This organized blog post planning printable will help you be more intentional about your content and increase the potential to create a viral blog post!
[I haven't written a post about blogging in a while, but I've been using a little cheat sheet that has been helping me be more intentional about my blog posts, so I thought I would share! If you're not a blogger, feel free to skip this post! I promise I will have more organization and home decor goodies soon!]
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How to Plan a Viral Blog Post + a Free Blog Post Planning Printable
It's hard to believe that I've been blogging for more than 5 years now-- that really flew by! After writing hundreds of posts during that time, I've gotten into a pretty steady routine when it comes to creating new blog posts.
Now I am the first one to admit that routines are a good thing, and I love that my post-writing routine helps to keep me on track, but recently I've started to feel the need to become more intentional about my blog posts.
First and foremost, I wanted to make sure that every post I wrote was helpful for people in some way. I also wanted to make sure that my posts were getting maximum SEO benefits by incorporating strong keywords and linking to relevant posts, both within my own site and externally. I wanted to have a more solid plan for my graphics and images from the get go so that I didn't sit down to write my post and realize that I needed more photos. (Not that I've ever done that before... 😉 ) And I wanted to do a better job at promoting my posts across my social media channels.
So as I usually do any time I want to get organized or become more intentional about something, I made a printable... and of course I'm sharing it with you as well!
This printable spans two pages. I like to print mine on the front and back of a single sheet of paper so that I have all of my info in one place. I'll walk through each of the sections on the sheet to give you a better idea of what I intended for each spot, but feel free to use it however you'd like!
Topic: On the first line, I list my post idea, the topic I'm planning on writing about.
How will this post help people?: I had gotten into the habit of writing about whatever idea popped into my head, but I often didn't take the time to think about how my topic would most benefit my readers! I wanted to define the ways in which my post could be helpful from the get go so that everything else I did worked to meet that purpose.
Major Points: In this section I try to write down the major areas I want to make sure I hit so that I don't forget anything when I actually sit down to write the post.
Title Brainstorm: The longer I blog, the more I realize just how important post titles can be! I try to brainstorm several options for each post so that my title is both catchy and searchable, incorporating important keywords.
And speaking of keywords...
Keywords: I've been working on SEO (Search Engine Optimization) a lot lately, so I've been getting more into keyword research and trying to phrase my titles and posts in such a way that they are easily searchable. I list possible keywords that I want to rank for in this section of the worksheet.
Keyword Rich Description: I start out each post with a 1-2 sentence description that summarizes my post so that readers get a bird's eye view of what is to come, and I try to incorporate some of my aforementioned keywords into that description to further improve my SEO.
Content Upgrade: Is there something extra I can offer my readers that will help them to understand my blog post more clearly and that will allow me to invite people to become one of my VIP newsletter subscribers? I don't have a unique content upgrade for every post, but I try to add one where it makes sense. If I have a printable pack, for example, I will ask people to opt in to receive it via email. I also have several free email courses that I can mention if they are related to my post.
Related Hashtags: Honestly, I don't always fill out this section. But since Pinterest is recommending that we use hashtags now, if I happen to be scrolling through Pinterest while I'm doing some keyword research and notice some commonly used hashtags that would be relevant to my post, I will jot them down in this section. I can then also utilize some of these same hashtags on Instagram or Twitter.
Internal Links to...: When I link my related blog posts together, I am helping Google create a "web" of my content, allowing them to see what goes together and showing them how to navigate my site. In each blog post I write, I try to link to related posts to get the SEO benefits from Google and also to help my readers find additional content that they may be interested in.
Internal Links from...: I can give my newer posts some immediate credibility and "SEO juice" if I go back into my old posts and link to them from there. Sure, it takes a few extra minutes, but it will be beneficial for my readers and for SEO purposes.
Affiliate Links: Are there any products or services that I can link to with an affiliate link to add a monetization component to my blog post?
Other External Links: Linking to related content on other sites can also have SEO benefits and be beneficial to my readers because they can gain a more thorough understanding of the topic at hand. I try to link to outside sources organically when it makes sense; I don't force it or spend a ton of time searching for external links.
Images & Videos
Blog Post: I try to write down any photos or videos that I want to be sure to include in my post so that I don't forget anything!
Pinterest: I've always just done one image that is specifically geared toward Pinterest, but I want to get into the habit of creating at least two so I can split test and figure out which images are performing best.
Instagram: Not everything I write about is necessarily "pretty," so when I'm coming up with a post, I want to make sure I get creative and take a photo (or several!) that relates to my post but will also fit in well with my feed on Instagram. I've also been trying to be more consistent with Instagram stories, so sometimes I will make a separate graphic that I can feature there.
Facebook: Similarly, the images that do really well on Facebook are not necessarily the same as the images I would put in my blog post, so sometimes I need to make separate images for that platform, and I'll list them in this box.
Other Promotion Ideas: Finally, I gave myself space to jot down any additional ways I may want to promote my post so that I can create graphics or write copy for those as well.
So that's the blog post planning printable I've been using to try to be more intentional about my blog posts! While we can't guarantee that any of our content will turn into a viral post, if we're really intentional about what we put out there, we will have a much higher rate of success. And most importantly, we will help more people, which is why most of us love blogging in the first place!
If you're looking for more ways to step up your content game, these posts can help with that:
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