Monday, March 28, 2016

Increase the Reach of Every Blog Post You Write – 15 Things to do Before You Hit Publish

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson


We all want every blog post we publish to be the best it can be. Beyond that, we want our posts to get found. For that to happen, we have to increase the reach of every blog post we write. 

It's hard to remember all the things that go into an effective post, so I've compiled a checklist for my own blogging and today I'm going to share it with you.

15 Things to Do Before You Hit Publish
1. Determine the main keyword phrase for your post. Do this by finding the focus of the post and For this post, the keyword phrase is Increase the Reach of Every Blog Post.

Compose a title that contains this key word phrase.
2. Compose a title for your blog that contains this keyword phrase. It will help get your blog found if that title is phrased like something that would be typed into a search engine.

3. Add labels/tags to your post. These should always include: keywords, the title of the blog post, the name of the author (even if you’re the only author who ever writes for your site), the title of your blog site, if it’s different than your name (the title of my blog site is The Write Conversation, so that’s one of my labels). Here's a blog post with the specifics of How to Label and Tag Your Blog Post

4. Make sure there is a byline at the top of the post. In WordPress, that can be set up to show automatically. In Blogger, you’ll need to treat that as part of your blog post. With that byline, include a link to your Twitter account for easy sharing on social media.

5. Read your post out loud. This will help catch any typos or awkward sentences you may have missed before.

Compose an open-ended question of call to action for the
end of your post.
6. Compose an open-ended question or call to action for the end of your post. This will help engage your audience. And Don’t forget to come back and answer the comments.

7. Look at word count. An ideal length for most posts is 700-800 words. There are exceptions and if your blog is an exception, notice what word-length works best for you.

8. Check for formatting. Look for clear and concise (and mainly short) sentences. Check to make sure your paragraphs no longer than 50 words. Search for extra spaces or extra blank lines. They are more apparent online than in print.

9. If the blog post is written by a guest, include a bio and headshot. This bio should include social media links—so readers can connect—as well as an book links.

Verify all hyperlinks are working.
10. Verify all hyperlinks are working. There is nothing more frustrating than to click on a dead link. Google actually penalizes sites by reduced SEO if they have dead links. So take time to double-check.

11. Make sure your images are captioned. Images aren’t easily searchable online, but images that are captioned are. This adds extra power to the SEO of your blog post.

12. Check the position of your images. Pictures and graphics should illustrate your post, not interrupt the flow of the text. Think of it like a magazine layout.

13. Add a Click to Tweet or Tweetdis for easy sharing. Tweetdis is a paid plugin for Wordpress and won’t work on Blogger, but it’s becoming my new favorite for my WordPress sites. Click to Tweet is free and here's the link to a screencast on How to Install Click to Tweet.

14. Preview your post. Take an extra minute and preview your post one last time. Especially if you've made changes, this help ensure they haven't caused other issues.

15. Schedule your post. I know this sounds like a no-brainer, but occasionally I forget to hit schedule and the post ends up as a draft and is late when I discover my mistake.

By consistently checking for each of the 15 things listed above, you’ll increase the reach of your individual posts and the overall reach of your blog. I’d love to know what you’d add to the list. Be sure to leave your suggestions in the comments section below.
(NOTE: if you want to print this list, there's a link at the end to allow that)

Don’t forget to join the conversation!
Blessings,
Edie

TWEETABLES

15 Things to do before you hit publish on your blog - @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Link to Download and Print 15 Thing to Do Before You Hit Publish

Don't stop with this list, here's a link to the post 9 Things To Do AFTER You Hit Publish


20 comments:

  1. Thank you, Edie. I am bookmarking this post, along with the, "Click to Tweet" post. You have been a treasure chest of useful information. I praise God for you.

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    1. Cherrilynn, thank you! I'm so glad I've been able to help, Blessings, E

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  2. Thanks for another great post, Edie! This is a very helpful checklist.

    How can I set up my blog post so that readers can print it out? For example, I would love to print out this post to have it next to me as I create my own blog post. How would I insert a PRINT button so that it prints only the post and not the sidebar of my blog?

    As always, thank you for your help! I so appreciate you!


    Blessings,

    MaryAnn

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    1. MaryAnn, I really don't know the answer, but I'll do some research. What platform do you use for blogging? For this post, I've added a link to Google Drive that will allow you to download and print just the post. I hope that helps, Blessings, E

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  3. Thanks for the useful tips and print button.

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    1. Sharron, thanks for stopping by! Blessings, E

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  4. Great advice, Edie! How did you get the link for you Google doc?

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    1. Andy Lee, I uploaded the word doc into Google Drive, then I clicked on SHARE, then on GET THE SHAREABLE LINK. This gives you the exact link. The auto settings for this are:
      1. It's only available to those with the link.
      2. No one but you can edit it in Google Drive (this doesn't lock the document after it's taken out of Google).

      Hope this helps! Blessings, E

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    2. Thank you! I found another way on my WP too. Swew! Could not figure it out the other night to save me! Thank you again.

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  5. Thank you Edie for a very good post. I printed your list and it's hanging on my printer as a reminder, of what to check.

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    1. Jann, I'm so glad I was able to help! Blessings, E

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  6. Loved this post. A quick question. Can you put a meme in a click to tweet?

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    1. Pat, great question. No, you can't, not in Click to Tweet (they're supposed to be working on adding that option. BUT you can if you use TweetDis. TweetDis is a paid service and only works with WordPress, but the more I play around with it, the better I like it!

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  7. This is great advice! #11 is a new one for me. I'll have to remember to do that!

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  8. Printed this out for my future blog posts. Thanks so much for sharing. Blessings to you and yours.

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  9. 15 points, each of which is really important.

    Mind if I add another one?
    - make sure your post looks good when shared in Social Network (with a proper use of social meta tags)
    Sometimes when I hit share button at some blogs, it's a total mess :)

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  10. Great advice for us all... thank you for sharing. Blessings, Michael

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  11. Edie, your posts are always so helpful! Thank you for taking the time to help us all. You are my go-to for the blog nitty-gritty. I'm on Blogger and don't think the labels are the same as tags in Wordpress, but I follow your advice for tagging. I haven't explored SEO too much yet.

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  12. Great post. I learned about half of these from experience, and from reading other successful blogs. I definitely recommend reading other blogs regularly to keep up on what's working well and what isn't :)

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  13. WOW! This technologically challenged person actually downloaded and printed this article all by herself. I think I am finally growing up. Thank you so very much for your willingness to share this valuable information with us. I took notes all the way through then I read that it was printable. I was skeptical but figured it out. Now I have this reference sheet to guide me as I blog. What a blessing. Thank you.

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