How to Write Your First WordPress Blog Post

By Lisa Sabin-Wilson

Composing a WordPress blog post is a lot like typing an e-mail: You give it a title, you write the message, and you click a button to send your words into the world.

You can collapse or reposition all the modules on the Add New Post page to suit your needs. The only section on the Add New Post page that cannot be collapsed and repositioned is the section with the actual title and post box (where you write your blog post).

Follow these steps to write a basic blog post:

  1. Click the Add New link on the Posts Dashboard menu.

    The Add New Post page opens.

  2. Type the title of your post in the Enter Title Here text field at the top of the Add New Post page.

  3. Type the content of your post in the text box.

    You can use the Visual Text Editor to format the text in your post.

  4. Click the Save Draft button in the Publish module, located at the top-right side of the Add New Post page.

    The page refreshes with your post title and content saved but not yet published to your blog.

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By default, the area in which you write your post is in Visual Editing mode, as indicated by the Visual tab that appears above the text. Visual Editing mode is how WordPress provides WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) options for formatting. You can simply type your post, highlight the text you want to format, and click the buttons that appear above the text box.

  • Bold: Embeds the <strong> </strong> HTML tag to emphasize the text in bold. Example: Bold Text.

  • Italic: Embeds the <em> </em> HTML tag to emphasize the text in italics. Example: Italic Text.

  • Strikethrough: Embeds the <strike> </strike> HTML tag that puts a line through your text. Example: Strikethrough Text.

  • Unordered List: Embeds the <ul><li> </li></ul> HTML tags that create an unordered, or bulleted, list.

  • Ordered List: Embeds the <ol><li> </li></ol> HTML tags that create an ordered, or numbered, list.

  • Blockquote: Inserts the <blockquote> </blockquote> HTML tag that indents the paragraph or section of text you’ve selected.

  • Align Left: Inserts the <p align=”left”> </p> HTML tag that lines up the selected text against the left margin.

  • Align Center: Inserts the <p align=”center”> </p> HTML tag that positions the selected text in the center of the page.

  • Align Right: Inserts the <p align=”right”> </p> HTML tag that lines up the selected text against the right margin.

  • Insert/Edit Link: Inserts the <a href=” “> </a> HTML tag around the text you’ve selected to create a hyperlink.

  • Unlink: Removes the hyperlink from the selected text.

  • Insert More Tag: Inserts the <!–more→ tag, which lets you split the display on your blog page. It publishes the text written above this tag with a Read More link, which takes the user to a page with the full post.

  • Distraction-Free Writing Mode: Lets you focus purely on writing, without the distraction of all the other options on the page. Click this button, and the post text box expands to fill the full height and width of your browser screen and displays only the barest essentials for writing. To bring the post text box back to its normal state, click the Exit Fullscreen link.

  • Show/Hide Kitchen Sink: The button’s name is a metaphor that describes the advanced formatting options available with the Visual Text Editor. Click this button to make a new drop-down list that gives you options for underlining, font color, custom characters, undo and redo, and so on — more formatting options, such as:

    • Paragraph: Inserts the <p> </p> HTML tags around the text to indicate paragraph breaks.

    • Address: Inserts the <address> </address> HTML tags around the text to indicate the contact information for author or owner of a document.

    • Preformatted: Inserts the <pre> </pre> HTML tags around the text to indicate preformatted text and preserves both spaces and line breaks.

    • Headings 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6: Inserts header HTML tags such as <H1> </H1> around text to indicate HTML headings.

    • Underline: Inserts the <u> </u> HTML tags around the text to display it as underlined.

    • Align Full: Inserts the <p style=”text-align: justify”> </p> HTML tag that lines up the selected text evenly between the left and right margins.

    • Text Color: Displays the text in the color chosen.

    • Paste as Plain Text: Useful if you copy text from another source, this option removes all formatting and special/hidden characters from the text and adds it to your post as unformatted text.

    • Paste from Word: Use the Paste from Word feature to transfer posts from Word to WordPress to preserve formatting without the hidden mess.

    • Remove Formatting: Removes all formatting inside the post.

    • Insert Custom Character: If you click this option, a pop-up window appears. In the pop-up window, click the symbol that you want to add to your post.

    • Outdent: Moves text to the left one preset level with each click.

    • Indent: Moves text to the right one preset level with each click.

    • Undo: Click to undo your last formatting action.

    • Redo: Click to redo your last formatting action.

    • Help: Pops open a window with helpful information about using the text editor.

You can turn off the Visual Text Editor by clicking the Your Profile link on the Users menu. Deselect the Use the Visual Editor When Writing box to turn off this editor if you’d rather insert the HTML code yourself in your posts.