10 Key Points to Remember in an Effective Blog Writing Checklist
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
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