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15 Tips to Cover Before Publishing Your Post

Keep a checklist in mind before publishing.

Sometimes it’s easy to get so excited about a blog post that we click that Publish button before we’ve really maximized the potential of the post. These 15 things to check before you publish a new post will help you “score” yourself before you turn that blog post loose in the world.

1. Does Your Post Cover One Topic

Your blog post should one specific topic. And that’s it. If your blog post covers three different topics; your homemade pizza recipe, what your neighbor said to you earlier, and your kids’ soccer game, then you should actually have three different blog posts. This will help naturally improve the SEO performance of your blog.

2. Clear and Concise Title

With more and more sites being accessed via mobile units, your titles need to be more clear and concise than ever before. While Google.com search results show 60-something characters of the title, on a mobile phone or tablet only 30-something characters may be visible to the reader. Make them count!

3. Did You Include a Photo?

Pictures are key for a blog post to help capture reader attention and give them something to share. Have you noticed how pinterest, stumble-upon, facebook sharing, etc all include a thumbnail or photo from the post? People are visual – give them a visual!

4. Include Links to Your Other, Relevant Posts

Did you add links to other blog posts that are relevant to a keyword phrase in your post? It doesn’t have to be related to THIS specific post. For example, in #1 you’ll notice I’ve linked the words “SEO performance of your blog” to a post about improving blog SEO. Even though that post isn’t really about what to check before publishing your post, the way this one is, the link is still relevant.

5. Did You Check the Appropriate Category?

You do have relevant, keyword rich categories for your blog right? Like chapters of a book – they should tell what topics you’re covering on your website. Don’t be cute here – be specific. And put your post in the right category to help future readers find it.

6. Add Relevant Tags to Your Post

This helps serve as a blog “index” of sorts, pulling together similar posts from across more than one category. Tags also help your SEO in an organic, reader-friendly way.

7. Add Links to Outside Sources When Appropriate

Google is getting smarter and smarter – outgoing links won’t kill your blog or page rank. In fact, linking to high-quality posts and articles when relevant shows Google you know what you’re talking about. And encourages others to link to you. If you mention another blog, are inspired by a particular post, or reference someone else’s article, you should be linking to it. (Ditto the same with photo attributions when necessary.)

8. Did you SEO Your Images?

By this I mean – did you maximize your SEO potential with your images? Your image titles, alt text, description and caption should all be relevant to your post. Google can’t view your image so it relies on these other factors to determine what the picture is about.

9. Is Your Post Complete?

If it’s the “Ultimate Guide” to something, but you only include five items, your readers are not likely to share it. In fact, they may feel cheated. Just as in #1 I stressed the importance of covering just one topic, you should also make sure that the topic is thoroughly covered. I recently published a post about ten tips to success with affiliate sales. It’s a LONG post – longer than my average. But it covers the material thoroughly and I’m still getting emails thanking me for the post.

10. Call to Action

Do you include a call to action? A question someone can answer in the comments? Suggestions to purchase your ebook or subsribe to your newsletter? Or even a simple “Did you like this post? Please stumble it or share it on Facebook.” which can improve the shares on your post.

11. Read Your Post Aloud

No really. Sit at your computer and read your post out loud to yourself before you publish. Preferably AFTER you’ve stepped away from the post for a few minutes. You’ll be amazed at the things you suddenly see that you didn’t notice when you were writing the post.

12. Take Notes for Future Posts

Oftentimes when I’m working on one blog post, I’ll find myself inspired to create another one. For example, when working on this post I realized I never really covered Categories and Tags yet. So I’ve made a note to discuss them in a future blog post. Write down your ideas! I cannot say this enough. Write them down! These brainstormed blog post ideas are highly valuable!

13. Do You Have Reader-Friendly Formatting on Your Post?

Bold. Lists. Quotes. Numbers and Bullets. Images. These things all contribute to create a reader-friendly experience on your blog. Shorten your paragraphs. Tighten your copy. Make it easy to scan and browse in a variety of digital formats.

14. Check Grammar Basics

Spelling. Punctuation. These things are basic building blocks of the English language, and while no one expects you to be a master builder (unless you’re blogging about grammar) you should have the basics covered. Like loose and lose. And write, right and rite.

15. Preview Your Post and Check Everything Out

Do all your links work? Did your formatting show up right? Are your images visible and not bleeding into your sidebar? These simple checks are so important to the reader experience. How often have you visited a blog post you saw being tweeted and been disappointed by a lack-luster post? Don’t be that person to your followers – make your post worth the click.


  1. I am printing this out and putting it into my blogging binder. Thanks for these great tips.
    Melissa recently posted..Falling into place

    • Thanks! I’m glad it was helpful. It’s always good to have an idea of the minimum standard for your posts just to make sure. If you’re like me most of your work is done in the wee hours of the night or with littles in your lap! LOL!

  2. Excellent post Angela! Thanks for making it all so clear and easy to follow. Every day I’m getting closer and closer to finally getting my own blog up and running, and these are the valuable tips and wisdom I need.

  3. Thanks for this post Ang – one thing I ALWAYS forget is to optimize my pictures! I just had to go back to a post I published yesterday to do just that.
    Carmen recently posted..9 Reasons I Positively Love Milk

  4. This is a fantastic post!!! Bookmarking it.
    Jo-Lynne {Musings of a Housewife} recently posted..How to Wear Short-Sleeves Into Fall | Fashion Friday

  5. Thanks for this list. I mostly check and re-check spelling and grammar, but rarely re-think links. A good reminder to follow the same checklist each time.
    Traci Lehman recently posted..Walk the Farmers Market: Orange County Great Park

  6. Thanks for sharing- great post and lists! Shared it on Stumble. :)

  7. This is an excellent checklist! Thank you for putting it together!
    Lolli @ Better in Bulk recently posted..Kalso Earth Shoes – Review and Giveaway

  8. LOVE this. Can I add a #16? Did you preview your post to make sure all of your images are showing up correctly and are a proportionate size?
    julie/just precious recently posted..Last minute meals and a menu plan

    • Good one! I know when I updated my blog some of my images broke on older posts. Every so often I get an unpleasant surprise and have to go back in and fix something. UGH. HATE THAT.

  9. These are good tips but sometimes my only goal is to get the post up and live. What do you do when its 12am, you’re exhausted, and you have to be at work the next day but still have a post to edit?

    What do you think about adding tags and links in the following days?
    Shannon @ Reading Has Purpose recently posted..The Measure of a Man by Sidney Poitier

    • I can very much relate to that feeling since I have four kiddos with one on the way, and am juggling multiple venues. My opinion is – especially on a personal blog that is closely tied to my name and has no editorial oversight, I would rather WAIT another day and publish the post tomorrow. Get it ready, get everything filled in as best as you can. And then leave it in Drafts.

      I’d rather see a post two days later with the images and links in place than to have something pop up in my feed reader that is obviously not up to par. Interested to hear what others think though….Thoughts?

  10. Thank you for writing this out! I will be referencing this list often.
    Andrea (Lil-Kid-Things) recently posted..Fall Paper Bunting {toddler craft}

  11. Ashley - Embracing Beauty says:

    I love having a checklist to follow! I think I do these things anyway but it’s nice to have a list to look over just to make sure I don’t miss anything. You are wonderful as always!
    Ashley – Embracing Beauty recently posted..$3 Schick Intuition Razor Coupon!

  12. These are such great ideas – I will be using this for my posts from now on! Thanks so very much! :)
    Paula @ Simply Sandwich recently posted..Fall Inspiration for Your Home Tasks

  13. Thanks Angela, I love the way you have explained the difference between tags and categories, something I personally have always struggled with. Also covering one topic only is again something which I think is crucial so that posts remain relevant…important for SEO. Thanks alot !

  14. Wow!! Great checklist!! I’m going to put this in my binder and use it on all posts. Sometime you just have to slow down and check everything. That’s what I have to do!!

  15. Great post!I
    After reading that I see that I need to make some changes to my posts ;-)


  16. Thanks so much. Though my blog has been active for a while, I am just learning how very much there is to driving traffic to it.


  1. […] Should I be taking so long editing?Recently I was reading a fantastic post by Angela England, 15 Tips to Cover Before Publishing Your Post, and it made me wonder, how long would Angela tell me to spend on a blog post?So, I jumped on skype […]

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