No matter who you are, once you’ve completed writing an article, the excitement to publish it creeps in. We totally get this feeling, but it’s also important to understand that while writing is an important part of blogging, it’s not the only aspect.
There are many tasks that need to be completed before you go live. These tasks can be completed relatively quickly and will ensure that your blog post is optimized to produce the results you want. If you’re going to put so much effort into writing your blog post, you might as well take a few extra minutes to make sure that it’s polished.
In this article, we’ll take you through 9 crucial tasks that you need to complete before publishing any WordPress blog post. Let’s get started!
1. Do your Keyword Research: Keyword research has got to be the fundamental rule of every blogger. If you’re not already doing this, then you’re probably depriving your blog post of the organic traffic it deserves. Keyword research enables you to find phrases that are relevant to your content and see how many searches have been done by users. By understanding what your target audience is looking for, you can churn content that drives them to your website.
We personally feel that it is a good practice to perform keyword research even before you get to planning your blog post. By doing that, you’re automatically tuned in to adding the keywords naturally, rather than force-fitting them after you complete writing the article.
Tip: You can use Google’s Keyword Planner to perform your keyword research.
2. Use an Eye-Catching Headline: No matter where your article gets discovered, the first thing that visitors see is the headline. Therefore, it is crucial that your headline is not only informative but also interesting. While there is no holy grail of writing a great headline, there are many tips and tricks that work for different blogs. For example, Articles with numbers or ‘Listicles’ and ‘How to’ articles perform well for us.
You have to experiment to find what works best with your audience. Please refrain from clickbait type of headlines as this will do more damage to your blog than good.
3. Format your content: Presenting your content is as important as generating great content for your blog post. To start with, you can break larger paragraphs of content into smaller blocks to maintain reader sanity. Try to keep only 5 to 6 lines of text per paragraph and create a smooth flow so that each one leads logically to the next one. You can also add headlines to certain sections making it easier to skim through the content and find relevant information.
Tip: Break up your article to include headlines, so if a reader wants to simply skim through your post, they get a gist of what the article talks about.
4. Add a clear Call-To-Action at the end: Your final paragraph should encourage users to take action. It could either be sharing the article, leaving comments, signing up for your newsletter or just visiting a product page. Focus on getting your users to perform only one action.
5. Proofread your article: No matter how good your command is over the language, there is a chance of you making a few errors. A thorough proofread could help you identify and eliminate those errors before you publish the article. You can rely on tools like Grammarly to help you nail out the errors; however, we also recommend that you get another set of eyes to go through the article. Besides helping you find mistakes in the article, they can give you general feedback about the article.
6. Add optimized images: Images complement your content in a visually appealing way. They add value to your content and make it easier to grasp complex information. You can add images in the form of graphs and infographics to visually aid your content.
While images are useful for content, you will need to ensure that you optimize your images for size. Large image sizes can significantly increase your load time which will eventually hamper the reader’s experience. We recommend using the plugin ShortPixel to easily compress all your images.
ShortPixel at work
Besides this, you can also insert an ‘alt tag’ for all your images. Alt tags will help search engines understand the context of the image and display it in their image search results for a relevant keyword. You can consider this as one of the steps towards improving the SEO of your blog.
7. Interlink to relevant articles: When someone finds a way to your blog, how can you ensure that the reader stays around for a longer time? The answer is very simple – by linking to other posts on your blog. Interlinking ensures that a reader can easily find relevant content that he might be interested in. Interlinking also becomes essential for SEO as it provides search engines a way to understand the quality of your post. A word of advice – avoid forcefully adding interlinks as it might break the flow of the main article.
8. Add Meta descriptions: Meta description is essential as it will give the reader an idea of what he can expect from the blog post. This content is displayed just below the title in search engine results.
To add meta description to your blog post you will first need to install the Yoast plugin. This plugin will enable specific features within the editor that will not only allow you to add meta description but also give you a preview of how it will look in search engine results.
Now that we’ve covered all the crucial things that you need to do before publishing your WordPress blog post, it’s time to hit that Publish Button!
This is not the end of the journey for your blog post. There’s a lot you need to do to after you’ve published the blog post. We’ll cover this in a different blog post very soon.
If you think we’ve missed out on an important point in this article, please feel free to share it in the comments section below.