3. Writing & managing posts

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Meg’s PressGO! objectives

  1. To write a post in your blog, to tag and categorise it, and publish it on the Web.

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Your PressGO! objectives

What are you hoping to learn from this module? Your objectives can be the same as mine, but is there anything else you are expecting to learn? Write down your thoughts, discuss with a partner or small group in the class, or blog it!

Blog it here.

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Introduction

Writing posts is at the core of blogging. Posts are simply the entries that you make on your blog for your audience to read. In this module you will learn:

  • The basics of how posts work and how to create a post.
  • What tags and categories are and how to use them.
  • How to save and publish your blog posts.

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Focus questions: What are ‘posts’?

Have you read a blog before? (Maybe you have without knowing it!) What have you noticed about how posts are presented, chronologically speaking? How are they organised? What does each post include in terms of admin? If you’re not sure, check out my blog at MeganPoore.com to see an example of a typical blog site. Write down your thoughts, discuss with a partner or small group in the class, or blog it!

Blog it here.

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Post basics

Posts are usually dated, ‘tagged‘ (with keywords that you choose), ‘categorised‘ (in broader subject areas), ‘archived‘, and presented in reverse chronological order. Posts are written in a ‘visual editor‘ (just like you see in Microsoft Word) that shows what your final published post will look like. In WordPress, you can switch to a ‘code editor’ if you are a bit more advanced and want to write actual html code for your posts, but mostly you will want to work in the visual editor.

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Exercise: Write a post

  1. Go to Write > Post on your blog’s admin dashboard.
  2. Choose a title for your post in the ‘Title’ field.
  3. In the ‘Post’ field, start blogging! Maybe your first post will be about how useful you’re finding this course! 😉 Use the visual editor (which is the default setting) to write your post and to give you an idea of how your post will look when you publish it.

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Tagging and categorising your post

Your posts are really no good to anyone if your readers can’t search your entries in some way. To each post, you should add key words called ‘tags‘. You can create as many tags as you want, but make sure they are useful to readers as they try to find what they’re looking for. Tags are free form, can be multiple words, and work at the micro level. Readers will click on your tags to view all the posts that have been associated with particular tags. Tags can appear in a ‘tag cloud‘ in your sidebar, which displays your tags according to most-tagged (in bigger fonts) and least-tagged (in smaller fonts). See MeganPoore.com for an example of a tag cloud by scrolling down the right-hand sidebar.

Categories‘ also help your readers navigate your posts. Whereas tags are small and responsive, categories are large and fixed. As with tags, you choose your categories by adding them in yourself. The default category, however, is ‘Uncategorized..

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Exercise: Tag and categorise your post.

  1. Under the post visual editor, you will see a ‘tags’ field. Expand the field by clicking on the sideways arrow. Write in some key words that describe your post to readers. Use commas to separate each individual tag.
  2. Under the ‘Tags’ field, you will see the ‘Categories’ field. Expand the field by clicking on the sideways arrow. If you want to add a category, click on ‘+ Add New Category’. Type a new category into the box and click ‘Add’. Your new category will appear in the Categories list and will automatically be ‘checked’. If you don’t want your post to appear under that category, then uncheck the box.

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Saving and publishing your post

WordPress automatically saves your post periodically as you write. Nevertheless, it’s probably still a good idea to save your post yourself every now and then.

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Exercise: Save your post

  1. To save your post but to continue to write, click on ‘Save’.
  2. If you want to save your post as a draft and do something else before you publish it, click on ‘Save’ and then move on to the next thing you want to do.
  3. To retrieve your saved, draft post and work on it again, go to Manage > Posts and click on the title of your saved post.

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Exercise: Publish your post 🙂

You can always delete it later.

  1. Click on ‘Publish’.
  2. Your post has now been sent to your blog on the Web for your audience to read.

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Managing posts

Once you’ve written and either saved or published your post, you might want to make some changes. Maybe you want to edit your post or even delete it. You can do both those things by going to your dashboard and clicking on Manage > Posts. If you are editing your post, then you will be taken to the visual editor for the post and you can make your changes there.

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Exercise: Retrieve a post and edit it

  1. Go to Manage > Posts.
  2. Click on the title of the post you want to work on.
  3. Edit your post as you want.
  4. Don’t forget to click ‘Save’ to make sure your post updates on the Web by visiting your site.

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Reflection

Write down your thoughts, discuss with a partner or small group in the class, or blog it!

  • What have I learnt?
  • What is still unclear?
  • What do I need to follow up on?
  • Where to from here?
  • What other stuff I have read or accessed to help me make sense of it all?

Blog it here.

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Links and resources

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