If you are a blogger, you understand that writing blog posts is not an easy job. Successful bloggers take the time to write extensive and informative content in order to indulge their readers with the information they crave to receive.
But as more and more bloggers enter the blogging community it becomes harder to compete with all the other people generating content in cyberspace.
Today, you simply cannot write a blog post and expect your target readers to magically find it because 1. the internet is a vast place and 2.there are so many distractions out there especially when thousands of blog posts are out there screaming “pick me!”
As a matter of fact, you have to go out to where your readers are hanging out and entice them to come on over to your blog.
But where do you go and how to do you do that? Well, you have come to the right place because after doing some serious research, I came up with the ultimate blog post checklist of 24 (yes, 24!) things you should do EVERY time you create a new blog post.
Optimize your posts with the Ultimate Blog Post Checklist! – CLICK TO TWEET
So here goes:
Let’s start with the title… (Duh, right!)
- Use an attention getting post title that includes keywords and acts as a teaser to get readers to want to read your post.
And by this I don’t mean a “click bait” kind of title… Yick, I shudder at those. I mean give them something they want to read that is clear in meaning, gets to the point and leaves them wanting more. For example “The quickest & easiest method to potty train your puppy” or “5 things you can do every day to ensure your house is always clean”.
Most people who are actively searching online are looking for a solution to something so if you can solve a particular problem, make it clear in your blog post title.
People want instant gratification and if you can offer an enticing blog title with an awesome solution attached in the actual post then you are golden.
2. Make sure to include links to your other relevant blog posts whenever and wherever you can. This provides readers with the opportunity to explore other blog posts on your blog that might be useful to them and secondly, it entices them to continue clicking throughout your site instead of just reading and leaving.
And let’s be real here. Most of us have a hard time staying focused so if your readers are going to click, it might as well be on your posts.
3. If you are referencing other articles from other bloggers or websites, make sure to include the links in your post as well (but make sure to always have links to external references pop up in a different window – this ensures that they can easily find their way BACK to your site if they do check out one of the links).
But why would you want to include external links you ask? Well, first they should always be relevant to your site. Links to external sites increase your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as it gives search engines a better idea about what your blog is about (hint, why they should be relevant).
It also creates a way to get in touch and even build relationships with other bloggers. When you link to someone else’s site, the other blogger will get notified of the linkup, therefore increasing your chances of them noticing you and your site.
Outbound links also increase authority. If you provide good and useful resources to your readers, they will likely continue using you as a source therefore establishing that you are indeed the expert in your field.
4. Break up large paragraphs into small easier to read sections to increase ease of reading and boost your SEO.
White space increases flow while you’re reading and the better your posts flow the more engaged your readers will be. The more engaged your readers are the higher you rank on search engines.
5. If you haven’t downloaded Yoast SEO for your WordPress site, you should do it… like now. Below is what will appear underneath every blog post when you’re in your dashboard.
You will need to edit the snippet (arrow for reference). This is the summary that will show when your blog post shows up on Google. We don’t always start off with exactly what the blog post is about so it is imperative that you change this to be concise and immediately let readers know what they are going to get when they click your link.
Make sure your keywords are included.
Also, if you notice there are little dots next to each category in the bottom section. You want more green than red here. Make sure you go through each and see if you can get as many green as possible – the more green the better the SEO. I haven’t seen them all green for me yet, but dammit I’m trying!
You can find an awesome post on some great ways to boost your SEO even further on The Branded Solopreneur’s post right here.
6. Include relevant content upgrades within your post. Content upgrades are the same as your Lead Magnets or Opt-ins. Each and every post should have one. Now, obviously at first you won’t have many, but as time goes by and you start creating, make sure you go back to your old posts and add the content upgrades to them as they would apply.
7. Your images should all be cohesive and should showcase your brand (colors, fonts, logos etc.). I am not referring to the image above for the SEO explanation. I am talking about the images in your post that would be used as pinnable images for Pinterest, for example. You want to keep a pattern so that every time someone sees one of your images on the internet, they know it’s from you.
8. Speaking of images, these too should be optimized for SEO. The title and alt tags should both have the focus keywords added and the description should be filled out for Pinterest pins as well. This way when someone wants to pin it, it is ready to go!
9. More images (you can see how important they are). You will eventually have to add these images to your social media platforms in order to get the word out about your blog (more on that later).
So you need to create social media images with the appropriate dimensions in order to keep the images flawless on other platforms and prevents any information from getting cut off due to dimension restrictions.
For a complete list of social media dimensions, here is a handy post that provides all of them.
10. If you use WordPress, add a featured image. This will be the image people see for your blog posts. It reduces any confusion the reader might have when it comes to which image they should pin, share or use as a reference.
11. Proofread at least twice (yes, I said twice). You can be the best typer in the world, but hey, life happens and you get distracted or you’re human and you make mistakes. Going over the post will help capture grammatical errors and help you fix anything that just doesn’t read well.
I actually suggest doing it once you finish writing it and again, right before it is published. It’s always good to take a look at your post with a fresh mind and doing it at a later date helps catch things you wouldn’t necessarily find right when you finished putting it together.
12. Comments are good, comments are great! End the post with a thought provoking question to encourage readers to leave feedback. Comments give proof that people are reading your posts.
Comments leave ideas on what you can write about next especially if your comments leave your readers with more questions. Comments could even let you figure out what your next income generating product or service could be!
13. Make sure categories are selected for each post. If you write posts in 2 different languages (like me) make sure you click on the appropriate language or if you blog about different things like recipes, DIY projects, etc. then make sure each are categorized as such so that when readers are searching on your site for something in particular, it will be easier for them to find.
14. Schedule your date and time to post. This one is pretty obvious, but it doesn’t really make sense to have a post published at all times of the day on different days.
The key here is to be consistent. Pick a day/time that works best for you and keep it the same. This way your readers get to know your schedule and will look forward to your blog posts.
Then AFTER you hit publish you will do these. Now, these aren’t all mandatory, but doing all of these will increase your changes of your blog post being seen and read.
15. If you have an email list and your readers are used to a newsletter, then always announce the post in your Newsletter.
16. Pin your post to Pinterest. Pinterest is the place to post your blog posts, cause it’s the one place readers are searching for blog posts.
Remember all that talk about creating those images and optimizing them? This is where all that comes to play. Make ’em pretty, have them reflect you and your brand and post to you Pinterest account.
17. Pin to ALL relevant Pinterest group boards for maximum exposure.
18. Share your post on your Facebook page (at least once the day you publish) and Instagram accounts. This is why you needed all those images in all those sizes.
Be sure to always provide the link to your blog post when sharing on your social media accounts so anyone that comes across your image will have a clear and easy way to access it.
19. Tweet your post on Twitter several times during the day and throughout the week.
20, If you’re an entrepreneur chances are you have joined some Facebook groups. This is a great place to get the word out.
Share your post in the group, but ONLY during days/times when it is allowed. Most have rules and you should definitely follow them so that you aren’t removed. Remember, above all, these are places for networking and support – not just promoting.
It will allow you to see where readers are coming to how long they stay on posts! Both are great tools!
22. Schedule your post to repost every month, several times a month on Pinterest using an application like Boardbooster. You can get BB free, but there are paid options that will help you generate huge exposure and following.
BB will actually pin your pins for you so you will save time taking care of this yourself. Brilliant Business Moms has a great post on Boardbooster here.
23. Respond to comments on posts and social media. This is very important – if you get a comment respond. Even if it’s just to say thanks.
As a reader, it is flattering when a bigger blogger takes the time to respond to a question or a comment I leave…. it makes me feel special. As a blogger you should do it too.
It will give them a feeling of trust and are more likely to engage, subscribe and eventually purchase from you. In the end, readers are your fans and you should take the time to say hello and answer their questions.
24. This one is fairly new, and I need to jump on the bandwagon myself. If you use Periscope, you can announce your blog post there and get people to come to your site and read your post.
Let’s face it people like videos. Videos sell and they are becoming one of the best way to set your blog apart from others in similar niches. So why not use this medium as a gateway to your blog.
Here readers can get a feel for who you really are. They can connect with your personality and passion for what you do – you could have instant chemistry!
The blogging world is ever-evloving so we have to adjust with it.
So there you have it! Whew, that was a long list! But we covered a ton. And I know that it is going to be hard to remember everything which is why I created The Ultimate Blog Post Checklist you can download for yourself, that way every time you add a post, you can mark them off as you go!
Optimize your posts with the Ultimate Blog Post Checklist! – CLICK TO TWEET
I would love to know what you thought, and if you think there is anything I might have missed!