I think there’s a certain blogging myth that we all fall for – blogging is all about the writing and then you’re done. This can be true depending on what your blog is all about but 9 out of 10 times there’s a lot more than goes into a blog post than writing + done. The problem with this myth is that people start getting down on themselves for spending all this “extra time” on their posts. Truth be told, I spend about as much time in my “after” process as I do actually writing the words that make up a post. The writing is the easy part. Okay, not really but what I’m trying to say here is – the polishing and optimizing portion of a post takes as much time as the actual composing part, so don’t fret.
Recently my friend Jessica asked me about my writing process and what all I do before publishing a blog post so, here are the things I do and you should definitely do (or at least seriously consider doing) after you’re done writing and before publish a blog post – with a checklist for download at the end!
This is one of the first things I do before publishing a blog post. Sub-Headings are important for a variety of reasons but the top two are
- Reader Friendly: Subheadings allow readers to skim a post, and let’s face it, we are all skimmers when it comes to readings on the good ol’ interwebz.
- SEO: SEO loves hierarchy and subheadings are the hierarchy in your post.
Other formatting you should consider adding? Bold + italic text to call attention to important points. Lists, again to make things reader-friendly.
People are visual, they want their images. So I always make sure every post has at least one image to go along with it – I make sure this one image summarizes or encapsulates the post. This what everyone calls the “pinable” image. And let’s face it, a little Pinterest love never hurt anyone ;)
Bonus points if you optimize your images with something like TinyPNG.
FURTHER READING – Stop Using Google Images + 4 Alternate Resources
CATEGORIES / TAGS
After I check all the formatting + add images I give my post a category and add 1-3 tags as needed. For example this post is under the category “Blogging” and tagged with “Editorial Calendar” + “Printable”. Doing this will help readers find similar posts (aka, lower bouce rates and more pageviews).
Link it up
Every post should have links in it, links to other posts in your archives, links to outside resources – link that baby up. The Internet is called a WEB for a reason, create those connections that make up the web, yo!
Hate it or love it, SEO is important. We all get the warm + fuzzies when we see people searching and finding our blogs and websites. I’m not saying any single one of these things will get you to that coveted first page but it all helps. There are 6 things I always make sure to include or check for in my blog posts –
- Sub-Headings in post
- Image Alt Tags
- Title length (should be at least 40 characters)
- Long tail keyword at least twice
- Secondary keyword at least once
- Set meta description
FURTHER READING – Optimize Your Images for SEO
Conclusion + Call to Action
All posts should have a conclusion. Admittedly, I’ve totally been the blogger that writes up a post and then leaves it be. No conclusion. No call to action. But that just makes the whole post unfinished and blah.
The next big thing I do is schedule the social media messages to go out over the next month using CoSchedule. This, right here is one of the big reasons I love CoSchedule. I can do all the social media scheduling from right in the post as I finish it up. Insert heart-eyed emoji. I also make sure to add a click-to-tweet message to get people in on the sharing!
No one likes to read a blog post (or anything really) riddled with misspellings and bad grammar. I can’t count how many times I’ve clicked out of a blog post because I cannot figure out what the blogger is trying to say. We all make mistakes (as I’m sure I’ve done in this post) but make sure your post is legible and not containing any big mistakes.
Last but not least, I check the finished post in preview mode. I do this to double check that all the formatting is working like it should and spellcheck yet again. Usually I try to proof-read twice while in preview mode – one regular read through and then I read it aloud, and I fix errors as I go.
Anything else you’d add to the list? I created a free printable checklist, just click the link below to download!