Publish a blog post the right way – What to do Before, When, and After

When you publish a blog post, it’s essential to do it the
right way. Only 10 percent of “Blogging” is about blogging, the
rest is about distribution. And that is true for every part of
blogging – including the creation of content and the publication
of content.

The whole process of creating content needs to be focused on
your audience – because your blog is for them, not for you. The
essentials of the content writing process are:

  • What is your audience interested in?
  • How do you solve problems your audience needs to get a solution
    for?
  • How do you reach your existing audience with your post?
  • How do you reach new readers with your post?

These four questions lead to a specific process when creating
blog posts – a process that should be more or less the same for
all bloggers.

This process is divided into three parts – it starts long
before you publish your post and ends long after the post has been
published. 

This is what this post will teach you.

What to do BEFORE you publish a blog post

The process of publishing a post starts long before you hit the
publish button. It begins with finding a topic for your post,
researching keywords, and so on. Let’s have a close look at what
you need to do before you hit that button:

Find a topic 

When preparing to write a new post, everything starts with
finding a topic. 

And this is where you begin to focus directly on your
audience. 

What do you want to write about? Why is your audience interested
in this topic? 

When you are out of ideas, an excellent way to start finding an
idea is to read your competitors’ blogs. What is going on in your
niche? Did your competitors write a post you disagree with? Maybe
you have additional wisdom to share? Or you can combine the ideas
from to posts into a new one?

You can also use an SEO tool like Ubersuggest to get
topic ideas by finding the most shared posts in your niche and
getting content ideas.

Always keep your audience in mind. You start by examining your
competitors, and prosperous and most shared articles in your niche.
This way, you make sure that you keep your audience’s needs in
mind and create content focused on your niche.

Listen to this podcast to find out how I find ideas for
content: I’m a
Cheat: How I get Ideas for Content in Minutes – Podcast
Episode

Research keywords

When you have your topic, it is now time to start with your
first task on distributing your content. 

Yes, that is right – distribution starts even before you write
your post. And long before you publish a blog post.

And the reason for that is SEO – you have a topic, but now it
is time to research the exact keyword you want to optimize your
post for. The keyword will be what your audience will type into
Google’s search box to find your post.

I recommend to use Ubersuggest again
– start by typing in the “keyphrase†that first comes to your
mind and look at the keyword ideas you get from the tool. 

You are looking for keywords that have many searches while still
being rated with an SEO difficulty of easy.

Ubersuggest Keyword Opportunity

Look for keywords in Ubersuggest that have a relevant amount of
searches but low SD (SEO Difficulty)

It will be hard to find a single keyword that is easy to rank
for in more crowded niches while that still has a lot of searches.
In that case, you will have to use the Long-Tail Keyword
Strategy. 

The long-tail keywords strategy is based on the idea that most
typed in keywords are longer phrases, combinations of multiple
keywords, and so on.

Each of these long-tail keywords has little searches going for
it. Still, many of these keywords combined have much more traffic
to give to your blog than a single high traffic keyword you try to
compete for.

Image Source:
Neil Patel

You can read more about the Long Tail Keyword Strategy under the
following links:


3 SEO Traffic Hacks Every Blogger Should Know: Bigger Results, Less
Work


Neil Patel: How to Integrate Long-Tail Keywords in Your Blog
Posts

Research your post

This is where the fun starts. To write a good post, you need to
know a lot about that topic, which means you need to read a
lot. 

I usually start with a simple Google search on the topic – and
then I read most of the posts I find. 

Well, I skim those posts, digest the most valuable information,
and take notes of what I want to mention. And then I start forming
a post in my head. 

But, while I’m doing this, I don’t write a single word yet.
I just get an idea of what I want to write about what I want to
say, and what I want to give to my audience with this post. I also
take a few notes – which in my case are mostly the links to the
most essential information and sources that I want to mention.

This step makes me ready for the next step in the process.

Craft your post, write an outline

When writing a blog post, the structure is essential. You
can’t write a good blog post without having a good
structure. 

That is why, before starting to write, I create an outline for
my post. I write a work in progress headline and then create a
structure of subheadlines that guide my readers through my
post.

A good structure for a post is as follows:

HEADLINE

Introduction

-> SUBHEADLINE

-> Content

-> SUBHEADLINE

-> Introduction to subtopic

-> -> SUBSUBHEADLINE

-> -> Content

-> -> SUBSUBHEADLINE

-> -> Content

-> -> …

-> SUBHEADLINE

-> Content

-> …

-> FINAL WORDS

-> Closing Paragraph

When writing my outline, I NEVER go further down then 2 levels
of subheads. Your outline is there to keep the post simple to read
and easy to follow, not to make it more complicated than it needs
to be.

The outline is also critical because, as a blogger, you need to
create long-form content. Your aim is to create a post that is
longer than 1000 words. The best performing posts usually have
between 1500 and 2500 words, sometimes more. 

Word Count vs Traffic

Word Count vs Traffic – Source: Hubspot

To read more on the topic of post length see this post: How
long should a Blog Post be?

Write your post content

Now that you have your structure, it’s time to write the blog
post. Writing after creating your outline should make it easy to
write an engaging, easy-to-understand, and well-structured blog
post. You will quickly come up with a post that will perfectly
deliver your points and the value of your post to your target
audience.

Reexamine your post structure (shorten paragraphs, bullets,
…)

After you have written the entire post, go over it one more
time. Here is what to look for to improve your post:

  • Shorten lengthy paragraphs or divide them into two or more
    items.
  • Shorten long sentences by removing unnecessary words or
    dividing them into two.
  • If the content below a subhead gets too long, think about
    dividing it into two sections.

These steps are there to make your text easier to read.

Optional: Use Grammarly to edit and correct your spelling

My English is good, but it’s not perfect. I’m not a native
speaker, and sometimes it still shows.

But even if you are perfect in English, every written text
benefits from editing. Everyone sometimes makes mistakes, and a
second or third set of eyes, highlighting problems with your
writing, can improve your style massively.

Now, most of us cannot afford an editor or don’t want to work
with an external editor all the time. Communication with another
person criticizing your content takes time and can be
cumbersome. 

That’s where Grammarly comes in – it’s an online tool that checks
your text for both grammar and spelling, but most importantly
style.

Using Grammarly for blogging has the power to massively improve
your writing style – and make your blog easier to read and more
fun to read.

Grammarly - Publish a blog post

You can either use the Grammarly editor and correct your writing
on the fly or use Grammarly directly in WordPress

Using Grammarly as your personal editorial assistant is highly
recommended before you publish a post. I use Grammarly for every single blog post I write!

Optional: Enter your text into your WordPress
editor

Many of us don’t write our content directly in WordPress. I
use a variety of editors to write my posts. If you didn’t start
with your post directly in the WordPress editor, now is the time to
enter it into your WordPress installation.

Wordpress Editor - Publish a a blog post

Use Yoast to Keyword Optimize your Post

Use the Yoast
SEO plugin
to optimize your post for the keywords you’ve
chosen above. If you haven’t installed Yoast yet, do it now, as
this plugin has the power to improve your SEO results
massively. 

Follow the suggestions of Yoast until the traffic light system
of Yoast shows that your post is now green.


Essential WordPress Plugins - Yoast SEO


8 Essential WordPress Plugins that Make You a Better
Blogger

Place internal links and external links in your
post

One activity that should not be underestimated when creating new
content is external AND internal linking. It’s very important for
SEO that you add links before you publish a blog post. Yoast will
tell you to add some of these links to your post, but there is no
harm in adding more where appropriate.

Especially internal links are significant:

  • They increase time on site for your readers as they click
    through to more content.
  • They improve the SEO value of your existing posts.

Luckily, the WordPress editor makes it very easy to add internal
links to your own published posts. Put your cursor anywhere you
want to enter a link and start typing the keywords of your existing
post. Press CTR – K or COMMAND – K. The WordPress editor will
give you a selection of your posts around those keywords, and you
can choose which one to add.

Wordpress enter links

Find and/or create images

You are creating long-form content. And structuring your content
with headlines and subheads goes a long way, but adding images to
get your point across is very important as well.

This is why you should add images to your post wherever
possible. Do this right from the start, before you publish a blog
post – don’t think you will just add them later.

Taking images from other blog posts in your niche is usually
good – as long as you are giving credit to the original
blogger!!! (The other blogger benefits from these links.)

Make sure that you are not taking stock photos from the original
blogger’s site – the other blogger may or may not have bought
them. Still, you haven’t, so you would be using unlicensed
content. 

For images that you need to create yourself, often, the easiest
(and free) tool to use is Canva.

Canva Blogging Tools

Canva in Action

Also, create images for all social platforms you are using to
distribute your post content. Every social media platform needs a
different image for your post as they all have different rules and
sizes they use!


The Ultimate Guide to Social Media Image Sizes

Turn your work in progress headline into the perfect
headline

Until now, your headline wasn’t final. Now it is time to
create a headline that you will use when you publish a blog
post.

This headline should include your keyword, it should do well in
search results, AND it should do well on social sites.

So how do you come up with a headline like that?

The process suggested by many is to write down 25 headlines, and
then choose the one that works best for you.

Yes. 25. TWENTY-FIVE!

Why so many? Because this process forces you to think outside
the box and find headlines that aren’t along the lines that
people expect. 

This process was developed and perfected by Upworthy – one of
the first clickbait sites on the web. You can think a lot about
pure clickbait sites – they know their stuff when it comes to
headlines!

You can read more about this process here:


How to Effortlessly Create Captivating Headlines and
Subheads


How To Create The Perfect Headline For Clicks AND Shares

Your SEO traffic and social media traffic will massively improve
when you go through this process every time before you publish a
blog post.

Now, hit that publish button. Publish a blog post!

When you’ve done all the steps above, it’s finally time to
hit that publish button.

publish a blog post

But you are not done yet!

What to do WHEN you publish a blog post

After you hit the publish button, there are some things you will
have to immediately do. This is what will give your new blog post
the initial boost of traffic.

Share your post on your social network profiles

The first thing we do when publishing a new post is we push our
post via our social media profiles. The most important ones for us
are:

  • Twitter: We run multiple accounts on Twitter.
  • Pinterest: Pinterest is one of the most important social
    networks for gaining traffic to your site.
  • Facebook: It’s still the most prominent social network

This is where you will be glad you created images for all your
social networks before.

Average number of organic monthly visitors.

Average number of organic monthly visitors by network. Source:
Neil
Patel

Depending on your social networks of choice and whether you want
to optimize everything, you can schedule your posts on each for the
best time to post. This is more beneficial on Twitter and less on
Pinterest, as tweets usually become irrelevant after minutes while
pins can stay active even after months.


How And Why To Schedule Your Social Media Updates In Advance –
And 7 Tools To Get It Right!


Is organic social traffic still possible in 2020? Networks
ranked!

Send a newsletter

As you probably know, every blogger striving for success
absolutely needs to build an email list. If not, read this:


9 Crucial Reasons Why Your Blog Needs an Email List

But an email list isn’t just there to send your subscribers
links to products – it’s also there to turn your subscribers
into fans that love your content. And it’s there to build a
stream of returning visitors to blog. And you do that by sending
your subscribers every article you write!

Newsletter publish a blog post

Email marketing with ConvertKit

This is also an excellent way to check whether your headline
works in the long run for SEO and social sites – just use it as
your subject line and compare your click rates.

If you are new to blogging, you can start building your email
list by using a Mailchimp as
your newsletter tool of choice. If you want a better and slightly
more advanced tool, you can use ConvertKit, which is also our tool of
choice!

Place internal links to your new post in old
articles

You’ve already added internal links for SEO reasons to your
new post to your older articles.

For the same reasons (added SEO value, longer time on site), you
should now add some more internal links to OLDER posts to your
newly released articles. 

You will massively benefit from this in the long run as both
your old articles will stay updated and get more traffic. Your new
articles will get more SEO visibility right from the start.

Optional: Send a push notification

Website push notifications are small notifications that you can
subscribe to directly from your browser and which get sent to the
device you signed up with.

As a website owner, you can send these notifications for free
with a tool like OneSignal. 

I highly recommend using website push notifications to get
recurring traffic to your blog and to convert more visitors into
subscribers. 

One way to use these notifications is to send one every time you
publish a blog post.

Send push notifications when you publish a blog post.

To learn more about website push notifications, read this: LINK
PUSH..

Source: FS – Social Media Blogs 1
Publish a blog post the right way – What to do Before, When,
and After