6 Critical Factors to Remember Before You Publish Your Blog
After I’ve finished writing my blog I always seem to be in a hurry to publish it. Of course, once it’s out there I suddenly remember the critical factors that will make a difference to the look, feel, ease of reading and be found! So I thought I would share my checklist of six critical factors I try to remember to do before I hit that “Publish” button.
6 Critical Factors Checklist
1. Proof your work
Call me old fashioned, and I know there are different views on this, but it does make it easier to read your blog if the spelling and punctuation are correct! I’m probably somewhat biased, as I attended the same school as Lynne Truss of Eats, Shoots & Leaves fame. It is very difficult to see your own mistakes and using a spellchecker often throws up some very odd alternatives. If possible, get another pair of eyes to read it through for you.
2. Review your SEO
In a previous blog, I mentioned that I use WordPress SEO by Yoast to help me improve the chances of my blog being found. I find the analysis that this plugin provides not only improves my blog from an SEO point of view but also reminds me of critical factors that will improve readability, such as
- using bullet points or numbered lists
- including subheadings to break up the text
- including an image – with an alt tag ideally including my keyword
- completing the title and meta description fields.
3. Add categories
Think of these as like a filing cabinet that will group your blogs together in one place. Categories are one of my favourite critical factors to miss out as they are usually out of sight, and so out of mind, on my screen.
When you first set up your website it is useful to identify ten keywords to cover the ten main areas of your business and then make each of these into blog categories. You can then allocate the appropriate category, or multiple relevant categories, each time you post a blog to ensure that your content is easily found by your audience.
You could choose as many as 20 categories but too many could be confusing.
4. Add tags
The tags you assign to your post should be keywords that appear in the text! The good news is that the search engines take notice of your post tags but you can’t fool Google – they will be assessing those tags against your content and your post is not going to get ranked for non-existent keywords.
5. Check your Headline
I usually start with a working title just to get going and start to get some ideas down. My blog develops as I write so the title often becomes less relevant and may lack impact.
As I covered in a previous blog, a great or ‘killer’ headline is one of the essential ingredients in getting your post read. It’s therefore certainly worth spending a little more time taking another look.
6. Make sure you have a strong finish
After the title, the final few lines of your blog article are the most important. To make the most of this, don’t just summarise what you’ve already said.
When writing your conclusion, ask yourself the question, “Why does my blog matter?” In other words, if your audience follows your advice, then what do they get out of it?
I have already covered 7 factors to consider in finishing in my earlier blog The Dash to the Line but it is an important area to remember.
I hope you find this checklist useful. These are the factors that I often miss in my haste to publish my own blog. Usually, I feel just so relieved at having finished! If you have any other tips I’d love to hear them so please do comment below.
Tomorrow will be my final blog as part of HubSpot’s 30-Day Blog Challenge so I will be answering the question I set earlier this month on how often I think I should blog and what the Challenge has taught me.