post as time goes on, but I believe it’s going to be well worth it.

      Enjoy the rest of your weekend, Marc! Thanks again.

    • says

      Hi Shout,

      Welcome to my blog! I’m glad you enjoyed the post so much. And I do hope you’re able to put the info in it to good use. :-)

      Thanks for stopping by! Have a great weekend.

  11. says

    Kevin,

    what an amazing and useful post. Wished I read something like this in my early days. Congrats and much appreciated the time you put together to write this.

    Just as a quick note, you say videos are unlikely to be done by a beginner. Although that’s very true with traditional video editing software, let me share here there are web apps out there – like Videolean, that let you do it within minutes and without any video editing knowledge required. Here you are a 2 minutes tutorial, just in case:

    [Note from Kevin: To view David’s video, click the link attached to his name above. To David: Glad to have you here on my blog! Just trying to keep comment links to a minimum. Hope you understand!]

  12. says

    Thanq Kevin

    Awesome post buddy. Thank you for discussing all the steps so nicely that helped me a lot. Nice article with a great explanation. All information is very helpful

    Regards
    Jagbir Sandhu

    • says

      Hey Jagbir,

      Thank you. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

      Hopefully you and others who read it will find it helpful. That certainly was my goal!

      Hope you’re having a great weekend. Thanks for stopping by.

  13. says

    Hi Kevin,

    Whoa!!!! Put on the breaks! I never, ever, never have to read another article on how to blog ever again!

    You nailed it. This is one of the best, most comprehensive articles I have ever seen. Most of these types of articles are fluff. Not yours!!!!

    I love that gave all these resources of not just how to’s, but where to’s and why to’ as well.

    It’s amazing that in the times we live, people just assume everyone knows how to build a website, add a blog, contribute to their own blog and share it out.

    I come across so many who are frustrated and upset and feel looked down upon because they should know. According to who’s standards?

    You would be shocked to know Kevin that some of these are larger companies who would rather not do it and not risk their reputations.

    That’s really saying something!

    Thank you so much for mentioning my Facebook fan page. I appreciate it

    I hope you have a great weekend!

    ~ Don Purdum

    • says

      Hey Don,

      Why thanks! Very high praise indeed. Thank you. :-)

      I’m glad you found the post so detailed and informative. I know it’s overkill for many people, which is why I broke it down into sections the way I did, and why I offer the sticky Table of Contents in the sidebar. If you don’t need to read a section, skip it. If you only need to read one part, just jump to that part.

      Tackling the entire post is a bear of an undertaking, no doubt! I wager only one out of ten of my readers will do it. But hopefully ten out of ten will get something out of it (or something they can share with a friend.) :-)

      Really appreciate you sharing this post on your Facebook page and in your “Rewind Saturday.” Very kind of you!

      Hope the rest of your weekend is a great one, Don. Talk to you again soon, I’m sure.

  14. says

    Wow, very comprehensive! Great post for newer bloggers – I’ll be sharing it with my followers.

    And thanks for sharing one of my articles. I tend to write a lot of “How To…” articles. I’ll be using some of your suggestions here to mix it up a bit!

    • says

      Hey Sally,

      Thanks! I hope your followers will find it useful. :-)

      You’re welcome! I was happy to share it. And you’re right, I had several “how to” articles too choose from on your site! All are great.

      Hope you have a wonderful rest of your weekend, Sally.

  15. says

    Hey Kevin,

    I made it! You are NOT going to believe this but my Mom and I had this same conversation today at lunch. Okay, not the exact same one but I was telling her about my upcoming product and the issues I was having because you want to make sure you cover the people who do NOT know it all.

    As she stated about some of the stuff I’ll be covering that it’s just good common sense. The problem with that is there are so many people who just don’t have any common sense at all. It’s not their fault, I use to be engaged to a guy who had not one shred of common sense but one of the greatest guys you would ever meet. Anyway, just like your Mom there are people who are brand new and don’t even know the basics.

    My hat is off to you and no wonder you were worn out. In all seriousness though Kevin, you did a fabulous job with this post. Okay, I didn’t read it word for word and you know why but I did skim the entire thing and you really did cover it all.

    The next time someone tells me they don’t know the first thing about blogging I’m sending them here which of course is what you’re hoping right! Well we should because this took a heck of a lot of time to put together my friend. Okay, you can seriously take a break and are relieved of having to write another post this month.

    Thank you for using one of my posts as an example. You did great with those by the way. I also love the table of contents in the sidebar too. Now that’s just brilliant and I was wondering as I was going down this post how you got the links to skip to the next part. I know this is what you do, the behind the scenes coding stuff, but that’s brilliant. I definitely need to learn how to do that with my product. Oh yeah!

    Well bravo to you Kevin and seriously, this was fabulous. To say I’m impressed is putting it lightly but I’m darn sure impressed with this one. You really out did yourself so I’m patting you on the back okay!

    Great job Kevin and I’m definitely bookmarking this to share with any new blogger that needs these instructions. You can rest now and enjoy your weekend okay!

    ~Adrienne

    • says

      Hey Adrienne,

      Congratulations! Haha.

      You’re right. Some people have no common sense, and some people just haven’t been taught. This post was for the latter group, but hopefully a few in the former will absorb some of the info, too. ;-)

      “The next time someone tells me they don’t know the first thing about blogging I’m sending them here which of course is what you’re hoping right!”

      Yep, you’re right! Haha. That was my goal: To provide a resource bloggers want to link to. Hopefully they will!

      You’re welcome regarding using your post as an example. Thank you regarding the “brilliant” sidebar with table of contents. Glen Long’s “Google Authorship” tutorial at Boost Blog Traffic does something similar, but I knew for a post this long I had to do something more to make it easier for readers. I hope I accomplished my goal.

      Very, very kind of you to say, Adrienne! Really appreciate it. Thank you!

      Hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend. Talk to you again soon, I’m sure.

  16. says

    Kevin,

    Good stuff! Your blog is jammed packed full of ideas and ways on how I can improve my own blog post, I just wanted to say thanks for sharing this great content.

    • says

      Hi Stacey,

      Welcome to my blog! I’m so happy to have you here.

      Thank you for the kind words! I’m glad you enjoyed the post and got so much out of it. Thank you for subscribing to my mailing list, too!

      Looking forward to seeing you again here in the future! I’ll be stopping by your blog soon.

      Hope you have a great weekend, Stacey.

  17. says

    What a phenomenal post Kevin, you’ve created an epic go-to resource on how to write a blog post here. I hope you don’t mind if I link to this on my ‘how to create a blog’ page (humble in comparison to this post). Thanks / Matt

  18. says

    Okay Kevin, this post was worth the wait. Where were you when I started blogging? :)

    I have tried Hubspot Blog Topic Generator but confess that I prefer Portent which creates better ideas than the former and even gives food for thought to tweak.

    In you next update, perhaps you could add a section or link to any post you have on authority and community building by commenting on niche blogs as well as how to comment with relevance? The easiest way to be marked a spammer is to comment saying Nice Blog, Great content, very informative etc. The newbie may not know that these are sure signs of spam and their comments may get deleted.

    Happy Saturday!

    • says

      Hi Vatsala,

      Good to see you again!

      Haha. Sorry I wasn’t around when you started blogging. :-)

      Agreed. I prefer Portent to Hubspot, too. Just seems more polished.

      Those are great ideas, and I do plan on implementing them in a future post. However, I won’t add them to this tutorial; I’ll give them a tutorial of their own. “How to promote your blog post…” will be my next tutorial. Look for it in the next few weeks. :-)

      Always appreciate your comments! Hope you’re having a great weekend, Vatsala.

  19. says

    Hi Kevin,

    So much info at one post you included that I must say – I should come back and read again and again, it feels more like a book! Probably someone could take as example and create several posts out of his one?! Wonderful!!
    I would love to read your comments and answers to the questions asked by Vatsala.

    Enjoy weekend!

    • says

      Hi Evita,

      Welcome! Thank you. The general consensus does seem to be this is more “book” than “blog post,” but that’s kind of what I was going for. :-)

      Vatsala’s questions were great ones. I’ll be touching on those in a future tutorial I’m writing. Look for it in the next few weeks!

      Appreciate you stopping by and commenting, Evita. Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend.

  20. says

    Hi Kevin,

    I’m so excited to visit your blog for the first time – I’ve heard so much about you from my friends. :-)

    Wow, talk about a huge guide! I’m diving in…Looks absolutely great!

    Deciding on what content to create and publish greatly depends on the target audience for which it is being created., and the purpose behind the goals for creating it in the first place.

    So while I understand your moms perspective, each piece of content cannot begin at ground zero and explain every single definition of every single thing mentioned in order to give context to what’s being shared. This would be impossible to keep up unless you’re wanting to create a site where you provide an all-inclusive exhaustive concordance of some kind, in my opinion.

    It’s not practical for regular publishing. If I’m teaching on optimizing images, I reference other articles of mine where they can do more reading, plus there is a search feature for looking up anything at all they are wanting to learn about on my site. So, a soup to nuts, A to Z type article is not always warranted or appropriate but gladly welcomed on occasion. Okay, reading on…

    Cool, I’ve used the Content Idea Generator, and at times, it’s given me a good laugh at the comical things it comes up with sometimes… :-)

    Love, love, love videos posts especially if transcript is included. I’m a very visual learner so this really suits me best.

    Really liked your example of titles, yes, they do draw you in and cause you to want to find out what it’s all about and have that question answered.

    I agree with your advice about writing short paragraphs. I dislike large blocks of text and usually click off a site that uses this type of formatting.

    However, while the single line ‘paragraph’ is ‘okay,’ it does require A LOT OF SCROLLING which I dislike. Short paragraphs with a few relevant sentences makes the most sense to me. I’m all about ease of use and readability but get very tired of scrolling sometimes, unless it’s single lines in an epic post like this!

    Your quote made me do a double take – at first I didn’t get it, then I understood. Yeah, it does take a balance of talking about blogging with other like-minded entrepreneurs in social media realm, but many do not take the action they should, so there definitely needs to be more blogging, and not just more talking about it – I couldn’t agree more! :)

    I’ve learned that it’s best to have a post be in one main category and that the category it’s in should not be used as a tag. Just learned that so wanted to share.

    For my toolbar, I have added TinyMCE Advanced as this plugin has the features that are useful to me for ease of editing.

    With each update of WordPress, things change so much, so flexibility is necessary – definitely because it’s easy to get frustrated if we get used to something and then all of a sudden it’s not there which happened recently with being able to customize images. A lot of the features I used in the editor were taken out, and I had to add a plugin to replace, which is not good.

    When pasting into WordPress, I always paste into Notepad first so as to remove any formatting because the erase formatting tool icon in editor doesn’t always work, but maybe this has been improved with the latest update.

    Yes, it can be difficult for new bloggers as it’s very overwhelming when they are new to business and new to technical things. They must understand it’s a layering process and things don’t happen over night.

    This is a great find for the beginner blogger, so will be sharing your pillar post immediately and absolutely wish you all the best with it. Great comprehensive article, but I bet your mom would still email you with a question or two because “doing is understanding.” :P

    Have a wonderful weekend, Kevin, and I really enjoyed your article – you deserve a rest after this! Great job!

    – Carol Amato

    • says

      Hi Carol,

      Welcome to my blog! It’s so great to have you stop by. Thank your friends for me. :-)

      Based on your comment, you’re one of the few who attempted to read the entire thing! Kudos. Haha. Okay, I’ll try to answer each of your points…

      I agree having each post be all-inclusive, exhaustive concordances of a topic isn’t practical for regular publishing. Thankfully, I won’t be doing this regularly. But, since the mission of my goal is to help bloggers of all experience levels, my mom, correctly, pointed out I was leaving bloggers like her behind.

      I needed to remedy this, so I decided to write a few in-depth tutorials. This one is the first of several I will write. They will anchor my blog, and the posts I write will reference them whenever needed.

      Overkill? Maybe. We’ll see. :-)

      Haha. Yeah, the Content Idea Generator is good for a laugh sometimes. One of these days I’m going to attempt writing the craziest idea it gives me. Should be interesting.

      Glad you liked the title examples! Some good ones there, for sure.

      I probably should have better clarified how many single-sentence paragraphs a post should have in it. The number varies, obviously, but taken to its extremes a blogger could write an entire post filled with one-sentence paragraphs! That would be bad.

      I like offering Tweetable quotes people have to read twice in order to get. In my last post I had one which said: “In both height and Twitter followers, a half dozen Seth Greens equal one Dwayne Johnson.” Some people are still scratching their head over it. :-)

      I do the “paste into Notepad first” trick, too. I think I do it out of habit. I’m always copying and pasting things into Notepad for later use. It’s too convenient.

      Thanks for sharing, Carol. I hope many beginner bloggers benefit from it.

      But yes, my Mom will still be emailing me. No doubt about it!

      Enjoy the rest of your weekend, Carol. Hope to see you here again.

  21. says

    You were right Kevin, that was a super long post!

    I’m curious though, have you done any testing whether a long post like this would be more effective than say 8, 1000 word posts in terms of SERPs or reader engagement. I have to say in general though, that my attention usually drifts off beyond 1500 words.

    • says

      Hey Josh,

      I know! I’m still recovering from writing it.

      Great question. I would be surprised if eight 1,000 word posts wouldn’t be more effective in regards to search engine traffic and blog comments. And, from my standpoint, I know they would be a lot easier to write. :-)

      But, even though I have no split testing to support this, I would wager those eight 1,000 posts wouldn’t hold a candle to this one in the “get noticed” department.

      One thousand word posts are written every day, after all. Eight thousand word posts? Not so much.

      Would I recommend other bloggers do this? Probably not.

      But for my long-term goals for Be A Better Blogger, it makes sense. :-)

      I actually plan on addressing this topic in an upcoming post, but I didn’t want you keep you waiting for an answer!

      Thanks for stopping by, Josh. Hope the rest of your weekend is a great one.

  22. says

    Thanks Kevin Sir. I saw that you have replied to my comment on “What Winston Churchill can teach us about blogging” I liked the fact that you have so humbly accepted that due to old post, it just slipped your attention.

    Coming back to your new post, I must say it took almost quarter of an hour to go through the entire thing. The way you have explained about “Writing A Blog” is both mesmerizing & surreal. Don’t laugh but in my two months’ blogging experience I have so far haven’t read such an article. Even a non-tech person can create own blog & with facile post his article.

    I don’t want to come too strong but I believe given a Blog transcending 8000 words, you can publish your own e-book. Don’t worry, you can count on me to be one of your avid readers.

    Thanks & Regards,
    Swapnadip

    • says

      Hi Swapnadip,

      Good to see you again.

      So you read the entire post? Impressive. Honestly, I think most people choose to skim through it (reading the parts most relevant to them).

      Thanks! That is very kind of you to say. I’m glad you found the most so in-depth and helpful. I thought about going the eBook route (I talk about this briefly in my latest post), but I felt it was best (and would be most memorable) if I released it as a free blog post.

      An eBook will be something I write in the future for sure, though! I’m glad I can count on you to read it. :-)

      Hope you have a wonderful weekend, Swapnadip. Thanks again for stopping by.

  23. says

    Hi Kelvin, I must say this is a great tutorial and very educative, i enjoyed reading every word and has saved it to read at a quite time when i am less busy, it is a creative piece, thanks for letting this secret out.

  24. says

    Hi Kevin,

    This post is epic. You continue to take things to the next level with every post. 8,000 plus words is huge.

    How long did this one take you? You basically have a eBook right here. You mentioned this being the first version, after the Version 2 and or 3 just put it on Amazon :)

    You definitely loaded this thing with tons of info and resources. Anyone interested in learning about blog post will see value in this one for sure.

    Hats off to you Kevin!

  25. says

    Amazing guide Kevin!

    I was thinking to start writing a How To write a blog post guide that will add on to a bigger concept I am preparing, but definitely I will feature and redirect my readers here for this need.

    Keep up the great work, I love the outcome!

    Filip.

  26. says

    Hey Kevin,

    Finally got a chance to check out your post. I must admit, I couldn’t finish it as I have to run for a client call, but overall FAB job! :-)

    Like others have said, the next time someone asks me “how to blog:”, I’m sending them here.

    Oh and I think they have a term for that phenomenon your Mom points out — it’s a bias called the Curse of Knowledge. And a lot of us in the online world are bitten by it. ;-)

    Thanks again for the share Kevin.

    Pooja

  27. says

    Hi Kevin, good morning from Indonesia. :)

    I’m sorry, i’m not finished your post yet. You know, english is not my first language, and i still at the basic level at using it. And yes, read 8000 words and have to translate every one of them in your mind is really tiring.

    But i found that your post is very usefull, eventhough i cannot say that i am a newbie. (Yeah, i try to be cooky here, can you feel it? :p) So, i decide to bookmark this page, hopefully you didn’t delete this post, haha!

    Thanks for your awesome post, my bro!

    Regard,
    Agfian

  28. says

    Great post! A lot of work and time must have gone into it.

    Will definitely use the Alltop suggestion to quickly find blogs related to whatever subject I decide to write about.

    Best,

    Peter

  29. says

    This is pretty scary man. This is the biggest blog post I’ve ever seen.

    To be honest I skim it as some of the topics don’t interest me so Yeah…

    Sorry if I let you down for not read piece by piece. I like to read and learn but new stuff only. :D

    Kind regards,
    I. C. Daniel

  30. says

    Thanks
    I think this is really interesting for new bloggers like me.
    Though i skipped some of the section while reading but still its worth to have quick glance on each of these topics.

    Kapil Suri

  31. says

    That was fantastic….it is late at night but I couldn’t stop reading and even though I went off to visit some of your links I kept coming back again. I am not a new blogger but a very inexperienced one and this is so useful. Thank you for all the work and I look forward to receiving the updates
    Kate

  32. says

    A little late to the party but THANK YOU! This post is really good. Love the detailed explanation for 101 newbies. People are asking me all the time how to blog. Will be sharing your page as a resource.

  33. says

    Wow Kevin!

    This article is THE authority on how to write a blog post. And I read every word AND every comment!

    I’ve bookmarked it and will send people here to see how it’s done.

    Thanks.

    Nathan.

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