There are several things that are essential for every blogger to do before and after hitting publish, no matter the niche. I have put together a list of the top things you should be doing for each post to maximize SEO presence, reader engagement, and traffic to your website. Here they are…
Before You Hit Publish:
1. Choose a title that is engaging and keyword rich
SEO is so important when it comes to promoting your blog posts and the title plays a key role in that. Make sure you choose a title that is keyword rich, aka contains words that classify what your blog post is about and contains words that people are likely to type into a search engine. Often times, this means general words. If you’re writing a blog post about fall trends, make sure the words “Fall Trends” are in the title.
2. Create headings and subheadings that include keywords
Creating at least five subheadings containing keywords is a great way to boost your SEO presence. When doing so, try to repeat the same keywords that appear in the title. Going off of the previous example of the “Fall Trend” post, heading number one could read: “Fall Trend 1: Cold Shoulders” and heading number two could read: “Fall Trend 2: Mixing Textures and Patterns.” Not only does repeating words and numbering concepts clearly outline your post from an at-a-glance standpoint, it significantly increases your SEO presence and chances of being seen through organic search.
3. Add a feature image
Every post should have a featured image, plain and simple. Images entice readers into clicking on your post, so don’t forget this one and be sure to choose an image that is visually appealing and representative of the message you are trying to address.
4. Add in quotes to break up the text
Nothing is worse than a blog post that is a sum of 2,000 words and nothing else. Things like headings, images, and yes, quotes, break up the monotony of words and help fill in some of that blank space. Try to find at least 2 places in each blog post to add in quotes!
5. Add a tweetable/pinable image
This is a great way to not only break up the text, but to create an image that can be shared on social media to help drive traffic to your blog. Creating images that are already the correct pixel size for each social media platform is extremely helpful so maximize chances of getting repinned/re-tweeted. Canva is a great resource for doing so!
6. Add tags using different keywords
This is one thing I almost always forget to do, probably because it seems so insignificant. However, adding a variety of tags to your blog posts can actually help increase SEO presence! The kicker here is to use a variety of different tags. So, if you’re publishing a post about fall fashion trends, a few tags you might consider using are #fallfashion, #fashiontrends, #fallfashiontrends, #falltrends, etc. These are great, but the downfall to using all of these is that they are too similar and google will actually doc you SEO points for this. Instead, use just one such as #fallfashiontrends and combine it with other tags such as #styletips, #fashionblogger, #seasonalfashion, and so forth. Avoid using the same words in different tags- variety is key!
7. Add email opt-in forms
Growing your mailing list is so important, and when I first started blogging I wish I would have paid more attention to this. Adding email opt-in forms to the body of blog posts is a great way to get people to sign up because it is literally right in front of them- not off to the side in your sidebar and not in that annoying pop up 99% of people close the second it pops up. Not only is it smart to add subscription forms to the body of your blog posts, but this is a great place to offer freebies! Before you hit publish try to add at least two subscription sign up forms, one of which is a freebie, and before you know it your mailing list will be growing like crazy!
After You Hit Publish:
1. Create and schedule different Pinterest graphics
Once your killer blog post is published, the first thing you should do is create Pinterest graphics to promote it. I love using Canva for this because it is so easy to use and they’ve already got a Pinterest graphic ready to go with specific dimensions, layouts, and more! I like to try to create at least 3 different graphics using different wording, images, and colors to get the most out of my reach and drive as much traffic as possible. Not to mention, after doing this for a few posts you will start to notice which types of pins do better and you will fine tune an approach perfect for you and your blog.
2. Create and send an email to notify your mailing list
Each time a new post is published you should always send an email to your mailing list to notify them. This is a great way to drive traffic to your website (especially as your mailing list grows!) and give them a first glance at new content.
3. Post a link to all social media channels
Social media is often the number one way bloggers drive traffic to their sites and it is important to take advantage of it by posting on all social media platforms. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest all have something different to offer and there is a unique audience base on each one. Tailor individual posts for each platform for maximum results, and with platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, take advantage of the pinned post feature so new followers can have an easy link to your new post!
4. Add links to past blog posts leading to new post
Linking to your own content (as well as others’ content) is a great way to boost your SEO presence, but it is also important to guide readers through out your site. Chances are if they’re reading an old post they might be interested in your new post as well! Go back through all your relevant old posts and add in a sentence or two about your new post along with a link so they know where to find it.
5. Post to FB Group Boards
Facebook groups are a great place to share and promote content! There are tons out there that offer a space for bloggers to network, connect, read, comment, and share each others’ posts, and all in all support one another.
6. Post to Pinterest Group Boards
Pinterest is another great way to get your content out there, and aside from pinning to your own boards, it is equally as important to pin to group boards. In fact, most of my success on Pinterest comes from group boards!