Using the Global Content Blocks WordPress plugin to be a “lazy” content creator
In How to use text substitution tools and be a lazy typist, I shared a way for you to store those frequently used phrases so you don’t have to type them over and over and save yourself time and trips to the ortho doc for carpal tunnel syndrome.
In that post, I shared that you could store frequently used phrases. The cool thing? You can also store the coding for fancy schmancy pages like opt in pages and the like.
Talk about a time saver, eh?
Today’s lazy way is a WordPress plugin that does something similar: you store what you want to insert on a blog post or page, whether that’s the stuff for your opt in box on a post, a commonly used image, coding that you do over and over again.
Pretty much anything you can use in a normal post can be stored in this plugin.
And yes, you’re being given permission to be the good kind of lazy…the kind that let’s you focus on what you really love to do and makes you money doing it. What? You LIKE typing the same thing over and over? You LIKE figuring out the mazillion places you put the same text and manually editing it?
Whew, didn’t think so.
What’s it called you ask?
Now, if you read the creator’s description, you might wonder if it’s too techie for you. And I understand! The thing is you can put all that uber geeky stuff in there if that’s what you’re up to.
If not, you can put things like
- frequently used images that you’re tired of searching for all the time
- opt in text (for example, on some of my posts I use a special image and opt in box to invite you to subscribe to updates, see the bottom of this post)
- an author’s bio
- anything you can think of that you use more than 3 times, which is my tolerance level for doing things (kind of like the “3 strikes and you’re out rule in baseball, eh?)
You can even put it in a widget (that’s those text box thingies on the outside edges…sidebars…of your WordPress site, although you need a little bit more techie knowledge to use this one, it is still do-able, one step at a time.)
Let’s break down the details
The Global Content Blocks plugin uses something called “shortcodes” to insert specific content where you want it to show up. And shortcodes are, well, a shortcut that says “hey, I’ve got some other content stored here and I want you to show it when you display my post or page.”
Not the techie explanation and it is what it does.
- starts with a square bracket ([)
- has something in the middle to tell WordPress what to do and where to find what it needs
- ends with a square bracket (])
And all sorts of plugins use these neat tools for pulling up information (each has their own name and it looks something like [shortcodename value].
Some are specific to a plugin.
Some are specific to the theme you’re using for your WordPress site.
And some were created by the folks who developed WordPress (and are called “Global Shortcodes”…gee, go figure, eh?).
You can even add things that WordPress stores (called a variable) in a shortcode. This includes things like
- the date
- the author’s name
- and a bunch of stuff you’ll probably never use!
Once you’ve installed the plugin, you can create all sorts of different content blocks that are available by either
- memorizing the shortcode (not my recommend approach, too hard on the brain cells)
- picking them from the list the creator kindly provides by adding an option to the formatting menu (much easier)
And as far as I can tell, there is no limit on the number of them you can create, so give it some thought. Where are you repeatedly
- typing a block of text
- manually formatting stuff so it looks the same everywhere
- searching frantically around your computer for that “last” time you used something so you can use it again
Oh and one of the biggest bennies in my book
Once you get everything set up and working the way you want it to, you can edit the content block ONCE and everywhere you used it, the content is changed for you.
No more searching an entire site to figure out where you used something.
Now that’s the good lazy way to get things done, isn’t it?
During a blogging challenge, I learned about giving folks a second opportunity to get tips and news. It was hanging out at the bottom of Tiffany Dow’s posts, (she is the Blog Challenge Creator)
And I was intrigued. I learned a bit more and, using my rule of 3 (when I do something 3 times, I look for a way to streamline or automate or find some other “lazy” way to get ‘er done) I found the Global Content Blocks plugin.
I’ve got plans to use it for other things and right now I’m using it to
- insert an image and chance to sign up for my posts so you don’t miss any of the goodness going on here
- insert an image and invitation to Pick Mama’s Brain to get those pesky problems solved with minimal investment and maximum do-ability