Digging In the Dashboard: Three Features to Discover

Features abound in the WordPress.com dashboard. When you first got started at WordPress.com, you likely identified a handful of tools that you used every time you posted and then ignored the rest.

But after you’ve been blogging for awhile, you might discover some parts of the dashboard you’ve ignored have just the features you need! Here are three awesome features in Posts → Add New that you might have overlooked:

Request Feedback

Do you have a post or page lingering in draft stage that you aren’t quite sure about publishing?

Maybe you’ve been sitting on the hilarious story of what happened to you at senior prom, but you’re just not sure if it’s too embarrassing to post. Or maybe you interviewed a blogger you admire, but you want to be sure they’re happy with what you’ve written before you publish it.

In these cases, you can use the Request Feedback feature to email your draft to a trusted friend or family member for their second opinion, or to anyone who might want to look over the post before it goes live. They don’t even need to have a WordPress.com account.

To do this, find the Writing Helper module below the editor on the Add New Post screen:

Writing Helper

If you don’t see the Writing Helper, you might need to enable it in your Screen Options. You’ll see your Screen Options tab in the upper-right corner of your Add New Post screen:

Screen Options tab

Just make sure “Writing Helper” is checked:

Screen Options

Click on the Request Feedback side of the Writing Helper:

Request Feedback

Add the email or emails of your helpful reviewers, and click the “Customize the message” link to edit the form email content. Click “Send Requests” and you’re done! 

feedback message

When your mom replies with her feedback, you’ll receive a notification email, and the feedback itself will appear right there in the “Request Feedback” module. Any feedback you gather is neatly displayed there below your post, so you can make those changes (or ignore them).

When you publish your post, everyone you requested feedback from will get an email so they can check it out!

Copy a Post/Page

Copy a Post is Request Feedback’s next-door neighbor in the Writing Helper. Say you have a certain format that you always use for your book reviews — maybe you use some HTML in the Text Editor to make the font for the title and author green and extra large. Or maybe you use the same group of 10 specific tags with every book review, and you don’t want to enter them every time.

Copy a Post to the rescue!

Copy a Post

When you click Copy a Post, you’ll get a list of all of your posts. You can also search for a particular post by title.

Copy a Post

Find the post you want to copy and click “Copy.” That exact post will be copied into your new post editor, with all of its categories and tags. You can just edit it from there, preserving any formatting or other time-consuming text you’d already entered and want to reuse.

With all the time you’ve saved, you can write another post!

Location (Geotagging)

You might already add a location to your Facebook posts or tweets, but did you know you can do the same thing for your WordPress.com posts?

Geotagging helps build your traffic and allows people searching for information about a specific location to better find your posts on that topic.

To use geotagging, find the “Location” module on your Add New Post screen (again, if you don’t see it anywhere, you might need to enable it in Screen Options). Click “Turn on Location Tagging” and enter the location you want to use.

Location

Geotagging is different from regular tags, because geotags don’t show up on your blog. But although you can’t see the geotags, Google and other search engines can. This is an extra prompt to Google to index those posts according to their location, so that if you write a series of posts about Morocco, people searching for Morocco are more likely to find them.

Plus, very soon you’ll be able to search posts by location in the WordPress.com Reader.

There are a number of fun new toys in your dashboard — if you haven’t tried these out, give ‘em a whirl!

You might also enjoy these related posts:


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Elizabeth

51 Comments

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  1. Jotpreet Singh

    Really Great guide ! I liked the copy a post feature. Saves a ton of time. Going to try out the geotagging feature very soon. (Well, trying it out right now)

    Like

  2. susielindau

    I love the geotagging option. It will be fun to see if it brings more people to my blog who are interested life in Colorado.

    Like

  3. Irfan Hussain

    Oh!!! Didn’t know about the copy post button. It’s always been right there, but I never noticed it.

    Like

  4. bloodsong

    OMG, they finally FIXED copy a post on the text side!?!??!?!?!??! ::dies of happiness!::

    Like

  5. Liam Wise

    The Copy a Post function is so helpful!

    Like

  6. bravesmartbold

    Thank you for the guidance. I really didn’t know what the use of Copy a Post and Writing Feedback was. I thought if I asked for feedback I might annoy people, but if they’re willing to help that’s completely different.

    Like

  7. Pamela Breitberg

    The geo tagging feature is great. I had no idea, but will begin using it asap.

    Like

  8. ROBERT CONNOR III (@RCONNOR111)

    Thanks for pointing out the great features of WordPress – we have many times used a friends opinions on post ideas!

    Like

  9. Nancy Emmert

    I only discovered Geotagging a couple of weeks ago, so it’s too soon to tell whether or not it’s effective in bringing in readers; but it certainly seems a logical tool. Thanks for providing it.

    Like

  10. larselmquist

    Miss geotagging with a map so People Can see ón a map Where it is, like ón fb

    Like

  11. Deli Lanoux, Ed.D.

    The “copy a post” works wonders for me each week I work on our church blog. Thanks!!!

    Like

  12. mariekazalia

    Great information! Yes, I could have used the *Request Feedback* feature in the past. I’ve noticed the *location* feature before but have yet to use it. Perhaps I will while traveling outside the USA. The *copy post* feature may be useful as well.

    I know a blogger who publishes older posts for a second time. I haven’t looked into that yet. Perhaps it is just a matter of re-scheduling a previously published post? Then would it be considered a duplicate and effect SEO?

    Like

    • Elizabeth

      Sometimes people like to re-post old content, to highlight it again. I don’t think doing that occasionally would much affect your SEO, but if you’re worried about it, you could always write a new post that links back to the old one you want to feature.

      Like

      • mariekazalia

        Yes, thank you, Elizabeth. I do link to previous posts from time to time. I know that Yahoo! will block sites that publish a lot of duplicate content.

        Like

  13. dilmilgaya

    Very useful & awesome features! Geo tagging is great because I can now attract traffic from India as well cause the blog is aimed at them being an Indian matrimonial blog. Perhaps it might get me more followers. Simply great !!

    Like

  14. Elisa Nuckle

    I had NO idea about the feedback thing. As a writer, that will be a very, very handy tool. :D

    Like

  15. neverending1

    I’m glad you explained geo tagging, because I was afraid to use it. I thought it’d be easier for someone to hack me.

    Like

  16. Chris

    I love copy a post. I saves time.

    Like

  17. toemailer

    Might be a dumb question but if you went back and geotagged all your posts would that be beneficial, or does Google only “count” going back so far?

    Like

  18. Simple Mum

    Wow! I didn’t know the location settings can be so powerful! I shall give it a try and find my fellow Singaporeans in the blogosphere!

    Like

  19. The Master's Slave

    Thanks for this. It’ll make copying my posts a lot easier. Thanks again.

    Like

  20. aearthr

    Never notice these features. I will try out the geotagging function!

    Like

  21. Edward M. Bury, APR

    Thanks to Team WordPress for this great info and for developing this awesome platform. I will explore these features soon.

    Like

  22. mobibrad

    Wow. I never knew that Geotagging is just what i need. Thanks for the introduction :)

    Like

  23. Jenn Besonia

    Everyone should also learn the proofreading tool After The Deadline; I love it.

    Like

  24. gordonrobb

    I wonder if you can help. Love the ‘request feedback’ idea. However, I don’t see the module, and when I look in Screen Options, ‘ Writing Helper’ is not there. Something I’m missing?

    Like

  25. Joe Owens

    I do use the copy feature as I participate in several ongoing type of regular post opportunities and it saves having to select Categories and tags each time.

    Like

  26. Martine BERMOND

    Why does Request Feedback not appear in my Writing Helper?

    Like

  27. Veronique @ My Mauritian Garden

    I started using a couple of weeks ago – I’d never noticed it before – thanks for explaining what it actually does. Can you “Geotag” older posts?

    Like

  28. Veronique @ My Mauritian Garden

    Oops – I missed writing “Geotagging” there – I sound like a newly-addicted druggie!

    Like

  29. jagjenterprise

    The was really helpful, thank you!

    Like

  30. toemailer

    I have also noticed on the geotagging that it always prompts my physical location, but I usually want to put in the location of the picture. Trouble is I can’t verify which location positively went in. Could there be a way for us to at least verify the location in the post editor, and still, not trying to be a pain, wouldn’t mind an answer to my question about going back and geotagging all posts. Thanks!

    Like

    • Elizabeth

      Once you’ve entered a location, if you go back and edit the post, the location should show in the Location module like this: http://cl.ly/image/063F0a2b2o3a

      As to geotagging your previously published posts, it’s a good question. I don’t really think that would help you much with SEO – I’d just try it out going forward! :)

      Like

  31. markearthtourist

    Thank you for posting this; I’ve just started here and it’s very interesting to know about these things!

    Like

  32. anneinpt

    Very interesting tips. Thank you! I had seen all these options when writing new posts but wasn’t quite sure what to do with them. This explanation has been very useful.

    Like

  33. jamieb2013

    I had no idea there was a request feedback function – will come in useful – thanks J

    Like

  34. toemailer

    Ok, thanks, Elizabeth, had visions of redoing 3000 posts and didn’t find it very encouraging :)

    Like

  35. Editor

    This is pretty awesome, I especially like the copy post feature. Writing Helper also helps to manage it, before we all just used good ol copy and paste :)

    Like

  36. whitedragongolf

    Most frustrating for me is not having anywhere for plug-ins on my dashboard.

    Like

  37. Bhaga

    Great possibilities now pointed out! But I just tried the ‘Copy a Post” with my most recent post, which was in French, to get it published a second time immediately, but this time translated into English… Didn’t work. I am told the text is translated, but it is still the original French that shows again and again, however I try. Anything i may be doing wrong???

    Like

  38. toemailer

    We tried going back to see what location is there after posting but the box is blank. And the drop down menu only offers our local location and Google search. Not sure what might be wrong but we don’t feel like it’s working.

    Like

  39. toemailer

    Thanks, Elizabeth, you’ve been great!

    Like

  40. Shayn Roby

    Good info. I’m going to start using the geotagging as well.

    Like

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