One for the money, two for the show, three to get ready…
three to get ready…
three to get ready…
Okay. That’s annoying. But isn’t it how you feel before posting / sharing? I have learned the hard way through blogging that a checklist is a must before you publicize.
10 things small businesses absolutely must do before publicizing a blog
(As it pertains to WordPress.)
1. Check the date
Number one on our blog posting checklist is to make sure your date is accurate. WordPress automates the date on all blog posts, meaning, the date is hard coded when you publish a post (of course, this also depends on how your theme displays dates). If you’re asking why this is a point of topic, think about recycling posts. If you have older posts, update and post again.
Checking the date is obviously minimal and pretty effortless but it’s important. It’s important for search results and it’s vital for your reader to think of you as an authority who is current.
2. Check the category
WordPress automatically defaults to “uncategorized.” You can change this default by logging on to admin, select “settings,” then “writing”. Under the default category, choose your new default. If you have not set up categories, go to your dashboard, hover the “posts” tab and click “categories.” This being said, it’s still crucial that you select the correct category. Just a quick note: be clever with categories. Think about keywords and how your readers will use search terms related to your post. “Categories” is reflected in the slug (URL) so Google is watching.
WP beginner has some great information on WordPress categories here.
3. Featured image
Featured image is the image associated with your post. Usually it’s displayed in the beginning and used with sharing. Featured image is a topic all on it’s own. For this purpose, I will cover some basics.
We process images about 60,000 times faster than text. If you don’t have an image associated with your blog. Step back and create one. You will have much more success with readers and shares if you do. Users may not take the time to read your description, so be sure the image is able to stand on its own. I can help with creating blog images that get results! Should you have a need contact me at lesliewolfecreative.com/contact.
A few quick tips with featured images:
The amount of social image dimensions out there is astronomical. If your so inclined, you can visit this cheatsheet to find every image size for every social media. I find using a general featured image size of 860px by 430px works well for blogging. But…that’s what fits my blog and looks good with my applications. Find what works for you.
Click here if you want a complete guide for social media images with color and font pairing.
See the Featured image box below?
It’s located to the right of your blog in the WordPress admin… scroll down. This is an easy way to declare your featured image in Open Graph which is important for social sharing. Set your featured image, and social outlets will pull that along with shares.
Do not use borders. Chances are it will look distorted.
Always utilize very clear title text in your images. Keep it simple yet eye catching. Don’t let complicated graphics get in the way. Remember many readers on mobile devices don’t have a huge attention span. Below is a good example of a featured image.
4. Social meta / SEO
Meta. Don’t forget your titles, descriptions and SEO to optimize your blog! Sometimes after the brain drain of writing we can get hurried and forget. Meta titles and descriptions are key. After all, achieving search results and readership is what we want in the first place right?
Did you construct your blog with a keyword or key phrase in mind? Include the keywords in your title, the first 200 words of your blog, and links.
Be sure to allow your readers to like, share and comment! Sumome is a great tool to implement on your blog to initiate sharing and much more.
6. Publicizing method
Publicizing your blog means sharing it to all social media outlets. It’s a must!
If you have Jetpack installed, the settings enable you to publicize to all your social media outlets. I find this doesn’t post with the control I need so I use Hootsuite. Hootsuite allows marketers to post, share and track social media. Either way, remember to check all the social automation offered in JetPack or plugins within WordPress and the control offered with each. You might find that as you “publish,” posts are automatically sent out and updates don’t look the way you want.
I find having an unpublished test page in Facebook helps with publicizing. Social media constraints can be complicated and frustrating, and it’s better to do some test runs to get it right.
7. double check spelling, layout and proofread
If you think your ready to post. Wait a few minutes. Walk a way for a while. Come back and proofread with a fresh set of eyes. This will nail your final draft. Once you do a final read through, post and forget for a bit. Don’t keep editing to death. Remember, it’s digital and no one said you can’t modify a little later once feedback rolls in.
Is your site responsive? How will the post look on a mobile phone? Over half of your readers will be viewing on a different device. Make sure it’s readable everywhere. It’s been reported that we users have the attention span of a goldfish.
8. Link verification
Create links in your blog! Google experts suggest quality links have more weight, especially with keywords. Add links to complementary businesses on your site, or other quality bloggers with great content.
If you post through a social media management tool, use shortlinks and verify the link.
Make sure links within your blog open in a new page so your reader won’t get lost from your blog.
Be ready to capture your audience. Have a way to analyze reaches, clicks and engagements. This information is vital to tweak and modify your blog posts in the future.
Don’t forget to include a profile of yourself. Sign up at WordPress.com to create a Gravatar and profile. Jetpack offers a Gravatar widget to plug into your sidebars.
Just to recap:
- Check the date
- Check the category
- Set the featured image
- Implement social meta
- Enable sharing
- Publicizing test run
- Proof read
- Verify links
- Be ready to analyze
- Set up your Gravatar or author bio
I hope that helps with your blogging success! Please comment below or like or share! I greatly appreciate your feedback!
Three to get ready…
Four to GO!