Ultimate Checklist to Use Before You Publish Any Blog Post | In Search of Sheila

Ultimate Checklist to Use Before You Publish Any Blog Post

March 2, 2017

You put a lot of time and effort into creating your blog content and you want it to get the attention it deserves. In order to get people to your site and loving your stuff, it's important to spend a few extra minutes to make sure everything is top-notch. By following these 10 essential steps, you will boost your traffic, make readers stay on your page longer, and ensure that your content is credible, engaging, and shareable. There's also a free printable checklist you can download that lists each step so it's easy to refer to when you write your posts. Lets get this party started!

10 things you must do before you publish any blog post

1. Click-Worthy Title

First things first, you need a catchy title that will get people interested in finding out more. Your title is essentially the most important part of your post, because it determines whether someone will actually read it or not!
  • The best kinds of headlines are lists and user-addressed titles such as "3 Best Brownie Recipes" and "23 Things You Need To Do Before You Die"
  • Include key words or keyword phrases in your title so it's more likely to pop up on search engines
  • Place one power word before your keyword phrase to help your title stand out and make an emotional connection with your readers. Examples include "free," "how to," "odd," and "amazing"
  • Keep the length between 8-12 words. The shorter, the better! 
  • Headline Analyzer is a great tool to use to measure up your working titles

2. High Quality and Relevant Images

Face it: we're a visual society and people love aesthetically pleasing photographs that evoke emotion. Attaching high quality images that relate to your post will make your site look more professional and your words more credible.
  • Be sure to either use YOUR OWN photos, hire a photographer, or find free-use stock photos on sites like UnsplashCreative MarketPixaby, and StockSnap.io, which have a range of free and priced photos that are totally legal to use
  • Use bright, clear, and crisp images
  • Make sure the image is relevant to your post so your readers connect to what you're saying and don't get confused
  • Your image should be "on-brand," meaning that is fits with your blog theme and target audience
  • SEO-ify your images by including alt-tags so it gets recognized in image searches 
how to use alt-tags in your blog post

3. SEO-Friendly

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. In order to rank high on search engine results (which means organic traffic!) you want your page to be optimized.
  • Use keywords or keyword phrases in your title, URL, and throughout the main text 2-3 times to make your post searchable. 
  • To find relevant keywords, do a search on Google or Pinterest for a relevant theme to see what auto-populates.

  • Add alt-tags to your images to make them searchable
  • Include meta description to provide a concise summary

4. Add Affiliate Links and a Disclosure Statement

If done strategically, affiliate linking is a great way to monetize from your blog. You just want to make sure you aren't sneaky with them. Be up front with your readers and you'll gain their trust.
  • Keep affiliate links relevant to your content
  • Don't go overboard with links
  • Include a disclosure statement at the beginning of your post
  • Statement should be clear and concise

5. Link to Old Posts

Always link yourself to similar blog posts when you can. Adding internal links is not only great for self promotion and keeping readers on your page longer, but they will also help them find related topics they might be interested in.
  • Integrate into the body itself 
  • Add a related posts section at the end of your post 
  • Install a related post widget below your body text
  • Update old posts with links to newer ones

Want to make sure you have the perfect post?

Download your FREE checklist of 10 things you must do before you hit publish.

Powered by ConvertKit

6. Include a Call to Action at the End

You want you readers feeling informed and wanting more when they finish reading your post. An awesome CTA will provoke an immediate response, whether it's by leaving a comment, clicking on a related post, or subscribing to your blog!
  • Encourage your readers to leave a comment by asking a relevant and engaging question
  • Promote a freebie or product
  • Add buttons asking readers to subscribe to your email list or follow your social accounts

7. Make Sure Your Posts Are Easy to Read

People like well-organized and scannable content to get as much information in the least amount of time. Long blocks of text can overwhelm and cause people to hit the close button.
  • Break up text into short paragraphs and sections with headings (h1, h2, h3)
  • Use numbered or bulleted lists (oh hey--that's what I'm doing!)
  • Your font size should be 14 to 18 point 
  • Use black text on white-background (CRUCIAL!)

8. Proofread and Test Links

Seems like a no-brainer, but a post with quality information, but careless spelling mistakes and broken links will lower your credibility.
  • Read through a couple times to check for typos and grammar mistakes
  • Read it out loud to yourself to make sure it flows. This really helps!
  • Have someone else read your post--another set of eyes will often find things you missed
  • Double check all links

9. Create a Sharable Pinterest Photo

Pinterest is a hot-spot for gaining traffic to your site. Having an eye-catching photo with text that links to your site is a recipe for success.
  • Make sure the image is in vertical format and aim for a resolution of 735 x 1102 pixels
  • Include your title or a relevant phrase on the image to grab readers' attention and give them something to expect
  • Create 2 or more graphics per post to up your odds of reaching different audiences
  • Hide Pinterest images to avoid a cluttered post. See this post to learn how

10. Include Social Sharing Buttons

Having social media icons so people can share your post is a great way to boost traffic. Many people follow blogger's social accounts to rely on updates!
  • Include sharing buttons at the end of your post and follow icons on your sidebar
  • Make sure to share your post on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, StumbleUpon, Google+ and any other platforms you use 
  • Stay organized with scheduling programs like BufferHootsuite, and CoSchedule

What is something that you always do before you publish your blog posts? I'd love for you to add to my list down below in the comments. And make sure to grab your free checklist to always have on hand when you're editing your posts!

Want to make sure you have the perfect post?

Download your FREE checklist of 10 things you must do before you hit publish.

Powered by ConvertKit

Checklist of10 things you must do before you publish your blog post

Post a Comment

Copyright © In Search of Sheila
Design by Fearne