Have you ever found yourself in a situation where your post is ready, your formatting is done and you have added a few pictures as well but are still wondering if you have missed something before clicking the publish button?
It is very common to miss out considering a few aspects before hitting the publish button. While you can always come back and edit things, a few readers would have already read your post by then.
To make things easier and more systematic for you, I have come up with a small checklist which you can tick off every time you make a post.
So here are 12 Important Things to check before hitting Publish.
1) Title: However brilliant your post is, the chances of it being clicked and read depend on how catchy your title is. Check if your title is SEO friendly, does it address some issue which people face? If you were the reader, would you click on that title to read it? Your title should ignite interest in the reader and lead them to believe that there is something in store for them.
Make sure your title reappears in the post once, this helps in search engines picking up your post when searched for.
2) Sub Headings: Sometimes we tend to overload our posts with information. However, remember that the attention span of a reader is very minimum and you would want to hold on to their attention by breaking your content into sub headings or points.
This has a dual effect : makes it easier to read as well as to remember.
3) Formatting: The text should be styled and formatted for easy reading. Also include Bold, Italics and both where necessary. Highlight the point you want to drive across or stand out by using the Blockquote. The impact of styling your post correctly will lead to readers sticking to the end of your post and spend more time on your blog.
4) Tags: Assigning tags to your post increases the chance that fellow bloggers will find them in their Reader. Use broad tags which talk about your post in a general reference and also use a few specific tags which directly relate to the content of your post. These will help you post to be found when either of the tags is searched for. Also, blending together the common and the specific tags will help your posts stay visible in the Reader for a longer time.
5) Categories: Adding categories makes it easier for readers to find related posts in one place. Also, enable the category cloud widget in your settings. This helps in bringing to light the older posts which may have been dumped down and forgotten.
6) Spelling / Grammar checked: It is very important to have your spellings correct and grammar in place. Many readers get put off and loose interest when they come across poor spellings and grammar.
Install Grammarly – it helps in detecting and fixing all of the spelling and grammar errors
7) Call to Action: If you have addressed an issue or situation in your post, then make sure to have a call to action at the end of you post. This helps to make sure your post is impactful and may also gain you loyal followers.
8) Custom images for social media: One of the easiest ways to promote your blog posts is through social media. To make it more impactful have custom images for sharing on social media which link directly to your post. You could also have a summary of the important points of your post in the form of an image with your blog name and title on it – serving both as blog promotion as well as helpful information for your readers.
9) Slugs: One of the main ways in which search engines find your post in search results is through slugs. Think of what you would type into the search bar at google to find the information in your blog post and make that as your slug. WordPress takes your title as a default slug, which could be too long at times – so, change the slug to the most appropriate words which describe your post.
For example, the title of this post is “12 Important Things to check before hitting Publish”, but I have made the slug as “blogging-tips”.
10) External links: Wherever possible, provide a few links to other relevant blog content which may help the reader. You could also add links to any of your older posts which is related or would help this post. Also, make sure these links open in a new window so that the reader doesn’t move away from you post.
Check if all the links are working.
11) Credits: If you have taken reference from another source or picked up content or images from any place, then be human and give them proper credit for their work. Lets be honest, you wouldn’t like someone using your work without giving you credit.
If you look at the broader picture, giving credit serves you well. The person you have given credit or linked to will refer to your post on their blog letting their readers know about it and you will get more exposure. It’s a win-win situation.
12) Preview: This is one step I’m sure none of us miss. It is very important to preview what your post looks like before hitting the publish button. It’s a form pf self satisfaction looking at what you have created 🙂
These are the basic checklists I look into before I publish any post of mine. Most of us do all of these, but a reminder serves no harm.
I have complied an image which has all of these points in one place. You could take a print of it and put it on the wall where you work or pin it on your board or wherever it is viewable. Everytime you make a post just brush through this checklist and you are never going to miss a thing.
I am doing this for the first time, let me know if this was helpful and if you woud like more of this. Also, I have a checklist in store which I refer to after I have published a post. Maybe I could do a post on that too.
If you have any more to add on to this list, feel free to leave them in the comments and i’ll add them in. In this way, everyone benefits.
Happy Blogging 🙂