It’s a huge relief isn’t?
The trouble is, you’ve still got to, copy-paste it into WordPress, edit, format text, add images and more!
Writing the content is only half the battle. Editing and formatting can take as long, but are important to the success of your blog post.
Especially if you’re publishing longer format content. Because unless you’re a good writer, retaining someone’s attention over 2,000+ words is hard.
Which is why formatting is important.
And I’m not talking about throwing in a few subheadings, bullet points or breaking up longer paragraphs.
I’m talking about the DESIGN of your blog post.
Here’s what I mean.
Take a look at any of those blogs and you can tell they take formatting seriously.
Custom designed featured images, animated GIF’s, videos, click-to-tweet links and other multi media are key to their blogs success.
But creating all that extra content can take a heck of a lot of time.
Fortunately I’ve picked up a few sneaky tricks (and a few super helpful tools) that can help you format your blog posts with ease.
How to publish content on WordPress
How do you write your blog posts?
Do you use Word (Ugh), Google Docs, a text editor or the WordPress editor?
I use Google Docs.
I’m betting a lot of you do too.
And if you do. How do you get the content into WordPress? Do you copy-paste the whole thing, links and all into your WordPress post?
Because if you do, you will have likely experienced problems with formatting. Once you paste the content into WordPress.
My first answer to this is to copy-paste the content into a text editor first. To strip out all formatting (including links) then copy-paste back into WordPress.
Yes, it is time consuming ;(
I also tried using Word2cleanhtml which allowed me to keep the formatting and links.
And then, earlier this year I saw a post in a Facebook group discussing a cool new app called Wordable. That lets you import content from a Google doc. No more copy-pasting between two separate products.
I was sold.
All you need to do is write and format your article in a Google Doc, click ‘export’ and it’s ready in WordPress.
Your text formatting gets imported to <h1>, <h2>, <h3>, bold, italics, bullet points and images.
It is so simple that this app must save me at least an hour per post.
The four ingredients of optimising images
Optimising your images is important for page speed and SEO.
Images can be the No. 1 culprit for slowing down your site.
There are 3 key ways to reduce image file size.
- Reduce the ‘physical’ pixel width and height of your image.
- Change the file size of the image
- Format it in JPEG, GIF or PNG.
Let’s start with the physical size.
A lot of people ignore this step. Opting instead to upload images into their WordPress media library without cropping them.
This is a mistake.
Especially if you’re using a retina display, which will take images much bigger than you need them to be.
Before uploading your image to WordPress.
Understand how big your image needs to be.
For example I’ve just taken a screenshot off my Macbook Pro. The resolution of that image is 2754 x 1770 (144 DPI) and creates a 620 KB file size.
Not huge but if you have 5-10 of those in a post it’s soon going to add up.
My blog width is 742 px wide, so that screenshot is already over 3 times bigger than it needs to be.
When I reduce that image to 742 px at 72DPI it reduces the image to 274 KB.
To find out the width of your blog if you don’t know it. Right click on your blog post in browser anywhere. Click ‘inspect element’. Run your cursor over the paragraph elements until you see the content area highlighted, within the inspect element window.
You’ll see a tooltip callout in black, the first number is the width in pixels. Make a note of it, that’s your blog posts width.
To crop the image to the correct size I use either Preview on my Mac, Skitch or I download the image from Pexels to the correct dimensions.
Now let’s deal with file size.
Once your image is cropped you’ll want to reduce the file size as much as possible – without sacrificing image quality.
Thankfully, there’s an app for that.
Go to TinyPNG upload your images and TinyPNG will compress each of them. Without reducing image quality.
You can also take this a step further by using image compression plugin, such as Imagify.
File format can also have an impact on size. As a rule of thumb use JPEG for photos and PNG for graphics such as logos.
One last step. Before uploading your images, give them a descriptive file name. Include a keyword if it’s appropriate and use hyphens to separate words.
And don’t forget to add ALT text once you’ve uploaded it into WordPress.
The simple trick to generating more leads
Adding content upgrades or calls-to-action that link out to landing pages, is a great way to convert readers into subscribers.
But again, it can be another process that can take hours to complete.
First in creating the extra content required to give away and second, adding the content upgrade or call-to-action.
Guess what? I’ve got a tool for that.
One of the fastest ways I’ve found to create a simple lead magnet is by creating a PDF version of your blog post. I use a tool called printfriendly.
To add the content upgrade to my post I use Leadboxes from Leadpages but you could use anyone of these tools.
And I’ll use call-to-action that says something like:
Don’t have time to read the whole guide right now? No worries. Let me send you a copy so you can read it when it’s convenient for you. Just let me know where to send it.
The finishing touches that spark big engagement
Once you’ve got this far the rest is really just ‘frosting’.
If you are using a lot of images, especially if you’re going to the length of creating your own custom images, using something like ‘Image sharer’ lets readers easily share your images to Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Adding ready made click-to-tweet links can be a great way of not only getting more shares but also helping improve the ‘design’ of your post.
Click-to-tweet by Today Made allows you to easily create attractive click-to-tweet boxes in your blog posts.
And finally end with a call-to-action to help continue the conversion, once you’ve hit publish.
These are just a few simple steps (and tools) I use to help make the process of formatting my blog posts as quick as possible.
But I’m sure you all have a few tricks of your own! Please let us know in the comments.