10 Things To Make Sure Your Blog Posts Have Before You Hit Publish

MAKE SURE YOUR BLOG POSTS HAVE THESE BEFORE YOU HIT PUBLISH

Writing has always been a passion of mine. Through the past decade I have created a blog for different times in my life. With each time it was always for me, not for anyone else. 

I became a blogger ON Blogger writing about Interior Design. Oh man, did I love writing about subway tiles and Tolix chairs. I was desperate to have an escape from my corporate job and dreamed of renovating a farmhouse in France with only by two bare hands and some wine. 

Then I started a blog when I decided to get remarried, sell everything and move to England. This was still for me, but also a great place for friends and family back home to see what I was up to. 

I've also contributed several guest posts over the years, most notably with Punky Moms, as well as the story of how my husband and I met at Holl & Lane

Throughout this time I have been able to learn a thing or two about how to properly write a blog post, filled with SEO keywords and searchable tags. Ones that won't get buried 10 pages deep in Google, but that pop up on the 1st or 2nd. 

That's where you want to be. 

With a little perseverance and some basic knowledge it can easily be attained.  Here are my top tips to absolutely make sure you are doing with every single blog post. 

Proofread

Sometimes my thoughts come out way faster than my hands can type. I forget a comma, misspell a word or just don’t make any damn sense! We aren’t perfect, but proofreading is so incredibly important. You must get into the habit of proofreading before your post goes live. I usually upload my blog post, save it as a draft, and then walk away for 24 hours. When I come back and re-read it, my mind has had a chance to refresh and I can easily pick up on issues in my post. I always preview my post to see if the formatting looks correct, and if I have completed the other items on this list!

Categorize & Tag

Although SEO practices say that using tags in your posts doesn’t matter, they do matter to your reader. Tags at the end of your posts are a great way for your reader to see related content and be able to easily click on it right then and there (and thus hang out on your site longer!). Categories though are extremely important. Categorizing your posts correctly the first time can help someone really see how your site is set up and dive deeper into your blog. It also keeps you in check and makes sure that you are keeping consistent with what your blog is offering. Also categories are SEO friendly.

Alt-Tags & Photo Titles

Alt what? Alt-tags are this amazing item that you probably didn’t even know existed. Essentially they are a way to describe your image in more detail so it shows up in internet searches. It is also referred to as alt text.

Also another piece of advice. Name your images guys. Having img59302.JPG uploaded on your site again does nothing for search engines. I see this a lot with product images. It is so important. Naming a photo The Social Renegade Blog Posts Guidelines works a heck of a lot better. 

Create Branded Images

You definitely want to have the right Pinterest image in your post right away. If you don’t have an image that is Pinterest friendly (vertical with text) in your post when you hit publish, then people might be pinning photos that are not telling the story you want. I know I have decided not to Repin an interesting article because there was no image nice enough to use! You want to make it easy on your readers by having the right image there from the start. Photos should be re-sized to fit the width of your post space. I like to add the title of the post for Pinterest Searches as well as use the alt tag (see above) to really create a proper description of what my post is about. Avoid posting five photos of the same thing. If you’re posting lots of vacation photos make sure they tell a story. This isn’t Facebook.  

Link Older Posts

You want your readers to stick around at your site and fully get involved with your brand. Whenever possible, try to add one or two links within your blog posts to older content. Maybe you are referencing a music playlist you made or a recipe. If you can, add the link in the body of the post. If not adding them to the bottom is acceptable too. This is just another way for your audience and potential followers to dive deeper into your site. Also be sure you have at least one link out to something relevant for the article...and make sure you tick Open in New Window when putting a link in so that way your reader doesn’t end up leaving your site to visit your link.

Schedule Social Media

I use Social Pilot to schedule my posts in social media. There are so many options out there, but for me this is the one I like the most. I personally will schedule my post over the course of a few days once the post goes live. Doing this as you’re scheduling the post will help you figure out and fill out your social media calendar for the future It is so much easier to do this at the time of writing the post than trying to remember to do it a week later. 

SEO-friendly Title

Make it descriptive and use keywords. Keep it under 60 characters. Co-schedule has a pretty cool free tool in this Headline Analyzer. Really helps you break down the structure of your titles.

Shorter Paragraphs

Search engines love when you have lots to say. Having at least 300 minimums is the bare bit requirement. If you can keep going though, the better. It shows search engines that you are an expert on what you are talking about (even if you are not!). With these long-form posts though, it is important to use headings to break up paragraphs so your content is more easily read.

Meta

Use a plugin like WordPress SEO by Yoast to add a description. If you don’t have access to that plugin be sure that your opening paragraph is filled with your keywords. Search engines will pull a random sentence when displaying results, so you want to add a description that gets people to click your post.

Call To Action

Leave a question at the end of your post or something directing your audience to do next. You want people to share their own experience in comment form or click on the link to buy it now…

 

Easy enough to understand? Let me know in the *ahem* comments.

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