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It may seem like an effortless task to write a blog post and hit publish button.
But have you thought there could be more to just publishing a blog post.
There’s so much that goes into a well thought out and well crafted post.
I am not very organized when it comes to lot of things, but blogging – I make sure to follow my routine to the T.
I love to brainstorm about a new post idea, add it to my editorial calendar, and come back to it and start the “process” of writing a blog post.
Here’s my checklist to make sure that I create engaged blog posts that are well received by my readers.
I’ve got these questions for you if you are looking for a routine for things to do before publishing a new blog post.
#1. How Attractive is Your Headline?
What will make people click on your blog post? An attractive headline.
How do make an attractive headline?
– By using target focus keywords
– By making it eye catching and click worthy
You can get some help from tools like Coschedule Headline Analyzer. It is a free tool that scores performance of your suggested title and if you can make it even better.
It is important to create click worthy headline for your post to stand out from others. When you have a curious and eye catching headline, people are sure to check it out and read further.
#2. Do you Write the Outline on an Offline Media?
I understand writing an outline, but why on an offline media Gurki?
Well, I’ll tell you why.
I’ve had a few instances where I have managed to lose my very well written blog posts from my online WordPress editor. At one time my server crashed on me. This other time I lost internet connection. As soon as I hit publish, it said, “Unable to establish Internet Connection”. Yikes!
I hit the back button, tried to retrieve from backup copy, but to no avail. Oh, how I wanted to cry. You can imagine my pain if you have lost well researched work that you put lot of effort into.
I couldn’t get back my version of that lost post; I made sure to write my blog posts in Google Docs or sometimes MS Word.
Plus creating an outline gives you the sense of achievement. You do not forget the important points you want to make in your blog post.
For example, for this post, I scribbled down all the points I wanted covered in my offline doc. I brainstormed everything that I do before hitting the publish button. Created my list and elaborated on each point.
#3. What are Your Focus Keywords?
What keywords do you want to focus on? Every blog post of mine has a certain keyword that I focus on.
For example, my most viewed post:
- Tools and Resources for Bloggers has the focus keyword – resources for bloggers.
- 30+ Must Have WordPress Plugins has the focus keyword – must have wordpress plugins.
I use tools like Google Keyword planner that help me write an effective blog post, that is also loved by search engines. When I focus on a keyword, it is easy for search engines to figure out what my post is about.
When I check Google Keyword Planner for target keywords I get the suggestions based on many different factors like my target location, language etc.
It will also tell you how average monthly searches happen for that keyword, how’s that keyword performing in the search engines and the competition. It also suggests alternatives you can use for that keyword.
#4. Do You Proofread Your Blog Posts?
Proofreading is so underrated. I have seen so many blog posts where I see spelling and grammatical mistakes all over the post. I normally skip reading at one point and move on over to something more engaging and read worthy.
Reading your post over and over again is very crucial for maintaining the quality of your blog posts. You owe it to your readers who take time out of their busy schedules to come read your blog. Spelling and grammar mistakes are so distracting and can easily take the focus away from your otherwise engaging post.
If you do come across something similar on my blog, do me a favor and let me know. But I am telling you, proofread as much as possible.
Don’t like to proofread? Use a tool like Grammarly that can help you proofread your blog posts. It checks for spelling mistakes, grammar mistakes even plagiarism.
#5. Is your Post SEO-ed?
Search Engine Optimization is one of the most important parts for your blog posts. If people can’t find your blog post in search engine results, chances are you are not going to see much traffic to your post.
As a result you are minimizing the chances for your blog to grow.
Need help with SEO? If you use WordPress, you can use Yoast SEO plugin. This free to use plugin is very effective in helping you optimizing your blog posts. It helps you with using the right meta description for your blog so that search engines can see your blog posts and help people reach and grow your blog.
#6. Have You Created Gorgeous Vertical Images?
Every post should have accompanying vertical image. Know why?
Pinterest and Instagram have become the most popular ways to drive traffic to any blog or website. By using a gorgeous image with your blog post, and pinning it, you are increasing the chances that people will click through to your blog via your Pinterest image.
How to create gorgeous images? Picmonkey and Canva help you do that. These free image editing tools not only help create beautiful images, you can also add overlay text, icons, fonts and collage with these tools.
#7. Have you SEO-ed your Images?
Optimizing your post was fine, but what’s this deal with optimizing your images?
It simply means to always add alt text to your images. Why? Because when someone pins your images, alt text will show up as a part of that image description. It makes it easy for people to understand what your pin is about. They will be inclined to click through to your blog post through your image.
How to add alt text to your image? If you have WordPress blog, you can easily add it to your image description when you are uploading it in your blog’s multimedia library.
#8. Do you Interlink to your other Related Posts?
Have you written posts in the past that can help your readers understand your new post better? Link to those older posts in your new posts.
Interlinking has three major benefits;
– Makes positive impact on your blog from search engine point of view
– Helps your reader find more information about the topic
– They stay longer on your blog and feel engaged
Linking to your other posts and other useful resources outside your blog makes your blog highly optimized and credible.
#9. Is Your Post Easy to Read?
Although the recommended blog post length is close to 1000 words, it doesn’t mean you should fill your post with redundant gibberish. Write meaningful posts that are easy to understand, read and are concise.
When you write your blog post in the editor, check the following:
– Does it have short block of 2 -3 sentence paragraphs?
– Do you make lists to explain your points?
– Did you have enough white space?
– Do you have bold text to emphasize on main points of your post?
Most of the time people just skim through, so make sure to keep it concise and to the point.
#10. Did you create a strong “Call to Action”?
I love to receive comments on my blog posts. I’m sure you feel the same.
But how to make sure that people leave comments? Ask them an interesting question at the end of your blog post. People love to give their opinion, but they need a nudge.
If you ask them a question, they will answer. Ask for their opinion, and they will give their opinion. This is called “Call to Action”. I love it when people are engaged with the content or with each other and making meaningful conversation.
Did I miss any important points? Would you like to add something to the list? Let’s hear it in the comment box below!
If you want to start a blog yourself, make sure to read through my step by step tutorial on how to start a blog where I walk you through the whole process of money making blog. If you sign up using my link, you will be able to get hosting at discount rate through Bluehost for only $3.95 per month. You will also be able to get a FREE Domain.