Like any blogger with… *ahem* well, a pulse… when I write a great post, I want to make sure that I get as much value as possible from that hard work.
What you might not know is that what you do after you publish your latest 800-word masterpiece is just as important as the blog post you wrote. And what you do after you publish a post often has an enormous impact on its success!
In this post, I'll walk you through a checklist of what you can do to make your blog posts work harder for you.
This checklist has a social media emphasis because I love it. I've also had a lot of success with audience building and engagement on social media (6000+ followers on Twitter and 138,000+ followers on Pinterest). It's been important to my business, so it could be important to yours too!
Your blog post checklist: Five things that pro-bloggers do after they publish a post
1. They make their posts SEO & Pinterest Friendly.
Now, let's be clear. The biggest factor in your search engine visibility is regularly writing high-quality content. If you have a blog and post once a month, you're already winning. But if you want to stand out and compete, you can do a little more that will be a big help.
- Chose a post title that uses keywords and short phrases. You can use a headline analyzer or keyword tools, but to start, ask yourself how you would search for help with that topic if you went to Google.
- If you can edit the post's web address, make sure the most important keywords are in the URL, and words are separated by hyphens.
So for example:
kylaroma.com/seo-tips-for-bloggers is great for SEO, but kylaroma.com/seopost20zomg is less SEO friendly.
- Make sure images have keyword rich Alt tags and descriptions. If someone pins an image from your blog, Pinterest will use what's written in your “Alt” field as the default pin description. I use the same keyword dense description for both the “Alt” and “Description” of images on my blog and keep both to under 300 characters.
2. They create specific social media content for each platform
With so much in-depth information out there on social media platforms, it can feel like you have to be everywhere all the time.
Before we go forward, let's be clear: Pick your battles! The only people who blog regularly and have original content for more than one social media channel have help.
This is the new customer service front, so it's worth an investment. If you don't have a virtual assistant, you're in the majority – just don't compare your middle to someone's end.
If you have a system for posting but still feel behind, scale back to what you can rock every week.
- Create content that's optimized for each social media platform you use. This means creating different posts, images, and messages for each platform.
- Research and use the following information for each platform:
- Best image sizes for posts
- Colors that drive engagement
- Posting conventions for each platform (i.e. #TBT – Throwback Thursday and #FF – Follow Friday for Instagram & Twitter)
- Create multiple posts with different messages. Variety will keep people clicking, so look at your post and see how you can create different messages based on the same post.
– pull quotes from your post?
– ask a relevant question?
– create mystery?
– use passion?
– issue a challenge?
If you want to get even geekier, you can write and schedule messages for the following week, coming months, and next year using a service like Tailwind for Pinterest/Instagram or Smarterqueue(affiliate) for Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn.
3. They prime their social media audience for an easier win.
When you first start out, it can feel like you're posting, launching or selling to… your mom and tumbleweeds.
Before you beat yourself up, please know you're not doing anything wrong! Audience building is a topic on its own so that I won't go into detail here. However, to fix this, you need to start doing specific list building activities to grow your audience.
To make social media a fight you can win, it helps to be active online before you post. What makes the difference is the kind of activity you focus on. Focus on other people. Engaging with other people in a meaningful way before you put a post out can increase the likelihood that your next posts will catch their eye.
- On social media, be active before & immediately after you post to increase engagement.
- On Twitter: Re-tweet and reply to other users
- On Instagram: Like several photos by a user, and then leave a meaningful comment for them. Repeat until
it's midnightyou're done.
- On Pinterest: Pin from real websites and make sure you write high-quality descriptions
4. They trade irresistible bonus content for email addresses
First: If you've ever wondered how blog readers become customers or clients, this is for you!
Content upgrades are an extra piece of kick-ass, wildly helpful content that you offer to readers… if they're willing to fill out an email opt-in form.
The form acts as a gate, which triggers the content delivery to people who fill out the form. The idea is that you trade valuable content for email addresses. Then, you take these lovely people into your email marketing and work on helping them & turning them into customers.
Most content upgrades are PDF guides, short eBooks, and other tools that may help readers take action or go deeper. You don't have to be a graphic designer to do this, you can create something beautiful and very simple.
What these upgrades do is turn your posts a real, permanent investment in your business. You attract potential clients and showcase your ability as a teacher and expert.
- Brainstorm content upgrade ideas that would be easy to create and helpful to your readers. Ask yourself, what would help them take action? How could they go deeper into this?
- Create a content upgrade using a basic program that you already know how to use: PowerPoint, Pages or Word and save them as a PDF.
- Create a new opt-in form in your email marketing program such as MailChimp or ConvertKit (affiliate). Set the form to redirect to a new page with the upgrade on it, or set an autoresponder to email them the download link.
5. They check their stats without sweating them
If you're putting time into any area of your blog, it's important to know what's working and what's not. It's also important to remember that these numbers will change every month, and should be used as a guide.
I recommend checking your email marketing statistics every week to check your open rates and fine-tune your craft.
For your blog or website, it's easy to go overboard and take your stats too seriously. To prevent that I recommend checking your page views for the month and looking at which of your posts were the most read.
This is also a great time to write down your social media numbers. It lets you stay on top of your growth and influence.
- Review your stats:
- Record your monthly pageviews
- Record your most popular individual post
- Record your monthly social media followers
- Record your Klout store
One last note:
Keep an eye out for old content that performs well over time. That's a signal that it could be a good time to write a content upgrade and watch how well it performs. If it goes crazy, you could have an online course topic on your hands!
Remember that no one thing you do will make or break your blog, but if you put these into place will put you on the path to serious growth. They're what I do now and am adding to my blogging process because of the results they get. You don't have to take on everything all at once – just make sure you start!