If you’re looking for a list of things you need to do to every blog post before you hit publish, I’ve got you covered my friend!
There are so many things to consider when it comes to writing and publishing a blog post. It isn’t just about sharing your thoughts online anymore. If you want to impact your audience, grow your audience, and monetize your blog, there are a few things you need to do.
On top of this blog post checklist, I also have a big ol’ list of Facebook groups that allow you to promote your posts, so that you can get a bit more reach on your posts after you hit publish. You can find that Facebook group promo list right here.
THINGS YOU NEED TO DO TO EVERY BLOG POST BEFORE YOU HIT PUBLISH
There are a few important elements to every great blog post. You want it to be:
- Interesting and useful to your reader
- Easy to read (for Google and humans)
- Easy to share
Those are the big ones!
Make sure that each of your blog posts follow the guidelines outlined below, and you’ll be on your way to writing the best blog posts in your niche.
There are 9 important things you need to do to every blog post before you hit publish. Follow this guide to write content that people will read and share!
THING ONE: SOLID BLOG TITLE
Every great blog article starts with a great blog title that contains a keyword phrase.
In fact, a great blog title can help you to stand out in a sea of other posts online, whether you’re sharing in Facebook groups or being sought out on Google.
You want your blog title to be relevant and persuasive enough to incite a click.
It should describe a problem that you’re going to solve or a need you are going to fill. And it should persuade your reader to click on your link and read what you have to say!
Example: One of the most popular articles I ever wrote on this site goes by the blog title, How to Upload Your Blog Posts to Pinterest in Three Easy Steps
This blog post title is clearly interesting and helpful to people that want to figure out how to upload their blog posts on Pinterest. It reaches the reader personally by saying “YOUR BLOG POST” and it’s persuasive because it assures my reader that the process will be “THREE EASY STEPS.”
Always remember, interesting, persuasive, and helpful titles are best.
THING TWO: SIMPLE OUTLINE
Following some sort of outline for your blog posts helps you stay focused and organized when writing and publishing blog posts.
If you’ve ever read a long-winded diary-like blog post with no clear direction or purpose, you already know exactly what I’m talking about. Readers don’t typically enjoy that stuff.
Just think back to junior high English class.
Your blog posts should have an introduction, a body with detailed main points, and a clear conclusion.
The content should follow a consistent direction and it should be leading your reader from the starting point to the destination.
My outline usually looks something like this: open with an observation or personal anecdote. Present a problem that needs to be solved. Solve the problem in several small steps. Conclude with a positive affirmation about the solved problem. Invite my readers to comment on their experience.
You don’t need to create or follow a specific written outline if you don’t want to, but you should think of your blog posts like a navigation system for your reader.
You’re helping them get from A to B, and you need to keep the directions clear and simple so that your reader doesn’t get lost.
THING THREE: BREAK UP THE TEXT
When you’re writing your blog article, think about the posts that you read online.
What makes you keep reading an article and what makes you click out of a page without hesitation?
Readable blog posts are broken down into short paragraphs and separated with clear subheadings. This is also great for helping people find you through search engine optimization, which we’ll talk about next.
Anything that has 5+ long-winded sentences without a paragraph break is going to scare away your audience. Honestly, after 3-4 sentences, I’m ready for a change of pace via a new paragraph. When it comes to blog posts, several short paragraphs are always better than a huge block of text.
Along those lines, most readers want to get a feel for the content before actually committing to reading the entire article, and subheadings make this easier.
Even if your article is super long, you can use a few catchy subheadings to break up the text and make the content a lot less intimidating.
THING FOUR: OPTIMIZE THE HECK OUT OF IT
Optimizing your content for search engines is super important if you want people to FIND YOUR STUFF.
The greatest blog post in the world can get lost in a sea of other content if it isn’t properly optimized.
Search engine optimization (SEO), on-page SEO in particular, is the act of creating super specific content that is full of keywords that people are searching for on Google.
When your content is well optimized, people can type related search terms into a search engine and one of your posts has the potential to appear in the top ranked pages.
As an example, if you wrote about the best double stroller for twins, and someone typed those search terms into the search bar on Google, a well-optimized blog article will appear on the first few pages of results.
A lot of factors come into play for SEO, and it takes some time to get on Google’s good side and build your credibility as a rank-worthy website…so don’t despair. It will happen if you stay consistent and keep learning and implementing proper SEO strategies.
And when you’re feeling lost, just think about the words that YOU type into search engines when you’re searching for something. Then type those keywords into Google and review those first few articles on page one of search results.
Pay attention to the way they optimize their content.
Here are a few things to include in your blog posts:
- A blog title with keywords
- Subheadings with keywords
- Keywords and variations peppered naturally throughout
- Keywords in your URL and the alt descriptions for images (if possible)
- Content over 1,000 words
Yoast SEO is a great free tool to help you optimize your content for search engines. It walks you through a specific checklist for every single post and suggests edits for improvement.
It’s just a guide, so take the suggestions with a grain of salt! But it’s a good guide to help you get your keywords in order.
THING FIVE: ENCOURAGE ACTION BY ASKING QUESTIONS
By this point, you have a great blog title and an optimized blog post that is helpful to your readers…and now, we need to wrap up the article in a way that motivates your reader to do something.
Try ending your article with a specific question or call-to action (CTA).
Your call-to-action will depend on what you’re trying to accomplish with this blog post. Are you trying to get your readers to sign up for your email list? Join your Facebook group? Comment on your blog post?
Whatever the case may be, ASK YOUR READER to do something.
If I want my readers to comment on my blog post, I end my blog post with a simple request to do so. Do this, or do that.
- Comment below and tell me XYZ
- Pin this article to Pinterest for later
- Join my Facebook group
It’s simple but so effective! Try this in your next article and you’ll see what I mean.
THING SIX: INCLUDE A PINNABLE IMAGE
If you know me at all, you know how much I love Pinterest.
It’s great for blog traffic and for inspiration for everything under the sun. Every blog article that you write needs to be optimized for Pinterest.
Because many of the readers that come to your site want to save your article on Pinterest and then come back to read it at a later time (even if they never come back to read it, it’ll still live on their Pinterest profile forever).
Let’s say I come across your blog article on postpartum fitness, wedding hair styles, or getting out of student debt.
I love the article, I love your writing style. I’m saving a collection of similar articles to read and review when I have some down time, so I create a Pinterest board and I go to save your article there.
If you don’t have a pinnable image and a Pinterest-optimized article, I won’t be able to save that article for later. And you just missed out on a potentially huge pool of new blog readers on your website.
So, include a pinnable image on every single blog post.
You can create these images for free in Canva. They have an option for Pinterest graphics that are vertical and ready to design, download, and place in your blog post or directly onto the Pinterest platform.
When you add that pinnable image to your blog article, you’ll have the option to edit the alternative text (alt text) that is connected to the image.
Alt text is meant to describe the image itself, but if you can manage to incorporate a keyword here, it’s good to do that too.
You can also use a plugin like Tasty Pins or Grow by Mediavine to optimize your Pinterest description on your pin images.
THING SEVEN: CHOOSE A FEATURED IMAGE
Our content is done and now we’re ready to add a featured image and get this baby published.
Your featured image will be the image that appears at the top of your post and the little icon that appears next to your blog title on social media.
If you’re on WordPress .org (and you should be), the option to add a featured image will appear on the right side of your post editor. You’ll upload the image you want to use to your blog post editor and hit save.
Make sure to resize the image before uploading so that it isn’t a massive file!
Of course, be sure to include other applicable images within the content itself whenever necessary!
THING EIGHT: ACTIVATE SHARE BUTTONS
Every blog article should have the option to share across the reader’s social platforms. If someone likes your article and wants to share it online, they should have the option to do this quickly and easily.
These social shares help you to reach more people and grow your audience. They are super important, so make sure they are active on every single blog post.
I use the Grow by MediaVine plugin for my social share buttons, it’s free and easy to use!
Pro tip: don’t offer too many sharing options. 2-3 is enough.
THING NINE: PROOFREAD AND PUBLISH
Fun fact about me: I used to be an editor! I worked on websites, sales copy, and books…finding errors and improving readability.
It’s kind of my jam, and also something that I’m a total stickler about.
Our content needs to be easy to read and understand, and it should be free from errors (for the most part). An occasional mistake is bound to happen, so don’t beat yourself up. But take a few minutes to proofread and make sure your spelling and grammar is on point.
I try to do my proofreading before even pasting my article into WordPress (I create the content within my Google Drive account first, edit, and then transfer to WordPress when done)!
And that’s it!
Do these nine things and then hit publish. You now have an optimized blog post that is ready to read, share, and pin. Pretty sweet, right?
Keep in mind that the ultimate goal here is publishing helpful, relevant content that is optimized for search engines.
If you’re brand new to SEO, be sure to take this free masterclass on driving traffic to your blog from Google!