Writing made easy with Writing Helper

We know the hardest part of blogging is actually writing posts. And most blogging software,  and even word processors, do little to help writers write. Today at WordPress.com we’re  proud to announce a new kind of feature, aimed at helping the writing process, called Writing Helper. It’s a new box that appears underneath the edit box on the Add a Post Screen (the entire box can be dragged to the right side if you want it next to the edit box, instead of underneath).

First up is Copy A Post. You can now reuse the hard work of previous posts as the basis for the next one. Simply hit the Copy A Post button, pick a post, and we copy the title, content, tags and categories for you, saving you steps. If you often have similarly tagged or formatted posts, this will save much time. We will always show your most recent posts in the list, but you can search by title too.

Next is Request Feedback. You can now share a private draft of a post with a friend before it is published. They can help you find typos, suggest improvements and give advice to make the post amazing before you publish it to the world.

When you click on Request Feedback, you can enter email addresses of friends who are willing to help. They’ll receive a special private link to see your draft, where they can leave feedback on your post (see image above). Their feedback will appear in your post’s Request Feedback area when it arrives, so you can make changes to your draft accordingly.

For more about how Writing Helper works, read the support pages for Copy a Post and Request Feedback.

And if you have ideas for other Writing Helper features you’d like to see, leave us a comment.


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Scott Berkun

365 Comments

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  1. Max Strauss

    That’s so winning!

    Like

  2. Maik

    I don’t really like copying posts or tags. Every article should be an individual one, shouldn’t it? :-D

    But the feedback feature is pretty cool as I often ask friends to read my article before publishing it.

    Like

    • Scott Berkun

      Maik: Everyone is different of course, but some bloggers reuse the same tags often, or have 3 or 4 types of posts they do every week, each with it’s own common set of tags or categories. Same is true, we think, for general formatting and layout of posts.

      And we appreciate your feedback on the feedback feature :)

      Like

  3. Deeone

    That’s awesome! I can also go on record as being one of the many bloggers that will use this helpful feature. WordPress Rocks! :)

    Like

  4. yousef59

    Interesant ceea ce ati facut…

    Like

  5. routeen

    Woo! Thank you WordPress

    Like

  6. Ljubomir Gatdula

    Another cool feature from WP :)

    Like

  7. doctorwhofan98

    Wow! Amazing feature! My friends can now help me write posts!

    Like

  8. Word Lily

    The feedback feature is cool (I did this recently, via email), but instead of the Copy a Post thing, I’d rather have post templates. All the formatting, tags, categories saved, but without having to delete/overwrite all the content.

    Like

    • Scott Berkun

      Copy A Post is basically a simple version of templates. You simply select the sections you are replacing, and start typing to both delete them and inherit the formatting style they had.

      Like

  9. Simon

    Very cool and handy! I hope the next update will be monkeys that write the post for me!

    Like

  10. billylobo

    re: comment about “men”
    why don’t you write about “wild women”
    now, that you have subject matter,
    which you did not have before, something to copy…
    go girl.

    Like

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  12. Charlousie

    Wow! Everythings going to be better here! It saved me already a lot of time with linking posts. And I loved the contactform, but this feature?
    I guess, it is almost the best. I will try it out and look how it works, but I like such stuff, becaus it helps blogging :)
    Thanks, thanks, thanks :D

    Like

  13. Harry Kal

    Pretty awesome feature!
    It’s gonna be a Jetpack feature for self-hosted blogs soon, right?
    I hope so…

    Like

    • Scott Berkun

      Hi Harry:

      We will of course consider putting this into Jetpack in the future. Thanks.

      Like

  14. RandomizeME

    I love these new features! Thanks WP!

    Like

  15. QuinnCreative

    This is really useful for updating information on older posts, particularly ones in which technology moved ahead and the old post isn’t up-to-date. Of course, I’m assuming that this doesn’t work for copying other people’s post–copyright is often sacrificed to blog ratings.

    Like

    • Scott Berkun

      Hi Quinn:

      No, you can’t copy other people’s posts through this feature. If we did that, it’d have to be called Steal a Post.

      Like

  16. zzavettoni

    Hope both features are hitting Jetpack as soon as possible!

    Like

  17. Masterclass Lady

    Thank you, thank you, Thank! You!

    Like

  18. roadrunner4652

    thank you for sending this I had no idea I was to get a feed back before publishing now I know :)

    Like

  19. Marc

    looking for someone to read my posts before posting, lol :)
    thank you for the new options!
    Marc

    Like

  20. hogone

    Looks like a real timesaver – thanks.

    Like

  21. mrpatrickblog

    MMmm…. I love new functionality! Keep them commit please!

    Like

  22. Alive aLwaYs

    Its the smallest of things that make wordpress a better blogging arena. Good job guys.

    Like

  23. mrasherkade

    I have such a unique spin on life and the struggles I deal with (and helping those like me through it) that I am not sure how it would work for me. Fans would go on my website and say, “what the hell?!” and then run away. The whole attraction of my sight is the unexpected weirdness one comes across. How would I be able to find other people’s posts just as nutty? It wouldn’t be “steal a post” , it would be “oh God, what has our world come to?” :)

    Like

  24. adnanomatic

    Great features! Thanks WordPress.com , i love this!

    Like

  25. alamendah

    Verry cool. I like it

    Like

  26. Rashmi Kamath

    you know how you often have the problem of remembering a word? as in, you know what it means and you can think of synonyms but you can’t get the exact word? that sort of disturbs my entire thought-process. it would be great if we had a feature to look at the synonyms of a word.

    Like

  27. jessefogarty

    Amazing feature thank you WordPress team

    Like

  28. looksgoodonya

    Can’t wait to try it! Sounds like a big help. Thanks Team Dudes for working for US!

    Like

  29. dvblg

    Now even I can write half-decent blogs!

    Like

  30. J Roycroft

    Thanks, this is a tool I’ll be using.

    Like

  31. jessefogarty

    @Rashmi

    Agreed 100%

    Like

  32. mrwire100

    Hi, thanks for the tips. The “Request Feedback” feature is going to be really useful!

    Like

  33. cori bailey

    For someone new to blogging this is a fantastic feature. I’m a fan!

    Like

  34. Aheïla

    These are absolutely amazing features. Since I publish fiction on my blog, I’m sure I’ll use the ‘Request Feedback’ often. It’ll help me centralize the comments of my Beta readers. Thanks!

    Like

  35. bwohack

    Wow! The feature “Copy Post” is a great help for me, because I quote a lot from older posts of mine, specially the URLs. Would be really useful if you could make that window a pull down, so that more than 20 postings can be shown at a time. Can’t be that difficult to accomplish! TIA

    Like

    • Scott Berkun

      You can search posts by title in the Copy A Post feature, so the 20 that are shown could be filtered based on whatever you want.

      Like

  36. Pingback: Writing made easy with Writing Helper | WordPress Leaks | Moteur Dofollow
  37. BL

    Hey did you just manage to steal a march on me! … check this out. … http://elasticwords.wordpress.com/2011/04/27/stuff-that-future-should-bring-stelg-3-a-ghost-writer/

    It’s eerie how some of the thoughts overlap between my post and this new feature!

    Like

  38. greek-translation

    This is a very useful feature. I tend for example to use the same categories, as many as 10 or more, for specific posts, and it is a hassle having to check all of them with each new post.

    Like

  39. greek-translation

    Perhaps this option should be visible/usable somehow when one browses the posts from the front-end? I.e. via the wordpress bar on top? For example, when one finds a post they like, they can start one just like it with one click from the frond-end.

    Like

  40. Sassy Jeweler

    This is great! I cannot wait to try it out. Thank you for developing cool yet useful features for us to use!!!

    Like

  41. joachimmg

    Hmmm, will this be available in self-hosted installes as well? Just upgrader my install to 3.1.2 (newest release) but cant fint this feature! :(

    Like

    • Scott Berkun

      Joachimmg: This feature is currently only available on WordPress.com (as this is the blog for WordPress.com). As you can see in the other comments, we will of course consider this feature for inclusion in a future release of Jetpack.

      Like

  42. It's My Thoughts

    This is great because i do a few same type of articles a day this will save time because i find tagging etc very tedious. Especially when my mind is racing to get whats in my head out.

    Ok what id like to see is after auto spell some auto correct too. for instance to put capitals in automatically after a fool stop and to put apostrophes in too. and much more. also to auto correct words as we type them, it would just speed things up a bit. plz :)

    Like

  43. MNN5

    Mind = blown. This is awesome. Thank you for reminding why I use Word Press and not blogger. Cheers! :-)

    Like

  44. lestat546

    Amazing feature thank you, This is a very useful feature!

    Like

  45. obsidianfactory

    AWESOME TOOL MASHALLAH WELL DONE WP WELL DONE ^_^

    Like

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  50. Andreas Pischner

    I wish you wouldn’t leave pages out so often with your tools. This feature would be much more useful to me if it worked with pages. Also, notification of new posts doesn’t work with new pages, either (and making a new post whenever you add a new page really isn’t the way to go).

    Like

  51. Patrice Ayme

    I used to use Microsoft Livewriter, because the format was much nicer. But now that seems unavailable, and i cannot even just copy and paste my essays with pictures from Word, as I used to. This happened since the security problem… Thus I have been unable to publish several essays…
    PA

    Like

  52. O. Braga

    This is special!

    Like

  53. David

    I think these both are great ideas. Since my reviews are often of parts of a series (i.e. Doctor Who, Highlander, etc.), and I try to keep the same format for each one, the “copy a post” feature would come in handy. Also because my review format changes slightly for whether I’m reviewing a book, movie, short story, or TV show, and I often have to go back to check the specific format version I’ve used previously.

    Like

  54. Knutsvik

    it seems there’s a bug that removes the comments function. it doesn’t matter if I check the comments box or not my draft only comes out with the “comments off”!

    please fix it.

    Like

  55. Olivia

    I loved it to say the least!!
    Very well done… yay!!

    Also loved how I can upload bigger image in KOI theme!
    Thank you :D

    Like

  56. Paula Tohline Calhoun

    Sounds like a great innovation, and I will definitely try it!

    Like

  57. Kassi

    This is fantastic. It will really help with tags when I blog a series on a specific topic. Wish I’d had it sooner but better now than never!

    Thanks again!

    Like

  58. Pingback: WordPress Writing Helper Wants to Help You Write Better Blog Posts — NewsGrange
  59. Pranab

    since i have several recurring themes on my blog, i shall immensely benefit from this update. you guys just never stop impressing me. part of the reason why wordpress.com has such a fantastic community built on it. kudos to you guys for keeping rolling in the features.

    Like

  60. The AHA Resource Center

    Would like to be able to create and incorporate boiler plate into postings.

    Like

  61. cosmonavigator

    i wonder if this is such a good thing?

    Like

  62. Michelle

    This is wonderful! I look forward to the possibilities!

    Like

  63. Prattle On, Boyo

    I don’ t know that this is helpful. What I *do* know is that WP needs to address the screwy wsyiwig/HTML inconsistencies that make posting content a bitter pill.

    Like

  64. Gwendolyn Alley aka Art Predator

    Great feature! As a writing coach, this will be really helpful for my clients and myself! I will also be able to use this in my college and blogging classes!

    Like

  65. the rufus

    It seems no one using IE which returns “undefined undefined undefined undefined…” instead of a list of posts ;)

    But this is maybe better – my readers may figure out that they’ll have to read copies every day :lol:

    Like

  66. Ingrid77Dread

    Love this because my writing is below average so I would definitely benefit from the help. I love the idea of creating post from existing information brilliant. Thanks

    Ing

    Like

  67. Pingback: Writing made easy with Writing Helper (via WordPress.com News) « The Write Alley
  68. corruptie

    Hi, thanks for the tips. The “Request Feedback” feature is going to be really useful!

    Like

  69. Kay aka Babygirl

    I love all of these changes..

    Like

  70. Ashoo

    i like these new feature .thnx for sending this

    Like

  71. allhailhoneybees

    I love this!! If only there was a version for my papers in school!!!
    Thank you wordpress, you guys are the BEST!

    Like

  72. 朽木 ルキア

    Ironically yesterday I mention in one of my posts that I am not a professional writer, but do try to write better. The next day WordPress releases the writing helper to help improve blogging which I find funny because its like they knew what I wrote. Somehow I feel special about all of this (^o^) though I never write on the WordPress site itself so will probably rarely ever use this tool. Not sure if the writing helper tool are on other programs since I use Windows Live Writer to post. I do really want to try the feedback option.

    Like

  73. naptunian

    Great idea. I can’t wait for the Jetpack feature to be released!

    Like

  74. Alicja Mann

    I agree with Maik. Indeed each post of my blog is different, so Copy a Post feature will not work for me. However, I might try Feedback.
    In any case, it is nice of you to provide us with these new options.Thanks!

    Like

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  76. Gary

    Great job.

    Now can you teach my friends to spell, write and edit?

    Like

  77. American Elephant

    Dear WordPress: There is such a thing as too many features. http://tiny.cc/lqqv7

    Like

    • Scott Berkun

      American Elephant: We do make it easy to turn Writing Helper, and most features off. For Writing Helper, or any metabox on the Edit a Post screen, click on the Screen Options link at the top, and uncheck the ones you don’t want.

      Like

  78. corzgalore

    That is what is up! I would like to bake a cake for whoever’s idea that was.

    Like

    • Scott Berkun

      I like Chocolate cake. Frankly I like all cakes as long as they are in front of me and I have a fork in my hand. But many folks contributed to this, so you’ll have to slice the cake so we can all partake.

      Like

  79. cookiemonger

    This is very useful! Lately most of my blog is reports of my daily writing, and I always have to look at previous “report” posts to make sure that I don’t forget an element or a tag. It’d be nice to have at least the tags already taken care of for those.

    Like

  80. Reminiscent & Wonder

    As a novice to blogging, I would add that I am very excited about these additions. I am especially fond of the idea that I will be able to request feedback prior to publishing a blog. Thanks wordpress

    Like

  81. sarsm

    No matter how many times I re-read through a post I often don’t notice a typo. My husband calls it a ‘blind spot’. He says I have the post so firmly in my head that I often read out a missing word and don’t even notice it to be missing.

    So the feedback feature will be great for me!! *Off to bed with a smiley face now*

    Like

  82. Crystal

    Awesome, that will help. But it makes me worry about having a ‘cookie-cutter’ post rather than unique and individualistic.

    Like

    • Scott Berkun

      Some blogs naturally have 3 or 4 types of posts they do often – Copy A Post should make it easier and faster for them to do those standard post types. But of course the feature is optional, and you are free to make each post as unique as a snowflake.

      Like

  83. Eric

    Fantastic edition, especially since I have a few blog series going on!

    Like

  84. arezki49

    Je ne peux plus poser une post (commentaire) chez mes amis. Pourquoi?
    Réponse en français svp. Merci Scott

    Like

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  86. kristina

    This is FANTASTIC. I am one of those that repeats the same type of post, and I was literally just wishing for something like this last week. (I apparently purchased the extra-powerful wishes last time.)

    Question – Can you copy unpublished posts? So could I set up a template without the specific data, but the generic html/tags/etc? or does it have to be a published post? Don’t know why I’m asking, I guess I’ll just go try it and see…

    And thanks!

    Like

    • Scott Berkun

      We don’t charge for mind-reading services, but since they are a violation of our privacy policy, please keep it on the down low (shhhh).

      Currently you can’t copy unpublished posts. We can see about adding drafts to the list. But currently if you repeat the same post, simply use your favorite one as the “template” to copy.

      Like

  87. Anthony Watts

    Awesome – I’ve been waiting for a peer review feature.

    What would be even more useful would be a “reviewers list” that could be kept so that we don’t have to enter email addresses each time.

    Like

  88. Kemi

    Loving the ‘request feedback’ feature!! Next thing you know we’ll be sharing screens and editing each other’s posts in real-time…. Oops- did I just make a suggestion? Maybe too bleeding-edge? Nevermind. Thanks ;)!
    K

    Like

  89. KathrineROID

    Amazing! I saw the boxes show up earlier today (Ironically when I opened a previously pubbed post up to painstakingly copying all the tags and format I had used) and wondered what they were. Request Feedback will also be used by me. The computer I do most of my work at lacks email (long story), and jumping over to the other computer, and pulling all my stuff back up is a pain whenever I want to share my soon-to-be-latest post with someone I’m chatting with or whatever.

    Like

  90. namastenoodle2011

    Good, good stuff. Thank you.

    Like

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  93. Ben

    I don’t know if I the copy will be a benefit but the feedback surely will.

    Thanks for the innovative ideas!

    Like

  94. Ashley

    Cool beans

    Like

  95. Pitocco

    Very interesting, thanks

    Like

  96. American Elephant

    I challenge you to count. I bet there are fewer than half as many gadgets on that ridiculously overpacked swiss army knife than there are options, boxes, menus, icons, dropdown menus , sub-menus, tickboxes and other features on the Edit a Post page.

    I greatly appreciate WordPress’ efforts to try to make blogging easier, but WordPress is getting perilously close to having so many bells and whistles that it becomes harder to understand and use the interface to begin with. I know my co-blogger is already overwhelmed by all the bells and whistles you already have.

    Most people aren’t so tech saavy and Elephants dont need earrings.

    Like

  97. jessiethought

    This is a great tool. I hope it’s very useful.

    Like

  98. American Elephant

    I would humbly, in the spirit of constructive criticism, suggest that WordPress move some manpower away from developing new features and devote more manpower to addressing problems and flaws in the features, not to mention themes, you already have. The forums are so filled with requests to address flaws that people stop bothering to post them because they know their requests will go unanswered.

    Like

    • Scott Berkun

      Suggestion noted. We do answer hundreds of support requests and forum question daily, but WordPress.com is very popular despite its weaknesses, which makes it very hard to address every request. But we will definitely keep your feedback in mind.

      Like

  99. Ciaran

    How about setting up a directory (call it the Bounce Board?) in the feedback feature where bloggers/interested parties can be available to offer feedback on post drafts? They could be grouped by topics of interest, expertise on specialist subjects or listed as proof-readers only etc. Anyone with a bit of spare time (ha ha) could opt in to the pool of available readers.

    Wait a minute, isn’t that what publishing your post is for? Damn…

    Like

  100. animalartist

    Been waiting for “copy a post”! YAY!

    Like

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