This is the part of a multi-part series about using WordPress for birding blogs. Click here to start at the beginning.
Scheduling Future Posts
So, what’s so great about WordPress? It allows for really great flexibility in generating your content. For example, I have a month’s worth of posts all set up and ready to go for this site. That way if I’m sick or traveling, the blog is still spitting out content for me.
It’s super easy to schedule posts in WP. All you have to do is locate this Publish box located in the upper right-hand corner of your individual posts screen. See where it says “Publish immediately”? Click “Edit”.
Now all you have to do change the date to whatever future date you want it published. This is example I scheduled it for the year 2030. Obviously, that’s silly, but you see my point. Once that date and time roll around, it will publish the post for you.
Schedule Posts for the Past
Now, what if you want it to publish a post but you’re referencing a birding trip that was two years ago? Or what if you want it to look like you’ve been posting for a really long time when in reality you haven’t (companies do this a lot)? Or you wrote an article or paper back in the day and now you want to post it to the internet?
You can use the same process for the future posts as past posts. You place the date that you want your post to have been published, click “OK” and then “Publish”. Done. Your post will sort on your site just like it was posted in 1995 and also display the old date.
Categories and Tags
Organizing content is confusing (just ask any librarian). Imagine that you had a blog with a hundred posts on it. How does a visitor find the most relevant content on your site? They sure don’t want to scroll through 100 posts just to find something that’s interesting to them. Categories and Tags allow you to sort your content by keywords and group similar posts together for easy navigation. Tags and Categories are similar and basically act the same but with small differences.
How to use tags and categories
Categories are considered top level content and Tags are one-of or specific details. For a post about your recent birding trip to Hawaii, you might have categories like “Birding Trips” and “Bird Photography” and tags like “Red-crested cardinal,” “Hawaii,” or “Tropical Birds”. You can add categories to your menu so you could have all posts labeled with “Birding Trips” show up once you clicked “Birding Trips” from the menu. Plus, categories and tags show up for each of your posts. If a visitor clicks on one of them, they are automatically shown all posts with that category or tag applied. It helps visitors find similar content.
Tags and Categories Widgets
Some other fun things you can do with tags and categories is add them as widgets to your site. Widgets allow you to add content in the sidebar or footer (depending on your theme). For example, here is the Tag Cloud widget for my site. The more you use a tag, the larger it appears in the widget.
Tags and categories are also used by the “Related Posts” feature (already integrated in .COM, available for .ORG in Jetpack) to calculate which posts to display at the bottom of your post. This makes it easy for your visitors to find additional content on your site without having to find it themselves. This feature is really popular for news sites.
Stay tuned for Part 4: using WordPress to automatically push content to social media…