A Pre-Publish Checklist For Your Blog Post

After a long few days of travel, with a stop off in Dallas to see family, an airplane ride, a visit to my parents’ house for a few days and a car ride down to the shore, we have officially started our beach vacation here in South Jersey. Yes, this is a good thing, but it also means I don’t get to sew anything for the next few weeks, and honestly, to me, that’s a bummer. My ideal vacation would actually include a sewing machine – and what would make it a vacation would be the ability to sit down and sew – uninterrupted –  all the way through a project. Well, one can dream. I guess I’ll take a beach break instead. And in the meantime, here’s a bloggers’ bonus post for all my blogging friends. Feel free to pin and share!

A simple checklist to make sure you never regret hitting "publish" on your post

I have wanted to touch on this topic for a while. You see, my Pinterest feed is overrun with posts by a million and one different bloggers all talking about how to make money blogging, how to increase your social media following, how to switch to WordPress, how to come up with good content ideas and on and on. This is all great stuff – and no doubt they’re going to get clicks on those posts because these are things we all want to know more about (I have pinned my fair share)! But I have noticed that with all the hype about the stuff that will eventually get us more money, and more exposure, we sometimes lose sight of this actual thing we call blogging. I know it has happened to me. What is blogging, after all? It’s writing. It’s keeping a “log” on the web. It’s sharing information and communicating (sometimes to a lot of people at once) and as such, the act of blogging itself should be treated with a certain level of care.

With that in mind, today’s post is about those few loaded moments after we have written a post and before we hit that “publish” button. These are the most crucial moments in blogging. I have definitely rushed through them on occasion and regretted it, noticing spelling and grammar mistakes after the fact, forgetting to add a link to something that should be linked, or realizing I forgot to set my featured image. There are so many little things to remember that make a difference in the quality of a blog post, both for your readers’ sake and for the “back-end” of your blog’s sake, that I thought it would helpful to provide a pre-publish checklist of items for your blog post. In the past, publishing a blog post has taken me way longer than it should have because I didn’t methodically go through these items. I had to think way too hard to do things that should have been a habit.

If you find these tips helpful, subscribe to my blog to get them in the form of a printable checklist that can be added to your blog planner! Printable checklists are great. As much as I love to try to do everything on the computer, sometimes I just need the real thing in front of me and out of the way of the computer screen.

Never regret hitting publish on a post with these simple tips

 

Before you hit “publish” on that blog post, check this list out and make sure you’re ready!

  1. Your writing: I know I shouldn’t have to say it. I know. But let’s get it out of the way. Triple check your spelling and grammar. Do this once with your spell checker and then twice through with your eyes: once in your dashboard and once in preview mode (READ the whole post through in preview mode – don’t just skim). I don’t know why it makes a difference, but it does. Your eyes will catch things they wouldn’t when you were in your dashboard. You can also double check the way fonts, font sizes and your layout looks in preview mode. Whenever I don’t do this – I have mistakes. No exceptions. I’m not saying there may not be mistakes anyway, but I’m far less likely to make them when I follow this rule.
  2. The URL: Is the URL set the way you want it? In WordPress.org, you can set the URL for your blog post to be anything you want. It usually defaults to the date and title of the post but if your title is super long, you might want to change that.
  3. Your images: Have you added all the images exactly where you want them in the post? Are you using the images you painstakingly edited and not the original versions? (Yes, I accidentally did that once). Have you named your image files appropriately so that they are not just a jumble of letters and numbers? Have you set the alt text for them? Have you set a featured image for the post? Do you have at least one pinnable image inside the post itself?
  4. Links: Have you added links to anything you meant to link to in your text or images? Have you checked those links to make sure they are working?
  5. Categories and Tags: Have you put your post in the appropriate category for your blog? Have you set some tags that make sense for the subject matter?
  6. SEO: I use Yoast SEO with WordPress and it makes it really simple to make sure your SEO is good. If you also use WordPress and Yoast, make sure you set your focus keyword, your SEO title, and your meta description. You’ll notice they also have a “social” tab where you can set a specific title, description, and image that you want to show up when your post is shared on Facebook. This is helpful when your blog’s featured image is not “Facebook friendly” in terms of its dimensions, or when you have a ton of different images and you want to make sure a specific one is used on Facebook.
  7. One last thing: Have you said everything you wanted to say? Have you asked a question at the end of your post to engage your readers if it makes sense to do so? I know it seems silly but there are times when I have gone through all of my steps only to hit post and realize that I had a thought or something to add to the post that I forgot to do while I was busy focusing on all the other little things. If you have the time, take a break. Step away from the computer. Pretend you just hit “publish” and go about the next task in your day. If you don’t feel like you’ll be able to get back to the post in time, schedule the post so it will publish at a certain time later in the day. This gives you some time to think about it a little more and remember some of those fleeting thoughts you may have had that didn’t make it to the page.
Polish and shine each blog post before you hit publish. Use a pre-publish check list! #Blogtips #Blogging Click To Tweet

So you’re all published and you feel great about your post. Now what? Head on over to my linky party post to get tips for linking it up and getting the most exposure that you can with the least amount of time spent at linky parties.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog using the form below to get access to a free printable checklist that will take the guesswork out of clicking that “publish” button, No hassle and no more “after-post” regrets!

Crafters, hang in there with me! Even without a sewing machine I have plans to get a crafting post out there to you!

Do any of my blogging readers out there have anything to add? How do you make sure you your posts are polished and “publish” ready?

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24 Comments on A Pre-Publish Checklist For Your Blog Post

  1. Elizabeth
    July 26, 2015 at 6:23 PM (12 months ago)

    What a great idea! What you publish is such a reflection of you to the world. We want to be real but we want to be wise and careful. :) I live be checklists for the real world, especially when I’m getting ready for en event where I have responsibilities away from home – Frontier Girls, church, VBS, etc. It just helps :)

    Reply
    • notimefordiy
      July 27, 2015 at 3:30 PM (12 months ago)

      Thanks, Elizabeth! I should use them more in the “real” world considering how helpful they have been for my blog management!

      Reply
    • notimefordiy
      July 27, 2015 at 10:40 AM (12 months ago)

      That’s exactly what was happening to me (way too often I might add)! This has really helped me “stay calm” before posting! Thanks for visiting and commenting, Lisa!

      Reply
  2. Carissa
    July 27, 2015 at 11:57 AM (12 months ago)

    This is great! I too miss the old days of blogging when I could just write, proofread, and publish! I now spend more time creating images and promoting posts on social media than writing. The checklist is essential; thanks!

    Reply
    • notimefordiy
      July 27, 2015 at 1:03 PM (12 months ago)

      Thanks, Carissa! I agree it would be so much simpler is all we needed to do was write (or in my case, sew and write)! Thanks for visiting and commenting!

      Reply
    • notimefordiy
      July 27, 2015 at 4:13 PM (12 months ago)

      Thanks, Rachael! I’m glad you found it useful! And thank you for visiting and pinning!

      Reply
  3. samantha
    July 27, 2015 at 3:50 PM (12 months ago)

    I try to remember to do all these things before I post something. It is hard for me to do checklists and such because I am always multi-tasking with my 4 month old when writing. Maybe it would be easier to get the writing done at night, but that sleep is precious 😉
    samantha recently posted…3 Quick Tips: Keeping Baby Happy After ShotsMy Profile

    Reply
    • notimefordiy
      July 27, 2015 at 4:22 PM (12 months ago)

      Oh, Samantha I totally know what you mean. My children have been on some sort of sleep-strike lately and it is getting ugly! I find that the checklist helps me to do the multitasking because otherwise my mind gets pulled in a hundred different places and it starts to feel like I don’t know where to start or what to do next! Thank you for visiting and commenting!

      Reply
  4. Raki (Outside the Box Mom)
    July 28, 2015 at 1:01 PM (12 months ago)

    I’m so guilting of not reviewing/changing my alt tag to be a Pinterest-friendly description of the post. Then, people start pinning the post and it’s too late. Thanks for this list of reminders.

    Best,
    Raki

    Reply
    • notimefordiy
      July 29, 2015 at 11:38 AM (12 months ago)

      Raki, that has happened to me a bunch and was one of the reasons I started the check list! It’s such a little thing to think about but then if we don’t our images are floating around with crazy incomprehensible names! Thanks for visiting and commenting!

      Reply
  5. Angela @ Setting My Intention
    July 30, 2015 at 8:41 AM (12 months ago)

    these are great tips – thank you! I too always find mistakes that need to be tweaked when I look in the preview mode.

    Reply
    • notimefordiy
      July 30, 2015 at 8:48 AM (12 months ago)

      You’re welcome, Angela! I’m so glad you found them helpful. Thanks for visiting and commenting today!

      Reply
  6. Amanda @ Momily Homily
    August 1, 2015 at 3:45 PM (12 months ago)

    These are some great tips! I especially need to work on SEO. I just haven’t found the time to get into all that yet. It’s been great hosting the #homemattersparty with you through the month of July. Can’t believe the month is coming to a close.
    Amanda @ Momily Homily recently posted…Home Matters Linky Party #48!My Profile

    Reply
    • notimefordiy
      August 1, 2015 at 4:41 PM (12 months ago)

      Thanks, Amanda! Yeah, the SEO stuff is a bit intimidating. The Yoast plug in has really helped simplify it for me. It’s been great co-hosting with you!

      Reply
  7. Sarena @ Teal Inspiration
    August 2, 2015 at 1:07 AM (12 months ago)

    Thank you for this really great list for double checking blog posts. There’s almost always something or other that I’ve forgotten to do before I hit post!
    Sarena @ Teal Inspiration recently posted…Spring Color PaletteMy Profile

    Reply
    • notimefordiy
      August 16, 2015 at 7:53 AM (11 months ago)

      You’re welcome! Even with the list, it’s possible to forget (as I definitely have) but it makes the forgetting a little less likely anyway! Thanks for visiting and commenting!

      Reply
  8. Alayna @AlaynasCreations
    August 2, 2015 at 9:41 PM (12 months ago)

    I just had an “oh crap did I remember to add keywords and categories on the post I just finished?!” moment LOL The checklist is a great idea.

    It’s been great fun co-hosting the #HomeMattersParty with you.

    Reply
    • notimefordiy
      August 16, 2015 at 7:54 AM (11 months ago)

      Alayna, that’s kind of how the list was born – of one of my many “did I remember?” moments! Great co-hosting with you, too!

      Reply
    • notimefordiy
      August 16, 2015 at 7:56 AM (11 months ago)

      Sometimes I am tempted to skip that part because my internet is painfully slow at times and loading another page to preview just seems like more than I can take – but every time I skip it, I regret it! Thanks for visiting and commenting, Melissa!

      Reply
  9. Sonja @ SustainMyCraftHabit
    August 3, 2015 at 9:16 PM (12 months ago)

    So many good reminders! Its true, it’s definitely worth taking the extra time before publishing to make sure the post is perfect! Having a sister-partner to proof read is a huge help…we catch each other’s misses!
    Happy to be cohosting with you again on #HomeMattersParty!
    Sonja @ SustainMyCraftHabit recently posted…Blooming Petals Crochet and Knit BraceletMy Profile

    Reply
    • notimefordiy
      August 16, 2015 at 8:05 AM (11 months ago)

      Oh, having a blogging partner would do wonders for my blog, I think! I’ll bet that is great – and what a great motivator to plug away at it, too! Great co-hosting with you!

      Reply

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