Blogging is hard and there’s no doubt about- especially creating engaging content!
Creating that epic blog post that’s engaging and drives organic traffic requires you to put in your blood, sweat, tears and rubbing the lucky rabbit’s food and more. Don’t forget all the must elements from content formatting to grammar check, and content optimization and more that make your blog post a success.
However, we know that remembering all those do’s and don’ts can be quite overwhelming. Thus, as a small gift to all you fellow blogger and budding blogger, I’ve compiled a small yet comprehensive blog post checklist that will make your blogging experience a whole lot easier.
Side Note: It’s not really possible to remember all of these, so I recommend to bookmark one of the best blogging checklists. I would have said print it as well, but I want you to avoid using paper as much as possible.
You can use this checklist to improve your SEO of your blog post. I am using exact same checklist to get higher ranking in Google for my blog posts.
So, let’s begin the most extensive pre-publishing checklist for bloggers.
1. Identify your audience
Understanding your target audience makes it easier for you to create content that will connect directly with the people who will respond to your blogs.
2. Keyword Optimization on blog content
How many keywords to optimize your blog for is a debatable subject. Just as experts do it, it is advised to use only one keyword for optimization. Instead, use the related keywords in your blog content for better SERP ranking.
Don’t forget the golden rule of not using too many keywords and one keyword too many times. Also, you must integrate the keywords in the content naturally. Stuffing keywords will have an adverse effect on your rankings.
3. Use Keywords in the right places
One of the most important things to remember while writing marketing content is using your focus keyword and related keywords, as naturally as possible within the blog copy. This ensures that the readability of the blog is in line with the SEO standards. Overusing the keywords can harm your SEO efforts and can result in Google penalizing your blog site.
So, strike a balance.
Secondly, to optimize your blog post for your focus keyword, you must use the keyword in the below places:-
- The meta title of the page
- Meta Description of the page
- The blog URL
- First paragraph of the blog or in first 100 words
- At least one sub-heading as the header tag
- Image alt text
4. Use related keywords AKA LSI
Along with the focus keyword, you should find and use keywords that are related to your focus keyword. For example, if your focus keyword is Restaurant, then (latent semantic indexing) LSI keywords would food joints, restaurants near me, an Asian food restaurant near me (cuisine specific) and more. Sprinkle these alternatives and synonyms all over your article.
5. Don’t steal content
Stealing content from other websites is a big taboo, not only amongst writers but even by search engines as plagiarized content can affect your search rankings.
6. Write for an eighth-grade reading level
It is common knowledge to always write content that is simple and easy to read. Avoid unnecessary jargon. A good rule of thumb is to believe that you are writing for an 8th grader and avoid complex sentence structure.
7. Break up big paragraphs
Digital content should always be skimmable, so while writing blogs ensure that you don’t fill it up with large paragraphs. Instead split the content with proper subheading and pointers. You should consider highlighting important information.
8. Hyperlink Internal Pages
Remember to hyperlink relevant keywords to other published internal pages on your website.
9. Provide Proper Sources
Giving credit and adding appropriate outbound links to other high-quality websites also establishes subject authority.
Call to Actions are important to let your reader know what they need to do next. All marketing content is created with a goal in mind and CTAs are the way to usher your audience towards that goal.
11. Display your featured image
There’s no doubt that images add flair to your blogs. So make sure that you at least add a featured image in the blog. This image can also be utilized for social sharing.
12. Optimize your image for SEO
Make sure that you use your focus keyword in the image’s Alt Tag. This will add to your blog’s SEO efforts. You should all add your focus keyword in the image file name and title in the CMS such as WordPress. Image SEO helps you rank faster as it is less competitive at this moment.
13. Perform a final check
- Bloggers often make spelling or grammar mistakes while writing. We all make mistakes, but by double-checking your blog copy either manually or with tools like Hemingway and Grammarly, you can significantly reduce those spelling and grammar errors.
- Double-check your headings and subheadings.
- Proofread your blog URL or perma-link (ensure that your keyword is placed correctly as well.
- Check if all the hyperlinks are working and ensure that all outbound links open in a different window.
14. Select the correct post author/bio
Chances are you are the only one writing and publishing on your blog and might not have to worry about selecting the correct author and bio. However, if you allow guest blogging or have multiple authors on your blog, ensure that you have selected the correct author for the correct blog.
15. Choose your categories
Blog categories help you organize and bifurcate your content. This makes it easier for your followers to find the blog category they want to ready about. For example on VikenPatel.com I have divide the content into different categories like Content Tips, WordPress Tips, How to SEO, Online Marketing Tips, etc.
Similarly, you need to assign your blog into relevant categories or create a new one if the blog topic is new.
16. Enable/disable comments
Depending on the type of blog you might want to enable or disable community comments. Before publishing, ensure that your comment selection is set to how you like.
17. Setup publish and last modified date
Most content management systems like WordPress allow you to schedule your blog. Unless you are one of those amateurs that publish as soon as they create a blog, you will need to schedule your blog. Select the publish date and time as per your blog calendar.
Every blog post has published a date available on the page. Instead of adding a published date, you can either change it to the last modified date or keep the published date add a line in your blog saying “This post was last updated on 25th Oct 2019.”
This way you can intimate Google that your content is updated recently and it will do well in SEO.
There you go!
That’s the awesome checklist that I personally follow. It helps us ensure that the blogs we publish for you are accurate, helpful and a fun read for you. You can follow this or customize it to make your version of the extensive blog checklist.
Starting a blog is easy but constantly working on blog to get result is little difficult. However, if you are consistence putting in all your knowledge, you will surely do well in blogging. Build your own way to succeed.
In case, we missed anything on the checklist, share in the comments below.