Do you hit publish on a blog post then remember something you were supposed to do before you clicked? Do you do this more than once on each post? If so, this is for you.
Listen below to find out what you should check before you publish
I don’t know about you but I always forget to do something before I hit publish on a blog post. As soon as I hit that button I remember that “Oh yes, I was supposed to put that into the podcast category” or “argh I didn’t add a Pinterest image”. In fact, I do this more than once when I publish.
If you do this too you’re in luck. I’ve created a little Christmas gift for you. A checklist that you can download and print, it will help you remember everything you need to do before you publish.
Here’s what’s included and some more info on what you need to do and why.
In an ideal world
In an ideal world you will have written your post at least one day before publication. This gives you enough time to read it through, edit, redraft and ensure everything is optimised. The checklist works best if you look the day before. But even if you’ve just written a post and you are itching to hit publish take 10 minutes to go through the list and make sure you’ve covered everything.
When you write a blog post decide on what you want people to gain from reading. This makes for a better, more concise post. Make a note of the one thing you want people to get from your post before you start writing and when you finish make sure that that one thing stands out.
Chose a keyword that you would like to rank for in search. Spend some time researching this to maximise your chances of ranking. We talked about this back in episode 30.
Write it down, we’ll come back to this later.
Is your title emotionally charged?
Did you write your title in a hurry? If so it’s worth checking it with the Emotional Value Headline Checker. This assesses how emotionally charged the title is. Ideally, you’re looking for a score of over 30. If you’re nowhere near 30 try re-writing it.
Listen back to episode 18 to find out more about writing effective titles.
Is your title under 60 Characters? Google only displays the first 600pixels of your headline. This equates to approximately 60 characters. If you want your whole headline to show in search results it should be 60 characters or less (according to MOZ), that includes spaces and punctuation.
Is your keyword included in:
- The title of your post?
- The opening paragraph?
- At least once in the body text?
- A sub-heading
The Yoast plugin will help you assess if your keyword is included enough.
Your Opening Paragraph
This is one of the most important parts of your post, if you’ve managed to get people to click into your post the opening will reassure them that they are in the right place.
Read this over again. Does it tell people what to expect if they read on?
Did you let your blog post tail off or have you included a strong ending? This could be a summary of the post, a list of takeaways for your reader or conclusions you are drawing.
Have you included something that might provoke discussion? Blog post comments are gold dust. If you want them you’re going to need to ask for feedback. I’m often surprised which questions provoke comments and which ones don’t.
Call to action
Have you included a call to action? As a small business owner this is crucial. You don’t want readers to just read and leave.
Give them something else to do that will push them further down your sales funnel. This could be to sign up for a content upgrade or to buy. Listen back to episode 44 for lots of call to action ideas.
Have you added your post to the correct category on your site? This is something I often forget and have to go back and fix. Categories make it easier for readers to find what they are interested in and can help you set up pages on your site. For example the ‘Podcast’ link in my navigation brings you to my Podcast category.
Have you included internal links to your own relevant content? This is a good way to keep people on site. It’s also thought to be good for SEO.
Look at your post, is there a link to another page on your site? If not is there an opportunity to add one?
Have you included outbound links to relevant content? If you researched your post are there articles you can direct visitors to for further reading? Linking out makes you look generous and gives your readers a fuller picture of the topics you cover.
Name your images
Did you name your images to include a keyword before uploading? Naming your images properly and separating words with a dash makes them easier for search engines to read and could help your on page SEO.
Include shareable images
Have you included at least two images, one that will work for Twitter and Facebook sharing and one that will work for Pinterest?
For Facebook and Twitter I use an image 1200 x 628 pixels and for Pinterest 735 x 1102
Have you included captions on your images? This text that sits below an image is an opportunity to tell people a little bit more about it. You can also include your keyword if relevant.
Have you included alt text on your images? Alt text displays on some browsers if the image doesn’t load, it’s also readable by search engines. The Alt text should describe the image.
Now you’ve checked off your list the post is ready to go. The next stage is to get sharing.
Are your sharing buttons are working? Is it easy for a reader to see the buttons that they need to click to share your post?
Test the buttons by checking them yourself. Does the Twitter share button include your Twitter username when it shares? Do the rest of the buttons work as they should?
Set up a sharing schedule. Here’s the process I follow when I publish a post.
Share on Twitter
Make sure you are sharing each post on Twitter. I tend to share once a day for a week, a month later and then I put it back into my rotating schedule.
Share on Facebook
I share to my business page, to relevant groups including my own and to a selected audience on my personal profile.
Share on LinkedIn
Share to your personal profile and your company page if you have one. You may also want to investigate groups that allow sharing and are active.
Share on Pinterest
It’s well worth creating rich pins for your articles on Pinterest. This just adds a bit of branding to your posts when they are shared. And of course, you should be sharing to Pinterest too.
Share on Google+
I know what you are thinking. Does anyone use Google+ anymore? I actually still get quite a bit of valuable traffic from Google+ and I find some of my Google+ posts will rank on Google even when the posts themselves don’t. When you share on Google+ try and get your keyword into the description.
Now you’ve published and shared don’t let your post die off. Have a plan for the future sharing of your articles. Make sure you have alerts set up for when people comment and always go back and respond to the comments you get.
It’s an easy one this week. Now I’ve talked you through what you need to do before you hit publish go and download the checklist and implement it. You’ll find yourself getting it right the first time more often as a result.
Before You Go
Here’s how to review a blog using iTunes: