How to Use the Story Block for Interactive Posts and Pages

Many social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, use ‘Stories’ to engage their audiences. These Stories combine video, images, and written text into a bite-sized format that disappears after a set period. However, it can be challenging to create a similar experience on your website.

Fortunately, the Story block enables you to combine multiple media elements and display them within your WordPress.com or Jetpack-powered posts and pages. Furthermore, these Stories don’t expire, enabling you to generate interactive content that lasts. 

In this guide, we’ll explore what the Story block is and why you might want to consider using it. Then we’ll explore how to enhance your website with this element. Let’s get started!

What the Story Block Is (And Why You Should Consider Using It)

The Story block is an element available in the WordPress Block Editor. You can use it on your WordPress.com site, or on a self-hosted website that has the Jetpack plugin installed. 

Like social media Stories, the Story block enables you to display video, photos, and written text consecutively in one place. Furthermore, readers can interact with this block by clicking on it and then commenting on or liking it:

However, the Story block has some key differences from standard social media Stories:

  • The block is permanent. It won’t disappear after 24 hours, but will remain on your website. Therefore, you can continue to engage future readers with your content. 
  • You can edit the Story block. Even after you publish your post, you can go back and change the content in this block. As such, you can add new elements when updating your posts. 
  • The block is visible to any site visitors. A reader doesn’t need to be a subscriber to see your Story. Therefore, you can attract new users with this block.
  • The Story block is shareable. You can publish your content on social media platforms using the post’s permalink. As such, the Story block is a versatile element that isn’t restricted to your website. 

Furthermore, the Story block can be very useful if you want to convey information in a series of small snippets. For example, if you write a how-to post, you could show visual details on each step with a Story. 

How to Insert the Story Block into Your Posts and Pages

Inserting the Story block into WordPress posts and pages is straightforward. However, the process and level of customization that’s available will depend on whether you use the WordPress Android app, the iOS app, or a desktop computer.

Using the WordPress Mobile App

Using the WordPress app (for Android or iOS) enables you to customize the Story block in detail. First, navigate to Posts and click on the blue icon at the bottom of the screen:

Next, select Story post:

You’ll then be prompted to choose images or videos from your device’s media library. Once you’ve selected your media file, you can add a caption by tapping on A and entering your text:

You can enter another image or video by tapping on the + button and choosing another file. Then you can edit the second image and see its chronological order in the Story:

When you’re happy with all of your changes, tap the arrow in the top-right corner of your screen. You can then name your Story, assign categories and tags, and schedule the publish date:

Alternatively, you can insert this block into a post or page. Simply create a new blog post (or open an existing one), tap on the blue + at the bottom of the screen, and search for the Story element:

After that, you can insert and edit media elements just as we explored in the previous steps. 

Using the Web Block Editor

You can also insert the Story block with the Block Editor on your desktop computer. However, keep in mind that you can’t add text to images with this method.

Open up the WordPress post or page where you want to use this element. Then click on the + sign to insert a new block and search for “story”:

Once you insert the element, you can add images or videos by uploading them, selecting them from your Media Library, or dragging them into the block:

You can continue to add media elements by clicking on Upload or Select Media. Once you’re happy with your Story block, you can save or publish your post, and it will display on the front end. 

How to Use the Story Block to Create Interactive Posts and Pages (4 Examples)

Now that you understand more about the Story block and how it works, let’s explore a few different uses for this versatile element.

1. Add the Story Block to Blog Posts

Blog posts can be essential tools for sharing information, entertaining, and engaging with your audience. Your blog can also attract new customers to your business, especially if you optimize your posts for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

However, filling a post with only words can be tiresome for your readers. Faced with a massive wall of text, visitors might prefer to look elsewhere for information. 

For this reason, many people use images and videos to break up large chunks of text and supplement blog content. You can see that we use the same strategy on our own blog:

The Story block can serve a similar role in your blog posts. It can be particularly handy for conveying parts of a longer tale or providing visual cues for the reader.

For example, if you run a travel blog, the Story block can walk your readers through locations and engage them with your trip details:

When creating Stories, keep in mind the concentration span of your readers. Your audience might be happy to click through a few photos and videos. Still, a long queue of content could become tiresome. Therefore, we recommend experimenting with different content lengths to see what works best for your site.

2. Use the Story Block in Your Online Portfolio

If you work as a creative professional, an online portfolio is essential. It can showcase your best work, demonstrate your professionalism, and enable new clients to contact you. 

An online portfolio typically includes a few key elements. For instance, you’ll likely have a gallery with your work samples, a contact page, and a bio page:

Including a Story block can make your portfolio more interactive. For example, you might share images from one of your exhibitions or events. Stories can also convey more about your daily life and personality to potential clients. 

Keep in mind that the Story block shouldn’t replace your image gallery. However, it can supplement your overall content and show clients your versatility. 

3. Insert the Story Block into Events Pages

Organizing online and offline events is an excellent way to develop a community, generate income, and make a name for your business. For instance, you might plan a conference, speaking engagement, or socialization opportunity for community members.

You’ll need a solid marketing strategy to attract people to your events. If you’ve run successful conferences before, their content can demonstrate to readers the nature and value of your events.

The Story block can showcase an overview of one of your successful events, from start to finish:

You could also ask attendees to choose between different options before a new event. For instance, you might display two conference hall possibilities, and ask readers to comment with their preferred choice.

4. Create Step-by-Step Instructions with the Story Block

Finally, the Story block can be an excellent asset for step-by-step posts and walkthroughs. This element can provide readers with visual instructions through videos and photographs. 

For example, if you run a food blog, the Story block can walk readers through the steps for cooking a delicious pasta dish:

Videos can be excellent additions to these Stories, because you can use them to demonstrate specific techniques. You might even ask readers to submit photos of their finished products, and add the best ones to your Story block. 

However, we also recommend writing out your step-by-step instructions in the accompanying blog post. That way, your readers will have visual and written cues to help them understand what to do.

Conclusion

The Story block is a versatile element that can combine photos, videos, and written text. It is an interactive medium that can simplify concepts and provide visual cues to your readers. Furthermore, unlike most other social media Stories, the Story block won’t disappear after 24 hours. 

To recap, here are a few different ways to use the Story block:

  1. Display visual elements to complement your blog posts.
  2. Showcase your personality and capabilities in an online portfolio.
  3. Recap and promote your events.
  4. Demonstrate step-by-step instructions to your readers. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

The WordPress.com Team

At WordPress.com, our mission is to democratize publishing one website at a time. Create a free website or build a blog with ease on WordPress.com. Dozens of free, customizable, mobile-ready designs and themes.

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