We are almost there. You’ve conquered the first 5 steps of completely setting up your WordPress blog. You have your first draft. You’re ready to hit “GO”, and publish your first blog post, right? Just a minute, we’ll get to it, now that we’re on Step 6. Just a few more of the finer points before you go all bloggy bloggerson on me.
First, look over on the right side. You can schedule your post to be published anytime you want or you can publish it immediately. This functionality is one of the handiest tools in the WordPress arsenal. For example, I scheduled the seven posts (that’s right, there’s a BONUS coming tomorrow!) for this series in advance, one each day over the course of a week. That gives you total confidence that you’re not going to miss a post, forget to publish, or anything else that might get in the way of your awesome blogging schedule.
Next, in the same area as “Publish”, you see the word “Publicize” followed by all the social networks that you set up in step 3. Click on the words “Edit Details.” Doing so reveals the actual words that will be in your Tweet, Facebook, Linkedin, Google+, or Tumblr post. You can also add hashtags and tag people (like @kevsandlin) here, and it measures your characters for Twitter.
For hashtags, please, for the love of Pete and all that is holy, do not be a hashtag abuser on your blog, personal or professional. What’s a hashtag abuser, you ask? Well, you might be a hashtag abuser if you use #idontreallycarewhatpeoplethinkaboutmyhashtags as your hashtag. Hashtags were invented by Twitter as a means of facilitating easy search for trending topics. So choose a trending hashtag from someplace like Ritetag.com, or make up your own hashtags and use them consistently. On Atlanta Tech Blogs, I insert #techblogs on every single post, without fail.
Why? Because every time you Tweet, that data goes directly into the Google SEO engine, so when you search Google for #techblogs, guess what comes up?
[Tweet “every time you Tweet, that data goes directly into the Google SEO engine”]
Back to the social networks you configured earlier, your post will be shared automatically on each of those social networks. THAT is very handy; however, it also brings up a common issue that is not so commonly known: social image optimization. That means that, if you post the same image to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Tumblr, the image will look very different on each network. Canva has all but solved this issue by (a) keeping track of the optimal size of an image for each network and (b) coming up with a size image that looks pretty darn good on all social networks.
The bottom line is that you should always share your posts with a beautiful, eye-catching image, and make sure that image will look great on all your social networks.
Finally, the last step is to check Yoast SEO, complete the necessary fields, and make sure the SEO grade for this – and every – post is a go, which shows as a green dot next to “SEO” in the top right area, just below “Publicize.” If you see a gray dot there, that means you haven’t completed Yoast’s SEO fields to know whether or not this post will have decent SEO characteristics or not.
So, scroll down below the main writing panel until you see the Yoast SEO dialog box. Then complete it as illustrated in the image below.
You can see the difference in the values of the 4 fields, the most important of which is the “Focus Keyword“, which is what you want to own when someone searches for that phrase. See how all the “Yes (1)” options are green? That means we have the green light. It takes a little bit of effort to get this right, and you won’t always get it exactly right, but that’s ok.
So, you ready? Click “Publish”! You rock. How’s it feel? Awesome!
So, what’s next? Well, I’ve added a bonus post for the few, the proud, the tenacious readers who made it this far. This bonus post will help you see new light on the following topics:
- Google Analytics
- Engagement on social networks
- Engagement in blog comments
- Revive old posts (plugin)
- Get more subscribers
Thank you for reading and thank you for sharing. If you know of any great tips, tricks, shortcuts, hacks, or anything else that will help anyone be successful on their great new blog, please share with me on Twitter and I’ll re-share to my network.