It’s important to have a list of things to double check in order to make your blog post the most effective it can be. I’ve put together a list of tips and questions you can ask yourself about every post that is put out. Not all of these tips need to be used on every blog post, but if there is the opportunity to use as many as possible it will make your posts more useful for your readers and for sharing. Every single one of these tips/questions is helpful and useful in improving your blog posts.
An effective and engaging post title that includes post keywords and encourages people to click on it
The post title is one of the most important parts of writing your post. This helps people decide if they want to read your blog post or not. The post title needs to be SEO friendly as well. It needs to have keywords so that it is easier to find in search engines.
Break up longer posts so that they are scannable
When breaking up longer posts into scannable sections, it lets readers scan the whole post and see if it’s useful for them. After scanning the post, they may go back and read the whole thing. Each section could be anywhere from 4 -6 sentences.
If a post is just large blocks of texts, it’s harder to read and it makes people not want to read it as much. If you divide the blocks up and put in sub-headlines to help divide the paragraphs up, it can make a big impact. The sub-headlines that include keywords makes your post more SEO friendly.
Start your first paragraph with strong keywords. Keywords near the top are weighted heavy for SEO. This will help your post be higher in the search engine. Getting your post on the first page of Google is great, too. More people will see your post and may want to read it as well.
Make your site “sticky” by linking internally
By linking to older posts on your blog, also known as deep linking, helps people to stay on your blog longer. This also lets people learn more about that particular topic as well. By exploring your site it increases your page views. So linking to other posts is something that should be happening a lot. When creating new posts, always be thinking about how you can relate that to an older post.
Use good anchor text
Anchor text is the visible portion of a link. For example in this link, Finding Your Niche, the words “finding your niche” is the anchor text. When you use strong words that are also keyword rich, as opposed to using “click here”, you are “casting an SEO vote” for the page you are linking to. You can also “vote” for external links as well. So for friends or a fellow blogger colleagues, you could use a positive SEO vote by using rich keywords. For sites that you don’t want to cast a positive vote for you can use words like “click here” or “read this for more info.”
Encourage comment interactions
There are a few ways to encourage comment interactions: asking a question at the end, inviting people to leave comments, and/or being opened ended. Sometimes people need to have a little nudge towards making a comment. Encouraging comments also grows the community in your blog. Responding to comments also encourages readers to comment more because they see that you are interacting with fellow readers and them.
Add SEO images and alt-tags.
Adding keyword rich text to your images makes them searchable and more likely to be found in Google, rather than just using “IMG_1003.” If someone is making an image search and the title of the image is something other than “IMG_1003,” it will pop up. In addition, adding alt-tags to your images adds the description when the image is pinned to Pinterest. A lot of people don’t mind using the description that is originally there especially if it’s a good one. Filling your alt-tag with keyword rich text is helpful for Pinterest searches. For example, you could use something like below for your alt-tag.
The Essential Elements of a Blog Post | Here are my 16 tips for creating a great blog post. You don’t want to forget these tips when writing your next blog post. Click through for 16 tips on making your blog posts great.
Above is the description you will find when pinning any picture from this post.
I’ve pointed out below where you can add your alt-tag information with WordPress.
Include a share-able quote or excerpt
I’m not always the best at doing this, but including a quote from the post or small excerpt in the form of a picture is a great way to use the application, Click to Tweet. If you have WordPress, there is a click to tweet plugin. I think Click to Tweet is a great program, but what not a lot of people share when suggesting it is that it is freemium program. You get 5 free links to share per month or unlimited per month for $5 a month. It’s about the price of one coffee per month. The Click to Tweet plugin is easy to use and a great way to easily integrate Click to Tweets into your blog posts. This also makes your blog posts easier to share for your readers. If you don’t want to pay for Click to Tweet, I suggest at the end of the month add Click to Tweets to your most popular posts from that month to make them even more shareable.
Create a pinnable image
Pinnable images are vertical, include the title of the post on them or a quote from the article. Pinnable images have alt-tags that are filled in attached to them. You want to make sure your image is a representation of your brand and not just something you make to get more pins. Once people start recognizing your style, you’ll get more pins.
Proofreading is essential to not having misspelt words and incorrect grammar in your posts. Reading the post out loud can help with flow. Some people like to print out their posts to make sure they completely free of error. I like using the program Grammarly to help in finding misspelt words and grammar issues because I’m not the best writer.
Double check the SEO with a plugin.
I use the SEO by Yoast plugin. It turns green when your post is SEO-friendly, if it’s not it will be yellow or red. It will give hints on how to make the post more SEO friendly. That is one of the reasons that I enjoy this SEO plugin so much. The SEO by Yoast plugin is the blogging industry standard for SEO. I highly suggest using it, if you have WordPress.
Make sure that all the links are working properly. As a reader, I’m always disheartened when I click on a link and it doesn’t work, especially if the post I’m reading is new. If you use WordPress, the Broken Link Checker plugin is a great go to. It will constantly check your site to see if links are working properly.
Create an easy URL
When making your url for the post, be sure it’s easy to type in for people and that it’s SEO friendly. A simple post URL makes it easier to share and for people to remember it. If your post ends up having a long URL, using a site like bit.ly to shorten it when you share is a great idea.
Call to Action
Ending your post with a call to action for your audience helps to keep them on the site longer and it adds the power of suggestion for them to do something on your site. What would you like your reader to do at the end of a post? Buy an ebook, a product or sign up for a course? Read another post? Leave a comment? Sign up for a newsletter? You want to keep your reader on your blog longer by suggestions for them to do something.
Don’t write what you skip
I read a lot of blogs, I skim a lot of blogs, too. Don’t write what you would find skippable. Don’t feel like your posts need to be filled with filler, just to get a longer post. Express what you need with only the words you need. If you happen to write a short post that day, it’s a short post. Let it be.
Promote your content
Create a schedule to promote your content. If you don’t promote your content, people won’t be able to find you. It can be awkward at first to promote your content, but it’s needed to grow your readership. Don’t be shy sharing what you have written to the world. You have something to say and someone out there needs to hear it. Use programs like Meet Edgar, Buffer, Hootsuite or CoShedule to schedule out your post shares. But remember not to fill your social media profiles with just your content, share what you find interesting and helpful as well.
Ask the ultimate question
Before the publish button is hit don’t forget to ask yourself – Is this post helpful/useful for my reader?
This list has a lot of information to remember, some of it is inherent in writing well, but some of it needs to be in a checklist. I’ve added some of this content, along with other checklist items into WordPress with the Pre-Publish Post Checklist plugin. I find this plugin really useful because if I hit publish before all the items are checked off. WordPress asks me if I still want to publish and it helps me not to forget something I wanted to do with the post. The checklist can be made with any items you want and it’s optional for the checklist to remind you if you finished them all or not.
What’s one thing you never forget when writing a blog post?