Blogger, STOP! 10 Things to Check Before You Publish

Before You Publish

There are plenty of Blog Post Publishing Checklists out there. I’ve read and used a number of them myself. But, in the end, there is no one-size fits all solution for every blogger. And even holy truths like keeping your headlines SEO friendly might not apply to a blogger that favors creativity over findability, or to every post.

In the end, every blogger must develop his/her own checklist that supports the blog’s main objectives and reflects the blogger’s values. This will take some time and experimenting. In the meantime, while you find your perfect formula, take a look at what has worked for me here at weppot.com. So, here’s what to check before you publish.

10 Things to Check Before You Publish

10 Things to Check Before You Publish


 

10 Things to Check Before You Publish

1. Did You Stick to Your Core Topic?

When users land on your site, they expect to see more of the same. Mishmash content only confuses your visitors and drives them away. Focus on your core topics in every post your write. That way you’ll slowly build a reputation for being a specialist on a topic or become known for a particular subject matter, and gain the trust of your readers. Reread your post and make sure you are keeping it relevant.
 

2. Did You Mind Your Audience?

Define your audience early on and imagine it before you every time you sit down to write. Put some random pictures up above your desk if you have to! Ask yourself: will this appeal to my readers? What about the tone of your post? Should it be formal or informal? Does your audience appreciate a bit of humor? Are you being entertaining as well as informative?
 

3.Did You Keep it Short?

According to Schaefer and Smith in ‘Born to Blog’ an ideal post is under 1,000 words. You might agree, or you might not. I find this to be a fairly reasonable estimate for most blogs. So, before you hit publish, just take a quick glance at the word count and see if your post could benefit from a little snipping.
 

4. Did You Carve That Headline?

Get out there and learn to write a proper headline! Seriously.
Headlines are really important for a blog like weppot.com. I do not have the luxury to be vague with my headlines. Some may see that as a limitation, but limitations are known to stir up creativity and make your grey matter work to keep its stay.
The general advice is to keep your headlines SEO-friendly. That means:

  • Use keywords people search for, while still staying relevant to your topic
  • Use keywords preferably at the start of the headline
  • Restrict it to about 7 words and about 70 characters
  • Use the ‘|’ symbol to break up title into 2 separate entities with equal SEO weight

A headline also has to read easy, whether it appears on Twitter or in the search engine results. Keep it catchy and witty, but most importantly descriptive. Your headline has to let your potential reader know exactly what they’ll be getting when they click that link.
Try to avoid using catchy headlines just to lock users in. If you are making money with your blog, this will definitely not help your conversion rate.
And remember, you can always use your more creative headlines somewhere down the page.
 

5. Did You Elaborate the Headline?

Spend some time thinking about your meta description and your excerpt. Think of them as the trailer for your post. If your title catches someone’s attention, the next thing they might do is read your short description. What you choose to say here might make the difference between a potential visitor and an actual one.
 

6. Did You Start With the Punch Line?

If you want to increase your chances of someone getting through your article, tell them what it’s about right in the first paragraph, if not in the first sentence. Always start with the punch line. A blog post is not a thriller. Spoilers are allowed.
 

7. Did You Check Your Keywords?

Tools like WordPress SEO by Yoast are pretty good at keeping track of your keywords, where you put them and how often you use them. So, if you don’t already use it, install it or something like it.

Keyword Density

In general, the advised keyword density should be about 2-3% of your post.

Keyword Placement

Keywords should be found hanging out in the following locations of your post:

  • Title tag, description tag, and alt tags
  • H1, H2 and/or H3
  • First 25 words of page
  • Last 25 words(in footer, for example)
  • Metadescription
  • (URL)

You do not need to match your keywords exactly in your URL, but you should include at least a part of the keywords in the link.

Keyword Formatting

It also helps to add a different style to your keyword here and there. You can use it in bold, italicize it or underline it. But don’t go too crazy with that. Your post should remain legible and logical.
 

8. Did You Set Your Feature Image?

The feature image is your article’s poster. Wherever your article may appear, either on your landing page or on a social network, this will be the face that represents it. So choose it with care and make sure it’s clear, relevant and visible.
 

9. Did You Unscramble Your Shortlink?

Take a quick glance at the final URL of your post. Does it include the right words? Is it easy to understand even with prepositions and articles edited out? If something doesn’t feel natural to you, now is the time to change it.
 

10. Did You Add Internal Links?

Last but not least, don’t forget to introduce your new post to your other posts, especially the more authoritative ones. Linking from your most popular posts to a new one will increase its popularity. And linking from this post to others, will keep readers on your site.

Try this and other checklists and establish your own posting workflow. It will take some time, but in the long run it will make your writing more efficient and enjoyable.
 

Sources:
‘Born to Blog’, Mark W.Schaefer & Stanford A.Smith
‘SEO Made Simple’, Michael H.Fleischner

 
 

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About Alicia Kolesnikova

Blogger & blogging advocate. An avid WordPress explorer and occasional shutter release pusher. Follow me on for extra blogging tips.

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