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3 Things to Do Before You Hit Publish on Your Blog

You've written your blog post. You're ready to roll it out, your cursor poised on the Publish button.

But wait! Before you publish your blog post, you'll need to take a few steps to insure that it is a high-quality post that will attract the kind of attention you're looking for. Here are three steps you should always take before publishing a new blog post.

1) Proofread and check for errors in reference links

Your blog is more than just a way to deliver information to your readers. It's also a form of presentation. The way in which you present yourself and your business online is absolutely critical to the success of your blog.

How do you go about presenting yourself in a professional and polished manner? The first and easiest step in this process is to carefully proofread and edit each and every blog post you publish. Poor grammar and typos are the obvious problems to look for and fix, but you should also be concerned with your writing style. Is it too formal or too casual for your subject matter? Does it address your chosen topic in an interesting way? If you're not confident about the effectiveness of your blog post, be sure to edit it until you're happy with your work.

One aspect of editing that a lot of novice bloggers overlook involves hyperlinks. Links to other pages on your blog and to other sites should all function correctly. It's easier than you might think to mistype or incorrectly copy a URL when placing a link in your text, so be sure to test every one of your links before publishing your blog post.

2) Optimize your URL

Once you're satisfied with the body of your blog post, it's time to examine its URL. The URL is another oft-overlooked aspect of effective blogging. Many blogging sites offer the blogger a default URL for a new blog post by using the post's title. If the title of your post is “Learn How to Save Money on Your Monthly Electric Bills,” for example, your default blog post URL will likely end in /learn-how-to-save-money-on-your-monthly-electric-bills/.

This is not an ideal URL. Long, wordy URLs are not well optimized and make it less likely that potential readers will find your post in the course of a Google search. If your default URL is too long or too awkward, simply replace it with a shorter, catchier URL ending. Following the above example, /electric-bill-savings/ would be a much better choice for a URL ending. It's both brief and relevant to your subject. More importantly, this URL will attract more users coming from Google, Bing and other search engines. If you're maintaining a blog through a virtual hosting provider, capturing a wider swath of readers should be one of your top priorities.

You should also try to avoid using dynamic URLs. URLs ending in a series of numbers are quite common and represent one method of organizing pages, but a static URL that contains actual search terms will make it easier for potential readers to understand the subject matter of your blog post before deciding whether to read it.

3) Add relevant images to your post

Blog posts are not novels. Your readers are looking for a quick and interesting post that they can easily digest in a few minutes. In other words, they aren't willing to sit through a no-frills block of text. Inserting relevant images into your text will help your readers maintain their interest in your writing. If you have a 500 word article ready to post, three or four images spaced between your paragraphs at more or less regular intervals should do the trick. Your blog post's images will also attract Google Image Search users – and GIS is an extremely important source of hits.

If you regularly follow these three steps, your blog posts will capture more readers from around the Internet and gain your blog the attention it deserves.