The 10-Step Blog Checklist

You know it’s important to have a blog on your website to connect with your target audience. It keeps them up to date while your website ranks high with search engines. However, you can’t post your blog and expect it to grow overnight. It takes time, but it is easy to do. Here are the 10 steps to take before and after you publish your blog.

Make Sure Your Blog Title Catches the Eye

A post has to make them stop in their tracks. There are different ways to write a compelling headline. Start off with a question, have a controversial statement, or make the reader feel good or bad. Some people write the headline before the post to inspire them, so give that a try.

Another important factor is adding keywords to your title so search engines pick it up. Use Google’s keyword tool and find the best ones that fit your post.

Keep Your Copy Short and Add Links Throughout Your Post

You have a great post with research and keywords. But if it’s hard for someone to read, they will click away in seconds. That’s not good for your bounce rate.

A post has about two to three sentences for each paragraph. Any key points are one sentence and enhanced with either a bold highlight or a H2 heading. It makes your post scannable because our eyes get strained from the computer glare.

Adding links to your post gives you credibility. Search engines love to see back links in a post and help you rank higher. If an older post also has the same message but told in a different way, link back to it also.

Add SEO-Friendly Images

Image via Flickr by reynermedia

Eyes get bored only looking at words. An image not only makes your post stand out, it breaks up the post and it’s easier to read. In this post, the images help the reader pause.

Add keywords into your image so you climb in the search rankings. When adding the image into the post, there is a box that says “alt text.” That’s where you add the keyword you’ve used in your title and throughout your post.

Add a Call to Action

At the end of your post, you want the reader to connect with you. Ask them if they want to leave a comment and share with others, sign up for your newsletter, or download a free gift just for them reading. This is a great way to get traffic to your website.

Organize Blog Posts by Category

Most people skip this step, but you should add a category to your blog post. For readers who are new to your blog, categories make it easy for them to decide which group of posts helps them the most without having to scroll through each page.

Check Your Post For Errors

Make sure everything in your post makes sense, including the grammar and URL. Sometimes spellcheck doesn’t get everything. If there’s a word spelled correctly in your post but it doesn’t make sense, the software won’t flag it as a problem. Get another set of eyes to look over the post for grammatical errors.

Finally, after checking to confirm your post and headline are ready to go, the last piece is your URL. Don’t use the default URL with only numbers. Customize it with your headline or keyword to help it rank well.

All finished going over your post? Great!

Post to All Your Social Media Accounts

Image via Flickr by Emily Rachel Poisel

Now that you’ve published your post, you can let people know about it. Reach your audience faster by posting the link to your social media accounts. Don’t have the time to post? Use a content management company like CopyPress to set it up for you.

Having a social media schedule allows you to post at different dates and times to reach as many people as possible. Use analytics from each social media account to see when followers are online so they see your post and click on it right away.

Write a Catchy Subject Line for Your Email Subscribers

Even with followers on social media, your email list still matters. There is a way to keep readers informed of a new blog post without sounding like every other subscription they get. Using the same methods as your headline, write a subject line that makes them want to open it and read more.

Connect With Other Blogs to Promote Your Post and Respond to Comments on Yours

Whether you have a large list of followers or you’re just starting out, connecting with other blogs helps boost your website traffic. The best way to connect is to find similar blogs and leave a comment on their post. Most comment boxes let you add a URL to your comment so it pings back. Make sure your comment is more than just “great post.”

On the other end, are you getting comments on your post? That’s great! It means your post is getting engagement, and it helps with your ranking. Reply to comments to increase engagement, but if there’s a negative comment that doesn’t add to the conversation, you can ignore it or delete it. There’s no use to waste your time responding to people who don’t add value to your post.

Check the Analytics on Your Blog a Month Later

It’s been a month, and you’ve completed all the steps above. Something else you should do with your post is look at the analytics for the last 30 days; you want to see the number of views and which social media platforms it was shared on. This helps you gauge what content works and what you need to tweak.

This is a small list of steps to take when you are creating a blog post, but they are the most crucial. Growing traffic to your website takes a lot of effort but, if you repeat these steps. your hard work will definitely pay off.

About the author

Renayle Fink

Renayle Fink is a writer who ghost blogs content for various publications. She also has a website to help people get into a writing habit and create awesome stories. She can be found at http://finkthewriter.com.