Are you still writing your blog articles directly in WordPress?

Written by Nadin Thomson

March 2021

where should I write my blog posts

Let’s start with how not to do write a blog post

  • Open WordPress
  • Create a new post
  • Start typing
  • Improve SEO
  • Save & Publish

5 main reasons you should not type into WordPress directly

  • It’s possible that the post is not saved properly,
  • An update starts in the background and then you lose whatever you’ve typed.
  • WordPress (and any web builder for that matter) is not great for on-to-go spell checking.
  • You might only see a part of your post in the small text window and not the whole article. This makes it hard for you to structure your post correctly, as you may forget which heading level you’re on and then use Heading 3 when it should actually be Heading 2 (more about heading levels and their importance below).
  • You don’t have a offline backup of your blog post – it only exists online! Keep a folder on your PC with all your blog posts either as Word documents or you can save them in Google Docs. 

Best Practice for blog writing

You can write your blog in any word processing software such as Pages on the Mac, Word on Windows or Google Docs.

However, the best option for copying your article structure (i.e. headlines, bullet points etc.) into WordPress is actually Google Docs. You will probably have a Gmail account and then you simply open Google docs by typing in the address bar: docs.google.com Let me show you how easy this is:

Give the document a title (i.e. a filename you want to save it under). I tend to give it a file name that starts with the year, month, day and then a short blog title. This one for example would be called “20210419 Blog – How to write a blog.doc”.

In Word and in Pages, you can check the Auto Save option, so that your document is saved every few seconds automatically. Google Docs does that anyway.

In the next step, plan your blog post and think about the structure you want to give it. For example for this one, I started like this: Title: The logistics of blogging (what to do and and what not to do) Headlines:

Headline 1: How to actually write a blog article

Headline 2: How to not write a blog

Headline 2: Best practice for blog writing

Headline 3: How to use Word, Pages or Google Docs in the correct way

Headline 3: Spellchecking

Headline 3: SEO – check for keywords

Headline 3: The correct length for a blog post

Headline 3: Flesch Reading Score

Headline 2: How to add the content into WordPress without losing formatting

Headline 2: Check WordPress that no additional coding has been included

Headline 2: Save & Publish

Headline 2: Do the SEO work

How to use Word, Pages or Google Docs in the correct way

Don’t skip this section, as you might think you know how to use Word, Pages or Google docs. All these word processing software options come with lots and lots of formatting possibilities. The probably most often used is to make a word appear in bold or italic. You click on the little B or I in the toolbar and voila.

But what about headlines? I see this over and over again with the documents my customers send to me and most people actually have no idea how to structure a document correctly. You should never ever (like niente, nada, no!!) use the font size or font style (or combine these two – possibly with Bold) to create headlines!

Have you ever written a headline, and then made it bigger, made it bold and then possibly chose a different font? Yep, don’t do that again when you want to write blog posts (or in general). Let me explain how to use it properly and how this helps for writing blogs. So for example you want to style a headline.

Anything you style using Fonts and font sizes in Word or pages will not be copied into WordPress anyway, so there’s no point in styling. What’s absolutely important, however, is the structuring of your text.

By structuring I mean creating headlines and bullet points. What’s also really important is to use the headlines correctly. Many people use headlines for styling, but that’s not what they’re there for. Headlines should be used for structuring a blog post (and incidentally – web pages too!).

Here’s what that means: Each blog post (or web page) must only have one Headline 1. The subsequent headline should be Headline 2. If this section now has a couple of sub sections, you can create Headline 3 a couple of times, but the next main section has Headline 2 again. Here’s what this looks like:

  • Headline 1
    • Headline 2:
    • Headline 2:
      • Headline 3:
      • Headline 3:
      • Headline 3:
  • Headline 2:
  • Headline 2:

The reason why this is important is because Google uses this structure and can then transform your blog post into a Google Snippet and create a list out of your headlines. Let me show you this snippet example in this little video:

So how do you use this structure properly? As Google Docs is the best option for this, I have created a little video for you on how to do it properly. When you want to create a headline, there is a drop down at the top that says “Normal Text”.

When you write a headline 2, simply click on this drop down and select Heading 2. It will then apply the headline 2 style. If you need headline 3, click on Heading 3. Normally for headlines, each headline structure level is a little bit smaller (i.e. less significant) than the level above. I.e. heading 3 will be smaller than heading 2. Let me show you where the formatting is in Google Docs.

Spellchecking

Use the spellchecker in Google Docs. Make sure grammar and spelling are OK before you copy the text into WordPress. You can also use the Grammarly app.

SEO – check your blog post for keywords

There are several reasons for writing blog articles, but one of them is probably to be found in Google. Blog posts can be the main reason why your website is found in Google. For that reason, you should check that your content is a) relevant to your audience and b) your audience is actually looking for content like the one you’re writing in your blog article.

You can use the free Keyword checker tool on www.moz.com to see if people are searching for the content you’re about to write, and moz.com will also tell you how many people per month search for it. You should then include the keywords in your blog post, but make sure it’s absolutely readable by your potential visitors and you don’t just write for Google.

Make sure you include relevant keywords in every headline of your blog post as Google uses headlines to determine what your blog post is about. Let me show you a few examples:

  • Bad headline: How not to do it
  • Good headline: How not to write a blog post

Can you spot the difference? The bad headline contains absolutely no keywords, but the good headline contains “write blog post”.

How long should a blog post be?

Let’s talk about the best blog post length. Generally speaking, blog posts perform better in Google the longer they are! A blog post with three paragraphs will not do you any favours and won’t help with SEO.

I usually aim to write at least 1000 words, but I actually try to push way beyond that number. Orbitmedia in Chicago did a survey, and they found that the best performing blog articles are between 2000 and 3000 words long. But there are outliers too – some articles do amazingly well when they have 10,000 words!

It really depends on the subject and also how many other websites already talk about the same issue. If you’re the first discussing a certain topic, then you will get away with shorter articles. But if your market niche is saturated, you will need to come up with better ideas and better content, include video, add PDF downloads etc.

Aim for longer blog posts, but don’t include more words without meaning. Keep it factual and stay on topic.

What does the Flesch reading score mean in WordPress

You should check the Flesch reading score of your new blog article. This score determines the difficulty of your writing (Read this short blog post about the Flesch reading score which will tell you all the necessary things you need to know).

Once you’re finished writing, you can copy parts of or your whole article and paste it into the Flesch Reading Score website here (use the Direct Input Tab) and it will tell you if it’s too easy or too difficult to read. In most cases, it’s too difficult to read. Avoid using passive language, keep using shorter sentences and paragraphs and stick to plain English. Depending on your readers, aim to have a score between 60 and 80. The higher the number the easier to read.

Also, both SEO plugins “RANK MATH” and “Yoast SEO” include a reading score. It’s best practice though to finalise your content in Google Docs.

How to add the content into WordPress without losing formatting

Now you’re ready to add your blog post into WordPress. Create a new post and enter the blog post title. Then let WordPress create a permalink (the link is displayed below the title). Once you can see the permalink, click Edit and amend it to ONLY include keywords. WordPress automatically adds your blog title as a permalink, but that’s rarely useful for SEO. Titles can be very long (and that’s OK), but the permalink should be short and contain the keywords people are likely to enter in Google.

For this one, the blog title is “The logistics of writing a blog article”, and then I amended the permalink to “wordpress-blog-writing-best-practice”.

There are many different WordPress editors. For example the Block Editor, Elementor, Divi, WP Bakery and so on. Ultimately, you will be working in a text box which contains a WYSIWYG menu. WYSIWYG stands for What You See Is What You Get. It’s those little icons above the text box that allow you to format the text, making a headline, creating bullet points, making a word appear in bold and so on.

In Google Docs, open your full blog article and then press either Ctrl+A (on PC) or Cmd+A (on a Mac) and then press Ctrl+C (PC) or Cmd+C (Mac) to copy the whole the text. Then have the text box in WordPress open and click into the text box and press Ctrl+V (Pc) or Cmd+V (Mac) to paste the text into the text field. If you copy text from Word and Pages, any headline styling will not be copied into WordPress unfortunately.

Check WordPress that no additional coding has been included

If you use the wrong type of structuring by increasing font sizes etc., then it’s likely that a lot of unnecessary formatting is copied across into your blog article. There is an easy way to check this though. In WordPress, the text editor box contains two tabs: Visual and Text. You should normally be working in the Visual tab. Click on the Text tab to check if there is unnecessary formatting. Let me show you in this video:

When the Text tab is opened, you should only see text with the standard tags, such as <h1> etc. without any additional things like <span id=”r4556″>. If you see a lot of additional code, the best thing you can do is using the Remove formatting option in the toolbar. Make sure you’re in the Visual Tab, as otherwise you won’t see it. The icon you’re looking for is an eraser icon. Highlight all the text in the text field on the Visual tab by pressing Ctrl+A (on PC) or Cmd+A (on a Mac) and then click on the Remove Formatting icon. This should remove all unnecessary code from your text.

Save & Publish

Now all you have to do is save and publish your blog post and you’re ready to complete it by doing a little bit of SEO work with your SEO plugin (should you have one).

Do the SEO work

The two best SEO plugins for WordPress are either Yoast SEO or Rank Math. Both do the same thing. An SEO plugin does not do SEO for you, it simply checks if you have done the SEO correctly and suggests things you should improve. Provide an SEO title, focus keyword etc. and prepare your blog post the best you can for search engine optimisation. And that’s it 🙂

Nadin Thomson

Nadin Thomson started developing websites in 1999 as a hobby and started her business as a web developer in 2004. She has 18+ years of experience in helping businesses of all sizes to create an online presence and improve their website. She's also worked as a photographer in Scotland for 15+ years. The majority of her customers found Nadin through Google as she's continually optimised her website for SEO.

Nadin Thomson has a University Business degree and a Postgraduate Diploma in Digital Marketing.

Find out more about Nadin Thomson.