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10 Key Points to Remember in an Effective Blog Writing Checklist

Blog Writing Checklist Ideas

So you got that blog post published. You sent it out on your Twitter, Facebook and whatever else social networks, but you’re not getting as many clicks or visits? Did you remember to cross off all the points on your blog writing checklist?

What? No list?

Well, if you are like me, then you probably don’t remember everything, all the time.  This is why I have a checklist I use when I write my blog posts. It’s just a simple reminder of the points I need to check off before I hit that publish button.

I mean really…have you published something and remembered that you didn’t do everything you needed to? Yes, that’s me. So that’s why I have a list, but it’s not a color-coded list…well not yet.

10 Points for a Blog Writing Checklist

So for you, my not remembering everything all the time friend, checkout these 10 key points for an effective blog writing checklist:

- Headline – The first thing a reader sees is the headline. Make it compelling – give the reader a reason to click on your link. There are TONS of blog posts published everyday; why would I click on yours?

After you write for the reader, look at SEO. If needed, write a separate headline for your title tag. Try to put your keywords up front if possible. Make sure you don’t go past 70 characters (with spaces) in your headline.

- Intro – They clicked on your headline – now what? Does your introduction have a hook or benefit to your reader? For example try offering up a hard-hitting question or maybe a statistic that relates to the subject of your post.

- Spell check – Really? No matter what software you write your post in, make sure you do a spell check. Enough said.

- Grammar – Now I am not saying you need to have a professional look at your post, but use something to check your grammar. Word has a basic grammar checker and look at After the Deadline.

Not everyone is an English major, but cut out the passive voice and common mistakes like: then or than, to or too…you get the picture, right?

- Image – Even with a well-written post, a picture is a good idea. Look to include a photo that’s relevant to your post. For instance: you wrote a post on email marketing – look at a photo about email…duh! Remember to link to the owner of the photo and add a description to the alt property of the photo.

- Readability – Don’t you hate it when you click through to a post and there’s a GIANT or multiple GIANT blocks of text? Don’t give your reader a migraine and another reason to leave your blog! Remember, blog writing is still writing.

Add subheadings to emphasize different areas in your post – this also helps with scanners…it’s proven that Internet readers are scanners. Remember to keep your paragraphs around 3-4 sentences while going to a new paragraph for changes in thought.

- Links – A blog post without links is like a painting that uses only one color. Not only does it help readers find other posts on your blog, it helps with SEO.

When adding that link, ensure you have key anchor text phrases picked out. For instance: if you link to a post on resources for content marketing, make sure that link goes to a relevant resource on content marketing.

- Call to action – What will your call to action be? This is a good time to refer to your blogging editorial calendar and check what is the purpose of your post. Is it to drive more traffic? Add more subscribers to your blog or newsletter? Post a comment and start a conversation?

No matter what the purpose is, have a call to action (CTA) and tell your reader what you want them to do next.

There are other things that you could add to your blog writing checklist, but I have tried to cover the most touched on areas. I know it helps me out when I am writing out blog posts because I am such a noodle head – I need things written down in front of me or I will forget them!

Did I miss anything? What would you add to this list? What’s on your blog writing checklist?

Photo credit: muffet



Join The Conversation

  • Jack Scott's picture
    Apr 8 Posted 5 years ago Jack Scott

    This is excellent advice about form and structure. My own blog is successful because I write around a number of themes that have attracted a loyal following. I try not to blog about random subjects that might confuse my readers. Works for me.

    Jack Scott

  • Sep 8 Posted 5 years ago fernando f | co... (not verified)

    I think the most important is the call to action. when writing a post need to invite readers to visit what we offer, to put into practice what we say to learn, gain experience. in blogs where I write, I'm focusing on inviting them to do something. Also the title gets a lot of attention when you are in google would be better with a more attractive title, a title that catches your attention. very good information and thanks!

     

  • Jul 1 Posted 5 years ago Hafter Holtic (not verified)

    I just started blogging. I agree with all that you have said. Right now, I'm gonna lay the whole emphasis on content. 

    I'm gonna follow the checklist you have provided. It'll take some time for me to learn about SEO though.

     

    ---------

    http://idecide-berightthere.blogspot.com/

  • Mar 31 Posted 6 years ago David Marks (not verified)

    Let us look at the quality of articles first. Writing for quality will allow you to create unique content that readers will want to finish reading and will be helped by your article. When you write for quality content you are looking to help your reader, but you have to be careful to leave them wanting more or you will lose out on what you are really after, which is traffic to your website.

  • Mar 30 Posted 6 years ago David Marks (not verified)

    Bear in mind that there are hundreds of thousands and even millions of articles published out there; you have to make your own piece stand out among the numerous ones out there.

     

  • Jan 18 Posted 6 years ago David Marks (not verified)

    your list is very informative and useful, it is true that readers judge your post base on the header and intro. if it doesn't look appealing they will leave.

  • Nov 16 Posted 6 years ago Eric Siegmann (not verified)

    Thanks for the post, George.  It inspired me to revisit and update my checklist.  You covered some good basics, and did hit the nail on "Call To Action". . . even if it is just to enable a conversation and generate engagement!

    I think there are some additional, key items folks should include like continuation of their overall, ongoing strategic conversation and integration with their additional communication channels / platforms.

    Here's my posted "Top 10 Checklist", http://dcinsight.typepad.com/dcinsights/2010/11/another-top-10-for-better-blogging.html.

    Would love to get your thoughts on any additional expansions!

    Cheers

  • Oct 22 Posted 6 years ago Adriane (not verified)

    Hello George,

    Great post and thanks for the tips. One key comment you made that most people are not aware of is internet readers are scanners, so readability is important. Thanks for the confirmation on images. I just started using images on my blog and it really sets it off nicely. The one tip I fine interesting is the Call to Action. I will have to add that to my writing check list.

    http://thesanfordgroup.blogspot.com/

  • Debi Davis's picture
    Oct 21 Posted 6 years ago Debi Davis

    My checklist includes strategic elements, mostly related to cross-posting.  I've set my blogging software up so that as soon as I publish, it cross-posts to Twitter automatically.  But, I don't have it cross-post to my Facebook Profile and Page or to LinkedIn, because some of them, too, cross-post to Twitter and that would just create an annoyance. 

    Because I often write in the middle of the night, there's also an advantage to manually scheduling and posting across my networks so my blog is distributed at optimal times.

    Sounds confusing, doesn't it?  THAT's why I love the idea of a checklist.  I create my checklist in Excel -- nothing like a spreadsheet for keeping track of multiple tasks (rows) across a variety of platforms and a timeline (columns).

    Links and calls-to-action are two strategic elements mentioned that I also include on my checklist.

  • Oct 21 Posted 6 years ago Laura (not verified)

    I'm notorious for forgetting things as I'm always trying to do too many at one time, seldom completely finishing anything. List of steps for blogging is a super idea! I think I'll start one now before I forget...thank you.

  • Oct 18 Posted 6 years ago Josh (not verified)

    Hey George, 

    I love this post.  I fall into the same category as those who sometimes forget one of the simple steps of blogging.  I've now learned I just need to slow down and make sure I am being smart with my writing.  My biggest issue up to this point has been making those smaller more succinct paragraphs.  Now that I have begun to factor that in, I think a good addition to this list would be the use of subtitles/lists.  Like you did above, with a longer post it is helpful to break a post into subcategories and list format.  Thank you again for the post! I have it printed it out and next to me! 

  • GeorgePasswater's picture
    Oct 18 Posted 6 years ago GeorgePasswater

    Hi Klara! 

    Glad you liked the post.

    I know I hate it when I read a blog that has HUGE blocks of text with no seperation. Makes reading them very very hard! I usually give up and back out of the site.

    Thanks for the comment!

  • GeorgePasswater's picture
    Oct 18 Posted 6 years ago GeorgePasswater

    Hi Rhonda!

    Thanks for the comment. 

    Yep - I sometimes get rushed and forget things. Having a list in front of me helps me remember everything.

  • Oct 18 Posted 6 years ago Klara (not verified)

    I agree that the proper paragraphing of you main text and putting it into appropriate and managable chunks are key to a pleasant and useful read. If users have this when they read your blog posts then they will come back for more. Catchy, succinct and on-topic titles and headlines are crucial for bagging that reader. Thank you for this post.

    http://www.banana-moon-clothing.co.uk/blog/

  • Oct 16 Posted 6 years ago Rhonda (not verified)

    This will be helpful because sometimes when I am in a rush I forget to do some of these things. Thanks!

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