It still amazes me how long writing and publishing a simple blog post can take. There’s fixing the grammar. There’s cutting down on my obsessive use of the word ‘that.’
There’s trying oh so hard to get at least a 60 on my Flesch reading score. I put 3x more work into editing that I do writing. (Still, writing takes a long time!)
After I finally publish a post, I still have more work. I even keep a checklist of everything I need to do after I publish, below is that checklist. These are my twelve things to do after publishing every blog. The first three items on my list are more during writing then after, but they’re an excellent reminder still.
1. Compress Images – Compressing images is always important to ensure good page speed. Large pictures are the greatest sin when it comes to loading time.
Usually, if I’m lazy I just use TinyPNG to compress all my JPG’s and PNG’s. Yet, if I feel like getting the best results, I like to use FileOptimizer for PNG’s, PunyPNG for JPG’s and Smush.it for GIF’s. Of course, the WordPress Smush.it plugin makes for an excellent backup checker for most compressions.
2. Include a Call to Action – I often forget to ask readers to like, share, subscribe, or comment. I figure social buttons and links are good enough. Not true, it’s easy to forget to share things when you’re browsing the web. A polite invitation right there at the end of the post is always a good idea.
3. Double-check The Writing – You can never check your writing for errors enough. I use many tools for every article. First, the Grammarly plugin for Microsoft Word, this is the easiest and quickest way to work out most issues. Second, the Microsoft Word reviewer. This finds most of the passive voice and bad sentence structure that Grammarly misses. It will even give a Flesch reading score in the end.
Third, the Hemmingway app, it’s an excellent way to find the long and hard to read sentences. It’s perfect for cutting out the words with too many syllables. Finally, I use the ‘To Be Verbs Analyzer.’ This tool isn’t perfect, and you shouldn’t try to cut out everything it tells you to. Yet, it’s a good way to make sure you’re using the most active voice possible in your writing.
4. Schema Markup – Most high-quality themes will do this for you. For the sites I’ve built, I always have to add the Schema markup. Google Schema Helper and Test tools do a fantastic job of adding Schema items so you can copy/paste the code into your HTML.
5. GTMetrix Test – Most people like to use Google PageSpeed Insights, and it’s great. I find GTMetrix tips more helpful and direct for dealing with each item. For any speed test, they sometimes return false positives, but it’s always good to fix as many errors as possible.
6. Index The Article – I’ve heard from some that this isn’t a big deal, and maybe a waste of time, but I figure it can’t hurt. For every published article, I go into Google and Bing webmasters and use their fetch tools to have the page indexed. I’ll even submit my site to Archive.org for the bonus points.
7. Send Out The Newsletter – I think it’s fair to say that most newsletters are automatic. Yet, I like to send out a customized email for every post. I’ll explain my thinking behind the article, and ask for input and comments via reply. I try to develop conversations with the readers.
For large sites, this may seem like a hefty task, but to me email is more personal than social networks, and you should treat it that way. Email invites long private conversations while social networks (especially Twitter) invites short comments.
8. Share, Share, Share – You already know to share to sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Yet, many marketers ignore some gems.
The first is Reddit; I think many people ignore this one because it may lead to clicks, but never engagement. The question you should ask is, “Is this the right way to Reddit?” Try asking a question to the Reddit community related to your article and invite them to comment on Reddit (not your site.) Engage with them there, and you’ll earn a few fans.
Two others are Hacker News and Inbound. Each works like Reddit but has more specialized communities. Hacker News relates to the tech world while Inbound relates to SEO and digital marketing. Submit to those sites when you have something relevant, but don’t spam them with things the community won’t like!
9. Audit The Site – To some, this may feel like overkill, but when it only takes a minute, it’s worth it. I plug my site into Screaming Frog whenever I can to find broken links; outbound links change all the time. Then I get a quick overview of any other problems with meta tags, redirects, etc..
10. Link Up – At this point, you have published, indexed, emailed, shared, and checked the article with a fine-tooth comb. Now’s the time to start looking for backlinks. Either by researching keywords or using the Skyscraper Technique, depending on the article.
Backlinks are important, so make sure you’re trying to reach out to relevant authority sites that can give you a boost!
11. Comment – Commenting on other people’s blogs may result in no follow backlinks, but they can still help. When reading your usual industry related blogs, always remember to leave a helpful comment. Of course, link where it’s welcome. (Disqus allows <a> tags and most moderators don’t mind you using a source.)
Also, you can use sources like Drop My Link to find relevant blogs with do follow linking and even .edu and .gov blogs with comments. There aren’t a lot, and you usually won’t find something recent enough to bother with, but it’s worth a try.
12. Socialize – All the above may seem like a lot, and it is, but by the time you finish this checklist you may have a few comments. While you’re working on the above and especially after, this is the perfect time to respond on social networks.
For me, the most active conversations take place on Twitter and Reddit. Keep the conversation going. Try using the Socratic method of asking questions to keep people interested. You can have some great conversations and increase engagement and loyalty all at the same time!
Of course, don’t forget to like, share and subscribe! If you have any comments, suggestions or anything to say, please leave it below. I look forward to hearing from you!