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Sunday, 5 August 2012

Blogging with Windows Live Writer 8. Categories, tags and dates.


Now we arrive at setting up Categories for our blog post, so that our readers can more easily find specific posts about the subject that they are interested in. Most blogging platforms will allow you to include a Category gadget in your sidebar that can easily be accessed by clicking on one of the Categories so that only those posts associated with that Category will then be shown. Here’s my current Category cloud shown in my sidebar on my Wordpress blog, clicking on any of the Categories allows my readers to home in on all those posts related to that particular Category so that they can see only the posts they are interested in.

Current Category Cloud

1. To add a Category for your post in Writer, click on the Set Categories box at the top of the edit screen. If you already have quite a few Categories already set previously, you can click on the small arrow at the right hand side of the Set categories box to access a list of your current categories. If this is a new blog, then you probably won’t have any Categories set up, so to add one, type in the name of your Category into the Add Category box. Your added Category will then appear inside the Set Categories box and will also be added to your available Categories online when you publish your post.


2.  We’ve already covered tags in a previous post. Tags allow your readers to home in in greater detail when searching for a particular post.  Tags must always be added to Writer with a comma separating each word.  TIP! You can set up Writer to always remind you to set your Categories and Tags before publishing under File, Options, Preferences and ticking the Remind Me boxes for Categories and Tags.

Remind me!

Post Date

3.  On the top right hand side of the edit screen, we have the Set Post Date box. If you are intent on posting your blog post today, then all you need to do is click in the small box to set todays date and time. However, it is possible with Writer to set a post date sometime in the future for publishing that particular blog post.

Publish in the future

4. In order to set up a future date for this particular post, click on the small Calendar icon on the right of the Post Date box in order to access the Calendar, and then click on the date that you wish your blog post to be published.

WARNING!  If you bring down into Writer a previous post in order to edit it, do not alter or fill in the Post Date, or when you’ve finished editing that post and republish it, it will not replace the previous version but will be entered as a completely new post out of sequence.

Publishing your Blog Post.

5.  Publishing your current post to your blog is simply a matter of clicking on the Publish Icon from the Home ribbon once you are happy with your Draft, and have set your Categories, tags etc.  It may take a few moments for your post to be published , especially if it contains quite a few photos or pictures. You can set up under File, Options, Preferences and then Publishing that you always view your post online once published by ticking that choice. This allows you to check that everything looks okay in your blog.

6. To publish the exact same post to another blogging platform ( for example, this post will be published to both Wordpress and Blogger) simply publish to one of your blogs first by choosing it from your list of blogs in the Publish area of the Home ribbon, and when that has completed, switch to the other blog platform by selecting it from your list of blogs.  The same post will then change to the new format and theme of that particular blog platform. If the second blog platform does not have the same width, you may have to adjust the width of your included photos and in the case of from Wordpress to Blogger (to give an example) you will have to copy over your tags to insert them at the bottom of the post.  Once you are happy that your post looks okay in the new format for your other blogging platform, then again Select Publish to publish to the other blog.

That covers my step by step tutorial for using Windows Live Writer 2011 for editing and composing your blogs and I guarantee that once you’ve got used to using it, you’ll wonder how you ever managed to blog without this wonderful (and free!) little program. Tell all your blogging friends about it, and have lot’s of fun blogging with Writer!


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