How Reusable Blocks Can Save You Blogging Time

How taking advantage of the reusable block tool in WordPress can save time when blogging

Did you know that there’s a simple tool in the WordPress editing toolkit that can save you time and effort with your book blog?

Most of the blocks that come within the Gutenburg editing platform can safely be ignored. Some are really only of benefit to people who use their blog to sell products and services. Others give you scope to change how images and graphics appear on your blog but only if you have a lot of patience.

But there are a few gems that can be useful for book bloggers. The Reusable Block feature is one I think it’s worth getting to know.

You’ll love this feature if you regularly use the same text or images in your book blog. You save time because you don’ have to start from scratch each time; instead of typing and formatting the content for every post, all that work just has to be done once.

What are Reusable Blocks?

Essentially, WordPress reusable blocks offer you the ability to reuse what you’ve created over and over again. You create a block (or group of blocks) on one post or page, save it and use it on any other post or page within your site.

A reusable block could be something simple, such as an image or piece of text. Or you could make a re-usable block from a combination of elements. In theory you could convert an entire post into a reusable block.

How To Create Reusable Blocks

Start by creating a new post in the usual way. For the purposes of this demo, I’m going to pretend I’m preparing a meme type of post, like Six Degrees of Separation.

Find the “Add block” button in the text editor. It’s the white cross on red background. Click on that.

Scroll down the list of blocks until you find the one you want. I’m going to be selecting “Paragraph”.

Now add your content and format it using the design tools on the right side of your screen. You’ll see that I’ve slightly increased to text size and changed the background colour.

Now to save this as a reusable block, click within the block so the three vertical dots button shows up.

In the dropdown menu, click on “Add To Reusable Blocks.”

You’ll be prompted at the next screen to give your block a name. This will be visible only to you. Be sure to choose a name that will help you quickly identify the block in future.

Select “Save”. Your reusable block is now stored in your library.

How To Add The Reusable Block To Your Post

Now it’s time to insert your reusable block into a different post elsewhere on your website!

To do that, create your post. Click on the “Add block” button in the text editor. Now select the group called “Reusable blocks” . Scroll down in that block interface menu until you find the block you want to insert. Click to select – your reusable block will now be placed within your post.

If you have created numerous reusable blocks, a quicker way to find the right one is to use the search tool within the block interface.

Create More Complex Blocks.

What if you want to reuse multiple elements together? This would be usefulif you regularly use the same image along with the text. I’m going to create a multiple block to use as a standard sign off for my posts on blogging tips. I want a piece of text and an image.

It’s easy to do this by using the “Group” function.

Start by selecting all the individual blocks you’d like to save. You can do this by selecting one block, then holding down the “Shift” key as you click on the other blocks you want to include in the group. Or you can click-and-drag the mouse while holding the mouse button down. You’ll see that your selected blocks will now be highlighted.

With all blocks selected, click on the three dots button. Then choose “Add To Reusable Blocks” and give your block a name, just as you did earlier

How To Edit Content From A Reusable Block

Once you’ve inserted your reusable block into your post, you can edit it by clicking on the edit button in the toolbar for that block.

Be aware however, that any changes you make, will also affect every other location where you are using that block.

If you want to change the content on one post only, you first need to convert your reusable block to a regular block. it’s a very easy process

Select the reusable block you want to change and click on the three dots in the menu. In the drop down menu select “Convert to Regular Block”. Make your changes – these will affect only this specific post.

When Can You Use Reusable Blocks?

You can apply reusable blocks whenever you have a piece of content that you want to use regularly either in posts or in pages. You’re not limited to text or images, you can also convert a table block or social media buttons into reusable blocks. Here are some situations when a reusable block could help you work more efficiently:

  • A call to action at the end of each article. Perhaps asking readers to contact you or follow you on social media. You could also direct them to another part your site.
  • Adding tables – for example if you regularly write about progress on a reading challenge or reading project. Tables can be tricky to format so making these a reusable block could save a lot of frustrations
  • Quickly adding feedback forms to each of your pages
  • Including standardised text and or image for certain post types that you publish regularly. That could be memes such as Top Ten Tuesday, status updates on your TBR, progress towards a goal, recent book purchases etc.
  • Standard graphics

Did you find this article helpful? Do let me know by leaving a comment below. If you’re looking for other tips on book blogging or how to use WordPress, check out all the articles in my A2Z Of Book Blogging.

BookerTalk

What do you need to know about me? 1. I'm from Wales which is one of the countries in the UK and must never be confused with England. 2. My life has always revolved around the written and spoken word. I worked as a journalist for nine years then in international corporate communications 3. My tastes in books are eclectic. I love realism and hate science fiction and science fantasy. 4. I am trying to broaden my reading horizons geographically by reading more books in translation

31 thoughts on “How Reusable Blocks Can Save You Blogging Time

  • July 28, 2021 at 10:54 pm
    Permalink

    Templating is such a great idea. My theme has a different editor but does have a feature like this and I was just thinking today that i am not using it to its best advantage and just need to take a minute to two, here and there, to get it set up. Sometimes just knowing that someone else is making a particular effort serves to inspire!

    Reply
    • July 29, 2021 at 10:00 am
      Permalink

      Hope it works out for you – sorry I can’t offer to help but my knowledge is very WordPress based

      Reply
  • July 28, 2021 at 12:09 pm
    Permalink

    Ah, convert to regular block. This was the issue that was scaring me, because I don’t really reuse blocks exactly, but I do have some that I change a bit. I mostly use the copy post option and then delete most of the post and amend what I want to keep, but being able to use and edit specific blocks may do the job.

    Reply
    • July 28, 2021 at 6:03 pm
      Permalink

      Copy post is very useful at times (for example, if you have a particular layout of images and text you want to preserve). but if you only want part of the post to be replicated, then its a longer process than necessary. Reusable blocks are much quicker

      Reply
    • July 19, 2021 at 9:34 pm
      Permalink

      You could but if all you want is one or two paragraphs then you’re going to have to do a lot of deleting of other blocks. Much quicker just to use resusable blocks

      Reply
  • July 19, 2021 at 9:23 am
    Permalink

    Very helpful advice! I have tested but do not use this formatting feature. For me, one of the joys of writing a post is composing words, image and layout to reflect something different each time.

    Reply
  • July 19, 2021 at 9:22 am
    Permalink

    I knew about this but wasn’t using it as I wasn’t sure if that will work or not but now that you have explained it in detail. I will try this. Great post!

    Reply
  • July 19, 2021 at 5:40 am
    Permalink

    Thanks Karen, more great info as always. I don’t do memes but I could probably use reusable blocks in a couple of places in my Such is Life series – trouble is it’s so easy just to copy from the last one.

    Reply
    • July 19, 2021 at 9:08 am
      Permalink

      It’s even easier to insert the reusable block 🙂 Give it a go – if you don’t like it there’s no harm done. You can just revert to your previous way of working

      Reply
  • July 19, 2021 at 5:08 am
    Permalink

    This is really useful. I never even noticed the reusable blocks feature. I am going to give it a try with my top ten tuesday posts.

    Reply
    • July 19, 2021 at 9:16 am
      Permalink

      I found it by accident Nish – saw the name of the block and wondered what it did.

      Reply
  • July 19, 2021 at 1:27 am
    Permalink

    More great tips! I love the work you’re doing to convert people to the wonder of Gutenberg 😍 I don’t have much call for reusable blocks myself, BUT it’s nice to know they’re there.

    Reply
    • July 19, 2021 at 9:19 am
      Permalink

      You don’t tend to do memes or any articles where there is a constant element so for now, it probably has limited appeal. But there may come a day when you think of a potential use

      Reply
    • July 19, 2021 at 9:19 am
      Permalink

      Glad you find this of interest Chelsea. Do come back and let me know how you get on with it

      Reply
  • July 18, 2021 at 7:59 pm
    Permalink

    Thanks for sharing! I’m still using classic! 😂😱🤦‍♀️😰🤷‍♀️

    Reply
    • July 19, 2021 at 12:30 am
      Permalink

      So am I. And there’s nothing wrong with that. If it ain’t broke, why fix it?

      Reply
      • July 19, 2021 at 6:49 pm
        Permalink

        Right now there is no absolute need to move to Block Editor so if Classic mode suits you, it’s your blog and you get to choose wht works best for you. I’m doing these “technical” type posts to help the bloggers who have made the leap into block editor and wondering how to get it to work for them

        Reply
    • July 19, 2021 at 9:21 am
      Permalink

      Time to use my favourite phrase I think: Your blog, Your decision. 🙂

      Reply
      • July 19, 2021 at 9:23 am
        Permalink

        I love your trail blazing spirit and expertise, though! If I didn’t have a choice I would be right on your heels! 😂

        Reply
  • July 18, 2021 at 6:11 pm
    Permalink

    I mostly use the WordPress Android app to edit these days, even though some options are less easy to find and access compared to the desktop version (for example, changing text colour). This could be a useful tool for posts like my Talking Tolkien meme but I think I’ll need to experiment! Thanks for discussing this. 🙂

    Reply
    • July 19, 2021 at 9:22 am
      Permalink

      I cant imagine using the app to edit – I had to use my iPad several times while travelling and found it such a painful process.
      Are you using the app out of choice or necessity?

      Reply
      • July 19, 2021 at 10:39 am
        Permalink

        Choice — it’s flexible enough for my purposes, which is reviews and discussions with the odd image thrown in, plus using the WordPress Reader. I suppose I use my laptop for editing about 20% of the time, and it’s handy to see how posts might look in different formats.

        But I have to say that I moved to the block editor with great reluctance but that I did so before being pushed is largely down to your AtoZ posts, so thanks!

        Reply
        • July 19, 2021 at 2:46 pm
          Permalink

          I do like the preview options which enable you to see how the post looks in different formats. The mobile view is particularly helpful

  • July 18, 2021 at 5:57 pm
    Permalink

    I did not know about reusable blocks so this was really helpful! Thanks!

    Reply
    • July 19, 2021 at 9:23 am
      Permalink

      There are so many blocks that it’s easy to miss the ones that really have benefit

      Reply

We're all friends here. Come and join the conversation

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: