This is part three of a five-part series I’m writing. The five parts are homework, being mindful when writing, mechanics, promotion, and follow-up. The first installment also has a bit more of an introduction that sets up the what/why of this.
This section lists the steps that should be strongly considered for every post. Note that some of this content is repeated from section two. Each person will find their own routine, and perhaps this is only a starter list. If you follow a different protocol, please share that with me and the other readers in the comments. As mentioned previously, my thinking on this topic has been influenced by others in this space that I follow. You can read more about that here.
- Draft it, even if it’s just an outline. Get some ideas on paper. Keep in mind a story arc (beginning, middle, and end).
- This will help you tremendously, especially if you have a loose idea kicking around, and you want to add more to it later. If an idea strikes you when you’re away from a keyboard, call your work voicemail and leave yourself a message.
- Go back and write it (fill it in).
- Link to other content.
- Insert an image. Any image (any thematically-related image). A screenshot, a related-tie in to the post, something…
- Add a title to your blog post. One suggestion is to do a quick Google or news search for some of the keywords in your post and look at news headlines and see if something sparks an idea.
- Conclude your post (and every few posts) with something to the effect of: “— If you like what you’re reading here, consider subscribing to the RSS feed to be alerted when more new posts are added.” Also push that they might want to stay in the loop via the e-mail subscription.
- Spell check it. Twice. If your blog platform doesn’t have spell check, copy and paste it into an MS Word doc and spell check it there.
- Categorize and tag your post appropriately.
- Preview it.
- Set it aside for 20 or 30 minutes and try to clear your head. Then, preview it once more, and post it, or (depending on your blog platform) schedule it for later publishing. Think about your audience and when might be the best time to reach them.
- This is where the bit.ly metrics and Google Analytics metrics come in handy.
- After you post, and have the published URL, copy it and paste it into bit.ly and make a short URL to ease in promoting your blog post (described in the next and final section).
- Note that a bit.ly link to your overall blog (mentioned above in ‘Homework’) is different than the specific URL for a specific post that you want to shorten. The overall blog URL will show all your posts in reverse chronological order. By default, any visitor will see the latest post. To get analytics on specific posts, you need to create a bit.ly link for the specific URL of that post.
What other automatic/have-to-dos did I miss? Let me know in the comments section. Up next is part 4: promotion.
image source: 2 Assembly Lines from Paint The Car’s Flickr photostream
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