So you’ve started a blog and now you’re wondering why a) nobody is reading it, b) nobody is commenting on it or c) why you haven’t turned into Zoe Sugg over night. That last one was a joke but I’m deadly serious about the first two. When we start blogging, we’re so eager to just GET OUR CONTENT OUT THERE that we don’t give too much thought on the things to do BEFORE publishing a blog post.
With millions of pieces of content out there in the big wide blogging world, it’s hard enough to get yours to stand out. It’s even harder if you don’t take all these little, annoying, things into account and fine tune your content before to hit that big tempting PUBLISH button.
You want your content to be as close to perfect as possible, of course, for all the reasons. More views, more followers, more potential for brand collaborations – the list goes on!
So before you hastily hit publish on your next post, here are some things to do before publishing a blog post:
Disclose if necessary
Probably one of the most important things to do before publishing a blog post right now is ensuring everything is disclosed correctly. That means if any money has changed hands, if any products have been gifted or if any of your links are affiliate links. Not breaking the law is cool, yo! And you can find out more information about this here.
Write a catchy, click-able title & SEO friendly title
We’ll get on to SEO in a minute but later on this year I have a WHOLE POST about writing catchy blog post titles that I’m really excited to share because this is a BIG ONE in how your content is viewed and clicked on. Or, sometimes, not clicked on. The title really can have a huge impact so take a few extra minutes to think about whether YOU would click on your title if you saw it on your feed.
SEO optimize your blog post
Yeah, I know, boring, boring. But important. Not ALL blog posts have to be SEO optimized. Don’t make the mistake of thinking they do. Some topics just aren’t made for SEO and won’t get much, if any, benefit from it. But a lot do: recipes, how to’s, blogging tips, self care advice – all that good stuff. So where you can, SEO optimize your post before you hit publish. The Yoast plug-in is my favourite for this!
Categorize your blog post
I find it so much easier to navigate a blog when everything is categorized, “books, food, music, beauty” etc. If you’ve had a look at my menu up top, you’ll see that my blog is categorized into all my most talked about topics. I like to make sure all my topics are grouped together for the sake of readers, which I think is the case for most blogs now but if you haven’t categorized your blog posts yet, pop that on your to-do list!
Link back to your old posts where you can
This is great for SEO and recommended for you to do when you use the Yoast plug-in but I think I did this way before I even knew what SEO stood for! Linking through to relevant content is not only great for SEO but helps readers stay on your blog for longer – which is great for your bounce rate!
Create pins for your blog post
Pinterest is everything right now for blog traffic, so creating pins for your blog content is definitely something you need to be doing before you publish a blog post. If you’re as baffled by Pinterest as I used to be, I’d highly recommend the Pinterest With Ell course (aff) – it totally helped me understand how Pinterest works as a search engine and how too get blog traffic from it.
This is where I definitely need to take my own advice! I’m fully aware that there are usually a number of typos in my posts; not necessarily spelling mistakes because I’m a fairly good speller but but silly, dumb-ass, typos which are from my own carelessness. It doesn’t hurt to re-read your own post once or twice to ensure there aren’t any.
The preview option is a great tool because it helps you ensure that everything is where it should be. You know on Microsoft word when you move a photo like 1 mm to the left and the whole damn page changes? Well I like to preview my posts before I publish them to make sure I haven’t done anything silly and made all my photos turn upside down or something.