So you’re on fire! You’ve written your latest and greatest blog post and you’re about to hit the “Publish” button… Wait… Stop… Don’t do it… yet! You still have a lot of work to do before you publish that amazing post! Here’s what you need to make sure you do.
BEFORE YOU HIT “PUBLISH”…
1. Read Your Post… AGAIN!
You’re typing along on your keyboard and finishing up that last sentence and feeling really good about the content you’re about to put out there. But… Is it really that good? Are you sure? Is it really the message that you want to send to your readers? Read it again! Better yet, give it to someone else to read. Your spouse, a friend, or even a colleague. Your kids can be great at this, too!
A lot of times we write so enthusiastically and so passionately that our thoughts run much quicker than our fingers can keep up with. By reading your post again, you’ll be able to pick up on some disconnected narrative or missing words.
Sentences that you thought made sense as you were typing away now might seem a little difficult to understand. And when you add a second set of eyes to read your narrative, you’ll get extra hints of where something might be a bit off or a little more explanation might be in order. And make sure that your grammar and spelling are in check as well.
Take the extra time to re-read your posts. It’s definitely worth it.
2. Think About Your Headline… AGAIN!
Your headline is the first thing your audience sees. For your content to be a success, think about your headline again. Is your catchy or witty headline your best choice to get your readers to click and share your post? Here’s something to think about:
On average, eight out of ten people will see your headline, and only two out of ten will actually click through to read your content. To make these numbers run in your favor, the following kinds of headlines always give great results when it comes to clicking and sharing:
- Lists: Do you wonder why so many lists get created and shared on social media? Because they work. And the larger the numbers, the better. Think “Top 100”.
- How-To Posts: People are always looking for answers to their questions, how to do something, how to achieve something. Give them the answer, get a click.
- Fulfilling dreams: A lot of success for influencers is based on this. So if you can promise to fulfill the dreams of your followers, you have a chance for them to click and read.
- Best or Worst Of: Everyone wants to avoid being the worst of something, right? I mean, we don’t want to get laughed at, right? And we all want to know how to be the best at things, right? Hence… we click.
Also important, make sure that your headline includes keywords or phrases. By doing so, you optimize your post for search engines. Think of words or phrases someone might search for on Google in order to find your post.
3. Add Images.
Statistics show that posts with images get more views and more shares than those posts without them. They also help keep your audience’s attention.
On Twitter, tweets with images get retweeted 150% more that tweets without. Those numbers are significant, aren’t they? So don’t miss out on this opportunity. After all, you did work really hard to produce an amazing post, remember? And you do want your posts to get shared on social media, right? Part of why you do what you do is to expand your reach and get even more readers to click through to your content, right?
4. Add Newsletter Sign-Up Forms.
“Money is in the list.” There’s a real truth to that saying. For blogging success, your chances are high when you’re collecting email subscribers and generating leads. And if you’re not doing this, consider incorporating some of this into your success plan. The best way to grow your email list is via your blog.
Make certain you have sign-up forms in place that ask your readers to subscribe. And if you’re providing valuable content your audience enjoys reading, they’ll want to subscribe so they don’t miss a thing. Make sure you’re offering at least one option for them to do so before you hit “Publish”.
5. Decide on a Best Time to Publish.
There are many different reasons why it matters WHEN you publish. Here are just a few tips to consider:
- Best days: People tend to have more leisure time on the weekends. So schedule your posts as the weekend approaches and/or on weekend days. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are the days you’re likely to see an uptick in readership, so you might want to start posting on Thursday in anticipation of this uptick.
- Best times: People are most likely to look at blogs and social media at lunchtime and after work. So best times to post tend to be around noon and six o’clock. You may want to consider posting based on Eastern Standard time (EST) to ensure your posts are available at peak viewing times across the country.
- For Social Sharing: Different platforms have different peak times. There may be no rhyme or reason to this, but statistics don’t lie. They show that social readership is best on the following days for the following platforms:
- Twitter: Wednesdays
- Facebook: Thursdays and Fridays
- LinkedIn: Tuesdays
6. Add Links from Your Older Posts.
Consider linking your relevant older posts to the newer one, especially if the older posts still get a lot of traffic, and vice versa. This can help give your new post an extra boost. And interlinking your own blog posts helps improve your website structure, builds authority, and helps your old content stay fresh. Every update of old content will trigger that “relevance” button to Google. Plus… It gives your readers more relevant information on your topic and keeps them on your site longer.
7. Add a Question at the End to Encourage Discussion.
One of the main objectives of blogging is to build your community. And one of the best ways you do that is by asking questions and engaging in discussion. By asking a question at the end of your post, you’re encouraging people to comment and engage with you.
AFTER YOU HIT “PUBLISH”
Now that you’ve taken care of these first six steps, go ahead and hit that “Publish” button. But wait! Don’t walk away! Your job’s not done yet! There are a few more things to take care of to ensure your blog post’s success.
8. Tell Your Partners and Key Contacts Your Post is Published.
If you want others to help you spread the word about your latest post, tell them! One caveat: If you’re a regular blogger and publish a post every other day, you may want to exercise a little caution here so you don’t appear “spammy” with your best contacts. There are very good reasons to let some people know about your newest post:
- You mention them by name in your post
- You interviewed someone
- You know a particular person has a specific interest in a certain topic
- You know someone’s audience is interested in your topic
9. Share Your Post on Your Own Social Platforms.
Hopefully you’re doing this already. And even if you don’t have a large following just yet, you should always share your posts on your social channels. After all, why would anyone share your blog posts if you’re not sharing them yourself?Why would anyone share your blog posts if you’re not sharing them yourself? #SocialMediaTip #Blogging Click To Tweet
10. Schedule your Post for Twitter Several More Times.
If you’re on Twitter, you know that the Twitter feed moves very quickly. This makes it easy for people to miss a specific tweet, especially if you’re in a different time zone. For this reason, share your new blog post on Twitter several times over the next few days. There are social media scheduling programs that can help you tackle this. You can also use these programs to schedule your post to be Tweeted again in 3 to 6 months, which allows you to constantly circulate your aging content.
11. Send a Newsletter.
For many bloggers, their newsletter subscribers are their most important source of traffic. Remember that your subscribers ARE your most loyal audience. And if your subscribers find your content valuable, there’s a good chance that some of those subscribers will share your post on their own social channels.
12. Respond to Comments.
If your post receives any comments, make sure you make every effort to respond to them, especially if someone has a question or is extra thoughtful. Responding to comments is a perfect way to build a stronger readership, increase engagement, and build friendships with people who will continue to come back because they feel valued.
13. Check Your Analytics.
At the beginning of each month, check your Google Analytics account for the previous month. You want to see which posts received the most views and which posts received the most comments. This information is very telling because it shows how much engagement they received and will help you identify patterns – like which topics are popular and which types of posts your audience likes and doesn’t like. Use this information to create an even better editorial calendar for the next month.
Now it’s your turn. What would you add to this list? What are you going to try? Let me know in the comment section below!
Here’s to your success!