How to Start a Travel Blog #5 – Your First Blog Post

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Wow! It’s a lot of work putting together an 8 part blogging series. No biggie. As long as it helps a few people, I’ll be completely satisfied.

In the last post, I showed you some of the more important aspects of configuring WordPress. Now, after all the preparation, we are finally ready to publish our first blog post. The beauty of WordPress is that it makes it really easy to add pages and posts to your blog. Today, I’ll show you how.

What to Expect from this “Learning to Blog” Series

This is the fifth part of a series on the topic of starting a travel blog or really starting any type of blog for that matter.

Creating Your First Blog Post in WordPress

Creating or Publishing your first post will be a breeze. For the first post, let’s keep it simple. If you recall, I am using my spare domain to show examples during this series. You can see all the action over at:

You can create a new post in one of three ways:

  1. Click on the + New button and select Post from the menu
  2. Click Posts in the sidebar, then click Add New as the menu expands down
  3. From the Dashboard, below where it says “Right Now”, click on Posts
Creating Your First Blog Post in WordPress

Create Your First Blog Post

All three of the options above will open up the Edit Post page where you can begin putting your masterpiece post together.

There is, however, another way. If you just want to quickly add a post to your blog without even leaving the Dashboard, you could jump right in over in the “Quick Press” area. See below:

Quick Press

Add Blog Posts Quickly

Either way is fine, but I will be discussing the standard way of creating a post (not the quickie way).

At this point, you should be on a page that says “Add New Post” at the top and your cursor should be blinking in the title area of the post. If not, then you will need to click Add New Post. It all depends on which option you choose above.

When writing a post, you can either come up with the title and then write the post or write the post and come up with a descriptive title when you are done. I typically put something in for the title, write the post, then I come back and adjust the title if needed.

Since this is a Travel Blog guide, I will create a travel entry which doesn’t match up with my domain name but this is purely for example purposes.

The title of my post will be “Camping in Big Bend Was Delightful”. So, I type my title into the title area, just below Add New Post. Next, click down in the content area below the writing tool bar. Give it a few seconds and WordPress will auto-save your work thus far and it will automatically create a Permalink for your post based on your title.

Title for New Post

Adding Title for New Post

If you’ll recall, we discussed Permalinks in Part 4 of this series. In the above screenshot, you will see the address link after I shorted it.

Before you finish and publish your post, make sure you like the title, then press the edit button next to the Permalink to shorten the title if you like. For instance, the permalink should just get to the point. No need for “fluff” in a link. So, below I removed “Was Delightful” which was part of my title but not necessary in the permalink.

Shortening the Permalink

Changing Permalink

Editing the Permalink

Shorten the Permalink

Time to fill the Content Area with some text and pictures and maybe a video. Let’s get to work. I will write a quick fictional story about a family traveling to Big Bend National Park in Texas in the content area and you should do the same on your first post. Make sure you use the tool bar to bold words, use italics or create lists.

Important: At the upper right hand corner of the Content Area, you will see two tabs Visual and Text. Beginners will probably want to start out with Visual as this is a “What You See Is What You Get” (WYSIWYG) posting style which will allow you to see how your post will look live as you create it.

I personally use the Text post style as I like to include code into my posts, but since I am gearing this post towards beginners, I will show how it’s done in the Visual editor. But truthfully, the visual editor is much like any word processor, so I will not go into much detail. I will say that while in Visual mode, click on the last item (right side) on the tool bar to open up more options – Show/Hide Kitchen Sink.

Inserting Media
Ok, I have finished adding some content (text), now I want to add an image. To do that, click on Add Media just below the Permalink. This will open up the Insert Media window where you can insert something from your media library or you could upload something now. You will clicked Upload and then Select Files. Next, browse your computer to find the file you want to insert.

When inserting an image, you can also add important meta data which will help searchers find the image and it will also increase the chances of them finding your post. So, make sure you include a descriptive title, caption, description, and ALT text (words that appear when the reader hovers over the image with their mouse pointer).

For more info on using keywords effectively in images and WordPress posts, check out my WordPress SEO Guide.

WordPress Post Categories and Tags

This post is coming along fine and I could add a lot more, but let’s move on to categories and tags.

WordPress Categories
Creating CategoriesSome bloggers create a category for every single post. I’m not one of them. I prefer to create broad categories to keep it simple. Every blog post your write should be filed away in a category. I think I will create “Texas Travels” as a category and file this Big Bend trip away in there.

To add this new category, I click on + Add New Category and then type my new category name. This category I am creating will be a parent category or top tier category. I may decide later to create a Big Bend category and file this post under Texas Travel –> Big Bend.

WordPress Tags
Tags are used to describe your post in words or in short phrases. I generally like to only include 4-5 tags in each post. Since my post is about Big Bend, I should include that as a tag. I think I will also include “National Park” and “SW Texas”.

To add Tags, click in the box below Tags, type in your tags separating each tag with a comma and then click Add.

Proofread Your New Post

The final step in the process is to proofread your post. When you feel satisfied, click Publish.

Awesome! Your first blog post is published!

If you decide you need to make any changes or add something, just do it and press the Update button to update the post.

WordPress Pages

There is no need to go into extreme detail on Pages because most of the same steps were just covered in the Posts section. I will, however, explain the slight differences.

Really, the primary difference is that when you create a page, you will most likely want to include the page on the Navigation menu.

Let’s create a quick About Us Page. Click on Pages –> Add New, type in your title then fill up the content area with Cool stuff about you. Proofread your work, then click Publish.

Most themes will automatically include the new page on your Navigation menu:

New Page on Menu

New Page on Menu

If your theme doesn’t add your page or you want to move menu items around, Click on Appearance –> Menu. There you will be able to add menu items and re-order the pages on the menu.

Well, that’s it for this post. Hopefully it gave you a good understanding of WordPress and helped you create your first post.

Start a Blog That Matters

Anyone can start a blog, so if you want your blog to catch on a build an audience, then you need to Start a Blog That Matters. This means you should strive to help others with your blog, whether you’re explaining how to get discounts on travel or showing how to fix a leaking propane tank. Make your content great and make your blog matter.

After you have completed my 8-part series on starting a blog, you should try Corbett Barr’s blogging course.
Start a Blog That Matters
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    What’s included in Corbett’s course?

  • 13 Weekly Lessons and Action Plans
  • Over 8 hours of video
  • FAQ full of previously asked questions from 800+ students
  • 60-Day Money Back Guarantee (No Questions Asked)
  • The 90-Day Action Plan to turn nothing to a Blog That Matters

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What Are Your Thoughts?

What was your first ever post? Let me know in the comments below.

Next Up: WordPress Plugins

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