Well you have a great blog post idea, I assume. Can you just write it and hit publish? No, you can’t, because you just cannot let your best content out there without properly equipping it. You have to optimize your best blog post in some ways so that it gets people’s attention and recognition. I hope your post deserves such recognition.
Now let me tell you 7 things you must do before you hit that “Publish” button.
#1 – Keywords
This one is for you to do before you start writing the actual post (if not the draft). Do some keyword research. I am not going to tell you all the possible ways to do it. Of course there are lots of free and paid ways in which you can research for keywords.
Whatever service you use, make sure you embrace the long tail keywords the most because 80% of organic traffic comes from those keywords as opposed to the short ones. Make sure you have identified the right keywords before writing the post. Spread the keywords evenly throughout the post and make sure you use the potential ones near the beginning.
#2 – SEO
On page SEO, that is. Make sure your post is neatly optimized for search engine bots. Again, there are thousands of things one can do to optimize a blog post; and I am not going to list them all.
The point is, SEO should be in your checklist. Write those meta tags and keywords for every post, choose to write manual excerpts, put potential keywords in your heading, use less stop words in your post heading. Of course you may choose to get the help of paid plugins to assist you in this matter.
Useful Resources :
- 10 SEO Techniques That Can Be Used In the Real World
- HOW TO: Get Your Free SEO Report Within Minutes
#3 – Interlinking
Never publish a blog post without interlinking to any of your older posts. I assume interlinking should not be a problem. After all we are all blogging in some particular niche. So we will have other blog posts that are related and hence can be referenced to.
Interlinking helps you to increase your internal back links. And by leaving them as do follow links (I am sure you will), you increase the authority of every blog post.
A quick and hot tip is to link to your old post near the beginning of the post.
#4 – Linking to others
Don’t keep everything to yourself. Depending upon what you are writing, always try to find out relevant links from other blogs in your niche. You will make good friends in the first place, and you will also support your writing with relevant thoughts.
Apart from linking in your daily posts, you can also write exclusive posts that are round ups of thoughts from various other posts. An example of such a post can be seen here- 5 Key Elements for Bloggers: A Round Up.
Interlinking is always good in the blogosphere.
Tip: For interlinking your own blog posts and to others you have a handy plugin. It is called Insights. You can search within your own blog, or on the web and other blogs to link.
#5 – Image
This is an optional thing. But personally I would go for it. Images are good for the eyes. Even if you are writing a very serious blog and teaching people some concrete stuff, a funny and thoughtful image at the top is an excellent hook.
Find relevant, funny, thought provoking images to your post. Add appropriate alt tags and give credits to the owners. This will not only spice up your post, but will make it compelling to read, and you can also get found by the bots through image searches.
Useful Resource :
- 40+ Websites For Copyright And Royalty Free Photos
#6 – Call to action
Finish your post with a call to action. It can be asking for readers’ suggestions/comments, it may be a promotion or it can be an invitation for subscription. Whatever it may be!
If you finish the post bluntly, it is like “I talk; I have talked and that’s it”. But your blog is not a place where you do monologues. You should encourage discussions. In order to encourage people to engage in discussions, you have to let them know that you are open and love to hear what they would say.
#7 – Read out loud
This may sound lame, but trust me it helps you to improve your post. This step is really a must. Don’t think that you will look like a lunatic if you read your own blog post out loud.
When you read out loud, you will come across some incorrect sentence formations which may otherwise look fine with eye reading. You may also check if you have any obvious grammatical mistakes that you miss with your tired eyes.
Not only with grammatical errors, you may also find if your post is worth reading by doing this. I have trashed many drafts which have not passed this test 😉
Do not be in a hurry to hit that Publish button. The more you do just before publishing, the more your post will enjoy after getting published. Have these tips as a checklist and always publish posts after ticking all of them.
Is your content great? Has it passed all these tests? OK then you can now hit Publish 🙂
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you have anything more to add to the checklist? Feel free to do so.
Photo by phunkstarr