Blogging isn’t easy. You have to concentrate on your content, your voice, images, blog look, social media and much more.
At the center of it all is every single one of your blog posts. They are the ones that convince your readers to come back. Getting your posts out and increasing new viewers is important, but readers who come back and stay with you are even more important.
I’ve already spoken about what you should do AFTER publishing your blog post so today I’m going to talk about all the bases you need to cover BEFORE hitting publish.
 Edit your URL
As a default, the title of your blog post is taken as it’s URL.
Sometimes, your title may be too long but URLs with over 65 characters are not known to do well. ALWAYS check your URL before publishing your blog post and edit it if required.
For example, your blog post title may be book review of The Book Thief // why I loved it and the URL would become ../book-review-of-the-book-thief-why-I-loved-it. You could edit it to ../the-book-thief-book-review which makes it way cleaner.
 Edit your meta-description
Meta-description is the few lines from your post which is seen in your blog scroll (if your setting is not to see the whole post) and also what is seen when your link comes up on google. It’s a few lines that describe what your post is about and you should take complete advantage of it. Use a few lines from your post which would convey what you’re talking about and also will bring the reader in.
If you don’t edit it, by default the first lines of your post is displayed (until the maximum character limit allowed).
 Sort your post into one to three categories
As I’ve mentioned in my post on What to have on your blog, categories are important. Your readers can easily navigate to a set of posts that interests them.
And so, it is important to categorise your posts. Only categorize your post into the category/categories which it’s talking mainly about. Don’t categorize it as “books” if you mention books for only a few lines out of the whole post. Have as distinct and accurate categories as possible.
Don’t add it into more than three categories. That might be a little much.
 Add a header image
Header images are what visually appeal to people on social media. When sharing on twitter or Facebook, your header image shows up when you add the link and it automatically makes your post more appealing.
Try to have a clean and bright header image. You could also choose a theme for all your header images so they’ll give your blog a certain look and it would also make things easier for you when making new headers.
Watermark your headers with your blog name or URL so that when seen on Google images, it can be traced back to your blog.
 Link other blog posts
Links to and from your blog post increase your blog post’s credibility. Linking other blog posts related to the topic you’re talking about makes your post more informative. Google considers this and the more credible your post is, the higher it shows in search results.
Links are important for SEO. You can’t control others linking to your posts, but you CAN link to other posts. You can also link your own posts, hence creating links on both ends and increasing credibility for both.
But of course, make sure you’re only linking relevant posts and not random ones.
 Add any in-post images
This is especially recommended if your post is pretty long. Add images among your content to break up your text and make it look better. But on the other hand, don’t add too many and clutter the post unless your post is solely focusing on the images.
If you do add pictures, always check if the alignment and size is as you want it.
 Edit formatting
Vary text sizes, alignment, colours and such to make your post more readable. Imagine this post not having the headings in a larger size and in bold—you would be lesser keen to read it because it’s not broken up into sections.
A long block of plain text isn’t appealing, so unless your images do it for you, break up your text by formatting.
 Ask questions in the end
The best way to receive more comments is by starting a discussion with questions. More than one question will make it easier for readers to talk about something. There are readers who comment solely based on the main content of your blog post but sometimes readers need help in what to comment about.
Questions are very helpful and they spark discussions, also making you approachable.
ALWAYS reread your post once before you hit publish. Take a few minutes of break and come back to the post with slightly fresher eyes. Preview your post and try to read it as if it’s not yours. Pick out mistakes, if any, and edit your content before it goes up. Sometimes you might get more things to talk about when rereading, or you might realise your post structure isn’t how you want it to be.
Never hit publish the second the last word has been typed.
 Use a catchy, delivering title
Whether you think of the title before or after writing the content, always take a minute to think it through. Find a few ways in which you can phrase your title and pick the best.
Titles that are catchy and promise to deliver something to the reader do better than vague titles.
For example, 10 Things You Should Be Doing Before Publishing Your Blog Post is much better than What To Do Before Hitting Publish or the more ambiguous and general Blogging tips.
Also, on a slightly relative note: we bloggers already have a lot to think about and have a dozen tasks to complete for every blog post. It helps to have a checklist to remind you, so that you don’t forget anything. I suggest making a list of tasks to refer to every time, before they become a habitual routine for you, or you can even refer to this blog post!
I hope this blog post was helpful and informative! Please don’t hesitate to ask me anything in the comments, or request another blogging tips post on some topic.
Do you have a list of tasks or points that you refer to while blogging? Or have you already developed a routine? Are there any other points you can think of which I missed in this post? Let us know in the comments!