You've spent hours creating an epic new blog post, and you are ready to hit Publish!
Not so fast!
There are several steps you should take before publishing your blog post to improve the potential success of it.
So, you've followed my advice, done your pre-publishing checks, and hit Publish. Time to rest, right?
Just when you think you're done now that you published your new blog post, there are some immediate tasks to complete, as well as some longer-term items.
The steps you take before and after you hit Publish are vital to the success of not just your new post, but the success of your blog overall.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through the links, I may receive a commission at no cost to you. Please read my disclaimer for further details.
Before You Hit Publish for Your New Blog Post
Some of these steps should be incorporated into your blog writing process while writing your post. However, final checks should always be completed before hitting Publish.
Before you hit publish, perform the following actions.
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization (SEO) is essential if you want your posts to rank organically in Google's search results.
If you are a new blogger, you may be focusing on social media because you know how difficult it is to rank.
However, you should always incorporate SEO in your posts for the current and future rank potential of your posts.
According to Backlinko, there are over 200 factors that affect your ranking on Google.
While you can't account for all of those factors in your blog posts, here are the main ones to pay attention to for individual posts:
- Keyphrase in title
- It is best to have your targeted keyword at the beginning of your title.
- Keyphrase in introduction
- Your keyphrase should appear early in your text – this helps Google understand your topic.
- Keyphrase density and distribution
- Focus keyphrase occurs in your text naturally – don't add it over and over just to have it appear (no keyword stuffing).
- Keyphrase in the meta description
- Similar to being in the introduction, it signals your post's topic.
- Internal and external links
- Include links to other related content on your site, as well as to external sites that support or complement your blog post.
- Image alt attributes
- Include image alt text that includes your keyphrase (if it relates).
- This information helps search engines understand the image, as well as providing text for screen readers.
- Post text length
- While there are many opinions about blog post length, you need to have sufficient text for search engines to understand the topic.
- Additionally, while higher-ranking results on Google tend to be long format posts, don't add more words just to meet a number.
- Make your posts long enough to make your point.
Again, there are many more SEO factors involved in ranking on Google. However, the ones above are the main ones you can control when writing your blog post.
Yoast SEO Plugin
A great tool to help you with your SEO is the Yoast SEO plugin.
After providing a keyphrase, the Yoast plugin will provide feedback based on how you meet the factors above.
The plugin gives you color-coded faces to let you know how you're doing.
While you want them all to be green, don't get too hung up on the lights. If you are meeting most of the recommendations and your post makes sense, you might not be able to meet some naturally. If that is true, don't.
Additionally, the plugin provides guidance on the readability of your post. Again, it is guidance, not hard and fast rules you need to follow.
Proofread Your Blog Post
Whatever you do, ensure you read over your blog post to find any errors before hitting Publish.
Better yet, read it out loud.
Hearing how your new post sounds can help find errors in your writing that reading it will not by itself.
Even better, have someone else read it.
Having multiple people reading your post before publishing it can help find errors in your writing and mistakes in your thinking. Something that makes perfect sense to you may not make sense when read by others.
In addition to reading your blog post before publishing, I find that using a proofreading tool is priceless.
I use Grammarly for all of my writing.
There is a free version that provides grammar, spelling, and punctuation checks. This version is similar to the checks that are available in Microsoft Word.
However, the premium version, which I use, is really where Grammarly shines.
In addition to the basic checks, Grammarly Premium provides feedback on the following:
- Spelling and punctuation consistency
- Compelling vocabulary
- Lively sentence variety
- Tone detection
- Confident language
- Formality level
- Inclusive language
My blog posts would be full of writing errors without the use of Grammarly.
However, regardless of whether you use a tool like Grammarly or not, it is essential to put human eyes on your writing before publishing.
Proofreading tools do a great job, but they don't have the mind of a human (yet).
Some recommendations don't always make sense, and while proofreading tools can understand sentence structure, they can't always understand the intent of the writer.
Related: Grammarly Free vs. Premium Review
Even if you don't use a featured image in your blog posts, you should still have one assigned.
If you list blog posts in other areas of your blog that include a thumbnail, the featured image is what will be used for the thumbnail.
Additionally, unless another image is designated for social media posts, the featured image will typically be used when a post is shared.
Ensure the featured image is something related to the blog post and that you include image alt attributes for it.
Further, if you don't assign a featured image and you have other images in your post, one of those images may be used in place of the featured image in those locations above.
This image may be okay, but it might not be the primary image you want representing that post.
Pinterest Pin Image
If you use Pinterest for promoting your blog posts, and you should if you are a new blogger, you should include a Pinterest optimized image for yourself and your readers to share.
Pinterest recommends pins of 1,000 pixels by 1,500 pixels or a 2:3 aspect ratio.
When saving a pin from one of your blog posts, the image alt attributes are used for the pin description.
If you prefer to have an SEO-optimized image alt attribute and a separate Pinterest pin description, you can use a tool like Social Pug.
Social Pug allows you to enter a separate Pinterest pin description that is used when someone pins from your blog post. This different description enables you to enter an SEO-optimized image alt attribute as well.
Creating Pinterest Pins
I create all of my Pinterest pins using Canva.
I had been using the free version of Canva, and that is probably adequate for most users.
However, I wanted to start using paid, instead of free, stock photos on my pins. I did this on a few of my pins, and it appeared to make a big difference in the number of impressions my pins were receiving.
But every time I used a paid photo, it cost me $1.
While the Pro version doesn't give access to all of the paid photos on Canva, the $9.95 monthly cost, if paid annually, provides access to many more images and other options than the free version.
Just based on the number of photos that I've used since upgrading that would have cost $1 each, the $9.95 monthly cost is a bargain.
Also, the Pro version provides these other convenient features:
- Brand Kit
- Have brand logos, colors, and fonts available throughout Canva
- Upload fonts and logos
- One-click resizing
- Using the same design, “magically” resize for featured images, Pinterest pins, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
- 60,000+ free templates
- 8,000+ are available in the free plan
- 4+ million free photos and graphics
- Hundreds of thousands available in the free plan
- Custom templates
I highly recommend trying out the free version of Canva.
And if you create a lot of Pinterest pins and other graphics for your blog posts, Canva Pro is an excellent option.
Internal Links to Other Blog Posts
I already discussed internal linking in the SEO section above.
However, before I publish a new blog post, I like to take one more look to see if there are other internal links to older posts that I should add.
While I think the free version of the Yoast SEO plugin is adequate for most users, one of the nice features of the paid version is that it provides recommendations for adding links to older, related posts.
Having a good internal linking structure helps Google understand your site and topics better.
Posting to Social Media
I'm going to be straightforward with you; I don't do a great job promoting my site on social media.
I focus on Pinterest, and that is about it.
I've created accounts for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for Crafty Dollar. However, I don't actively do anything on those platforms.
But because my Facebook and Twitter accounts are linked to WordPress using the Jetpack plugin, when I publish my blog posts, they are automatically posted to those accounts.
Other than adding a short description and some hashtags, I don't do anything else.
Maybe I should work more in those areas, and maybe one day, I'll hire a virtual assistant to beef up my social media campaigns.
However, I think my time is better spent on focusing on my blog and Pinterest.
I get a few visits from Facebook and Twitter from my blog post being pushed to those platforms, so just by connecting my accounts to my blog, I get a little out of it.
And if I decide to focus on them more in the future, at least they won't be empty accounts if I choose to do so.
After You Hit Publish on Your New Blog Post
A lot of bloggers believe that once they hit Publish, their work is done.
But that couldn't be further from the truth.
What you do after your post is published can have a more substantial impact on how a post performs than the blog post itself.
Internal Links from Other Blog Posts
Similar to the Internal Links to Other Blog Posts section above, once your post is published, you'll want to go into older, related posts and add links to your new post.
These links will prevent you from having an “orphaned” post and will provide an SEO boost from the other more established posts on your site.
Submit Blog Post URLs to Search Engines
Both tools provide valuable insights into how your site is appearing in the search engine's search results.
But, more importantly for this post, they allow you to submit the URL of your new blog post to force them to index them before finding them on their own.
If the search engines don't know your post exists, it has zero chance of showing up in any search results.
In Google Search Console, to submit your new blog post URL:
- Enter the URL at the top of any page to inspect it.
- You'll receive a message saying the URL is not on Google, but not because of any error.
- Click on “REQUEST INDEXING.”
- Google will test if it can be indexed.
- Click “Go”t It, and the URL will be added to the queue for indexing.
In Bing Webmaster Tools:
- Expand “Configure My Site” in the menu on the left-hand side.
- Click on “Submit URLs.”
- Enter the new blog post's URL and click “SUBMIT.”
Once your URL has been submitted, it may take a few hours to be indexed, but it typically doesn't take that long.
Pin Post to Pinterest
If you are using Pinterest, you want to be the first one to post the pin from your new blog post to Pinterest.
First, you should have a business Pinterest account and have rich-pins enabled. Several resources are available online to help you set this up.
You should pin your post to the Pinterest board, where it fits the best with a keyword-optimized description.
And that Pinterest board should be optimized for Pinterest SEO.
After pinning it to the first board, pin it to related boards spread out over several days or weeks.
Additionally, post it to Tailwind Tribes to increase the potential audience reach of the pin.
Furthermore, you can use Tailwind to schedule your pins to other personal boards and group boards.
Promote, Promote, Promote
After your post is live, it is likely nobody will know it is there unless it is ranking well or it is promoted.
It is hard to rank well with a new post, so you'll need some promotion to drive traffic to it.
The Pinterest step above is the first step.
Additionally, if you do use other social media, continue to share it there. For Twitter especially, you'll want to tweet about your post multiple times since a tweet has a short retention time.
Share it with your Facebook Groups. Send out the post to your email list.
Other ways to promote includes tagging others mentioned in the post and publishing it on syndication sites like Medium, Flipboard, and Bloglovin.
Other Long Term Actions
Hopefully, you've created an excellent evergreen piece of content and taken all of the steps above to make it successful.
However, don't forget about it.
Even evergreen content needs a bit of refreshing from time to time.
Additionally, you can always create new Pinterest pins promoting old content and give it a new life.
Also, always remember to add new links to and from older posts to new blog posts.
While it may feel like a great accomplishment to finish writing an awesome blog post, the work doesn't end there.
As you can see, there are several actions you should take before and after hitting the Publish button for your new blog post to set it up for success.
How about you? Do you have other steps you feel are vital before and after publishing your blog posts? Please share in the comments below.