Writing a blog post seems simple enough, right? You decide on a topic, write about it, check for spelling and grammar errors, and send it out into the world where people then come flocking from the ends of the earth to read your brilliant post. Well, not so much. Sometimes a post needs some help catching on and reaching as many people as possible. During the past few years that I’ve been blogging, I’ve developed a 10 point blog post checklist so my posts can be as searchable, relevant, and helpful as possible.
Because I thought it would be more helpful to show you an actual blog post to demonstrate my points rather than just tell you about them, I put together a little video so you can see exactly how I incorporate each item. You can also get a printable checklist of the 10 items below.
You can see the home binder post I referenced in the video here.
So to recap:
1. Title– Make sure your title is compelling and clear. You’ll want to use key words in your title and URL to make your post more searchable.
2. Images– Update old images and edit new images so they are bright, crisp, and clear. Create a vertical image for Pinterest– bonus points if it is a “branded” image that matches the other Pinterest images on your site!
3. SEO– Include key words organically throughout your post. Also be sure to give your images a compelling and key word rich alt tag so that they appear in search results on Pinterest.
4. Content– Content should be thorough and helpful for readers and meet a need for them. Can someone replicate your results using the information you provide? Or do you need to add more details?
5. Short Paragraphs– Long blocks of text can be intimidating to blog readers, so break up your paragraphs into short, manageable chunks.
6. Link to Related Posts– You want readers to hop around to different posts on your site and stay a while, so be sure to link to other content you have that is relevant to the post they’re reading. Interlinking your content also has SEO benefits.
7. Link to Relevant Content Written by Others– If you know of a related article or service that would be helpful to your readers, link to it in your post. Be sure to check back every so often to make sure outbound links still work.
8. Affiliate Links– Don’t spam your readers with unrelated affiliate links, but if there are trustworthy products or services that are applicable to your post, be sure to include links to them for your readers. (Always disclose affiliate links.)
9. Opt-In– One of the most important things you can do for your blog is to grow your email list. Create a helpful freebie (PDF tutorial, resource library, checklist, cheat sheet, email course, etc.) that is related to your post, and ask readers to subscribe to your email list in order to receive it.
(Hint: You don’t have to make a brand new opt-in for each post. I have 3-4 main freebies, each one of which relates to one of the topics I write about often on my blog. This makes it easy to include a relevant opt-in incentive in many of my blog posts without doing a ton of extra work every time.)
10. Pin It– Once you’ve updated an old post to include the information I listed above or written a new post that is awesome and includes everything I mentioned, get the word out about your post! Pinterest has been the most beneficial way for me to do this, but you can also share it on your other social channels and relevant sharing sites.
Writing a successful blog post is definitely more complicated than it initially appears, but including these 10 essentials has really helped me grow my traffic, engage more readers, and improve the overall look and feel of my site, so I’ll chalk that up as a win!