Raelyn Tan: Blogging & Digital Marketing Strategist

11 Things You Should Do Before You Publish Any Blog Post

things-to-do-before-publishing-blogpostA good routine every blogger should have is a routine to follow when publishing blog posts.

I’m not the most organized person in the world. But I make sure that this routine is followed to a T when I blog!

No one is going to die if you do not share your new blog post on your Facebook page this week. There is, however, a cumulative effect of writing and promoting posts well.

In this post, I will talk about the things I do before I publish, and in my next post I will talk about the things I do after I publish.

Update: You can read the second part here: 8 Simple Ways To Promote Your Blogposts After You Hit Publish

Here's 11 things every blogger should do before publishing a blog post. These tips for beginners will help you write good blog posts that are super shareable. Use this article as a checklist before publishing!

Pin me, pretty please!

Here’s what to do before you publish any blog post:

1. Write outline

things-to-do-before-publish-blog-post

I used to “just dive into it” when I wrote articles.

However, after awhile, I would run out of points or forget what I wanted to write. Or get bored. Or open Facebook. The inertia to start writing was pretty high as well.

Nowadays, I start by writing a simple outline of the points I want to cover.

This outline is really simple, just a couple of sentences that include the main points of what I want to blog about.

I’ve found that when you start with an outline, it is easier for you to “get into the zone” of writing. Completing the easier task of writing an outline gives you a sense of achievement, which translates into more motivation to write the entire article.

It also ensures that I don’t miss out on any crucial pointers later on. I also write the article faster when I know what are the points I need to cover next.

2. Write the post

Next, you write the actual post. Make sure it is high quality!

3. Target a Specific Keyword

before-publishing-blog-post

Without letting my targeted keyword affect the contents of my blog post (aside from minor tweaks), I use the Google keyword planner to decide on a targeted keyword that’s relevant to my post.

I add it to my post title, my post description, the permalink and weave it a few times into my post and subheadings. Download the Yoast SEO plugin and it’ll give you the full list of the things to optimize for.

I am also planning to write a post about SEO for newbies, so stay tuned. (Update May ’17: You can check out the post about SEO here: SEO Blog Tips For Newbies: Ranking Your Blog Content)

Some examples of keywords on my blog:

A) How to Write the Perfect About Me Page – keyword is How to Write About Me Page
B) 8 Proven Ideas to Generate a Blog Name You Love – keyword is Blog Name Ideas
C) 10 Game-Changing Strategies I Used To Create an Irresistible Lead Magnet/ Freebie That Got Me 711 Downloads in 3 Months – keyword is Lead Magnet.

4. Link it to other posts

what-to-do-before-publish-blog-post

This is really important. A very good way of getting Google to rank your post for your targeted keyword is simply to tell Google what your post is about in your own blog. 

Link to other articles liberally using the targeted keyword that you have decided to use for that post.

5. Attractive title

what-to-do-blog-post

Double check your headline to make it more attractive. One of the best blogging tools you can use to help with this is Coschedule’s Headline Analyzer (it’s free).

Practice makes perfect when it comes to writing good blog post headlines. The main objective of your post headline is to generate a click, so make sure your title is specific enough to do just that.

Here’s 190 templates for you to start writing catchy headlines today.

6. Make blog post concise

While I always recommend for you to write longer, higher quality blog posts, writing redundant words and overly convoluted sentences are a big no-no.

Go back to your post and remove any redundant words or paragraphs. I make it a point to keep each paragraph short (<3 sentences).

free-blogging-checklist

7. Create an accompanying horizontal image

Creating a horizontal image allows your content to be more shareable on Facebook and Twitter.

I have just added horizontal images onto all my blog posts, and I am seeing a significant increase in retweets & favorites of my posts. Once you have a template, it is pretty fast.

before-publish-blog-post

Here is an example from my recent post – every time someone tweets / shares your article on Facebook, people are more likely to read and engage with it when your post is accompanied by an enticing image. Over time, the payoff is huge.

The dimensions I use are 1200px x 630px.

You could use Canva or Picmonkey to create it for free. I use Photoshop.

8. Create an accompanying vertical image

Screen Shot 2016-07-04 at 2.09.06 PM copyVertical images are for Pinterest. The longer the better.

The dimensions I use depends on what I want to include in the pins.

For instance, this pin I made recently right here got quite a good reception. 1.5k repins? Heck yeah!

9. Add tweet blurbs/ other call to actions

Depending on your niche and how your audience interacts with your content, you can consider adding tweet boxes abundantly.

You can also add a call to action at the end of your post to engage your readers or get them to subscribe. (Scroll down to see how I do it)

10. Write out excerpt

I don’t display my full blog posts on my homepage because people don’t have time to sit through 1000 words. I want to give my new readers a look at multiple articles at one go when they first step onto my home page.

Hence, I write an excerpt. You can customize your excerpt (instead of just defaulting to using the first 100 – 150 words) using an amazing WordPress blogging plugin called Advanced excerpt.

free-blogging-checklist

11. Create content upgrade

content-upgrade-things-to-do-before-publishing

For posts which I think will become popular posts, I create content upgrades to get more subscribers and for list building purposes.

It is also an excellent way to get your brand to stand out from the crowd because not everyone offers content upgrades.

In summary

There you go – 11 things for you to do BEFORE you publish your next blog post.

Before you publish your next blog post, you:
1. Write outline
2. Write the post
3. Target a specific keyword – include in post title, post description, permalink and the article body
4. Interlink to other posts
5. Attractive headline
6. Double check to remove redundant words/ paragraphs
7. Create an accompanying horizontal image
8. Create an accompanying vertical image
9. Add tweet blurbs/ other call to actions
10. Write excerpt for display on home page
11. Create a content upgrade for it

What’s the most useful pointer that you’ve learned? Tell me in my FB group, and I’ll definitely reply (link below).

You may also like this bonus checklist I’ve made for you. If you’re a blogger, you need this.

free-blogging-checklist

Continue on to part 2: 8 Simple Ways To Promote Your Blogposts After You Hit Publish

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Yay! I’ve just switched comments on. Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment below:

Simon

Hey, nice post, Rae!

Caught up with point #1. A lot of bloggers often miss out on this. All they do is think of a blog post idea then jump unto their WordPress and start writing. This is totally wrong.

As a blogger/writer, you ought to plan out your post first. Write down all the ideas and points you wish to include in the post. Format how you want it to be (which comes before which). This helps in making your post more organised.

Also, do a research on whatever your writing about. Get relevant resources and link to them.

Thanks again for the amazing post.

Simon

Hey Simon, thank you! I love that writing an outline helps bloggers write an article much faster.

See you around in my community!

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