DIY Guide: How to Publish a Blog Post on WordPress

May 4, 2024 ·

Publishing blog posts on WordPress might seem simple, but there's much to consider beyond just writing the actual post. Learn what's essential for a successful, engaging, and compliant blog post.

Stacey Watson

A woman in a striped top typing on a laptop keyboard

When it comes to adding a new blog post in WordPress, it might seem straightforward enough to handle yourself. After all, WordPress provides a user-friendly and intuitive Block editor. But there’s more to it than what meets the eye.

Your blog post requires specific formatting and structuring to ensure that your content is not only reader-friendly but also optimized for search engines and accessible to all users.

Let’s dive into why you might want to consider either learning the ropes or hiring a professional to add content and manage your WordPress blog posts.

Adding Images

When it comes to adding images to your blog posts, there’s a lot to consider. Let’s dive into it.

🙋‍♀️ Did You Know?

On average, images account for about half of a web page’s file size. 🤯

Image Size

Images are a great way to keep your users engaged with your blog post in WordPress, but the wrong image size (the actual dimensions of your image) can slow down your page drastically.

What Not to Do
Avoid uploading large high-resolution images directly from your camera, phone or stock photography websites. These will slow down your page’s loading time, affecting user experience.

What to Do
Resize your images appropriately prior to uploading them to WordPress. This not only saves space and bandwidth on your server when adding new content, but it guarantees you’re not accidentally uploading an image that is megabytes in size. A free tool like Canva is great for resizing if you aren’t familiar with (or have) other design tools.

💡 Pro Tip

Ask your developer for the optimal image dimensions to use for images within blog posts and adhere to that sizing.

Image Format

Size isn’t the only thing that matters when it comes to… your images (hey, get your mind out of the gutter!). The correct image format is key for ensuring optimal page loading time too.

What Not to Do
Avoid using JPGs for logos or illustrations, and avoid using PNGs for detailed photographs.

What to Do
Use WebP & JPG formats for photographs, and use SVGs for logos or illustrations. If transparency is needed, PNGs are appropriate.

🙋‍♀️ Did You Know?

WebP format is now widely supported across browsers and devices, and can shrink file sizes by 25-35% without any discernible loss in quality.

The current problem with WebP format is that it hasn’t been adopted by all design tools yet, making editing and saving in the format difficult. But not to worry! Most image optimization plugins will generate and serve the WebP format with the correct plugin settings.

Image Optimization

Image optimization maintains the original image quality but reduces the file size significantly, which is crucial for keeping your visitors engaged and reducing bounce rates.

What Not to Do
Easy… don’t NOT optimize your images.

What to Do
Use an image optimization plugin (like EWWW Image Optimizer, Imagify, Optimole, ShortPixel or Smush) to optimize and convert your images to WebP format. If you’re on a budget, you can use a free service like TinyPNG to optimize and convert your images prior to uploading them to WordPress.

Image Alt Text

Adding alternative text (alt text) to your images is not only beneficial for search engine optimization but also enhances accessibility for visually impaired readers who rely on screen readers to navigate your content.

What Not to Do
Avoid using default file names from your phone like IMG_0256.jpg or screenshot file names like Screenshot 2024-05-05 at 8.49.29 AM.png. This shares no information about your image. Avoid using text within images also. They can’t be read by screen readers.

What to Do
Use descriptive file names and alt texts. For example, ‘red-apple-on-kitchen-counter.jpg’ with alt text “A shiny red apple sits brightly on a marble kitchen countertop.”

Legal Considerations When Using Images

Using unlicensed images can lead to costly legal issues, so it’s important to use images responsibly.

What Not to Do
Do not head to Google Image Search, find an image you like, and upload it to use on your website. Unless you’re cool with copyright infringement, that is. It’s going to be a no from me.

What to Do
Opt for self-taken photographs or use properly licensed stock photos. Always verify the licensing requirements and give credit where it’s due.


Properly organizing your content with correct heading hierarchy and semantic markup is crucial for both SEO purposes and readability when crafting a blog post in WordPress.

Heading Structure

A clear structure using headings helps both readers and search engines navigate your content.

What Not to Do
Avoid using headings just based on visual appeal rather than structure. There are alternative methods to styling headings the way you want without compromising your heading hierarchy.

What to Do
Structuring your headings using H1, H2, H3 tags in the right order helps search engines understand the content’s hierarchy and improves user experience. Use H1 for the main title and H2 for main headings within your new blog post, followed by H3s for sub-sections as necessary. This means, in most cases, you should never use an H1 in your blog post as your WordPress theme uses the H1 to display the blog post title.

Semantic Markup

Proper use of HTML tags enhances the appearance, SEO, and accessibility of your blog posts.

What Not to Do
Avoid copying text directly from word processors without proper formatting adjustments. When you do this, often you can carry over inline styles that override your theme styles causing inconsistent formatting across your blog posts. It can also add extra html markup or incorrect markup, like using manual dots in place of list elements.

What to Do
Use proper HTML elements like blockquotes for quotations, unordered lists for bullet points, and more to ensure proper presentation and accessibility. If you’re using the native Block editor in WordPress, simply get familiar with and use the correct blocks and you’ll be ahead of the majority.

SEO Optimization

By creating valuable, SEO-friendly content that resonates with your target audience, you can increase conversions and achieve greater success in your online endeavors.

What Not to Do
Avoid overstuffing your content with keywords which can lead to penalization from search engines.

What to Do
Make sure each of your blog posts have a meta title, meta description, and make sure your content has the keyword or keyphrase you’re looking to rank for throughout the content.

Categorization and Tagging

It’s important to select the correct category and (optionally) add tags when you create a blog post.

Categories are meant to categorize your blog posts in grouped topics, while tags focus on smaller descriptive terms and help link related posts together.

For example, your category might be “Fruit”, and your tags might be “apples”, “bananas”, “oranges”, etc.

💡 Pro Tip

Make sure you rename the default “Uncategorized” category (and its slug) that is added when WordPress is installed, and also change the default category in Settings > Writing.

What Not to Do
Avoid selecting multiple categories for your blog post.

Avoid thinking of tags like keywords. Keywords are words that you want to include in your post title, headings, and body of your post. This helps search engines find your content. Tags can be displayed on your post to help your website visitors discover content about the same topic, but the tag doesn’t have to be part of your blog content.

Avoid using variations of the same tag name, for example, do not have separate tags for “apple” and “apples”. Pick just one.

What to Do
Select one category per post, unless it makes sense for your readers to assign to multiple categories as there is potential for SEO issues due to duplicate content.

When adding tags to your blog post, opt for writing them in lowercase and while there is no rule for how many tags you add, I suggest keeping it to a maximum of 10 tags per blog post.

Proofreading and Editing

Thorough proofreading and editing eliminates errors, enhancing your blog’s professionalism and clarity.

Spellchecking and Grammar

Addressing grammar errors, typos, and inconsistencies not only enhances the professionalism of your blog content but also ensures clarity and coherence in your messaging.

What Not to Do
Do not ignore spellcheck and grammar suggestions assuming they are always incorrect. And do not rely solely on automated tools without a final human review.

What to Do
Use tools like Grammarly or Hemingway to initially catch common grammatical errors and awkward phrasing. And have another person review your content, as a fresh set of eyes can often catch mistakes that you might have otherwise missed.

Brand Tone

Maintain a consistent tone that resonates with your audience. Establishing a cohesive voice that aligns with your brand identity helps in building recognition and trust among your readers.

What Not to Do
Do not frequently switch between formal and casual tones within the same article. And do not use jargon or slang that might confuse or alienate your target audience.

What to Do
Use ChatGPT to clarify your brand tone by feeding it successful blog post content you’ve written before. ChatGPT will share information about your brand tone that you can keep in the forefront of your mind when writing new articles. Is your brand tone friendly and relatable? Is it passionate? Do you use humour?

Getting Ready to Publish

You must be thinking… ok, that’s gotta be it, right? Welp, no, not quite. There’s a few remaining tasks to check before you hit that publish button.

Setting a Featured Image

Most blogs make use of featured images. This image is usually seen on your blog index and category pages, as well as on the individual post.

What Not to Do
If your blog uses featured images, don’t forget to add one.

What to Do
Make sure you use an image that compliments your blog post topic.

Social Media Share (or Open Graph) Properties

Just like needing to set the metadata for your blog post, you should also set your Open Graph properties so social media platforms like Facebook, X, and LinkedIn can show proper information and imagery rather than letting the socials pull whatever they want.

What Not to Do
Don’t simply ignore this step, as you may not get as many clicks when others share your content on social media.

What to Do
Use a SEO plugin that also allows you to edit your social media share preview, like your title, description and image. Some plugins that do this are: Slim SEO, SEOPress, Yoast SEO, RankMath, and The SEO Framework.

Device Checking

Remember, what you see is not always what you get. Make sure to save a draft of your blog post and preview it on various devices and screen sizes, as this ensures a great user experience for all.

What Not to Do
Don’t assume that your post will look the same on all devices without testing. Ignoring the importance of responsive design elements can lead to a poor user experience for users on mobile or tablet devices.

What to Do
Use WordPress’s preview function to see how your post looks on different devices before publishing it for all to see. If you see anything that needs fixing, such as formatting issues, be sure to fix those before hitting that publish button.

When your blog content is done and you’ve checked off everything in this DIY guide, go ahead and publish your post!

Why Consider a Pro?

Consider the value that a professional touch can bring to your online content strategy. Before deciding whether to hire a professional, evaluate these factors to ensure your blog posts are not only engaging but also optimized for success.

Partner With Us at CodeInk Studios

At CodeInk Studios, we’re passionate about empowering you through comprehensive WordPress support. Our care plan covers publishing 1-2 blog posts per month so you can leave the publishing to the experts. Need help writing them? We can help you write your posts too!

Ready to Team Up?

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