Blogging on WordPress

Adding a blog to your WordPress site

Adding a blog to your WordPress site

Writing a regular artist blog can bring a real boost to your traffic (the more content you have on your site, the more likely you are to be found on search engines). Blogs also help engage potential fans and buyers with the story behind your art.

This chapter covers the technicalities of creating a blog, not the art of crafting a great blog post. Although many of the directions I give can be applied more generally, this tutorial is specifically aimed at artists who have followed Building Your Artist Website, and therefore have installed the Klasik theme.

By the end of the tutorial, you’ll have added a main blog page to your site, made it visually engaging, and have the tools to create blog posts within WordPress.

Creating your main Blog page

1. From your WordPress dashboard, click on ‘Pages’>’Add New’.

How to create your main blog page on WordPress

2. You are creating a page that will be linked to in your main menu – this isn’t a blog post – it is where the snippets of your latest blog posts will be displayed; visitors click through to be taken to the full post.

Name the page ‘Blog’.

3. From the ‘Template’ drop down menu, choose ‘Blog’.

Add a new page to your WordPress blog

4. Scroll down and choose how many blog snippets you’d like to display on this page. Multiples of 3 work well with the Klasik theme.

Select how many posts to show in the blog page

5. Click ‘Publish’.

Edit your blog page

Creating a Blog post

Now you have a main blog page, you need to create some content to fill it. Here’s how you create blog posts within WordPress.

1. From your dashboard, click on ‘Posts’>’Add New’.

2. Give your blog post an engaging title.

3. Type your blog post in the visual editor.

Give your blog post a title

4. Once your post is complete, scroll down and assign a category to it. Categories are a great way of organising your blog posts. Visitors can choose to see all posts concerning ‘Exhibitions’ for example, or ‘Inspirations’.

You can tick the category you’d like this particular post to appear in from the ‘All Categories’ list, or create a new category. To add a new category, click on ‘Add New Category’.

Create a category for your blog post

5. Give the category a pertinent name and then click ‘Add New Category’ again. You can make the category a ‘Parent Category’ or a ‘Chid Category’. A child category is a sub-category of a parent category; for example, you may have a parent category entitled ‘Techniques’, whose child categories are ‘Mixed Media’, ‘Stitch’ and ‘Print’. A post can belong to as many different categories as you like.

Give the category a title

6. Next, add a featured image for the post. This image will appear at the top of your post, but is also particularly useful for capturing the attention of visitors on your main Blog page (the one you created earlier). A portion of the image will be shown there, so choose something visually inviting, encouraging visitors to click through.

Click ‘Set featured image’.

Set a featured image in your blog post

You can choose an image from your Media Library (images you’ve already uploaded) or upload a new image by clicking ‘Upload Files’.

Either way, select the image you would like to use, add a ‘Title’, some ‘Alternative Text’ and a ‘Description’ (we cover the purpose of these fields in more detail later on in Basic SEO) and click ‘Set Featured Image’.

Choose an image to represent your blog post

7. Click ‘Publish’.

Publish your blog post on your WordPress site

Making sure the main Blog page displays nicely

By default, the main Blog page in the Klasik WordPress theme has a sidebar to the left of the screen. This can be an asset if you’d like to display a sign-up form for your newsletter on this page. But if you don’t, it is just a blank space. We have two options: use it or lose it!

Option 1: Use it

1. If you’d like to display a sign-up form (like the one we created in the previous chapter Setting up a mailing list and connecting it to your site) in the sidebar instead of removing it, you can go to ‘Appearance’>’Widgets’.

Using a sidebar on your blog page

2. From the list of ‘Available Widgets’ find the ‘Text’ widget.

Add widgets to your sidebar

3. Click on it and choose to add it to the ‘Main Sidebar’.

Choose which sidebar you want to add widgets to

4. Give your ‘Text’ widget a title – this should be some sort of call to action, asking people to sign up to your newsletter.

5. Now find the short code for your sign-up form (for more details on how to do this see Chapter 2: Setting up a mailing list and connecting it to your site).

6. Place the short code in the ‘Text’ box.

7. Click ‘Save’.

Add a call to action for your newsletter signup in the sidebar of your blog page

Option 2: Lose it

In order for your main Blog page to display neatly without the sidebar, you’ll need to add some custom CSS.

1. First of all you need to know the Blog page ID. To find this, click on ‘Pages’>’All Pages’ and find your ‘Blog’ page.

2. Once you get there, click on ‘Get Shortlink’.

Find the page ID in Wodpress

3. The page ID is the number that appears after ‘?p=’ in the short code URL that pops up. Make a note of it.

Select the page ID of the blog post

4. Now go to ‘Options’>’Main.

Go to your main options page

5. Scroll down to the ‘Custom Css’ box.

Type in the following code under any other code that already exists, but replace ‘271’ with the page ID of your own Blog page:

Add some custom CSS to remove the sidebar

By default there is an area on the left of the ‘Blog’ template that is blank; it is intended to be used for a sidebar (.left_widget), but is useless with nothing in it. The command {display:none;} removes the sidebar. Because the sidebar has been removed, the spacing of the page will be strange, which is why we need to re-set the page width, which is what we’re doing with the second line of code.

Without the sidebar and once you have at least 3 blog posts published, your main Blog page should look something like the image below. From here, visitors click on the post they’d like to read in full.
How the blog looks on a live WordPress site


So now you have a brand new blog page and the tools to create regular posts. If you are struggling to figure out what to write about, check out these tips for finding subjects for your artist blog.


Go to Chapter 4 – Basic Search Engine Optimization >>>

<<< Go back to Chapter 2 – Setting up a mailing list and connecting it to your site

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