Once you’ve checked your Second Life blog post against my 12-Point Pre-publish Blog Post Checklist, it’s time to promote it. Here’s the checklist I use to give my blog post the best chance of getting seen and shared.
My 12-Point Post-publish Blog Post Checklist
Before we get started, I should make two important points clear. First, simply posting links to your blog posts on social media won’t do as much for your traffic as engaging with your community will. So if you have the time and inclination to really engage in social media (I don’t), then do it. While I don’t proactively engage with other people’s posts, I share my posts on these networks because doing it is better than not doing it.
It is better to do less consistently than it is to do lots sporadically.
Second, I’ve only included the majors here – because it’s better to do less consistently than it is to do lots sporadically. I know there are loads of niche social media outlets that people think are the bomb, but I can scarcely get motivated to share out to this core set. Of course, if you want to do more, then do so.
1. Share your blog post on your Facebook Page.
If you’re on WordPress, you can configure Publicize to automatically share your post to your Facebook Page or Profile, your Twitter profile and your Google Plus. I wish I could leave it at that, but there’s more to do. If you don’t have Publicize enabled, then sharing your post on your Facebook Page will help your fans see your latest blog post.
2. Share your blog post on your Facebook Profile.
I know many Second Life bloggers are getting their Facebook Profiles shut-down, which is why I make sure I publish to my page. While you have it, make sure you share your post on your Facebook profile too, so your Facebook friends might see it. When you do, add your excerpt as the post followed by a link. A little personalisation on Facebook goes a long way towards getting engagement (click-through, Likes and Comments).
3. Share your blog post on your Facebook Groups.
After you have shared your post on your Profile or Page, copy that post and paste it into relevant Facebook Groups. This gets your post in front of Group Members who might share your post among their networks, spreading your post farther than you could spread it alone. I tend to share my posts on about a dozen relevant Facebook Groups. Just stay within guidelines or risk getting booted for spamming the group.
4. Share your blog post on Flickr.
Flickr. I’m a bit out of the habit, but it’s a good idea to post your featured image to Flickr with a link back to your post. Flickr is fast becoming the social media platform of choice for Second Life bloggers, with some bloggers making it their primary posting platform.
5. Share your blog post on Twitter.
WordPress Publicize will auto-share to Twitter for you, which is fine. Sharing your post on Twitter is a basic.
6. Share your blog post on Google+.
Often overlooked, I’m getting a lot of followers on Google Plus from Second Life residents, so I make sure to share my posts there. Again, Publicize will do this for you. However, I’ve found that sharing my posts on Google+ can vary in reliability. When you post, make sure you share it publicly and not just with yourself. Why that option exists is beyond me, but it does.
7. Share your blog post on Plurk.
While most don’t consider Plurk a major social media network, Second Life bloggers get a lot of traffic from Plurk. Yes, it’s a bit hard to wrap your head around it in the early stages, but so was Twitter when it first came out. To understand Plurk, open up your Twitter feed and turn your computer monitor 45 degrees to the right; there you go, that’s Plurk.
8. Share your blog post on Reddit and Forums.
Another weird one, though fans swear by it. It’s not just a place for links, but rather discussions. Posting links and nothing else might get you blacklisted or labelled a spammer, so if you’re going to engage in Reddit, that means more than sharing links. This is a link to the Second Life Reddit. Like the forums, I tend to find it a rather unfriendly place, so I avoid it. For me, the traffic isn’t worth the nuisance. If people want to share my stuff there, that’s fine by me, but I won’t spend much time there.
You might also consider sharing your posts on forums like SLUniverse and/or Second Life Official Forums. Many do, and with success. Like Reddit however, I find forum culture to be an unsavoury petri dish rife with people quick to misunderstand and act like keyboard warriors with axes to grind and too much time on their hands, so I avoid them. Still, I have noticed that I get some of my posts shared there by others, and they do bring me clicks.
Like Reddit, I find forum culture to be an unsavoury petri dish rife with many angry people quick to misunderstand and act like keyboard warriors with axes to grind and too much time on their hands, so I avoid them.
9. Share your blog post with your friends.
Often overlooked, this is one of the best ways to get your post viewed. Some people are just really nice about sharing your content on all the networks above, so don’t overlook that. Point your posts out to your friends who like to share good content that is relevant to their interests (mentioning them in your posts tends to incite them to share them), and share in return when you can. A genuine thank you from time to time goes a long way to help them feel appreciated as well.
10. Share your blog post on other blogs and comments.
If you post for other relevant sites; reblog or write posts that link to your primary blog posts to share the work you do with new audiences. Also consider sharing relevant blog posts you write on comments of other blogs. As long as you’re adding to the conversation, most bloggers are perfectly ok with that.
11. Share your blog post with in world groups and mailing lists.
While not everyone has access to in world groups or mailing lists, I find they can be very useful for sharing your content as long as you don’t abuse them. It’s taken me years but I now have over 2300 group members, and over 2400 in world mailing list members, to whom I send relevant posts.
12. Share your blog post with your email list.
Like in world groups and lists, the same rules apply to mailing lists. Since I moved to self-hosting for my blog, I’ve worked to develop my mailing list so that it now has over 250 clean email addresses of people who have shown genuine interest in receiving my content. I have forms at the bottom of my site and popping up to my visitors after they spend a minute on my site. So far the pop-up outperforms the bottom form at a ratio of 4 to 1. Again, this isn’t possible to do on WordPress and Blogger hosted blogs, which is one of the main reasons I moved to self-hosting. For anything I do, my email list is the most important asset for promoting my blog in the future.
Download this checklist as a handy PDF: Canary Beck’s Post-Publish Blog Post Checklist
I’ve stripped away all the instructional information I’ve included above and limited it to the bare basics so you can do a quick review of your post after you hit the publish button. I hope you find it useful. If you have any more tips, leave them in the comments so I can include them in future versions of this checklist.
If you’ve not yet seen it, you can also get my PRE-publish blog post checklist.
And don’t forget to share this post with your blogger friends!
Have you ever published a post only to remember a bunch of things you wish you’d done before pressing publish? I find that one of the most annoying things about blogging is knowing what to do, but forgetting to do it. As blogging gets more and more complicated however, it’s really tough to remember everything. Instead of wracking my unreliable brain before I hit the publish button (and inevitably missing something important), I now use a blog post PRE-publish checklist and a blog post POST-publish checklist for every blog post I write.
When I made these checklists, I thought it might be useful for other Second Life bloggers who would rather not have to remember every single little thing before they publish a post – and instead use a checklist to help them remember everything – and there is a lot!
So here is my 12-Point Pre-publish Blog Post Checklist. Bookmark this page or download my checklist as a PDF so that you can keep it on your desktop – it’s up to you!
My 12-Point Pre-publish Blog Post Checklist
1. Have you titled the blog post effectively?
Blog post titles are important to get right because they are one of the most important factors influencing search and click-through. Is it catchy? Would it grab you among a listing of other similar blog posts? Is it descriptive? Does it communicate what the post is about? Can you numberise it? Can you make it into a list? Are you promising something in your headline that you are delivering your post? Is it at least 5 words? Does it contain a relevant keyword phrase? I’ve written a post about writing compelling headlines if you want to know more about this.
2. Have you included a compelling and optimised featured image in your blog post?
Featured images are a specific WordPress core function which is great because featured images show on feeds, social media, and lists of blog posts on your own site (e.g. related posts, popular posts and other lists). Have you chosen a featured image that might attract a someone to click on the post? Is it the right size? 640 is typically a minimum width for a featured image. Some themes require larger ones (e.g. SL Blogger Support’s theme likes featured images that are about 1200 pixels wide), so check your theme specifications to find what the theme developers recommend. Is it a JPG (did you know you can often shave 75% off your image memory size by converting PNGs to JPGs alone)? Is the file as light as possible without compromising quality (100kb or less is a good aim). Converting PNGs into JPGs in online image tools like PicMonkey can often address this, but sometimes you might need to further optimise an image using Optimizilla to keep your page speed fast.
3. Have you added Headings to your blog post? (e.g H1, H2, H3)
Headings not only help visitors scan your posts, but they also help search engines understand what your post is about. Google tends to look inside those heading tags to help index your post in its search engine. Have you added at least one heading to your post? And have you got keyword phrases in the headings?
4. Have you written enough body copy in your blog post? (e.g at least 300 words)
I know many bloggers don’t write, which is probably the number one reason they don’t get a lot of visitors finding their posts on search engines. Simply put: If you want to rank there, you need to write, and typically no less than 300 words per post. Have you added your keyword phrase to your content a couple of times? Is the blog post long enough for search engines to index and rank it?
5. Have you linked to other relevant blog posts on your site or other sites?
Links help your visitors find relevant content, they are a search engine factor, and linking to others often compels them to link back to you – increasing your search engine authority and visits to your blog. It’s a good idea to link to other posts you’ve written that relate to the post you are writing now. They can be on your site or elsewhere, just make the links open into a new window so that you have a better chance of keeping your visitor on your site when they’re done with the link. Have you added at least one link in your post? Does the link open a new window?
6. Have you written a descriptive blog post excerpt?
Excerpts are a good feature of WordPress because many themes and feeds will share your excerpt as part of the post snippet on their site. Sometimes the default first 35 words aren’t always best, so handcrafting your excerpts can help attract visitors to visit the post. I tend to copy my description into the excerpt, or vice versa.
7. Have you categorised your blog post?
Categories can be useful for finding related posts later, and for making category-based menu selections should you ever want to. They can also be indexed by search engines. Do it as you go and life will be easier. Also, be careful not to add too many categories, which makes categorisation meaningless. Have you added at least 1 or 2 categories to your post?
8. Have you tagged your blog post?
Both categories and tags can sometimes show up in search engine results and readers (e.g. WordPress Reader) but it’s important to be careful to not to add too many. In fact, adding more than 15 tags and categories might get your post booted off the WordPress reader. Also, to many tags sends a confusing message to search engines (and visitors as well) as to what your blog post is actually about. Have you added around 4 -6 tags per post?
9. Have you optimised the images in your blog post?
Again, search engines can index your images by reading the alt tags. In other words, they can’t tell that you’ve featured a hat in your picture unless you’ve actually added the word ‘hat’ into the alt tags. Just like featured images, try not to burden your visitors with massive file sizes they have to download. Make them JPGs and around 100K or less each. Have you optimised and added alt tags to the images you’ve included?
10. Have you previewed your blog post?
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve published a post to only see an obvious error after I’ve hit the publish button. It drives me nuts and fills me with shame (well, not really, but it does really annoy me). Read your whole post in preview mode so that you can see what it looks like. You’ll still miss errors this way, but hopefully fewer. If you can have someone else read it at least once, so much the better. It really is amazing how blind you can be to your own mistakes. Have you previewed your blog post at least once?
11. Have you checked the spelling and grammar of your blog post?
I know that spelling and grammar isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but visitors and search engines don’t look fondly on misspelled words or grammatical mistakes. If you’d like a safe and easy place to check common grammar mistakes, bookmark Hayley Mullen’s Grammar Cheat Sheet which covers most of the commonest grammar challenges. A spelling and grammar checker is available in WordPress’s Settings > Writing panel, so turn it on and check your post before you hit publish.
12. Have you done some basic Search Engine Optimisation?
Basic SEO includes optimising the PageTitle and Meta Description tags for your post around a focus keyword phrase. WordPress and Blogger platforms don’t give you easy access to meta tagging, but if you self-host, then plugins like Yoast SEO or All-In-One SEO have got you covered. If you’re interested in learning more about SEO, then read my post on Second Life Bloggers’ Quick and Easy Guide to SEO . Have you written these meta tags so that search engines can find your post more easily? Have you written the description so that it attracts clicks?
Ok, that’s enough – we’re not launching a rocket here, we’re just publishing a blog post! Here is the checklist as a handy PDF: Canary Beck’s Pre-Publish Blog Post Checklist.
I’ve stripped away all the instructional information I’ve included above and limited it to the bare basics so you can do a quick review of your post before you hit the publish button. I hope you find it useful. If you have any more tips, leave them in the comments so I can include them in future versions of this checklist.
Supplementary tips you might also find useful:
Fashion bloggers cite credits at the end of their posts. I don’t have an opinion about this since I don’t blog about fashion. However, from a visitor’s perspective, I’d like to see fashion posts include often overlooked credits like:
- Posing animations
Cajsa Lilliehook has written a useful post on how to check your photos to makes sure they’re ready for primetime. It’s well worth a look; no need to repeat her advice here.
In my next post, I’ll share my 12-Point Post-publish Blog Post Checklist to help you share your post in all the right places.
Don’t forget to share this post with all your blogger friends!
Hey fellow bloggers! If you are interested in meeting with other bloggers and talking about topics pertaining to blogging, here is your
Date: October 23rd, 2015
Time: 9 am – 11 am SLT
Co-hosts: Monica Querrien & Ember Adored
The purpose of this initial meet up is to get to know each other a little bit, and to talk about topics you would like to see discussed at future meet ups. There are MANY possible topics, but we would love to know what’s at the the top of your list. Sometimes it helps to get feedback from others, even if there is not a clear solution.
Even if you know that you cannot make it, it would be great if you could fill out the form anyway. Let us know what topics you would like to see covered.
Here is the invitation in graphic form – feel free to pass it to your blogger friends!