What do you do after a blog post publishes?
I'm pretty sure you don't sit around, hoping people show up.
Because you've gotta move that post in the first few hours of it going live to get the most clicks, views, reads, and even email subscriptions.
How do I know?
Well, subject matter is important, but I can tell you, as someone who created an insanely popular post that brings thousands of new readers to my blog every month, that the first few hours are vital.
To get a post moving, right out of the publishing gate, there are a few things you should do—9 things, to be specific.
These simple tasks will help you to:
- get indexed by Google faster
- gain more social media traction on a new blog post
- have the opportunity to be found on aggregator sites
- build and solidify some social relationships (while you're at it)
- update some older blog content (plus amp up your "link juice")
If any of that sounds beneficial to you and your content, then this post is for you.
Here are my 9 simple blog tasks to complete after every new blog post publishes:
1. Submit Post To Fetch as Google (And Index It)
What's Fetch as Google?
From the Google Support page:
The Fetch as Google tool enables you to test how Google crawls or renders a URL on your site.
You can use Fetch as Google to see whether Googlebot can access a page on your site, how it renders the page, and whether any page resources (such as images or scripts) are blocked to Googlebot.
Once it gives me the "Complete" (after a "Fetch and Render"), I submit it to Index.
Basically, by submitting your new post to Fetch as Google and rendering it, you're:
- Checking that your new post is "approved" by Google search (meaning all the links and images are recognized by Google)
- Getting indexed on Google search faster
BONUS TIP: Any time you update an older blog post, submit it to Fetch as Google [again].
That way, if you're like me and got started in the Fetch game late, you have an updated blog post "pinging" out to Google that it should be crawled by a Googlebot.
And if you've already submitted an older post to Fetch by Google prior, doing it again after a post has been updated just informs Googlebot that there's more, updated information to crawl within that URL.
You will not be penalized for submitting a post more than once. Especially if you've updated it. (Don't submit just to submit...)
As Grace Harman of Affilorama put it, "Pinging your website is the online equivalent of waving a flag and yelling, 'Hey! Over here—check this out!' to search engines and directories whenever you add or make major updates to the content on your site."
She continued by stating that, "using a Ping tool can [also] speed up indexing because it essentially sends search portals and other services a message from your website telling then that there is new content and to come crawl it."
If you use WordPress.org as your website platform, it should automatically ping out your post for you.
For the rest of us, go to Pingomatic.com. (It's the pinging platform WordPress.org uses.)
- Give your blog a title (if you don't have one already.) I simply listed mine as "The Goff Creative Blog".
- Add in your blog page's URL. (Not the specific post's URL.) This is simply stating that this is the page or section that's been updated—that you've added a new piece of content to.
- (Optional) Add in your blog's RSS feed address.
- Check off all the relevant sites to notify for your general type of content.
- Submit the ping.
I prefer Ping-o-Matic because it's reputable, and you can Bookmark the "Ping success" page.
Then all you have to do is hit that link after you submit your post to Fetch as Google (just to be sure everything's good first), and it'll ping your blog post out in one click.
Gotta love convenience.
3. Make Sure Your Scheduled Posts Actually Got Scheduled (And On The Right Day...)
5-6 days before publishing, I do a final round of editing and upgrading on the following week's post.
When that's done, I jump right into creating and / or adding social content to my spreadsheet (before adding it to Buffer).
The spreadsheet is the collection of all my social media and blog content. I have it segmented by blog categories (so it's easy to scan for content needed).
That sheet includes the categories column, plus a column, each, for:
- The post title
- The full URL
- 8-10 columns of social media content variations
- 1-2 columns of excerpt text (can be used on social channels other than Twitter—longer than 140 characters of content)
This is the "hub" for all blog and social content.
It's where you can go to grab a URL slug for your internal linking strategy. And it's where you can go to add to your social content stream if you don't recycle posts in Buffer.
After you've finished creating your 8-10 social content variations for your new post, you never "have" to do it again.
Once done with that, I hop over to Buffer and start plugging select variations in there.
4. Submit To [Applicable] Social Communities Or Groups
Back to the blog post, using the sidebar (footer bubble in mobile) floating share buttons, I start going through the communities and groups available to me.
- LinkedIn and LinkedIn Groups
- Google+ Communities
- [Facebook Groups]
As stated in my simple social strategy post, before you start posting your own content in Groups and Communities, make sure you're building a rapport ahead of time. Especially in the more niche communities.
A strategy I learned from Ali Mirza is to share and connect with other group and community members for at least 2 weeks before you share even one post of your own.
- Comment on others' posts within the group and on their blog content
- Share other member's content (as long as it's good, of course)
- Start no-link conversations and discussions
- And always respond to comments (on your posts and responses to your comments on others')
Either before or after submitting your post, peruse for others' content. Two birds, one stone: You can add content from others to your Buffer Queue. Or, you can share directly one of your other social channels.
5. Submit To Reader And Aggregator Sites (StumbleUpon, Reddit, etc.)
Depending on the topic of your post, there are plenty of aggregator sites out there that can benefit your new post.
Aggregator sites (if you didn't know) bring together or allow submissions to specific content collections. Some sites have multiple categories, like Reddit and BizSugar. Others are more narrow, like Inbound.org (inbound marketing) and GrowthHackers.com.
Google search "the best aggregator sites" and take your niche journey from there.
6. Pin Optimized Images To Pinterest
Or maybe you're an Instagram-er instead. Or both...
Either way, as a blogger, your visual content strategy needs you to be on one or both of those top image sharing channels.
Back on the blog post: Using the social share buttons, I Pin my pre-optimized images to my own, relevant-to-the-post boards. And on relevant Group Boards.
Depending on your social engagement, some posting times may circulate your content better than others.
I find myself posting in the late morning. Between 11:00AM and 2:00PM (EST) seem to provide better circulation for new blog posts for me.
TIP: Post to every relevant board. Not just one or two.
If you know you have more followers who follow all your boards (Groups or your own) as opposed to just a few boards, pace your posting out to more than one after the other.
Imagine someone follows a few of your boards, plus several of the Group boards you're in.
If you saw the same Pin over and over and over again as your board-hopping, wouldn't you get pretty annoyed?
Maybe even unfollow or block that user? Or report the pin as spam?
Most of the time Pinterest will catch repetitive posting and only show 1 or 2 pins with the updated "pinned" count (now "Saved" count) in someone's feed.
But, people who actually visit boards will still see a bunch of duplicates across them.
So, just pace your Pins.
You can set a timer for every 30 minutes to an hour or so to pin the same pin to a different Board. Or, take a chance and pin your heart out all in one shot.
There's no technical right way or wrong way (when you're pinning legitimate content). But, figured I'd share all the possibilities I could offer.
BONUS TIP: Pin once from your blog post. Then, select the "See It Now" button once its loaded. Then re-pin that one across all the relevant boards.
That way it's not telling Pinterest that you keep re-pinning that image individually from the post.
It looks spammy to Pinterest and may send "red flags" to Pinterest (or simply just the users) and wind up getting blocked or spammed.
(Just follow the rules and you'll be fine.)
Instead, it's building up the re-pins (or Saves) of that key Pin.
7. Save Images To Relevant Group Boards on Pinterest
Yep, still on the Pinterest topic.
(It is literally my Number One traffic source for years now.)
I started out by just Pinning the tall, vertical images of my posts onto my own Boards, then found a few Group Boards relevant to my topic and contacted the owner, asking to be added to the Board.
Sooner or later, I was receiving almost daily invitations to join other Group Boards—some a perfect fit, others not so much.
It's a good idea to be choosy about the Group Boards you do join because they're also present on your Pinterest Profile.
Make sure they're a good fit for your brand and strategy before joining.
(If you do make a mistake or just approve or join Boards simply to get started in Group Boards, and later realize it wasn't a good fit, you can always remove yourself from the Board with no repercussions later on.)
8. Get Social On Twitter [or Facebook]
I'm an introvert.
Well, I'm a "situational extrovert", as my friend Kristin once said. One with a tendency to share *inappropriate* information in public...
Well, it's more that I don't seem to have a filter as much as I used to. (Or maybe I just stopped caring what other people think. *Finally*)
But, that's probably why I love writing so much. I can go back and edit my occasional inappropriateness before publishing or sending.
Anyhow, being on the reclusive side, I found it quite helpful to go out to Starbucks and work from there every "social day". Like Tuesdays—my launch day.
Being around other people instead of working at home from my [antisocial] office helps me to be more social in the real world and online.
(It's no longer a taxing task to me. Yippie!)
So, while I'm promoting my own content across Pinterest and Google+ and so on, I carve out an hour to comb through Twitter to find great content to share, to comment, engage, and respond to mentions and so on.
BONUS TIP: Take a couple of your new post's hashtags and search it on Twitter (on all your social channels, really).
You can treat the hashtag like you would a Quora topic and search for questions or Tweets you can answer and engage with within those hashtags.
You'll find more valuable social followers, and even increase your email subscribers, traffic, and sales by connecting with people directly.
Who wouldn't love an expert reaching out to them and answering their question or engaging with their content?
9. Update At Least 1 Older Blog Post
What does updating old posts have to do with promoting a new one?
If you're blogging like a professional (i.e. you have a niche or an "Umbrella Niche"—like what I do), your older content could use a fresh link to that valuable new post.
Since I'm mostly caught up on all the hottest content (explained in my updating older content post), I now update posts that are related to the latest post.
That way I can add relevant links to the new post into the older post.
Talk about sipping the link juice, right? (Not funny? I tried...)
Ooh, and don't forget the feedback...
Although I've ditched blog comments (it was too much extra work for me to handle in my life and business—email has always been my number 1 form of communication), if you allow blog comments, don't just let them pile up.
The whole point of blog comments are to help you to connect with your audience. If you can't (like me) or won't keep up with and respond to [most all of] them, then ditch the comment box entirely.
I've heard "there's nothing worse than a blog with no comment box" before. But the truth is:
There's nothing worse for an "online community" than the leader who never responds to their audience.
In my case, I communicate with my audience via email and on Twitter. I don't regret cutting public blog comments out.
WHAT I DID INSTEAD: When someone does a unique "shout out" to a post of mine, I embed that praise into the post.
- It adds social proof to the post.
- It helps earn the kind commenter new followers and visitors.
- It shows that I do have available channels of two-way communication.
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