Having set up WordPress your first time and done the main stuff such installing a theme and essential plugins, you are probably wondering, what next? While the main items are easy to understand, there are little things that really matter and can make your blog successful and full of traction.
There are a number of other “little” issues that incrementally, will make you look like an expert WordPress user. Some are easy to implement while others need a little more work. But, all will improve the overall look and quality of your blog.
1. Learn to Schedule Posts
If you are new to blogging, you will soon realize that there times when you can’t post. This could be for a number of reasons. The first is that you may simply not have the time to write a post and publish. With hectic modern lifestyles, you can’t be blamed.
You could also forget.
Third, and probably most importantly, is that you may occasionally be hit by writer’s block and simply not be in a writing mood. Whatever the case may be, the remedy is the WordPress post scheduling feature. This feature allows you to write several posts on the days when you feel like it and then schedule the posts to auto-publish in accordance with your editorial calendar. So, with this feature, you need not worry about posting on time.
2. Use Short Relevant URLs
The WordPress Content Management Platform default permalink structure is “yoursite.com/?p=<postid>” which isn’t memorable and user friendly. And, even when you set it up to use the article title in the permalink, it automatically converts your title into the page URL when Permalinks .
This works well when your title is short but isn’t so good when your title is beyond five words. SEO experts will also tell you that the Google algorithm gives greater search prominence to the first five words in a URL. You therefore want to limit your URL to a maximum of five words and to use relevant words in the URL. To do this, go to the edit screen on the WordPress control panel for the post you wish to edit. Next to Permalink, click the “Edit” button. Change the URL to your desired length.
Ensure you use words that are most relevant to the article. Click “OK” and “Publish”. One thing to note, however, is to avoid changing the URLs of articles that are already live; this may do more harm than good.
3. Understand the WordPress Editor
The WordPress Editor is your friend. It allows you to toggle between a Visual tab and an HTML tab. If you learning to code, you can try out your skills in the HTML tab. The Visual editor is a WYSIWYG (What Is See Is What You Get) editor that ensures you don’t suffer the embarrassment of typos and other editing mistakes. It has two rows of icons but only displays a single row of items when initially opened.
The icons are pretty similar to what you would find in word processing applications such as MS Word or Libre Office. The tools include simple spell check tools to more complex editing and formatting tools available in the second row of icons.
To open the second row, select the Toolbar Toggle icon. You may also want to extend the power of your WordPress editor by installing a grammar checking plugin to ensure the blog’s grammar is at the expected professional level.
4. Embed Multimedia
Nothing beats visual stimulus. If you want to ensure people read your blog and keep coming back, incorporate as much visual content as possible – images, video, tweets and the like. WordPress makes this easy using the editor. The process to do this is as simple as inserting the URL to the multimedia content and WordPress will do the rest. You can also upload content directly from your computer to WordPress.
However, a word of caution when embedding multimedia. You have to consider the page loading speed of your pages. If the pages become too slow due to heavy multimedia, the page views will reduce because Internet audiences are extremely impatient these days.
Anything that takes more than three seconds to load is at risk of not being read. There are many free analytics tools that can alert you to any slow pages. WordPress also has a number of free plugins that optimize your images for the web.
These tips will not make you a WordPress Guru overnight but they will surely put you on sound footing towards that direction. You can rest assured that implementing these tips will ensure your blog looks professional and your blog readers will grow steadily.