Blogging is a tremendous learning experience in reading, writing, site maintenance and becoming social media savvy if you are handling all these aspects of your blog in-house. And during all those processes, there are many pitfalls and “Oh, no! What have I done!” moments that teach you more than you could possibly ever learn from anywhere else. Today, I am sharing 10 TODOs that I have learned while dealing with such trial and error experiments and mistakes in blogging.
1. Is your Post Title and Permalink in sync and SEO-Friendly?
Sometimes, when I am doing a blog series, I tend to duplicate the old entry from the previous week and start from there. This creates the permalink as “<oldpermalink>-2“. I remember to update the post title but generally, forget to update the permalink which becomes out of sync with the post.
When I do notice and change it, this wipes off all my share counts up to that point. It is definitely not a great feeling to go from 100 shares to 0 (especially when it is quite rare!) because you forgot to update your permalink before hitting publish 🙁
2. Have you assigned an appropriate category to your post?
Though changing Category after hitting Publish is not as dreaded as #1, but it is always a good idea to remember to update the post category before hand. The readers will definitely get confused if they go to the parenting category and are greeted with a blogging tips and tricks post instead.
3. Have you updated the Meta Description?
Meta description comes into play when you share your post on social media (For example, on Facebook, this can be seen in the embedded post section). If you forget to update it, then your description will be picked from your generic website description which does not give much idea about what your current post is all about and will definitely decrease your click-through rate.
4. Do you have an appropriate keyword for your post?
An appropriate keyword is a must from SEO perspective, so this is something you must include before hitting publish.
5. Have you included appropriate tags for your post?
Tags help link and group your posts together. And so, if you wish to retain your readers to your site for longer, and keep them browsing post after post, using appropriate tags on all your articles is a must.
6. Have you included a featured image?
Featured image is what gets displayed on your post when you share it on social media. If you don’t have a featured image, generally the first image included in the post is automatically picked. So, for better control of the display of your post on Facebook, Twitter etc. it is always a good idea to use a featured image.
7. Do the outbound links included in your post open in new blank pages?
When I am reading a post on another blog, it always annoys me if I click on a link and instead of the link opening in a new browser tab, it opens in the same page where I have only finished reading half-way through the article. I guess you get my point. Always, always check to make sure that the links that you provide to outside resources or even to your own blog posts opens in new tabs.
8. Did you give your post 30 minutes or more of breathing space before hitting “Publish”?
It’s very very tempting to write a post and immediately hit publish. But refrain from doing so. 30 minutes (or more) simmering time is a must if you want your posts to make sense and be engaging to your readers.
9. Have you done one final spell check after all the changes?
Spell check, spell check, spell check. Always. Enough Said!
10. …And one last preview?
Sometimes, everything looks hunky-dory in the edit mode but when you open it in the preview mode, you can see some paragraphs off, images overlapping and what not. So yes, don’t forget to preview your post and read it aloud at least once before hitting publish.
There you go. A checklist that I try to follow (try being the operating keyword here 😉 ) for every blog post I write. What have I missed? Don’t forget to share your key checks in the comments section below.