15 Things You Should Do Before Hitting Publish (& Free Checklist!)

Blogging can be overwhelming, and with a million and one thing to think about when writing a post, it’s easy to forget the small details that can sometimes make all the difference. I’ve gathered together a list of everything I think should be done before you hit the all important ‘publish’ button. Stuff that’s really going to help your post to be read, loved and shared. Download my free handy checklist (end of post) to make it super easy for you to remember what exactly you need to do before publishing your blog post!

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1. Write an effective title
Potential readers are more likely to click on your post if the title persuades them in. There are so many tips on how to write an effective title (such as this), but I think the most important things are to cut the waffle and to include figures, such as “Why 94% of Woman Would Recommend *product name*”.

2. Write a good, solid introduction
Ok, the readers are in. They skim through your (quite honestly) dull introduction, scroll down for a quick flick through the photographs and then hit the ‘back’ button – all in less than 30 seconds. Your job is to keep them entertained and occupied, that way they’ll stay on your blog longer, and perhaps read further posts. Throw some useful information at them and be chatty in your jargon, this just keeps things a little more informal and enjoyable. Your introduction should sum up your post as a whole, give your readers something to look forward to, for example, “Shall we find out why this moisturiser is so damn good?”.

3. Set a Featured Image
Use one good quality photograph that reflects your post; perhaps it’s one you’ve already incorporated within it. I’d always recommend including some text on it too. I tend to repeat the title in my images because people often read images before they do text, so this is just as important.

4. Split text using headings
Who likes reading huge chunky paragraphs? Nobody. Make it easy for people to read your post by adding subheadings throughout. They may want to skip a few and read up on something that could be potentially helpful to them.

5. Link to previous posts
I hate the thought of my posts being forgotten about a week after publishing them. So, if you’re referring to something in a post and need an example, why not link it to your old one? I always try to link at least one of my previous posts in my new ones, as well as having some suggested reads at the end.

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6. Include recommended posts
As I just mentioned…This is a very easy method of getting readers to browse through your blog content further. Before you know it, they’ll be in a maze of your posts, going from one to the next to the next.

7. Use at least one large, striking image
I like to include at least three images in my posts, unless it’s YouTube day, then I’ll often just include one along with my video. I love taking and editing photographs anyway, but I just think they’re so important and people much prefer scrolling through images than reading.

8. Make all images SEO ready
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an absolute must. Would you like me to do a whole post on this? I think I should. I get so many questions about how I get my posts onto the first page of Google, and the truth is that it is actually so easy. With the right SEO, your blog and income have the opportunity to grow tremendously because it will drive people to your website via search engines. The easiest way to start is through the image meta data. Always name your images something relevant to your post, ( instead of abc1234.jpg), and add ‘alt text’.

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9. Include a question
I always try to engage readers, and asking a couple of questions is a good way to encourage comments or spark conversation. Even just, “Have you tried this product?”, “What do you think?”, often brings readers forward.

10. Insert a signature at the end
There’s something so bloody satisfying about finishing a post and adding my signature at the end, (along with a load of social media links of course). I get an average of two new followers on Instagram and Twitter when I publish a new post.

11. Proofread
This is sooo important, and probably the easiest of things. What’s the point in taking ages writing good quality content when it’s cluttered with bad spelling and grammar? Check, double check and triple check everything flows nicely and there’s no words with jagged red lines underneath. I often like to read my posts out loud to myself before publishing, it really works!

12. Connect your social media platforms
When I publish a new post, the world is instantly updated, and I don’t have to do a thing! This is because I connected my social media platforms to my posts. Genius. At a click of a button, the post title and featured image is transported to Twitter and tweeted. Go to Sharing > Connect New Service to do this.

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13. Add relevant tags
I want to give potential new readers the absolute best chance of finding me, and adding tags is a great way of doing this. People using WordPress can search for specific tags, therefore stumbling across loads of recently published articles in the Reader.

14. Enable comments and sharing
If someone loves your article, they are likely to share it with others. I always enable comments, pingbacks and trackbacks. It’s such an easy way of getting your name out there. You can do this in More Options > Discussion in the post editor.

15. Check the slug matches the title
WordPress automatically creates a slug based on the title of your post, but it’s worth checking it’s right. Go to More Options > Slug in the post editor to alter it. Search engines will refer to the slug when providing people with their search results. For example, “15-things-you-should-do-before-hitting-publish-free-checklist” is the slug for this post.

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Download your free checklist by clicking ‘here‘ or the image above! Just right click & Save As to keep it.

Aaaaand that’s it, phew. It may take some time to digest all of that information, but if you would like me to do a detailed post on any of the above points, I’d be more than happy to do so. Let me know in the comments!

Don’t forget to check out my other pieces of ‘Blog Advice‘. If you have any suggestions on any future posts, please just let me know.

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Clarina

Clarina helps enthusiastic bloggers develop & stand out online, as well as reviewing popular products, discussing the latest beauty trends and quite honestly anything that takes her fancy. Oh! And she's on YouTube.

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4 comments on “15 Things You Should Do Before Hitting Publish (& Free Checklist!)”

  1. Sangeetha says:

    Great tips out there Claire. The last tip that I have never heard of it before namely “SLUG”, very interesting!

    1. admin says:

      Thank you! Glad you found it useful 🙂 I only discovered it a few months ago – it can make all the difference though! I’ve realised since that so many of the slugs don’t match my final title because it always sets to the first one you choose. Just a little tip 🙂

  2. Chanelle says:

    Such a useful post, I think I can safely say I do pretty much all of these. Enjoy your weekend! x

    1. admin says:

      That’s great then! 😃 have a good weekend too lovely x

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