How To Add A Reusable Block To A WordPress Blog Post Using The Gutenberg Editor

If you have a specific collection/arrangement of text or images that you need to reuse in multiple blog posts, you can save yourself a lot of time by turning them into reusable blocks. No more cut, copy and pasting or reusing older posts in need of a freshening up.

#bloggingtips #blogging #gutenberg #GutenbergEditor

Not only will you be able to name your reusable block, but you can insert them just like you would a regular block.

To create a reusable block, follow the guide below. For the purpose of this demonstration, I’m creating a reusable block for a link to my ‘Entertaining Stories’ magazine on Flipboard.

How to create a reusable block

  • Create a new block and add your text or image to it.
  • Click anywhere in the block you have created and click on the ‘three dots‘ icon in the tool bar that opens.
Click on the three dots
  • Click on ‘Add to Reusable Blocks‘ in the dropdown menu that opens.
Click on ‘Add to Reusable Blocks
  • Give your reusable block a name so that you can easily locate it the next time you use it.
Give your block a name
  • Click the ‘save‘ button to the right of the box where you have just named your block.
  • Your reusable block is now created.

All the reusable blocks you create are stored under the ‘Reusable’ tab in the list of blocks available on the Gutenberg editor. In the image below, I’ve highlighted the new reusable block I’ve created.

Looking for your new reusable block
  • To add it to a post, select it from the list and place the block where you want it to appear in your post.
Select your reusable block and place it in your post

As this particular reusable block does not have a lot of text in it, I like to centre the text and give the background of the block a different colour. I think this helps the block to stand out in the post.

Make your block standout

Don’t forget to add any pingbacks to your reusable blocks.

What can I use a reusable block for?

Anything you like, but here are a few suggestions.

  • Links to social media sites.
  • Lists of your social media sites.
  • An author bio.
  • An author photo.
  • An author bio and photo.
  • Details of your books and where they can be purchased.
  • Copyright notices.
  • Mailing list subscription links.
  • Links to certain posts on your own blog or those of other blogs.
  • Links to where customers can purchase your goods/services.
  • Link to your ‘about me’ page.
  • Links to notices such as ‘How to apply to become a guest blogger on my blog.’
  • Writing/photography prompt/challenge blog posts.
  • A weekly/monthly feature post.

Can reusable blocks be edited?

Yes. You can edit both the title and the contents of a block by clicking on ‘Manage all Reusable blocks‘ which can be found at the bottom of the list of the reusable blocks you have created.

Managing reusable blocks
  • From here, you can edit titles and content. You can also delete blocks.

Warning – if you delete a block you’ve used on previous posts, it will disappear from those posts and display a notice stating that the block is no longer available. So, be careful when deleting reusable blocks.

  • The title of a block can also be edited by clicking on the edit button of a block.
Click the edit button
  • Any edits or updates you do to a reusable block are applied everywhere the block is used.
  • You can also convert a reusable block into a regular block by clicking on the three dots in the tool bar of the block and then on ‘Convert to Regular Block.’
Converting back to regular block

I’ve saved myself a lot of time by using reusable blocks on my blog posts. They are simple to use and straightforward to create.

Do you use reusable blocks? If so, what do you use them for? Please tell us by leaving a comment on this post.

#bloggingtips #blogging #gutenberg #GutenbergEditor

Do you have any questions about reusable blocks? Leave them in the comments section.

Layout, content, settings and format might differ on self-hosted blogs.

Click here to join my ‘Blogging Tips’ magazine on Flipboard.

Copyright © 2019 – All rights reserved.


84 thoughts on “How To Add A Reusable Block To A WordPress Blog Post Using The Gutenberg Editor

  1. Thanks Hugh, I haven’t tried the reusable blocks yet; I’m still on the classic editor where I often use the Copy Post option. I should probably Get With The Programme before I turn into a dinosaur! Nice to see you on Flipboard by the way, where I’ve just started following your Blogging Tips page. I’ve just recently started using Flipboard to follow news and interest stories and creating a few magazines. I enjoy your insights into the world of blogging: always helpful and encouraging.

    1. If your blog is self-hosted, the WordPress Classic Editor plugin will only be available until sometime in 2022. They haven’t said when in 2022, but once it goes, the only way to then access the Classic editor will be via the Classic block, Amanda.

      Thanks so much for joining me over on Flipboard. I’d love to follow you back over there. What’s your user name on Flipboard?

  2. Thank you for sharing this tip Hugh!

    I’ve actually being using a workaround of copy/pasting an older post and just deleting the parts I don’t want to keep, which did get a bit fiddly.

    I’ll get my regular blocks added 😀

    1. Good to hear, James. There’s also the ‘copy post’ option which I use for my regular posts such as Flashback Friday and Wordless Wednesday. It’s another option that can save you heaps of time without all the fiddling around.

    1. Good to hear, Barbara. Don’t hesitate to ask any further questions you have about the Block editor. You’ll also find some more of my posts about it under ‘Block Editor – How To’ on the menu bar of my blog.

      1. Great, thank you, Hugh. My blog just switched, but I still have the option to use either editor. My other blogs don’t have that – they are newer. Either way, I need to learn it!

  3. Thank you Hugh. Any and every tip possible is a help right now. I’ve been hating WP and blogging since the new block editor. It’s made the very simple, anyone can use it, format which was the solecreadon why I even began blogging and chose WP, into sure a frustrating painstaking, chore!
    I would’ve just left altogether and found a different, easier to manage site if it weren’t for the fantastic community of bloggers that I’ve found here.

    1. I remember thinking the same thing about the Block editor when I started using it, Laura. What helped me was to read and watch some of the tutorials that WordPress published. They went a long way in helping me get to grips with how to write a post using the block editor. I only use about five of the blocks regularly, and there’s always the Classic block for you to fall back on if you want to continue to use the Classic editor. I’ve played around with the Classic editor block, and it works the same as the old Classic editor does if all your using is text and images. I’d recommend you give it a whirl. I’m including a link to a support page that details how the Classic block works. I hope it helps.

      1. Hi Hugh,
        Thank you so much! I would love love love to use classic editor…..but it is not working at all! Although I have set it to Clasdic editor both on and the app… still only does block?
        Is that a paid vs free account or android vs desktop pc? Who knows????
        I will definately take your advise and check out some tutorials.

        1. WordPress is removing the old Classic editor in stages from all users, Laura. Plus, they’ve stopped supporting it, so any bugs or problems with it will soon not be fixed.
          I can still access the old editor via the WP Admin on the dashboard of my blog. After clicking on WP Admin, click on Posts and at the top of the page, you’ll see a dropdown menu ‘Add Post‘ button. Click on it to reveal a ‘Classic editor’ option. However, I don’t know how long this option will be available because, like I said, WordPress is removing access to the old Classic editor. The only way to be able to use the Classic editor in the future will be via the Classic Block.

  4. Hi Hugh,
    This was timely for me. What do you mean by adding pingbacks to your reusable blocks? What is the value and why would you do it?
    Congratulations! Your post won the Inspire Me Monday Linky Party. You’ll be featured on my site tomorrow.

    1. Hi Janice, as we know, pingbacks help a posts SEO rating. By adding them to reusable blocks (such as links to social media sites, books, past posts, etc.), it means we don’t have to keep adding them to future posts that include the reusable block. Best of all, if a link or price of a book changes, rather than having to edit all the information on every post, the changes take place on all posts where the block has been used if it’s a reusable block. That alone is going to save us lots of time with editing.

      I’m red-faced about winning the Inspire Monday Link party again. That’s great news. I’m so glad your readers are enjoying what I am sharing over on your link party posts.

      Have a great week.

  5. Last week I learnt about dead link, this week I am learning about reusable blocks! So cool! I think I will find many uses to this new (to me) feature! Thank you so much for sharing! #SeniSal

  6. This was a helpful post. I have links to my books at the end of each blog post. I’ve been thinking about changing the prices but that would involve editing every post. Using a reusable block would solve that problem if I’m understanding your post correctly. If I change the prices, the edit would change all the other posts with that block. I appreciate the tip.

  7. I had always wondered why WordPress didn’t have a way to save text so it could be used again, so I was thrilled to discover the reusable blocks feature. I’ve been using it it for my ending call to action (follow me, share, etc) that I use at the end of every post. This gives me some additional ideas. Thanks Hugh, you are so helpful.

  8. The idea of reusable blocks was something I was really interested in. But I couldnt see how they worked.

    How do you get more than one paragraph inside one block? If I try that it always just adds in below. I’ve managed a photo arrangement, although I dislike the lack of control in the layout.

    I basically want to get a reusable block for each of my books with cover and buying links, and hopefully a one sentence summary.

    1. Hi Jemima, that’s a whole new post, but there’s a block called the ‘Group’ block which allows users to group blocks together which you can then convert into one reusable block. I’ve played around with the ‘Group’ block but have not as yet used it on any of my posts.

    1. You have until the end of 2020 to make the switch, Mary. WordPress is withdrawing support for the classic editor after then. Therefore, any bugs or errors with the classic editor won’t get fixed. They have already moved a lot of support over to the Gutenberg editor. It’s one of the reasons why many bloggers have been reporting faults with the classic editor that seem to be taking a long time to fix.

    1. Yes, please do, Debby. They have saved me so much time when it comes to creating new posts and having to edit previous posts. I’ve also seen an increase in traffic to my blog and lots more engagement since I started drafting posts using the Gutenberg editor. More about that in an upcoming post.

  9. This is great, Hugh! I’ve been using re-usable blocks for my Sunday Stills posts (the rules and a heading). I found it very intuitive and easy to use! But I didn’t know that if deleted from a post, it deletes them all–EEEKK! I love your useful list of ideas. Thanks for digging into these little known blog techniques in Gutenberg!

    1. Yes, I learned to my peril that you have to be very careful when deleting any reusable blocks, Terri. It’s the only downside I’ve found with them. However, the benefits of creating and using reusable blocks far outweighs that detail.

      I’m glad you’ve found them so useful. I’ve started using reusable blocks in every single blog post. I’ve saved myself a lot of time doing so.

  10. I wasn’t able to change to Gutenberg for some reason, but I haven’t tried again, so I think I will look at trying again. If I do change over, I’m sure this will be very helpful as always. Thank you

        1. That’s great to hear, Colline. You won’t be one of those who will bet left behind when WordPress withdraw support for the classic editor.

          I’ve no idea why so many bloggers are afraid of trying Gutenberg. There is a long learning curve, but the benefits of using the new editor are amazing. It’s definitely the future of blogging.

  11. Another awesome blogging tip, Hugh. I’m a fan of reusable blocks. They are time savers for sure and help with keeping a consistent, cohesive look. I didn’t know that deleting a reusable block removes it from all other posts. Yikes! Thank you for this insight. Cheers! 🙂

    1. To my own peril, I found out that deleting a reusable block deletes it from any other posts you’ve placed the block on, Natalie. Caused me a bit of a panic, so it’s something I’m careful with now. However, the benefits of using reusable blocks far outweigh any disadvantages. I’m glad you’re already using them and finding them so beneficial. They’ve saved me heaps of time.

  12. Great tip, Hugh. I’m still not using blocks but need to switch. This is a good reminder about that, and a good tip for something I’ll definitely use. Thank you.

    1. You’re welcome, Rob. As I mentioned in an earlier comment, they’re a great idea and, best of all, if you need to edit one, the changes take effect on all blog posts where you have the block. No more having to find and edit blog posts one by one.

  13. i’ve been playing with re-usuable blocks in the last few weeks so I can get consistency in formatting of certain sections of a blog post. For example if I do a review I like to end with a few ‘fast facts’ about the book. Using the re-usable block saves effort in reformatting.

    1. You’re welcome, Irene. Creating and using reusable blocks has saved me a lot of time when it comes to drafting new blog posts. They’re a great idea and, best of all, if you need to edit one, the changes take effect on all blog posts where you have the block. No more having to find and edit blog posts one by one.

  14. Oooh, I’ve never used reusable blocks before but I can imagine this will be very useful for doing my daily April A-Z Challenge next year! Thanks Hugh! 🙂

    1. Yes, reusable blocks are excellent for daily/weekly/monthly challenges, Ruth. No more cutting and pasting or reusing an older post that may look a little dated. What I like about them most of all is that they can be edited and the changes are implemented on all posts where the block has been used. So you haven’t got to edit every single post. They save so much time.

    1. You’re welcome, Kathy. Reusable blocks save so much time if you have certain text/paragraphs/photos/images on all blog posts. They are also very easy to edit.

      There are many more blocks I’ve yet to discover on the Gutenberg editor. Plus, new ones get added monthly.

        1. At the moment the APP is not 100% Gutenberg compatible. What I would suggest is using your web browser instead. Safari, for instance, as Gutenberg will be 100% compatible there.

          WordPress is in the process of making the APP Gutenberg compatible, although there is no date yet as to when they are launching it.

Join the discussion by leaving me a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.