Quite a few years ago I used to do a Blogging 101 series where I shared all the things I had learned since I started blogging in 2012 (if you go back & read this post PLEASE don’t judge, it was a LONG time ago!). Since then I have moved on so much & now blogging is a whole different ball-game, I had never heard of SEO, DA or optimising images. I just wrote & posted.. easy. However almost six years in, there are things I have learned can make all the difference to a blog post and I thought I would share with you the things I make sure I do everytime before I hit PUBLISH on a new post.
The first thing I do after finishing a blog post is proof read! I read through it thoroughly, then use the “proofread writing” tool on WordPress to make sure. There is nothing worse than reading back on old posts and spotting silly spelling mistakes that could have been rectified if I had just spent an extra ten minutes re-reading the post.
ADD FOCUS KEYWORD
I am still pretty new to WordPress and having the Yoast SEO plugin is a complete game changer! Before I start writing my post I will input my keyword and work from there. I must admit I become slightly obsessed and anal about making sure my SEO has the green light before posting. Readability…not so much.
ADD ALT TEXT TO IMAGES
Adding “ALT TEXT” to your images is like giving your pictures a description, I usually use my focus keyword for this although make sure it does actually describe the image as well. There are a number of reasons you should add alt text but mainly for search engines such as Google crawl web images and it is easy for them to understand text rather than reading pictures. Which is where ALT TEXT comes in as it gives Google something to read and describes what the image is.
PREVIEW & CHECK LAYOUT
I always preview my post before I set it live, just to make sure it looks exactly how I want. I make sure that i’m happy with the image placement & that my sentences flow okay.
LINK AN OLD POST
Also known as a Deep Link! This is such a easy thing to add yet it’s only recently I’ve made more of an effort to put one in every post! Each time your write a post about a certain topic, insert a link to a previous post that relates to that topic. This not only keeps people on your site longer (hello bounce rate!!) but also gives them a little more information or backstory.
SAVE IMAGES TO PHONE
I do this ready to share on Instagram & share on the go, such as tweeting (@_Rachael92) or on my Facebook page. That way i’m not restricted to only being able to share my post when I am at my laptop.
ASK A QUESTION TO ENCOURAGE A DISCUSSION
One thing every blogger loves is receiving comments on their posts! You’ve put all that hard work & thought into writing your post, so it’s nice to see people engaging and taking an interest in what you’ve written. By asking a question at the end of your post, it encourages people to reply.
BE HAPPY WITH YOUR POST!
I hate looking back at old posts and cringing at what i’d written, wondering “why the fuck did I post that?!”, I never hit publish on a post unless i’m happy with it. What is the point in spending all that time taking pictures, editing them, writing a post if you aren’t going to be happy with it afterwards? If i’m really not happy with a post, I will leave it in my drafts for a couple of weeks and then go back to it with fresh eyes.
If you write your posts in advance then make sure to schedule for the day & time you want it to go live. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been waiting for a post to go up so I can start sharing across my social media, only to realise I never actually scheduled it! Once you are happy with the post & it’s exactly how you want it, SCHEDULE.
CREATE PINABBLE IMAGE
This is something that I’ve only really bothered with in the past 12 months or so. Now, along with editing my main images, I also use Canva to create a image for my Pinterest , I pin it to my blogging board & also any group boards I am in. You want to create an image that will stand out, I usually include the blog post header, plus my blog name. I have gained a lot more traffic to my blog through Pinterest since doing this. So it’s definitely something to think about.
I have also asked my SEO BLOGGING GURU friend, Alex, to share her top tip on what everyone should do before they hit publish.
“I’d say checking for strong internal linking, making sure you have a good structure of links to previously written posts in your new piece as that helps with authority. Also making sure you’ve made use of subheadings and where you’ve linked to another site, make sure that the anchor text you use contains your keyword. Don’t forget to resize and optimize all your images and whatever you do don’t share across all your social media at the exact same time – it actually looks very spammy and you should drip feed it across them with a much better effect.
I hope these tips have helped & given you a little more insight into the things I like to do before I publish a new blog post! If there is anything that you do that works really well, i’d love to know!