Being a blogger there would have been numerous times you would have published a post only to end up modifying nitty-gritty details like changing categories, rectifying typos and broken links. To overcome this situation, many veteran bloggers like ProBlogger and DailyBlogTipshave created their own blog post checklists
Here is our version of the blog post checklist which you must use before hitting “Publish”
1. Read your post when in draft mode
You should always read your posts from top to bottom when in draft mode. I would suggest reading them in the “preview” mode than the “WordPress admin” panel, as this gives you an idea of how the post will look to your readers. It also helps you check the overall sanity of the post and gives you an idea if you’ve been able to communicate the message to your readers.
2. Is your post scannable?
This might sound weird, but “is your blog post scannable?”
Readers on the internet are multi taskers and are not on your blog to read a book. They always tend to scan for the main points from your blog post to get the message. Create content with short paragraphs, sub headings and pointers. Create content that communicates your point and helps readers get the message effectively. If you’re on the Thesis framework, you can use the Thesis Style Box Plugin to spruce up your content effectively
3. Is the post complete with relevant details?
When you finish reading your post, the following questions should be asked
“Could you include a different perspective to your post?”
“Have you made sure to include all the details?”
If you’re writing a plugin review, have you included all the features about the plugin? Is the plugin compatible with other plugins? Are there known issues related to the plugin? Are there any special requirements for installation of the plugin like ionCube etc. Ultimately, you need to make sure that your post adds value to your readers
4. Does the post include related and relevant keywords?
We are aware of the importance of keywords from an SEO point of view. The internet is made up of content and keyword research is the starting point for your blog’s success. It’s important that you use keyword research tools like Google Adwords, Wordtracker, Market Samurai etc to find out which keyword is being constantly looked up. Including them in your blog posts effectively will help you rank higher for the targeted keywords in search engines. You can use the SEO Keyword Density Checker plugin for effective usage of keywords in your blog posts.
Must Read -> Importance of Keywords in SEO
5. Is Your Title Effective?
This one is really very important as the title helps the reader and search engines know what your post is about. You only have 5 seconds to capture the reader’s attention to your blog post. You need to remember that an effective title is the starting point for a reader to dig in further to your post. You should also include the keywords in your title to keep the post search engine friendly. You can use Keyword Winner to achieve this
6. Proofread Your Posts
This one is really basic internet etiquette – Proofread your posts for spelling and grammatical errors and check if the paragraphs are placed correctly. You can use After the deadline plugin that will help avoid spelling and grammatical errors by giving you suggestions in an effective manner.
7. Link to your old posts
Advantages of Interlinking your posts from an SEO point of view are tremendous. They help you rank higher in search engines for your targeted keywords. Don’t forget this as they have huge SEO benefits in the long run. You can use Insights plugin to easily link back to your old posts
8. Are all links working?
It’s very annoying to a reader when they click a link on your blog only to find out that it’s broken & not working anymore. Make sure that your links are functional and point to the desired location. The overall experience is impacted and can lead to a lot of frustration for the reader.
Must Read -> The Importance of Backlinks for Your Blog & SEO
9. Remember to credit any sources you use
Your post might be inspired from something you read on a different blog. The pointers from the post were derived from DailyBlogTips and the idea came to my mind when I read the post initially on ProBlogger. It’s a good practice to link to external resources when you’re referring to a let’s say a plugin. You can link up the author’s page where your reader can get more information and download the plugin easily.
I’m sure you get the idea now!
10. Did I include an image?
“A picture is worth more than a thousand words” Images improve the overall look and feel of your blog. Make sure you put up images that attract your readers and do not forget about adding alt tag for Images smartly with SEO friendly plugin which will help you rank for the images and will end up bringing you traffic
11. Did I optimize the permalink?
If you write an article in WordPress, be default it creates a ‘Permalink’ which has all the words you have mentioned in the blog post title along with a ‘-’ between all the words. This is called a “post slug”. In simple terms, the slug is part of the URL that comes after your domain name. Ensure that your post slug contains all the relevant keywords that you have researched for, this helps ranking you higher for the relevant keywords. You can use the clean SEO slugs plugin to help you achieve this.
12. Have I left room for my readers to add something to this post?
I’ve not followed this rigorously on my blog, but I think it’s really helpful in engaging readers by leaving them with last thoughts… something like “Do let us know what steps you take in SEO to rank your posts higher”. This gives the readers room to provide feedback and learn what strategies are being followed by them which increases the overall experience of your blog by providing more information to your readers.
13. Did I place the post in an appropriate category
I tend to miss this one a lot. Placing the post in the correct category is important from a reader experience point of view. It’s always helpful to be clear on what you doing and where you place your posts. It helps the reader navigate your blog easily as they know what to expect.
14. Did I Social Bookmark my post at sites like Twitter, Facebook, Digg etc
This one generally comes after you hit publish. However the importance of Social media cannot be undermined, so I thought it would be a good include it in the blog post checklist. Sites like Twitter can mean a lot of free traffic to your blogs. Social media is a big wave and exposure in the right places can help your blog tremendously. You can use the Digg Digg WordPress Plugin for Social Bookmarking for this. There are a number of benefits of Social bookmarking your posts, few are mentioned below:
1) Helps drive free and targeted traffic to your blog
2) Improves your sites Pagerank and number of backlinks
3) Helps boost the popularity of a blog
Do let us know your views on this blog post checklist? You could share if you follow some other steps that we have possiby missed out?