Blogging is a lot of work and a lot of people don’t realize that exactly goes into it. From taking pictures, to social media, writing posts, and brainstorming ideas, it’s a lot to keep up with. I am very organized when it comes to all aspects of my life and rely on my planner and to-do lists simply because if I’m not, I’d probably lose my head. Having a blogging checklist and schedule helps eliminate (some of) the stress that can come with running your own little corner of the internet.
Most bloggers do enough to get by, but if you take those extra few minutes to really make your blog and your blog posts the best that they can be before and after you click publish, you’ll make great strides. Have a plan, take action, and see results. Here are 9 things you should be doing before and after you publish every blog post (+ a free blogging checklist!).
Have an effective post title
Every blog post you publish should have an effective post title. Your title is what is going to pull people in to visit your site, so make sure it is worthy of their time. Your post title should:
- Include keywords
- Encourage someone to click and visit
- Target a specific group (i.e. college students, new bloggers, creative biz owners, etc.)
- Have a reason
You wouldn’t name a book you spent years writing with a half-assed title, so don’t give your blog post a half-assed title! Are you sharing X number of things someone needs to buy or needs to know? Let them know in your title (for example the title of this post: 9 things you should do before & after you publish every blog post).
Use headings for subsections
Making your posts more reader friendly by separating the sections of your post with heading tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.). Smaller paragraphs are easier to read and allow people to skim through posts much easier. Big chunks of paragraphs typically tend to scare readers off and SEO loves sub headings (like the ones I’m using in this post!). Throughout your sub headings, be sure to bold and italicize important points as well for easy reading!
Optimize your images
All of the images you include in your blog post should:
- Be optimized for the web (you can do this in Photoshop!)
- Include alt text descriptions
- Have a informative image name
Optimizing your images for the web not only let them be picked up in search engine searches more frequently, but also load much quicker on your site.
Including an alt text description on your photo (you can do this when you’re inserting a photo into your post) with a description of your post and the post title is amazing for pinning purposes. Ever wonder how descriptions automatically pop up when you pin off a site? This is because that person included an alt text description on their photos. Genius right?!
- Help readers find similar posts on your blog
- Help reduce your bounce rate
Whether you consider your blog within a niche or it is niche-less, having a set of categories (or topics) you post about on your blog allows your readers to know what to expect and helps your from feeling overwhelmed. I’m not going to get into the logistics of categories today, but if you categorize each of your posts, it’ll help your readers find similar posts on your blog thus reducing your bounce rate.
Add a featured image (WordPress)
Being able to set a featured image is one of my favorite things about the WordPress platform. You know that image that comes up when you post a link to your blog post on Facebook, StumbleUpon, or Twitter? On WordPress you have the opportunity to choose what that image will be!
When you are writing out your post, scroll down to the “Featured Image” area on the right-hand side and select the image you want to use as your featured image. Easy as that!
Link back to old posts
The best way to gain traffic and new readers on old posts is to link them within your posts. If you’re sharing a new tutorial, link back to a related tutorial that could help your readers as well. If you’re sharing a cute top that has already been featured on your blog, link back to the original post that it was in.
Proper SEO tactics
SEO is a bloggers significant other. Without SEO, the likelihood of your posts coming up in search engine searches is very low. I don’t know how I blogged as long as I did without using proper SEO tactics. Once I made it a point to use them, the blogging game changed for me.
Be sure to use:
- Headings and sub-headings (H1, H2, H3,…)
- Alt text titles
- Make sure your title length is at least 40 characters
- Use your key word several times throughout your post
- Edit the meta description (through Yoast SEO)
If you’re new at SEO or have been in the game for awhile, the Yoast SEO plugin (WordPress) is so very helpful! Also, be sure to research key words for ultimate SEO guidance.
Proofread your posts
I am very guilty of not doing this as much as I should but it’s very important to do so. We all make mistakes (especially when we’re tired), but if we don’t proofread, there will be more mistakes than you will want to deal with and going back and fixing them is a pain in the bum. There’s also no worse feeling than having your readers and followers pointing out your mistakes, like hi sorry ok!!!
I love when my readers and followers engage in conversation with me. It makes me feel like my blog is making an impact on their life. Sometimes your readers might find it hard to engage with you so if you help encourage them, you’ll spark up more conversation! One of my favorite ways to encourage discussion is by ending blog posts and social media postings with a question.
Checklists are your friend. Find one that works for your or create your own that has everything you should be doing before and after you publish every blog post. Following this list will do your blog wonders, I promise! Here is the one I reference every day (or as much as humanly possible!):
What do you do before and after you publish every blog post?