This is my first post of, ‘My Blogging series on Blogging’ and if you wanted to read the intro before you dig right into the juicy stuff, simply click here. Otherwise, let’s get started, as I am going to discuss my blogging checklist, this includes everything I make sure I have within my blog post, and what I ensure I do after publishing.
(Find a FREE downloadable and printable checklist at the bottom of this post too, because who doesn’t love the satisfaction of physically ticking those tasks off!)
Blogging is more than it appears to be, like anything, what you see is the tip of the iceberg, the shiny finished article… however, the process is so much more. And blogging is a hell of a lot of hard work. Do not get me wrong though, the hard work, it’s worth it.
So whether you are reading this as a blogger already nodding your head at the screen, or as a newbie hunting for tips and tricks, I hope I make your journey in the blogging world just a little easier?
Now first and foremost I want to highlight that checking off everything within the blog post and before you hit ‘publish’ is just as important as checking off all those little tasks after you have published your blog post. You have to direct people to read the post you have perfected you see…
This might seem like I am pointing out the obvious, but on busy days, or late nights you may just forget. Now, you can do this yourself, or if you are like me and grammar or spelling isn’t your forte I would highly recommend Grammarly. It offers a free and paid version, and I myself only use the free version and it highlights and helps me eliminate most mistakes I may have made along the way. You can also download it to your desktop or laptop so it does it as you write instead of you having to copy and paste to the website. (Also, this is not an Ad, or paid, I just use it religiously to proofread and would highly recommend it to anyone.)
Images / Media –
Make sure your blog post is split up into sections and there are visuals throughout, from your own images, stock images to embedded Youtube clips.
A blog post of mine usually contains around 800-1000 words, and it is vital you make the blog post accessible, and easy to read. This links closely to the next two things on my checklist. Breaking up your text will make it easier for readers, and the easier it is, the higher your bounce rate and in hand views.
Headings & Subheadings –
The impact of headings and subheadings is similar to that of media, it breaks up large chunks of text and makes your blog post easier to read. For example, by using subheadings here to outline each short explanation you can navigate what you are reading easier and feel like you are reading less too!
Something a lot of people miss in blog posts, links, and if you go through my posts it is definitely a weakness of mine. There are two types of links, internal and external, now internal links will direct the reader to another page within your site, and external to another web address. Both are valuable.
Internal links will increase your bounce rate as it directs people to other useful articles you have written and to your other and in many cases older posts. Whereas external links from trusted websites increase your SEO* and validates yourself. (When you add external links though, ensure you are setting them to open a separate page, this keeps your blog open for them to continue exploring!)
*If you are now wondering what SEO means, in short, it means search engine optimisation. It refers to the process of making your website more desirable and higher ranked on search engines through organic methods. Click here to read more.
Call to Action –
Now a call to action is beneficial for you as it engages your readers, by asking a question at the end of your post you encourage interaction via your comments. This is extremely powerful within blogging as it is about building that online friendship with your readers, especially in my case.
The call to action can be as simple as asking after a post about movies what the reader’s favourite movie is and why, make it simple, direct and an easy way to draw people in.
Add a Pin-able Image –
Now you may be sat reading this questioning how this in any way differs from adding just a simple image or form of media that I suggest above. And I used to think the same thing, and similarly to links, this is something I myself do not always follow through with…
A pin-able image differs from a normal image in many ways, as it ideally must have three features… The title of the blog post, your watermark/web address, and it must be an imagery representation of what you have written about. This means that when people reach the end of the post and want to save the post they can pin the image to one of there boards and the image shows what is referring too explicitly. (Also anything you create, feel no shame in explicitly showing your ownership of it by adding your web address to the bottom, or social media handles.)
A Featured Image –
If like me you use wordpress.org or you are using wordpress.com, it is beneficial for you to select or add a separate featured image to each of your blog posts. You may notice that a fair amount of mine does not, these were all written prior to me having knowledge of the benefits and necessity of such a feature.
A featured image appears in many places, if you have a recently posted section, a banner reel on your home page if you show other posts like this below your posts… And without an image, this appears blank.
SEO / Keyword & Meta Description –
Another invaluable and important part of SEO is setting a keyword and meta description. I personally use the Yoast SEO plugin and this allows me to easily implement both these things. (Yoast will also tell you how effective your choice of keyword is.)
Note: If you are using a free blogging website and aren’t self-hosted, you do not have the freedom to do so.
Now, what are you waiting for, click schedule!
Pin your pin-able image to your own ‘Blog Post Board’, as well as pinning it to any other group blog post boards you are a part of. (Click here to read more on group boards.)
Post the link to the latest blog post you have created to Twitter, try to use varying statements to advertise the post too, tease and appeal to your readers.
If you do not show your latest blog posts on your home page, change the link in your bio to direct readers to your just published post. Also, announce your latest blog post on your Instagram stories, if you have over 10k followers then you can add a swipe-up link too.
Post to Facebook announcing your latest post and also to any groups you may be in to draw readers to your site.
And finally, monitor those statistics, and reply to those comments…
If you haven’t already subscribed then submit your email address to the right and join the #TTFamily. Remember this means you will be notified every time I post so you never miss one again…
And if you haven’t read my other published posts within this series why not click here to read the Introduction post, or click here to explore all of the posts currently published within the series.
Or if you are feeling adventurous, click here for a random blog post of mine…
Today Tomorrow Forever,