Would you like to save some time when drafting your blog posts?
Do you participate in a daily, weekly, monthly or annual blog challenge?
Do you get frustrated with or dislike having to copy and paste from one blog post to another?
Do you have reoccurring blog posts that only need minor changes?
If you participate in weekly blog challenges or publish posts that have the same layout every month, the ‘copy post‘ feature on the Block Editor is an excellent tool. It relieves all the stress and frustration of copying and pasting and finding the time to draft blog posts.
How To Copy A Blog Post
Here’s an image that will outline some upcoming vital points.
1. Go to your blog’s ‘Posts’ page and find the post you want to copy. In my case, I’m copying a post I wrote for the weekly 99-word flash fiction challenge hosted by Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch.
2. Click the kebab menu (three vertical dots) next to the post.
3. From the dropdown menu that opens select ‘Copy Post.’
Open your draft folder, find the newly created blog post and make changes to it.
Essential changes you’ll need to make to the new post you’ve copied.
In some cases, such as the copied post I’ve used as an example, I didn’t need to add or change the categories or tags, so I saved myself even more time. However, I did need to update the pingbacks and images on the post.
However, overall, I saved myself time by copying an existing post and making amendments to it.
Schedule or publish your post.
That’s it! You’re done and will have saved yourself some precious time and got rid of the experience of frustrations that copying and pasting often bring when drafting blog posts.
Layout, content, settings and format might differ on self-hosted blogs.
Have you used the ‘Copy Post’ feature on WordPress? Do you have any more time-saving tips when drafting blog posts? Share them with me in the comments section.
Looking for more blogging tips from Hugh? Check out these posts.
Of all the blogs I follow, I’ve never yet seen them using the block I’m promoting today. I wonder if you’ve used it?
Once I tell you about this block, when showcasing some of the least visited parts of your blog, you’ll want to use it too. I’ll certainly be using it a lot more to help promote some of the parts of my blog that seldom receive visitors.
Do you feel sorry for the ‘pages’ on your blog?
If you’re unsure what I’m talking about, I’m talking about the pages you’ve created that sit behind the scenes of every blog. Blog posts are the performers, whereas blog pages are the behind-the-scenes folk.
What’s the difference between a blog page and a blog post?
Posts are entries listed on your blog in reverse chronological order. Think of them as articles or updates you share to offer up new content to your readers. Every time you publish a new post, a notification gets sent to your followers, and, in most cases, it appears on the WordPress Reader.
Pages are static and are not affected by date. Think of them as more permanent fixtures of your site — an About Me page, a Contact Me page, and a Home page are great examples of this. When you publish a page, your followers do not get any notifications that you’ve published it, nor does it appear on the WordPress Reader. Therefore, they rarely get viewed unless visitors to your blog click on links to them or on the menubar of your blog (where links to pages appear).
What happens if the home page of my blog is a page?
It should already be getting lots of views. I have the ‘about Hugh’ page of my blog set as my home page, which means it’s one of the most-visited parts of my blog.
What’s the block I’m referring to in the title of this post?
The ‘Page list‘ block. It’s there to help bloggers promote the behind-the-scenes pages of their blogs. I’ve included one on my ‘Meet Hugh‘ page. When you add it to a post or page, it automatically pulls through links to all the pages you have on your blog.
Before I add the ‘Page list’ block to this post, please don’t be tempted to click on any of the links in the block until you’ve read the rest of the post. You’ll discover why towards the end of this post.
Contact Hugh – is a secure way for visitors to my blog to contact me without leaving personal information in the comments section of any of my posts or pages. Every blog should have a channel for visitors to contact the owner, other than via leaving a comment. My blog post, How To Create And Add A Contact Me Form To Your WordPress Blog, gives full details.
My Books – details of all my books, what they are about, where they are on sale and some reviews.
Disclaimer & GDPR: This is something every blog should display. Never think or believe it doesn’t apply to you and your blog. It does!
Tales From Under The Rainbow – The first chapter of a work-in-progress I have underway. The blogging community helped by giving me feedback on sections I published on my blog. It’s the final result. Let me know what you think if you give it a read.
The Newlyweds – a flash fiction piece that turned into a short story after participating in the weekly 99-word flash fiction challenge hosted by Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch. It’s a strange tale led by prompts. If you read it, let me know what you think about it.
Those are the six pages I have on my blog. In turn, all of them appear on the menubar of my blog.
Can the ‘Page list’ block be improved?
Yes. When clicking on any links on the ‘Page list’ block, they don’t open in a new tab on your device. It means you lose the post you’re reading. However, you’re still on the blog you’re reading, although in a different part.
You may not want all your pages to appear in the block, so another improvement is to have the choice to select specific pages you want to appear (as happens in the ‘Blog Posts‘ block).
I’m feeding both suggestions back to WordPress.
Where should the ‘Page list’ block be used?
I recommend not clicking on any of the links on the ‘Page list’ block earlier. I’d recommend inserting the block either towards or at the end of any blog post. Readers will likely have read most of your post before clicking links and taken away from your post.
Therefore, I’m including my ‘Page list’ block again.
One of the best features of the Gutenberg Block Editor is the ability to create reusable blocks.
Once you’ve created a reusable block, any amendments you make to it get implemented wherever you’ve used it. If you’ve used the block on 50 of your blog posts, the changes take place on all of them regardless of when the posts (and pages) were published.
That means there is no need to visit each and every post to make the amendments. Just think how much time that will save you.
For authors, reusable blocks save lots of time when doing book promotions, such as offering a book as a free download or when offering a limited-time price reduction. And once the promotion is over, simply updating the reusable block takes care of all the changes all over your blog.
How Do I Create a Reusable Block For My Book?
Open up a new draft post.
Open up the ‘Media & Text‘ block. You can do this by clicking the ‘+‘ symbol in the top corner of the drafts page and inserting ‘Media & Text’ in the search bar.
Select the Media & Text block to insert it on your post, or select one of the options available for it (e.g. text on left/media on the right).
Next, click on ‘Media Area‘ and upload your book cover by clicking the ‘upload‘ button. If your book cover is already in your WordPress media library, click the ‘Select Media‘ button.
Click on the ‘Content…‘ area, and add content about your book in the ‘Content’ box.
While adding content, don’t forget to use the toolbar on the righthand side of the page to create headings, enlarge text, etc.
Top Tip: Create and include a link in the ‘Content’ area to where people can buy your book. In my example, I’ve created a link to Amazon by making ‘Available on Amazon‘ a pingback.
I recommend you also make the whole block a link to where people can buy your book. To do this, click on the block and create a pingback (see next image).
Tip: To stop people from losing your blog when clicking on pingbacks, always ensure you turn on the ‘Open in a new tab‘ button (#4 on the above image).
How Do I Turn The Block Into A Reusable Block?
Click on the block and click the kebab menu (three vertical buttons) in the toolbar that appears. From the menu, select ‘Add To Reusable Blocks‘.
Give the block a name and click the ‘Save‘ button.
Your reusable block is created and is now ready to be used on all your blog posts and pages.
Top Tip: Add the reusable block you’ve created for your book to the top three most viewed posts and pages of your blog. That way, even more visitors to these posts and pages will see details of your book.
How do I make amendments to reusable blocks?
Click the ‘+‘ sign in the top left corner of a drafts page, and select the ‘Reusable‘ tab (see next image).
Click on the ‘Manage Reusable Blocks‘ link at the bottom of the page (see next image).
Select the reusable block you want to edit.
Make the amendments and click the ‘Update‘ button.
Any amendments you have made are saved, even on the posts and pages you previously inserted the block on.
And here is the reusable block I’ve created.
28 short stories and pieces of flash fiction take the reader on a rollercoaster of twists and turns.
Every blogger should be active on at least one other social media platform besides blogging. Why? Because it’s a free way to get you, your blog and your books in front of new audiences.
Unless you tell your readers what social media platforms you’re on, then they’ll probably only find you by chance. That’s why you should do all you can to promote where your readers can also find you and your books.
WordPress has made the ‘Social Icons’ widget into a block that makes it easy to advertise your social media accounts on your blog posts and pages. And, best of all, once you’ve created it, with a single click, you can add it to every blog post and page.
The ‘Social Icons‘ block takes away the ‘probably’ and does the job perfectly.
Let’s get started. Here’s how to create your ‘Social Icons’ block.
The ‘Social Icons’ block can be added to a new blog post (or one you’ve already published).
Click the ‘add new block button’.
Search for the block by adding ‘social icons’ in the search-bar.
Click the ‘Social Icons’ block to add it to your post.
Next, follow the instructions on the following image to start adding social media icons to the block. I’ve also listed the instructions under the image.
Click the ‘plus’ sign just above the window that shows social icons images.
Use the search-bar to find social icons.
Click on the social icons you want to add to the block.
For a full list of available social icons, click on ‘Browse all.’
In my case, I’ve added social icons for Twitter, WordPress, Amazon, Goodreads and Flipboard.
Useful Tip: Use the ‘link‘ icon for any social icons WordPress does not have icons for. I’ve done this for my Flipboard account.
Note: Until you’ve linked your social media accounts to the icons, they will be ‘ghosted’ out.
To link your social media accounts to each icon, click on each icon and copy and paste the URL address of the relevant social media account in the bar that appears.
Remember to always click the ‘Apply’ button after adding each account.
As you add each address, the icon will no longer be ‘ghosted’ out.
Now you’ve added and linked your social media accounts to all icons, it’s time to choose a few more features. You’ll find these on the righthand side of the screen when clicking on the ‘Social Icons’ block you’ve created. Here’s a screenshot of what you’ll see and some features I’ve highlighted.
The features include –
The style of each icon. In my case I chose the ‘Pill’ shape for the icons.
The option of wether a new window opens when somebody clicks on one of the icons.
Choice of colours for the icons
I highly recommend that you switch on the ‘Open links in new tab‘ feature so that the page your reader is on when clicking on the icons does not close down. After all, you don’t want anybody leaving your blog when clicking on one of the icons, do you?
Can the size of the social icons be changed?
Yes. Click the ‘Size’ button in the ‘social Icons’ block’s toolbar to change the size of the icons.
You can also change the alignment and the items justification of the icons in the block’s toolbar.
How to turn your ‘Social Icon’ block into a reusable block.
Any edits or updates you do to a reusable block are applied everywhere you’ve used the block. Therefore, if any of your social media accounts get a new URL address, all you need to do is edit the address in the reusable block. You don’t need to visit and make the changes on every blog post where the block appears. Reusable blocks are excellent for adding details of your books to blog posts especially when doing occasional special deals on them.
Finally, most importantly, make sure the icons in the block work and go to the correct social media accounts before using the block on your posts.
Let’s Wrap It Up
Social media is one of the best ways to promote your blog and books for free.
Use the ‘social icons’ block to promote your social media accounts and let readers know where to find you.
The ‘social icons’ block is easy to set up and use. Follow the guide in this post.
Use the ‘link’ icon to crate a button for social media platforms WordPress does not offer an icon for.
To stop readers leaving your blog when clicking on your ‘social Icons’ block, make sure the ‘open links in new tab’ button is switched on.
Turn your ‘social icons’ block into a reusable block that can be inserted on all posts and pages with just one click.
Any changes you make to your ‘social icons’ reusable block will be implemented wherever the block appears. No need to make the changes on every post!
WordPress automatically chooses which of your posts to display.
If you’re not already showing related blog posts at the end of newly published blog posts, follow this guide.
On the dashboard of your blog, click on Settings and Reading.
On the Reading Settings page, look for Related Posts.
Switch on ‘Show Related Content After Posts.’
Choose which settings options you want to use.
At the bottom of the screen, click on the Save Changes button.
Future published posts will now display three related posts from your archives.
2. The ‘Blog Posts’ Block
For those using the Gutenberg block editor, there’s a terrific block I use that allows me to choose which of my previous blog posts to promote again on newly published posts. It’s called the ‘Blog Posts‘ block, and it’s easy to use.
Insert the ‘Blog Posts‘ block in the place where you’d like to feature it on your upcoming new post. You’ll find the ‘Blog Posts‘ block under ‘Layout Elements.’
It will default to show the last three blog posts you published, but this can be changed.
You can leave it as it is, or there are several settings you can switch on.
Today, I’m going to show you how to choose the blog posts you want to display.
When you insert the block, on the righthand side of the page, a toolbar will open. Under Display Settings, look for Choose specific posts and slide the button to the ‘on’ position.
In the ‘Posts‘ box, type in the title of a blog post you want to display. As you type, suggestions for blogs posts with the words you are using will appear.
Select the blog post you want to feature.
It will show as a tag in the Posts box.
If you’re going to add more blog posts, search for them by typing in more words in the Posts box.
I recommend that you add no more than three posts.
The Blog Posts block has lots of other settings, which you can read about here.
There’s nothing wrong with adding pingbacks and linking back to your previous blog posts.
In fact, I’d recommend that you have at least a couple of pingbacks in all your blog posts. However, you should always ensure that what you’re writing about is connected to the post you’re linking back too.
Did you know that pingbacks can be added to images, pictures and photos in all your blog posts?
Here’s the image I’m going to add to my new post, and which I want to add the pingback too.
After adding the image or photo, click on it to open up a toolbar, and click on the ‘link‘ icon.
Search for the blog post you want to link too by typing the title of the post in the search bar.
Add the post (by clicking on it).
Click on the small arrow to open up more settings, and slide the ‘open in a new tab‘ button to the ‘on‘ position.’ Now, when readers click on the image, the post will open up in a new window on their device.
Click the ‘apply‘ button.
Finally, add a caption informing readers to click on the image to be taken to the post.
You can also create pingbacks in the caption you’ve added.
The archives of your blog is a treasure trove of blog posts that can still bring in new visitors, comments and followers.
Don’t allow old blog posts to remain idle and not work for you.
New followers of your blog may not have read your previous blog posts. Put them in front of your new audience.
People who may have read your older posts are often thankful for the opportunity to read them again, especially if the post includes tips and advice.
Keep old blog posts up to date.
On the Gutenberg block editor, WordPress has made available a number of blocks that help to promote old blog posts. The ‘Blog Posts‘ block is the one featured in this post.
If you’re not already using the ‘Related Posts’ feature, consider switching it on.
Remember that you can create pingbacks to old blog posts from any images or photos included in all your future blog posts.
What about you?
Do you promote your old blog posts? If not, why not?
How do you promote your old blog posts?
What way(s) of promoting old blog posts has worked best for you?
Do you have much success when promoting old blog posts?
Join the discussion by leaving me a comment that I can respond to with more than just a ‘thank you.’
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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.
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 ‘Add to Reusable Blocks‘ in the dropdown menu that opens.
Give your reusable block a name so that you can easily locate it the next time you use it.
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.
To add it to a post, select it from the list and place the block where you want it to appear 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.’
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.
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.