Inspired by Eli Rose’s SEO-focused post about 9 Steps before publishing a blog post, I’m going to take it a step back and offer 10 simple and basic things (outside of SEO) to do before and immediately after publishing a blog post:
1. Edit and Spell Check – Nothing turns off readers more and gives your site a less credible presentation than numerous grammar and spelling errors. Even if the substance of the content on your site is on point, accurate and informative, excessive minor errors will detract audiences and make them less likely to share your post or return. There are some online-based companies that will quickly proof posts for you and with a short turn around time. Scribendi, Wordy for wordpress and Vappingo are a few examples of such services. If you cannot afford to hire them, simply step away from the post for a second and re-read it with fresh eyes. If you are part of a social share network, see if you can exchange with another blog owner blog for proofing.
2. Grab an eye-catching vibrant image to place at the top of the post. Research suggests that readers and online browsers react first and most immediately to imagery. Posts that are just text will get glossed over as in this digital era, web surfers are bombarded with lots of articles, videos and other content and they have little time to focus. An all-text post will not encourage “drive by” readers. Unless you are already established and known for delivering high quality and insightful content they cannot get elsewhere, you have to break things down into multiple- posts or a series. Also, if you set up a super long post as a series, you also can guarantee repeat readers who may return for the next installment. You can get FREE photos from one of these sites:
Check out any of THESE sites!
- Flickr’s Creative Commons
- Getty Images
3. Make sure your post is not too long. Owing to #2 above, readers do not have time to read multi-page posts. Edit down the post to be less than 800 words if possible to maximize the probability of it all being read.
4. Enumerate the post, if possible. Breaking up your content into bite sized numbered chunks is great. Readers can skim the content quickly enough and get the gist without really having to devote too much time on it. Then, if they understand it and appreciate the content, they are more likely to share it to their social network.
5. Make sure there is a final ask, if you haven’t already included it. To encourage comments and dialogue which would help build a community of readers who return to the blog and share it with friends, end each post by asking the reader to share their thoughts. The easiest way to do this is ask them something about the piece.
6. Come up with a catchy headline. The best way to grab attention of online readers who are bombarded with messages all the time is to draw them in with a snazzy title that summarizes the post but with a punchy header! If you have enumerated the points, make that part of the headline as in “10 ways to organize your closet” or “5 businesses that went bust in 2010”. etc.
7. Include a custom signature at the end. If there is room, add a very brief bio and a Twitter link, website or other place you’d like readers to follow you at when they are done and if they were pleased with your piece. If your site is linked to a business, you may also want to make sure each post includes a signature at the bottom with a link to a page or access to get more information about your business. A contact with a custom domain address is much more credible than a Gmail or Yahoo account.
Several businesses provide an email hosting service, but consider using 123-Reg. With the domain, you also get separate email hosting site for a professional email address and provides extra inbox space for existing email.
PUBLISH THE POST!
8. Social Media Share your post. Share it in your circles, on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google Plus, Digg, Stumbleupon, Reddit, LinkedIn and other platforms to get more visitors to that page. When posting on Twitter or G+ you can “@” or “+” link influential people in hopes they may retweet your piece. Share it on pages where those you feel interested in the topic would benefit. However, be careful with this. You don’t want to spam a community you don’t already have a relationship with. Only post your post on Facebook fan pages or bulletin board communities if you have already been a member, contributed, or commented on others. No one loves purely and shameless self-promoters who just pop up to try to get hits on their pages. However, if you know someone who is a member of a community that may benefit, get that person to share it for you. Create a checklist to make sure you hit all the major social media platforms. You can download a checklist I created here for FREE here!
9. Consider the post for your newsletter. If you have a newsletter, determine if the post is worthy or interesting enough to be included in your weekly or monthly newsletter to subscribers. A great way for getting fresh eyeballs is sending out a periodic newsletter with the best posts you’ve had over time. It’s an “in case you missed” it opportunity to get readers who also may have missed the post when originally published.
10. Set the post to AutoShare later. For those who are not already on your subscriber list, you must reshare the piece to capture them. Whenever you post your piece, you probably would have missed hundreds or thousands of potential readers who were not online then. Use a service like HootSuite or Tweet Deck to auto share your post periodically across different platforms, especially if you realize it is a pretty good piece that is getting great response. If you are on WordPress, there are pluggins that will auto share your old blog posts for you automatically, and periodically. You set how often it goes out and the pluggin randomly tweets out old blog posts!
I have a cheat sheet of the four tools for auto-sharing random old blogs posts to social media HERE!
You can also get a Co-Schedule account which is free for 14 days HERE! It’s one of two great desktop services that let you schedule posts to several social media platform weeks in advance and some, automatically and randomly. Just drop in the posts and they auto share it for you!
Jeneba Jalloh Ghatt is a citizen journalist, tech attorney, start-up founder, and social media butterfly. Follow her on Twitter at JenebaSpeaks.
Jeneba Jalloh Ghatt can be heard nightly at 8pm on DCRadio/WHUR 96.3HD4 on "Coming to America with Wayna and Friends. She is an editor at Techyaya.com, founder of the Digital Publiching Academy and JayJayGhatt.com where she teaches online creators how to navigate digital entrepreneurship and offers Do-It-For-You Blogging Service. She manages her lifestyle sites BellyitchBlog, Jenebaspeaks and JJBraids.com and is the founder of BlackWomenTech.com 200 Black Women in Tech On Twitter. Her biz podcast 10 Minute Podcast is available on iTunes and Player.fm. Follow her on Twitter at @Jenebaspeaks. Buy her templates over at her legal and business templates on Etsy shop!