My 40 Point Blogging Checklist Every Blogger Needs to Read
Writing a blog post seems easy enough. Login to your admin area, ‘add article or post’ and start typing. There isn’t much to it, or…. is there?
I have to say I’ve been writing blog posts for clients for about 10 years.
Over the years a lot of things have changed, but along the way, I’ve always used a checklist for my client posts. I thought it would be beneficial for other bloggers to check out my list.
(I try to use the same checklist for myself but to be honest, by the time I get a post done, I just want to publish it, I’m working on it, but clients always come first.)
I have experience with SEO, but even more important I have access to SEO experts that I can ask questions.
I’ve been a reader at Problogger and Copyblogger for years as well, and I read those sites as much as I can.
Once Hubspot started up, they began providing a lot of information on blogging as well, and naturally I follow them too. All of this knowledge has fed my blog checklist, and I hope you find it useful.
To start with, let’s prepare for our blog post – This is very important!!
- A keyword– With today’s SEO I don’t use this too much. Maybe in the title and an H tag, then through the content where it fits in organically.
- A topic– The topic is different, a lot of people don’t understand this. For example, your keyword may be ‘dog tags’ but the topic could either be: Dog tags for soliders, How to decorate with dog tags, or Dog tags for your pet.
- A persona– Who will you have reading the post? Just like the topic, you are going to write differently for a post written for soliders, decorators and pet owners.
- A Call to action– What offer do you have to give readers? Keep this in mind because you can tease readers through the content to make the call to action more effective.
I like to have this all prepared before I write because it makes it a lot easier to hit my target when I know who I am writing to, and the call to action I will use to get them to go to the next step.
Write your post:
- Is the content show personality?
- Is it conversational?
- Does it provide real value to the reader?
- Does it answer a question, issue or other topic your readers need or want to know?
- Have you used a stat, quote or other factual item to discuss?- Not necessary but useful to engage readers.
- Re-read it, make sure it makes sense
- Use spell check
- Have another person edit it- most people do not catch their own mistakes
Format your post:
- Short paragraphs– max 4 lines each- this makes a big difference on how likely a reader is to stay on the site and finish reading, large paragraphs look long and difficult to skim.
- Headlines from the content
- Bullets for lists– makes it easy reading for visitors
- Links to external and internal sources further explaining points made, and resources
- Bolds and underlines– to make certain things stick out to skimming readers
- 1-2 pictures– with titles and descriptions for Pinterest
- Pinterest photo with text on photo- if at all possible
A lot of people skip formatting but it’s very important. About half of the internet are skim readers, they go through and decide if they want to read the entire post, then go back through.
You have to entice them with the bolding, underlines, colored text, quotes, headlines, and pictures. This makes a big difference in how many people will read your content, and click thru, think bounce rate!
SEO the post– I know I said I don’t do a lot of this, but I do some, even if it isn’t useful, because it helps me keep myself organized, and some search engines might care to have this information.
- Title has keyword
- H tag with the keyword
- Keyword bolded in content
- Keyword in the URL (and the URL short and easy to decipher from other content)
- Appropriate tags
- Meta keyword- usually 1 or 2
- Meta description
- Picture Alt Tag with the keyword
Publish your post– Once everything else is done, you can hit publish. I do recommend you see what time is best for your readers, see what time you are more likely to have more people on your site.
Promote your post– I’ve written about how it is important to market your posts once they are live, it increases visits, social shares, etc. Very important, let’s dig in!
Automate these steps-
- Email going out about new post to subscribed readers
- Blog post going immediately to your Triberr tribes
- Have your feed published to your company page on Linkedin
Socialize your post– I don’t recommend automating this process, there is so much you can do on each social media site that can’t be automated. Please keep in mind, I do not recommend sharing to any network you are not active on.
- ScreenShot Your Post for Sharing on Facebook and Pinterest
- Share to Facebook– use popular hashtags for your industry, (go look at other popular fanpages to find them), tag in anyone that you might have mentioned, and use a picture to post with your link.I would also ask people to share the post.Share to any groups in Facebook you are active in, that allow this promotion.
- Share to Twitter– use Hootsuite or Buffer, and write 5 different tweets all with a different quotes from the post. Make sure to use 1-2 hashtags (for this post I would use #bloggers, #blogging), mention anyone you included in the post, and use “Please Retweet”
- Share to Pinterest– Pin the best photo, make sure it has the proper description and put it on the board that is most related with a large following
- Share on Google+ Always use a comment about the post, such as:”Have you ever wondered what each blog post should have, here’s a checklist I’ve perfected over the last 10 years, what do you think of it?I’d appreciate feedback, this is my baby and my process for client posts!”Consider adding the post to any related communities you are part of and participate in. + anyone who is mentioned and use hashtags (or let G+ designate them for you).
- Share to Linkedin– This will depend on your topic, I encourage anyone with a B2B topic (that means selling to businesses) to share to Linkedin.Go through your groups and share your link to the groups you know accept these shares.It helps to include a short intro and description of the post, not just directly sharing the link as this is marked as spam often.
- Share to Stumbleupon– While the traffic may not convert as well as other traffic, it’s a very simple process to submit your link to Stumbleupon.I recommend asking a friend or two to stumble it as well. Make sure you assign tags and add a description. It’s best to choose the most specific topic as well, as people can get quite picky.
- Share to Other Communities– Do you have skype groups, yahoo groups, forums or other websites you are active on? If your topic lines up with it, you should share your new content on those sites as well. Let people you know support you by reading and sharing your posts.
Can you believe this is just an introduction to what I do for content distribution? For any client posts I do everything on their social media accounts and my own, plus much more depending on the blog post and their unique needs.
With a blogging checklist like this, you can understand why it takes so much time to put together a blog post together for myself or clients. It’s a very time consuming process, but I’m lucky, I enjoy it.
$350 Special Offer for My Readers– I’ve recently raised my prices to $100 per post to do everything above. As a reader you can get $30 off per post. 5 blog posts for just $350.
I will even upload to your site, choose photos, take the time to share your posts on related websites. If you want to take advantage of this offer, email me today. I will keep this offer open until 5 readers have taken me up on it.
Hurry and Order Your Blog Posts Now!
Sign up for my newsletter as I will be sending out a printable checklist for this post tomorrow.
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My list has 16 items, specific to the formatting of one of my blogs. As I stare at it, I realize that my last two posts missed an important item on the list! More power to you if you can keep track of thsi much longer list.
It’s much easier when it is for clients. When it is for me, I might skip one here and there. But it’s a good list to have, to know what I am missing or skipping.
Excellent post. I agree completely about not automating and also not posting to networks where you aren’t active.
I’d forgotten the feed to my LinkedIn company page!
The only one I would add is when you think you’ve finished, don’t publish. Wait a couple of hours or if you can wait till the next day. Then read it back to yourself. It’s amazing how many mistakes I find when I do that or how many improvements I can add.
It’s a great idea to come back and read it again later, if you can. That’s why I have someone else read it, for editing. I might edit to include that. See you on Linkedin 🙂
When you say to “screenshot” the post for sharing on Facebook and Pinterest, what exactly are you taking a screenshot of? The headline and above-the-fold, or what?
Take a screenshot of either. It depends on your followers which will work best. Generally longer ones work nicely. Thank you for commenting.
I initially started blogging for my small community of students, but now I’m trying to see if it will work for marketing my music. I’ve printed off your checklist and will try to implement as many of your suggestions as I can. Do you think this is a good forum for artists?
Absolutely, I think it will help any industry that wants to start blogging for traffic and educating their followers and visitors. Think about what you have to offer and then provide the information they need.
Thank you for visiting,
I’ve been (trying) my hand at blogging for about a year and a half–I still have so much to learn–mainly, what exactly do I have to offer–that is always my challenge–as a graphic designer, creating logos and websites etc, for local businesses, I find the WHAT to be the challenge–this blog was REALLY helpful with the HOW TO..thanks!
Thank you so much for commenting on my blog. I’m glad you like the checklist. I want to say, the best advice I’ve heard about blog content is to answer questions your visitors will have. Being that you do graphics I’m sure there are a LOT of ideas right there. If not, let me know and I will come check out your site and give you some ideas. The printable checklist is coming soon.
Good list Mary, Actually following these tips you mentioned above will definitely will improve your commitment towards blogging and surely it will contribute you positively.
What a great list and thanks for sharing with the BizSugar community. I’m wondering. When you socialize your blog, what channels give you greatest success? I’m asking if there are certain sites on your list that you have personally found more useful than others. Any ideas why? I’d love if you could share your thoughts in the BizSugar comment section so that all our members could benefit.
I loved the article. I knew plenty of those tips already, but still learned a lot. I’m subscribing!
Thank you Nathan, glad you enjoyed it. I look forward to seeing you around- follow me on Twitter if you can 🙂