Sometimes we all need a little help to add the final finishing touches to a blog post. In this post you'll find a guide that does just that.
RUSHING TO FEEL THE RUSH
One of the most exciting things about blogging for me is that moment just after I publish a new post. There’s relief that I have brought one project to a close. But there’s also the thrill of creating something for public consumption.
Sometimes (especially when a post has been a little difficult to craft) I hurry to publish it. Unfortunately that’s when I’ll often find that in my rush I’ve overlooked a few key tasks. I’m then obliged to go back and rework the post, attend to blog post admin jobs and so on.
It ends up taking me a lot longer than it should to finish the job properly.
That’s where this pre-publish blogging guide comes in handy.
There are three components to a blog post:
- How well it reads
- How good it looks
- How easy it is to find or promote it
A good checklist incorporates all of these aspects.
HOW WELL YOUR POST READS
At its heart at good blog post gives value to its readers. You will have chosen your subject mindful of what it is your readers really want.
But no matter how riveting or how well researched a topic is, if your writing is not up to scratch you may lose your audience.
- Give value to your readers. Why should they read your content as opposed to someone else’s?
- Proofread. Yes the occasional typo or wonky bit of grammar will slip through. Make the effort to catch as many as you can. Otherwise you run the risk of your post/blog appearing unloved and by extension, your readers might think they are as well.
PAY ATTENTION PLEASE!
Online readers have distinct needs. For one thing, they are more likely to skim read articles, diving in a little deeper to catch the key points before returning to scan mode.
To accommodate this behaviour you need to write and format your post accordingly.
- Your writing must be punchy and pithy. Long sentences and paragraphs stuffed with text are off-putting.
- You need to ensure your layout leads the reader to what’s important. Use headers, lists, blockquotes, font formats and plenty of white space. Make sure your key messages stand out.
The heading for this subsection is a case in point.
HELP ME HELP YOU
You’ve carefully crafted your post and it provides a lotta value to your readers, which is fantastic. But what do you need them to do next?
Your audience have come on this journey with you, it’s up to you to make the most of that opportunity and suggest what their next step might be.
Would you like them to subscribe, share, register, comment, read another post? Then let them know that. Sure not everyone will want to but some will, especially if they have just benefited from your post in some way.
- Insert a call of action in your post.
HEY, HOW YOU DOIN'
Images and other graphical elements are a must. There are three main reasons for this:
- Images provide a ‘resting place’ for readers who have been skim-reading
- Images are the cuisine equivalent to how beautifully a restaurant presents its food
- Images can be optimised for search engines
Every pixel on your blog is real estate that you have invested in. Making it work for you includes having the sorts of images that people fall over themselves to share.
- Have good quality images that are unique and shareable.
- Use image titles and alt text to make the images easy to discover. Use the types of search terms you enter when you yourself are searching for pictures as a guide for what to include there.
PEEKABOO, WHERE ARE YOU
You’ve put a lot of effort into developing your blog and creating your latest post. But you still need to bring it on home. What you do must be easy to promote, find and share otherwise you may as well still be writing in your high school diary.
- Research and use keywords effectively.
- Use categories, tags, internal links and related posts to help readers find posts on your blog. You want to encourage them to spend more time on your blog. Make it tempting and convenient for them to do so.
BEFORE YOU PUBLISH BLOGGING CHECKLIST
Time is precious. You don’t want to spend any more than you have to reworking posts. You certainly want to ensure the effort you’ve already invested in your blog creates the maximum value for you and your readers.
A good pre-publish checklist is a tool to help you gain back lost time as well as getting you closer to achieving your blogging goals.
I hope you find this information useful. It’s a bloggy hug from me to you, fellow blogger.
If you’d like more information and a copy of a free printable Before You Publish Blogging Checklist you’ll find it in a post I’ve written on this topic over on my blog. If you want to skip straight to the download you’ll find it at the bottom of the post.
You can read more from Lisa on her blog Lifeblooming.
She's also written the following posts right here on BlogHer:
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