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.