What are the things that I generally tend to repeat when it comes to blogging?
It’s something I’ve not thought about too much. But, when I look back at some of our content I can see a pattern of things I’ve done in each blog post.
First off, I can’t say that doing these things have helped the blog to get more exposure, likes or comments.
What I can tell you is that they don’t hurt your chances.
Things I do before I publish
I am a bit anal when it comes to the spacing, it has to be uniform. No exceptions. That’s why it’s in our Style Guide. I love a good double spacing, but each to their own.
It makes the whole blog post look a lot cleaner and less daunting to the reader. After all, no one wants to read huge clumps of text. Break the text down into bite size chunks, it looks prettier and more enticing.
This one sounds silly, the start is the start and the end is the end and the bit in the middle well…..you get where I’m going.
But, for those people who scan our content, which is between 50-60% these points need to be very clear.
50-60 percent of visitors will only scan your blog post so format it for them.
People only want the information they came for, so make it easy for them to find. It’s because of this I’ll always check to make sure that I’ve added headers and sub-heads in the right areas.
3. Picture This
Do I have the right images for this piece? Is the featured image right for the blog post, is it eye catching?
Would the blog post benefit from another image or two throughout the main body? For an average length blog, I’ll have an image or two in the body copy.
But, for an epic piece of content (like this one) I even created this infographic.
Most blog posts will look better with an extra image or two. But make sure that if you do add them that they are the correct dimensions and of course that you have the rights to use them.
4. Promotional Material
Once I’m happy with my featured image I’ll go ahead and resize it for all the social platforms.
Snappa makes this very easy to do. I only have to create one image and then select the platform to resize for and Snappa does the rest for me.
Depending on the article I’ll create other images we can use, like the podcast quotes for instance.This is something I do before I publish a blog post as I want to have the promotion side of things in order before it goes live.
That way I’m not chasing my tail after I publish.
5. Click to Tweet
This is something that we’ve only started adding as a “standard” feature of our blog posts.
A simple click to tweet can help your content get shared a whole lot easier. Plus the handy WordPress plugin makes it easy to do.
I’ll generally look for either a quote or an interesting stat from the article and make that my click to tweet.
6. Further down the rabbit hole
Having links to other content is a great way of pushing your readers further down the rabbit hole. It also shows the reader that you’re well versed on the topic if you’ve written other related content.
I’ll link out to other articles in our archive at least twice (where possible) in each article.
If you do decide to do this, you must make sure that these links work. I’ve made this mistake before and it’s not cool.
So if you’re going to add links make sure they work before you publish.
7. Can I link out?
Like the internal links (above), I’ll look at my blog post and see if there is an opportunity to link out. I’ll link out to one or two other pieces of content that can strengthen the points I’m making in an article.
If I’ve quoted a statistic, then I will make sure without fail I link to the source. Other than that if I’ve read something lately that has sparked some inspiration then I’ll link to that too.
Credit where credit is due after all!
8. Is it optimised
Have I optimised the blog post for the right keyword I’m targeting? Is the title S.E.O friendly, have I added the keyword to my headings, are the images optimised for the key term?
Before I publish I’ll head over to our Yoast Plugin.I’m guided by Yoast as to what I need to work on to ensure that article is optimised as much as possible.
This includes the featured snippet, so give that some thought. What do you want to show up under the search result?
9. Call to Action
I’ll also make sure that I’ve added a call to action to my blog post. This is one of the most important things we can do for our articles.
A call to action is a clear prompt to our readers to “take action”. Be that like our Facebook page, follow us on twitter, join our mailing list or even just try what we have taught.
Every article should have a call to action if it doesn’t then you’re missing a trick. A call to action can often be the difference between a new subscriber and once off visitor, so before I publish I’ll make sure it’s in there.
This isn’t something we need to do for every blog post. But, when appropriate I’ll make sure to have a little disclaimer at the end of the article. This goes in if we are being paid, or compensated for promoting a product or service.
Most bloggers are pretty good at making it clear. Yet it’s still something we should remind ourselves of before we publish.
11. From the top, a One, a Two, a One, Two, Three…
I’ll always revisit my opening to a blog post before I publish. Having gone through the article I like to revisit the “hook”. I want to make sure I’m still happy with it and it’s still “hooky” enough.
Most people will only give an article 15 seconds before clicking off.
So you’d better make that introduction stickier than a pot of glue.
Does the introduction catch people’s attention and make a connection?
12. Tag, You’re It
I’m almost finished going through all the things I do before I publish, I promise. One of the final things I’ll check is that I have categorised and tagged my article correctly.
I won’t go into the nitty gritty about the how and the why of categorising and tagging blog posts.
Paul’s already done a great job of that here so go and have a read of that when you have a few minutes to spare.
13. Once more for luck
I haven’t covered any editing or proofreading in this article. These should be doneprior toall of the actions I’ve outlined above.
With that said, before I decided to hit publish I’ll give it another once over for luck.
Most of the time it will be fine. But on occasions, I have caught mistakes that would have otherwise been published.
So my rule is before I publish I’ll read it again, just to be sure.
You may not need to do all of these for every blog post, but at least if they are on your “to-do list” you won’t miss them.
I’m a big fan of having a “process” it ensures I don’t miss a step and everything gets done properly. As I’ve said at the top, I’d never really given it much thought as it’s just part of what I do.
I think every blogger should find something that works well for them and their content. The key is to stick to it as best you can, which is sometimes easier said than done. But, if you can it will increase the quality of your blog over time.
Consistency is key when it comes to blogging, vlogging and business in general. There are many things outside of our control, but being consistent isn’t one of them.
What Do You Do?
I love hearing how other people work and the processes they put in place. You know what I do before I publish a blog post, so leave a comment below and let me know.
What things do you make sure you do before you publish?
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About the author, Phil
I am passionate about great content and some what of a perfectionist, but remember, you can't edit a blank page!