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Things You Should Do Before & After You Hit Publish + Worksheet

As bloggers we put a huge emphasis on writing amazing content. After all that is what our blog is all about. But, there is so much more that goes into simply writing a post.

It may sound easy. You write an article and hit post.

That’s it, right? 

Wrong.

If you are like me then you wear many hats and not only write the post but promote it, optimize, take the pictures for it and so much more. It is hard remembering everything, so to make it easy I made it easy by putting together a list (and a worksheet) of all things you need to do BEFORE and AFTER you hit publish on a new post. 

If you are a blogger then you need to check out this checklist of items on what to do before and after you hit publish on a post. You spend so much time perfecting every single post so you want it to be seen. This list of tips will help guide you on what you need to do. Read the full list now...

This post may contain affiliate links.

After you have spent countless hours writing an awesome post you want to take the time to not only promote it but make sure it is perfect so that you can reach a bigger audience and gain more traffic to your blog.

Today, I am going to share with you the steps I take when I write a new post for my blog.

Although it seems like a lot it becomes a routine after you do it so many times.

 

Before you publish a post:

Effective Headline

This is the very first thing someone will see about your post and it will determine if they want to click to read your article. You want to write an effective post title that is persuasive enough for someone to read the post. Even if you have amazing content, if your title is weak then most people will just pass it by.

Your title needs to grab the reader’s attention and be intriguing enough for them to see the benefit in reading your post. You only have a few seconds to get their attention so your headline is extremely important.

  • Identify a problem
  • Make a statement
  • Ask a question
  • Use numbers

 

You also want to include keywords or phrases in the title. Your title plays a vital role in search engine optimization. Here is an example of how you can rework a title to make it sound better:

How to grow your blog traffic ---> Secrets of successful bloggers: How to increase your blog traffic

8 Blogging Mistakes ---> Are you making these 8 blogging mistakes?

Subheadings & Short Paragraphs

To make it easier on your audience you want to break up your content with subheadings and shorter paragraphs. Often times people will skim an article without taking the time to read it in its entirety.

You need your post to have a clear and concise layout for better presentation and ease of readability. Also consider using shorter sentences, images, lists and even bullet points.

Once I am finished writing a post I go back through and break up the paragraphs. I normally get really wordy so I take out an extra information and shorten my sentences.

If possible, I will also add in a list or two to make it easier to read. I am definitely guilty of not reading posts so when I see one that has really long paragraphs I immediately leave the blog.

Relevant Links

I always like to include relevant links to other posts that I have already written. Not only does this provide the reader with more information about the topic but it also will keep people on your blog longer. You can also use a related posts plugin to have at the bottom of the posts. You want your reader to know what they should do next once they have finished reading your article.

Images

Every article that you post on your blog should have images that accompany it. You want to have different images for each social media channel. For example, you want an image that is pin-worthy for Pinterest and another one that is horizontal and works best on Facebook. {You can read more about what makes an image pin-worthy.}

By including these different size images you have a greater chance of people sharing your content.

I will also have a square image and add a few throughout to keep the post interesting. When uploading your pictures you want to make sure they are SEO ready by renaming the file before uploading it to your blog. For example, if you image is ‘IMG_2051’ you will want to save it as a keyword phrase for that post like ‘Washable Sidewalk Chalk.’

Alt-text for Images

Once you have uploaded the images to your post be sure to add in a good description in the alt text box that includes keywords and phrases. Normally, this is the default description that shows up when someone pins an image from your site, so you do not want it to just me the file name of the image.

Featured Image

Depending on your Wordpress theme you will want to include a featured image for every post. Most of the time it is the image that will be used on your homepage when your post goes live. Be sure to use the correct size for your blog’s theme so that it looks right.

Optimize the post

Search engine optimization is extremely important for bloggers. Although you may not be writing every article for SEO it is vital that it is not neglected. By properly optimizing your blog posts you are increasing your chances of driving traffic to your site from search engines.

If you are on Wordpress you can use the Yoast SEO plugin and fill out all of the necessary information like the title and meta-description to optimize your posts.

This plugin makes it easy for you to complete the step before you hit publish.

If you are a blogger then you need to check out this checklist of items on what to do before and after you hit publish on a post. You spend so much time perfecting every single post so you want it to be seen. This list of tips will help guide you on what you need to do. Read the full list now...

Category & Tags

Have you picked the correct category for your post? Be sure to check the proper category for your post and add the appropriate tag for it as well.

Proofread

Always take the time to read and re-read your posts. Even if you have done spellcheck and fixed any grammar issues you never know when a word can change the whole meaning of a sentence. I rarely ever sit down and write a post in its entirety. I often write some of it and then save it and come back. Or, I even jump around throughout the article. This can lead to a lot of mistakes.

It can be difficult to proofread your own posts because you know what it should say even though it does not always say it that way. I learned this trick from an English professor in college. He told me to proofread my posts from the end. Start at the end of your post and read it backwards. It will help you to find the mistakes because it takes the information out of context. Try it sometime!

Engaging Question or Call to Action

My goal in writing a post is to keep the discussion going. I want my readers to feel compelled to write their opinion or leave a comment about their knowledge and experiences. You can encourage your readers to comment by asking an engaging question at the end of the post.

It may seem so simple but a lot of people need the encouragement to leave a comment. You are providing them with a call to action and telling them what you would like them to do. A lot of readers may not even think to leave a comment until you actually say “What do you think about ____?”

Affiliate Links

This is another thing that seems easy but is often overlooked. Before you hit publish think if you have any affiliate links that need to be added to the post. In the past I have gotten emails from readers asking for my sources or what I used in the post, and there have even been a few times where they have asked for my affiliate link to help support my blog.

 

After you publish a post:

Now I want to show you tell you about the things you can do after you hit publish on your totally awesome post. 

Even though you have finished writing the article, you cannot stop there.

You want to make sure that you take the time to properly promote the post so that your target audience we see it. Having a promotion strategy is just as important as taking the time to write an awesome post.

I like to have a detailed promotion strategy and checklist for all of my articles. As you have probably noticed I love making lists.

Having a sheet with tasks that I can check off help me to stay accountable.

Now that you know what to do before you publish a blog post, here is what I do after it is live on my blog.

Proofread

I know this seems so simple, but it is often times overlooked. There are so many old posts that I go back and read and cringe because of errors that I find. Take a few minutes to re-read it.

Check links

Take the time to click on any links within the post. Are they working?

Pin It

Pinterest is one of my largest sources of traffic so it is one of the first things I work on whenever I complete a new post. I have the Pin It Button plugin on my blogs so that any image can easily be pinned, but you want to make sure you have some kind of social sharing buttons to encourage your audience to pin directly from your site.

Since you have already taken the time to create a pin-worthy image and have put in the correct information with the alt-text and description you are ready to pin it.

Depending on your pinterest strategy you can pin it to your personal boards or even group boards. I like to pin all of my newest content to a board that was specifically created for my blog posts. This could be your “best of” board or have you blog name as the title.

Share & Schedule

Depending on your social media strategy you want to share this new post anywhere you can. This will help spread the word and get people to read your new article. Think of every place you can either share it or schedule it to be shared: Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Instagram, Periscope, etc. Social media moves so quickly so you can plan to share this post and schedule it several different times.

I always like to monitor my posts to see what does and does not do well on different social media outlets. For example, if I have pinned it to several group boards and the pin does not do well, I will make a new one and monitor how it does. I also like to have the correct image sizes for Facebook to help encourage people to share it.

Answer Comments

You always want to keep the conversation going so be sure to keep up on any comments left on your blog. It may be hard to answer every single question left on your blog but make a conscious effort to respond back to as many as you can.

Not only does this help you to build a readership but it will encourage more people to engage with your blog. People want to give their opinion or advice and are more likely to come back to your blog when it can become a discussion instead of just being one-sided.

Archive Links

Make a list of your old content posts that are relevant to this new article. You can then go back and link to your new post. Interlinking can help people to stay on your blog longer.

Email

Whether you have a daily newsletter or a weekly newsletter you want to consider adding this new content into your email so that your readers can see it. Often times I will write an entire newsletter surrounding one new post. It offers more insight into the topic and directs my audience to the post.

I will also email fellow bloggers or people who I mention within the post in case they want share it. This will help the post gain more traction.

Commenting

I just told you about keeping up on your own comments, but you can also find similar posts on other blogs to leave a comment on. Whether you have a differing opinion or offer a new perspective you can leave a comment and talk about your post and link to it.

Ask your tribe

A great way to gain new readers is by asking other bloggers to share your new post or link to it if they have a post that it would work well in. Now, you do not want to just email random people telling them to include your post. This needs to be your mastermind group or blog friends.

Check stats

I like to go back and check the stats of my posts to see what worked will with my audience. I look at the amount of time they spent and the number of page views. If it did well then I will plan new content on the same topic.

I love analyzing my stats. It really helps to guide me when it comes to planning my editorial calendar. Plus, it can help you to increase your traffic to your blog.

Re-share

If the post was popular on your blog and you got good engagement then plan to re-share it or continue to schedule it the next month. This is a great way to keep consistent traffic to that post. This can be done on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter.

Instead of sitting back and waiting for people to find your post, be proactive and complete a few steps after you hit publish to ensure your awesome article gets what it deserves.

Print out this free worksheet to use as your own checklist for before and after you hit publish on a new post.