As part of our ongoing discussion about commercial real estate sites and blogs, here is a quick and dirty guide on how to post on your WordPress blog.
There are many different ways to do this and best practices are constantly changing, but this is the best way that we at the APJ have found to do it.
(*Note* – We included the estimated time required to complete each step so you can plan for your posts accordingly)
Step 1 = Write (Time – 5 minutes to 2 hours)
This may be obvious, but the first and most important part of the post is the writing. What you say and how you say it is what will keep readers coming back. You can dress it up with fancy pictures and put some neat links in the article, but if it is confusing, amateurish, belligerent, or just weird, readers will be put off and will get their info elsewhere. Take your time. Write it well. Be concise and be interesting. A good starting point for beginners is here.
Step 2 = Link (5 to 10 Minutes)
After you have written and edited your text, you need to make the text alive with links. You can link to posts or pages within your own site, but you should also link to exterior articles and pages. Readers want a quick way to digest your information and also want to have access to more information at the click of a mouse. The way to provide that ease-of-use to your readers is to hyperlink sites or articles to words and phrases in your text. It’s very easy. You just highlight the text you want the reader to click for a link, click on the chain-link symbol in the middle of your WordPress Post Box, and then type or paste the URL of the link into the field “URL”. That’s it. Once the reader clicks the word (which will now have changed color), she will be redirected to that page. (We will discuss link architecture later.) You can also take this time to “Tag” your posts and put them into categories, but that is part of your SEO strategy and we will discuss that in a later post.
Step 3 = Insert Images (2 Minutes to 1 Hour – depending on if you need to find the images or if you already have them)
You have great content and you are linked to other great content. Now you need to catch the reader’s eye. I like to put an image before my text and one inserted into my text. I find the two-image model works well for aesthetics, but doesn’t distract from the text of my posts. Others use more images and it looks great. This is a way you can customize your posts to your personal preferences and if you monitor site analytics you will eventually figure out what your readers prefer. To insert an image, you simply click on the “Upload/Insert” icon(s) above your WordPress post box. WP will then give you a pop-up window that will allow you select an image from your computer or the web, insert it into the post, create a caption, create a link, and format the image to your liking. We can discuss later where to find great images and the ideal setting for your inserted images. For now, start playing around with these inserted images and their placement.
Step 4 – Preview and Edit (5 Minutes)
If you’re like me, you will miss a couple typos and grammatical errors on your first (and second) time through writing. I always like to hit the “Preview” button at the top right of the WP Post Page to see how it looks in my theme and to proofread it one more time. I always end up catching a misspelling or typo and usually end up rewording a few phrases. Remember, your goal with this post is to provide as much value as possible in as few words as possible that are as easy to read as possible. If you find any choppy sentences or phrases when you preview, now is the time to edit them before the final publish. I also take this time to shorten the post and eliminate any superfluous words or phrases. This is your final “polish” before the publish.
Step 5 – Publish it (10 Seconds)
It sounds good. It looks good. It’s concise. It’s pithy. It’s interesting and it’s packed with great links. Share it with the world! This is as simple as clicking the blue “Publish” button on your post page. Once you do, it will be on your site for the whole world to see and enjoy.
Of course, the journey of your post isn’t over here. You need to send your baby all over the interwebs via social media . . . but we will cover that later. For now, here they are again:
The Five Steps to a CRE Blog Post:
3. Insert Images
4. Preview and Edit
There it is. Pretty easy, right? Have you found a better way of doing it? Do you like to put in images before you link? Let me know in the comments.