I’m not a fan of saying what you have to do when it comes to blogging. There’s millions of bloggers, and if we all did the same thing, it’d not only be a miracle, it’d probably be boring. However, if you want your traffic and engagement to increase and your posts to succeed, there are a few tasks that should happen both before and after your blog posts are published.
I’ll admit that I didn’t start doing most of these things until the last few months, but since I did, there’s been a major increase. A year into my blogging journey and I’m finally averaging about 120 views a day. It may not seem as awesome as those Pinterest posts that claim 40k weekly views, but I choose to be transparent with this blogging journey, even during these challenging early stages.
Two months ago, I was excited to hit 50 daily views. I believe that progress, regardless of how big or small, is growth worth working towards. The way that I blog has evolved, and so has the way I spend my time during and after the writing phase. Now, I figured out how to elevate posts before AND after I hit publish.
Things You Should be Doing Before You Publish a Blog Post
1. Create a title and outline of your post with keywords.
Honestly, a rough draft of my title is always the first thing I come up with. I search for keywords once I know my basic idea, and from that, an outline grows. This gives me a solid foundation of the key points and messages that I want the post to have before I start typing.
2. Do the research.
Sometimes, I know every single thing I’m talking about. Other times, I have to do a little research to make sure I’m not making false statements. Doubling checking facts is important with any form of writing, and that’s true for blogging too. No one knows absolutely everything, so keep learning and do your research.
3. Include headings and categories that fit with the post.
Headings help your SEO, and they really amp up your posts’ readability. Having well placed headings that make sense with your content will keep your readers wanting to read more as they scroll down that post. A lot of people also scan posts, so those headings help them out and convey your biggest points and overall message.
When I go through and add in my headings, I also add my categories for my post. Usually, the headings separate my post into smaller sections, and these different sections may have a few different categories. It’s also a way to make sure everything in the post fits and syncs up so there’s cohesion and clear points.
4. Edit, revise, and include SEO edits.
Anytime I edit a post, I read it in my head and aloud. I do this a few times. Hell, sometimes, I even read a section to my mom or my sister-in-law if I struggle a bit more than usual. Editing is so important, because grammar does wonders for the appeal of your blog. Plus, without grammar the message of your post could change.
Also, editing for SEO is important. It could probably be a step by itself, but I include it in my editing process. After I make sure my posts look and sound good, I go back through with final SEO edits. I also make sure I don’t have too many compound sentences, I don’t have sentences starting with consecutive words, and I make sure my keywords are included.
Editing is something I enjoy, but it is the biggest process for me. I can type out a post extremely quickly, so going back through multiple times is very important. Saving SEO for last also helps me write with my organic voice first, and then, I include some SEO suggestions so my post ranks well and has good readability.
5. Create graphics and add alt text.
Before I’m ready to publish, I try to create a few different graphics for the post. I also try to make sure they are vertical images that are good for Pinterest. Once these graphics are created, I add alt text.
In my alt text, I have an image description as well as keywords. As a legally blind woman, I am asking you to not just include keywords. I know many bloggers who see alt text as an extra way to increase SEO, and that’s fine. But also use it as it’s intended, which is for those with visual impairments to have a good description of the image.
Not Done Yet
These are the main tasks that I do when I’m writing my blog post, but blogging doesn’t stop the moment you hit publish. The work that goes into each and every post also includes tasks after the research, editing, and publishing. Next, I want to share the 5 things you should be doing after you publish a blog post.
5 Things You Should be Doing After You Publish a Blog Post
1. Share your post to social media.
The moment a post is published, I’m sharing it to my social media platforms. Self-promotion will increase traffic, and it shows that you have confidence in the content you create. At first, I was so quiet on my social platforms about my blog, because I didn’t want to bug anyone. Now, I’m all about self-promotion on social media.
You should be proud of your work and start promoting it as soon as it’s published. There are so many threads and groups that you can join on most of the social media platforms. So, take advantage of all of these resources, and share your work.
I head to Pinterest first, because the majority of my traffic comes from there. Making sure I have different pins formatted, I share my new post to as many of my group boards that apply to that post’s subject. I also make sure to include the keywords from the SEO research I did for that post in the descriptions of my social shares. Remember, SEO isn’t just something to consider while you write and edit an post.
2. Look for similar posts for internal linking.
Before I understood anything about SEO or traffic growth, I had no clue why you needed to add internal links. I just assumed people would click around if they wanted to, and that would be enough. Wrong. Adding internal links from old posts to new posts or vice versa offers the readers even more content options for what they are looking for.
Adding internal links will not only strengthen the overall authority of your blog’s pages, but it adds cohesion to your posts. Honestly, you can do this before or after, but make it work for you. Creating solid and unifying content makes your blog more desirable and just all around badass. Why not improve your site’s structure? Links matter!
3. Engage on other posts as well as your own.
After I promoted a post, I head over to my WordPress reader. I read, like, and comment on posts from other bloggers. When I do this, I never drop my own link in their comments, because I believe we should be able to support each other without nudging others to immediately “return the favor.”
Also, I comment back and create discussions in the comment sections of my posts. Basically, I focus on a lot of different types of engagement, whether it’s with my blog or other blogger’s posts. Engagement does wonders for your traffic. Plus, supporting others is important.
You can and should also engage on your social platforms. Respond to comments, spread the love to other bloggers, and continue to be actively engaging on social media after a post is published. Groups are great for this, especially Facebook groups like one I recently created, Blog Like a Boss Lady.
4. Share with your email subscribers.
I don’t use a ton of email marketing, because I offer freebies and other blogging resources to my readers on a specific page of Housewife Hustle. I choose to write new updates and share those in my own way, but I don’t send out a ton of mass emails- yet. However, subscribers are notified as soon as a new post is published.
Those emails that say, “Check out the latest post from…” are little reminders to your subscribers. That’s also a big part of keeping repeat readers. People don’t want to have to search to see if you have something new, so emailing your new content can do wonders for traffic.
5. Study the stats and insights.
I used to dread checking my stats. That was when I was impatient and continually comparing myself with others. Now, I don’t just check my stats. I study my insights and look for ways to improve my blog.
There are plugins that can also help with this, because they a can offer you a bit more. I use Google Analytics. It helps me figure out what posts perform the best and when is the optimal time to publish blog posts. There are patterns and insights that I never realized, until I actually took the time to look over more than just the numbers of views. You can learn a lot from blogging insights and stats, so don’t worry about sweating them when you can GROW from them.
It’s a Big Job
Blogging is a job, and the work that goes into each and every post is intense. Doing all of these tasks will help create quality posts. Now, I could separate some of these into even more specific tasks. For example, I could make SEO it’s own task for before and after. I could also break down social media sharing to each platform.
The point to take away from this is, create a system of tasks or even a checklist to make sure your posts have everything they need to succeed. I created a free checklist that corresponds with my before and after task lists from this post as well. Remember it’s okay to blog your way and not follow everyone’s tasks to a tee. Take these tips and do what works best for you, because we all blog differently.Blogging-Checklist
Have a wonderful day.