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15 Essential Things to Do to Make a Blog Post Successful | Click to check out all of the tips | Designer Blogs
Question: What is a blog post called that nobody ever sees?
Answer: A huge waste of your time!

Don’t be someone who wastes time creating blog posts nobody ever sees. Creating successful blog posts takes time and requires you to do certain things to get your posts noticed. Blog posts don’t magically become successful without conscientious effort. If you want your impressively crafted posts seen and loved by the world, then keep reading because this post is for you.

In this post, I’ll be sharing 15 essential things to do before and after you publish a post that will give your blog posts the absolute best chance of becoming successful. Our Weekly Post Planner printable (example at bottom of post) from our FREE Ultimate Blog Planner includes these steps so you can make sure each post you create is at the top of its game.


Before You Publish the Post

1. Write an Attention-Grabbing Post Title

Your post title is what is going to sell your content to the world, so it’s essential that it is well thought out and effectively written. Blog post titles should be focused and yet descriptive. Your post title should describe in one short, powerful phrase the overall message of your post. For tips on writing attention grabbing post titles and for 48 post title templates that really work, be sure to check out:

6 Tips for Writing Attention Grabbing Post Titles

2. Add sections and Headings

The first thing most readers do when first landing on a post is they quickly scan the post to see if it looks interesting and/or contains the information they need. Putting up a single wall of unorganized text is going to make it very difficult for your readers to find what they need. Sections and headings divide your post into easily readable paragraphs. Adding headings, subheadings, bullets, lists, quotes & images are all things that add interest and organization to your post. Adding headings and subheadings that contain your focus keyword is also an important step in making your post SEO-fabulous.

3. Add Tags & Categories

Adding tags and categories to your posts adds structure to your blog and makes it easier for your readers to find specific content. Categories are like the table of contents or chapters of your blog. They are the broad topics you want to write about. While categories are broad, tags are very specific. If categories serve as the table of contents, tags are like the index or keywords of your site. For more information about tags vs. categories and to learn how to add them to each of your posts, be sure to visit the following post:

Categories vs. Tags – What’s the Difference?

4. Add Alt Text to Images

Adding alt text to your images is not only important for SEO, but it’s also important for Pinterest. What you add as your alt text, is what Pinterest will automatically pull as the description for the photo when someone pins your image to Pinterest, so make it descriptive and enticing. You can even add a call to action! For detailed instructions on how to add alt text to your images in WordPress or in Blogger, you can visit this post:

SEO Quick Tip: How to Title & Size Post Images

5. Add a Featured Image (WordPress)

Your featured image is like the cover of a book and is the image that will be used to represent your post on social media, recent post suggestion boxes, Bloglovin’, StumbleUpon, etc. Your featured image can either be an image straight from your post or you can create a separate image to upload as your featured image. It’s best to use vertical images with text on them as they draw more attention in feeds.

To add a featured image to a post in WordPress, navigate in your dashboard to Posts > Add New. Then scroll down the screen until you find the Featured Image box on the right sidebar of your screen. Click the Set featured image link. Upload the image you wish you use from your computer or you can select a photo from your media library. Then click the blue Set featured image button and that will set your selected image as your featured image.

Adding a featured image is essential when creating a new blog post

6. Deep Link to Old Posts

Adding links to older posts within a new post not only provides your readers with further reading about a given topic but also keeps people on your site longer. I’ve deep linked to older posts several times throughout this post. I’ve done this as a way of offering additional information and tutorials rather than repeating all of the information and tutorials contained in those posts here. Deep linking also helps increase your site’s page views because it encourages readers to visit more pages. This results in them spending more time on your site.

7. Proofread

I’ll be honest here. I hate proofreading! It takes time to read and re-read a post (especially a long one like this one), but it is so essential! If you are anything like me, you can proofread a post ten times, publish and then a few days later still find errors. I’m sure you’ll even find some in this post…ha! One tool that has helped me a ton when writing posts is a tool called Grammarly. Grammarly is a browser extension that will help you find and then fix common grammatical errors. As you are creating your post, it automatically underlines anything you need to take a second look at. It is constantly helping me find and fix errors within my posts that I would have otherwise overlooked. I highly recommend using this tool to help you perfect your posts.

8. SEO Optimize the Post

Search Engine Optimization (aka SEO) is essential if you want your post to be noticed by search engines. Search engines help drive traffic to your website and are a powerful means of growing your site. SEO optimizing your posts is an absolute must do if you want your posts to be successful. In our post How to Unlock Yoast SEO to Grow Your Traffic, we break down exactly how to go about optimizing each of your posts, so be sure to check that out if you haven’t already. I also recommend you check out these posts for additional SEO tips:

SEO Quick Tip: Titling & Sizing Images
SEO Quick Tip: Page Titles & Descriptions

9. Add a Call To Action

Adding a call to action means that you add something at the end of your post that gets your readers to act. It might be something as simple as ending your post with a question that motivates your readers to leave a comment. Or maybe you could offer a related freebie that helps you gain new email subscribers. Another idea would be to leave your readers with some type of challenge and then encourage them to return and share in a comment their experience fulfilling the challenge. When readers act on a post, they will remember that post far longer than a post without a call to action. Creating posts your readers remember means they will be far more likely to return to your site in the future.


After You Publish the Post

10. Promote Your Post on Social Media

Have you ever heard of the 80/20 rule? It’s said that you should spend 20% of your time writing new content and 80% promoting it. After you hit publish it’s important to get your post in front of as many eyes as possible. Social media is the best tool for doing this, so be sure to share your post on all of your social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google +, Stumbleupon, etc.

Don’t be afraid to share your post multiple times on each social platform during the week. If you only post about it once, only a small percentage of your followers will see it, so posting about it a few times in different ways and/or using varying images, will allow it to be seen by more eyes. It can be hard to keep up with social media posting so I recommend checking out these tools that will do it for you automatically:

Facebook & Twitter: Meet Edgar | Buffer | Hootsuite
Instagram: Later | Tailwind

11. Pin & Repin Your Post to Pinterest

Pinterest is a HUGE traffic source for most blogs. For Designer Blogs, it’s our #1 traffic source! Using Pinterest is key to getting your post in front of A LOT of eyes. Over the course of few days, pin your post to relevant boards on your Pinterest account. You will also want to share your post on any group boards you might be a part of.

Using a Pinterest scheduling tool like Tailwind, Ahalogy, or BoardBooster will make your life a ton easier as you can use them to schedule your post to several boards over the course of a couple of days rather than having to remember to do it manually. A few months after you publish your post, don’t be afraid to repin your post again to several boards on your account. This will keep it in front of your follower’s eyes and in constant rotation.

12. Link It Within Old Posts

Another way to get your post in front of more eyes is to go through all of your existing posts and link your new post within related posts. You can do this by editing the content to include information and a link to your new post or if you don’t want to spend time editing content, you can simply mention the post at the bottom of a related paragraph similar to the following example:

Related: How to Make Money Blogging

Like mentioned previously, deep linking to other posts within your site is a great way to give your posts more exposure and increase your page views.

13. Reply to Comments

Be sure to take the time to reply to any comments that may come in. Replying to comments builds a rapport with your readers and helps them feel valued. Answering questions your readers may have will not only be beneficial to the reader asking the question, but to future readers as well.

14. Mention the post in an email to your subscribers

Your email subscribers are some of your biggest fans! They’ve subscribed to you because they love the content you produce. However, rather than bombarding your subscribers with emails every time you publish a new post, consider sending out a weekly roundup of the week’s posts, events or news. Your subscribers have subscribed to you because they are excited to hear and learn more from you, so don’t be afraid to share your posts with your most enthusiastic fans.

15. Study Your Analytics for the Post

Studying your analytics is a great way to learn which posts your readers are loving and which posts aren’t quite working for you. After publishing a post if you find that after a few months it hasn’t performed well, try re-promoting it, changing the title to something more click-worthy, and/or improving the images used within the post. All of these things can help breathe new life into your posts. Learn more about how to read Google Analytics here:

How to Read Google Analytics


WEEKLY POST PLANNER

Our Weekly Post Planner, which you can download for free with The Ultimate Blog Planner, is a great tool for making sure you’ve covered each of the items listed above. All you have to do is join our email list and you’ll receive the Weekly Post Planner in addition to 26 other amazing blog planner pages that will help you organize and grow your blog like a boss! Click the button below for the free download.

15 Essential Things to Do Before and After You Hit Publish | Weekly Post Planner Example | Designer Blogs


You Might Also Like:

20 Questions That Will Inspire a Year’s Worth of Blog Posts
5 Blog Investments Worth Making
Why Building a Mailing List Should be Your Top Priority

 
Ultimate Blog Planner
Posted by: Erin

The post 15 Essential Things to Do to Make a Blog Post Successful appeared first on Designer Blogs.

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Designing With Real Data In Sketch Using The Craft Plugin

by Christian Krammer on February 23, 2017

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Besides the user’s needs, what’s another vital aspect of an app? Your first thought might be its design. That’s important, correct, but before you can even think about the design, you need to get something else right: the data.

The image shows a preview of a movie app, designed with the Craft plugin in Sketch

Data should be the cornerstone of everything you create. Not only does it help you to make more informed decisions, but it also makes it easier to account for edge cases, or things you might not have thought of otherwise.

If you want to get even more out of Sketch, feel free to check out our fancy new book, “The Sketch Handbook”, with practical examples that you can follow along, step-by-step, to master even the trickiest, advanced facets and become a true master of Sketch.

The post Designing With Real Data In Sketch Using The Craft Plugin appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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Tips for Creating Killer Website Content

by Mark Zeni on February 23, 2017

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There was a time when website developers were happy to post illiterate content on a website. As long as the content was packed full of relevant keywords, it didn’t matter whether anyone wanted to read it. This strategy was called keyword stuffing and was a popular way of ‘gaming the system’.

Unfortunately, this technique no longer works. Google’s Panda update killed off thousands of websites with poor content. The minimum you can have is decent search engine optimization and engaging website content that your visitors will love. Of course, website content isn’t the only factor, but it is pretty important, so you would be wise to listen to your SEO advisor. So, what makes great website content? Let’s find out.

Original

It should go without saying that all website content needs to be original. If you write your own content, this shouldn’t be an issue, but if you outsource your content writing to a freelancer, always use a plagiarism checker before you upload it to your site. Plagiarised content hurts your site and you really don’t want to be the subject of a DMCA takedown notice.

A Strong Title

A title is the first thing readers see. A great title is the hook that draws your reader in, choose this wisely. However, be careful not to compose a title that bears little resemblance to the content of the post, or readers will feel cheated when the click on the post. This is known as ‘click-bait’, and whilst it works, social networks are cracking down on the strategy.

Engaging

Write for readers not search engines. Content should always be engaging and interesting. Be helpful, answer questions, or start a conversation. You can even be controversial if you like, but whatever you do, try to avoid being boring. Write in a conversational fashion. Nobody wants to read a page of technical jargon or monotonous drivel.

Video and Images

Break up the text with video and images. Video in particular is very popular these days and video content tends to get shared on social media more than any other type of content. Try to avoid using generic images for your web content and blog posts. Generic images are repetitive and most readers have seen them before. Instead, commission your own images and create a more personal feel on your website. It’s the small things that set your website apart from your competitor’s sites.

Fresh

Website content needs to be fresh as well as original. It’s a good idea to refresh content regularly. Update information and add new pages and blog posts. This encourages readers to come back. It also keeps the search engines happy.

Actionable

Include a call to action on every page. Encourage your readers to share your content on social media. The better your content is, the more likely it is to be shared.
Creating great content needn’t be a mystery if you follow the tips above.

Original post: Tips for Creating Killer Website Content

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How To Use Shadows And Blur Effects In Modern UI Design

by Nick Babich on February 22, 2017

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When you examine the most successful interaction designs of recent years, the clear winners are those who provide an excellent functionality. While functional aspect of a design is key to product success, aesthetics and visual details are equally important?—?particularly how they can improve those functional elements.

How To Use Shadows And Blur Effects In Modern UI Design

In today’s article, I’ll explain how visual elements, such as shadows and blur effects, can improve the functional elements of a design.

The post How To Use Shadows And Blur Effects In Modern UI Design appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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A Detailed Introduction To Webpack

by Joseph Zimmerman on February 21, 2017

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JavaScript module bundling has been around for a while. RequireJS had its first commits in 2009, then Browserify made its debut, and since then several other bundlers have spawned across the Internet.

A Detailed Introduction To Webpack

Among that group, webpack has jumped out as one of the best. If you’re not familiar with it, I hope this article will get you started with this powerful tool.

The post A Detailed Introduction To Webpack appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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Current Trends And Future Prospects Of The Mobile App Market

February 20, 2017
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The mobile app market is growing faster than a beanstalk. The industry is huge and growing daily, and there is no end in sight. Expectedly, the mobile developer population has boomed, and the number of mobile apps in the market has hit new heights. The revenue generated by the global mobile app industry has skyrocketed.

Current Trends And Future Prospects Of The Mobile App Market

Hybrid monetization models, such as in-app ads and in-app purchases, are quickly gaining popularity in the business world. Most studies show that in-app advertising is set to be a key driver of mobile growth over the coming years (see Statista’s, IHS Markit’s and Forbes’s reports).

The post Current Trends And Future Prospects Of The Mobile App Market appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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Web Development Reading List #170: Hamburger Alternatives, Libsodium In PHP And Choosing Profit

February 17, 2017
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As web developers, we need to rely on our knowledge, and choosing solutions we’re already familiar with is often the most convenient approach to solving a problem. However, not only technology is evolving but also our knowledge of how to use it.

For a while, we thought it’s best to use base64 encoding for inlining assets into CSS files, for example, and that loading JavaScript asynchronously will make websites faster. With more evidence and research, however, we came to realize that we were wrong. We should take this as an occasion to remind ourselves to question our habits and from now on ask ourselves if the solution we have in mind for a given problem really is still the best one we could choose.

The post Web Development Reading List #170: Hamburger Alternatives, Libsodium In PHP And Choosing Profit appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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Exclusive Icon Set: Elements From Space To Earth

February 17, 2017
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Have you ever dreamt of exploring the deep sea and getting up close to its fascinating, weird creatures? Or maybe you’ve dreamt of boarding a spacecraft to experience the beauty of our planet from above? The desire to leave the beaten tracks and explore unfamiliar terrain is human nature.

To celebrate mankind’s urge to explore, the creative folks at Vexels created a set of 30 adventurous icons that take you on a journey from the ground of the sea right up to outer space. The set offers all the building blocks you’ll need to create your own little universe and become an explorer yourself.

The post Exclusive Icon Set: Elements From Space To Earth appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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Shopify Guide For Beginners: Features, Pricing, And Getting Started With Your Online Shop

February 17, 2017
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There’s no better way to sell online than Shopify. It’s one of the safest online selling platforms and it comes with an easy-to-use administration panel. Over 400,000 merchants use Shopify for their…

Click through to read the rest of the story on the Vandelay Design Blog.

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Copy If You Can: Improving Your UI Design Skills With Copywork

February 16, 2017
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There’s a technique for improving one’s user interface design skills that is the most efficient way I know of expanding one’s visual vocabulary but that I’ve rarely heard mentioned by digital designers.

Copy If You Can: Improving Your UI Design Skills With Copywork

I’m talking about copywork. Copywork is a technique that writers and painters have been using for centuries. It is the process of recreating an existing work as closely as possible in order to improve one’s skill. In our case, this means recreating a user interface (UI) design pixel for pixel.

The post Copy If You Can: Improving Your UI Design Skills With Copywork appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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