Technology

3 Free Blog Tools to Check Before You Hit Publish

 

Hitting the publish button on our Nerdy Nonprofit blog always gives me a tinge of anxiety. After hours of writing, it’s tempting to just quickly publish and forget about the details. Unfortunately, that can lead to a unoptimized and ineffective post, throwing the writing hours out the window. However, even when I ask myself “what did I miss?” I feel at a loss for what to double check.

With this predicament in mind, I set out to create a blog writing and editing strategy to walk through before publishing a post. Now I can skip the murky waters and get right to the clean blog optimization.

Next time your nonprofit finishes the writing process and is hesitating before publishing, check these 3 things to ensure the blog is at a good place.

1. Monitor your SEO with Yoast SEO or SEMRush

We all know one of the main reasons for having written the blog in the first place is to further your nonprofit website’s SEO. Yet, we don’t all quite know what exactly to look for and what tools we have to check it.

a) First, if you didn’t write your blog with a keyword strategy in mind, take a look at SEMRush or use the WordPress plugin Yoast SEO to establish for which phrase you are trying to rank. Your post should be written around this phrase.

b) Then, check that this long-tail keyword is somehow incorporated in your title, URL, in your subheading, meta description and even in your photo description tags.

c) If you have a tagging feature for your blog, make sure the tags are some variation of that keyword phrase.

d) If you sort your blog by category, only place your blog into one rather than all that apply. It makes it clearer to search engines what your post is about.

e) Check that you’ve included outbound and inbound links – that is, find some credible resources to establish your blog’s validity (if you didn’t research your blog content elsewhere, then point to other reputable sources at the end of your blog). You can also link to your old blogs, providing more resources that guide readers within your site.

More in Blogging & SEO Best Practices

2. Plug it all into Hemingway Editor

This has been my go-to out of all the editing services out there. Not only is a free tool, but it’s great at catching overall grammatical errors rather than just spelling mistakes. This includes hard to catch run-on sentences and areas that are difficult to read. The clearer your writing, the more your readers appreciate your nonprofit and the better you rank in SEO. hemingway-editor-free-blog-tools

3. Place it in preview mode & read aloud

a) After writing, reading and re-reading your blog, it all starts to blur together. I’ve found one way to counter this tendency is to put your blog into preview mode, or view it in the browsers your readers will use. This helps you see how it would look from an outsider’s perspective and can help you be your own best critic.

b) Another way to review is through reading aloud. If you’ve had a good writing instructor in the past, they probably had you do this. Once you hear your writing being read out loud, you become a bit more self-conscious. This can help you find areas that might not make sense to someone else who’s reading it for the first time.

If you’re still struggling to feel confident in the state of your nonprofit’s blog or content strategy, call or email our marketing team at ArcStone.

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