WordPress for Writers: Tips, Tricks & Essential Plugins

Disclosure: This post on WordPress for Writers contains affiliate links. That means if you purchase after clicking on my links, I might receive a commission on the sale. To learn more, read my “No-BS Affiliate Promotion Policy.” In this post on WordPress for writers, we’ll explore everything from your basic setup to tips and tricks to help you further customize your site and keep it more

Quick Tip: Write Blog Posts Faster with Formatting Shortcuts

WordPress 4.3 was recently released, and if you haven’t upgraded yet you should. It has a great new feature for writers, helping you write blog posts faster while spending less time formatting your content. When we talked about using Scrivener for blogging, I shared a free Markdown cheat sheet with you. Markdown lets you use simple formatting shortcuts as you type so you don’t have

Quick Tip: White Label WordPress for Client Installations

Freelance writers often take on complementary services. For example, a web content writer might handle social media marketing for the content they write. Freelance bloggers might be asked to step in and assist a client even before they have a blog set up. If you’re able to quickly set up WordPress for your clients, charging them for the service might make a lot of sense. But if

Quick Tip: Add Inline Tweets to Your WordPress Posts

Have you seen bloggers feature tweetable quotes in their posts? If they’re using one of the more popular plugins, they probably look like pull quotes. Unfortunately there isn’t much variation in design, and blogs using this feature have all started having their tweetable quotes look alike. That’s why I previously showed you how you can add your own tweetable quotes, without a plugin, and with any design

Quick Tip: Stay On Top Of Your WordPress Updates

WordPress released a new update this week. It’s version 4.1.2, which is an important security release. Make sure you update your sites promptly if you don’t have automatic updates enabled. A security issue affecting numerous plugins was also identified, so don’t be surprised if you see a lot of plugin update notifications come through this week. Make sure you run those updates as soon as

Quick Tip: Create Custom WordPress Sidebars for Categories or Pages

Many bloggers set up a single sidebar and then include that sidebar on every page of their blogs. But what happens if you have categories that would benefit from different sidebar content, or pages on your blog where you’d like a custom sidebar? Maybe you want to place hand-picked affiliate ads, or you want to promote different books on different sections of your blog. Whatever

Turn Your Blog Posts Into an E-book With the Anthologize WordPress Plugin

Did you know that you can turn your old blog posts into a .pdf e-book you can sell or give away to help build your email list? Right within WordPress? At least with the Anthologize plugin you can. This plugin lets you choose key blog posts and then group them into e-book sections before exporting. Now, it’s not a perfect solution. You’re supposed to be

5 of the Best Premium WordPress Themes for Authors

If you’re thinking about launching a new author website or blog on WordPress, a good place to start is choosing an appropriate design. Today I’d like to share a bit of inspiration. Here are some of the best premium WordPress themes for authors that I’ve recently come across. These themes are designed to do more than host your author blog. They’re designed to help you

Quick Tip: Take Control of Your WordPress Revisions

If you’ve been blogging with WordPress for a while, you probably know that WordPress saves several revisions of your posts as you create or edit them. These revision backups are saved when you save drafts or update live posts. WordPress revisions can come in handy if you made changes you aren’t happy with or if you accidentally delete something from a post draft. But they

Is Your WordPress Database Too Large? Thin Out Revisions

A great feature of WordPress is its ability to save different versions of your posts as you go — such as when you hit the “save draft” or “preview” buttons. These saved versions are called “revisions,” and they give you restore points if anything goes wrong. Awesome, right? Well, it can be. But WordPress revisions have to be saved to your database just like your

Quick Tip: Back up or Clone Your WordPress Site with the Duplicator Plugin

No matter what kind of website you run, frequent backups are a necessity. With WordPress sites and blogs that’s especially true because of the frequent core, theme, and plugin updates you have to perform. Having a fresh backup means you can revert all, or a part, of your site if something goes wrong during the update process (or if you’re ever hacked). Whenever I would

Quick Tip: Protect Your WordPress Login Page From Brute Force Attacks

If you’re a WordPress blogger, chances are that you’re aware of the massive brute force attempts targeting WordPress sites lately. If you’re not sure what these are, basically it’s when someone attempts to hack your site by guessing your username and password. But they usually do this with bots that let them automate the process, and your site can be hit hundreds (if not thousands)

5 Reasons Not to Write Blog Posts Directly in WordPress

All of my blogs are run in WordPress, and that’s been my blogging platform of choice since switching to it in 2006. WordPress offers fairly extensive writing and editing tools right within your site’s admin area. Over the years, I’ve written many of my blog posts directly in WordPress using these tools. That was probably a mistake. In my last post I mentioned that I

3 Things to do Before Upgrading WordPress Plugins

I wish I knew why, but over the last month and a half or so I’ve noticed far more WordPress plugin updates than usual being pushed through. Perhaps developers are getting ready for the WordPress 3.9 core update. Whatever the reason, more plugin updates equals more risk for your website or blog. Plenty can go wrong when you update a plugin. Sometimes the updates will

Create a Custom 404 Error Page for Your Writer Website or Blog

In my post “4 Elements of Effective Freelance Writing Websites,” I suggested creating a custom 404 error page to help misdirected prospects find what they’re looking for. A 404 error is a “page not found” error message someone sees if they try to visit an address on your site that doesn’t exist. No one likes seeing an error message. So it’s a good idea to

How to Make Your WordPress Blog Category Archives Show Only the Post Titles

Yesterday I talked about how to increase blog traffic — specifically how we increased All Freelance Writing’s traffic by 80% in less than a year. One of the things that had a big impact for us was reformatting our category archive pages. Rather than making people browse through page after page of posts (they never do get to the really old gems that way it

Freelance Writers: Earn Residual Income From Your Blog

Previously I talked about why I consider residual income sites and content mills to be bad business decisions for freelance writers. I also promised to later talk to you about how you can earn decent residual income, but by writing for yourself — your own blog. Let’s talk about that now. Why Blog for Yourself? For some reason, many writers I talk to are afraid

How to Setup a Domain and WordPress Blog Using Cpanel Hosting

Kathleen Roberts (a QFF reader) recently asked for tips on setting up an add-on domain name through Cpanel (a popular control panel used by hosting companies), setting up a WordPress installation on that domain, and then uploading and installing the Depeche WordPress theme I’m giving away free here to members (you have to be a member and be logged in to view that link’s content

Create a Blog Feed for a Single Category in WordPress

Let’s get into some technical bloggy goodness today. I’ve been asked a few times privately how I can have a separate RSS feed for the freelance writing jobs here at All Freelance Writing. More specifically, how the gigs not only have their own feed, but can also be removed from the primary blog feed. It’s surprisingly simple to do, and I hope others will find

Installing a WordPress Blog

Yesterday someone asked me how they would set up a WordPress blog at their own domain. The simple answer is: Register a domain name. Set up a Web hosting account. Install WordPress (from WordPress.org or through your host). I won’t walk you through the process of setting up a hosting account or registering a domain name. Your host can help you with that, and the

Using WordPress to Host a Non-Blog Site

Today’s topic on building blogs and professional sites as a freelance writer comes from Zac Schuessler. Zac points out that you don’t necessarily have to create one or the other. If you like working on a blog platform, you can use one to run a more basic site (or a combination professional site / blog). In particular, Zac brings up the subject of magazine-style (or