You need a blog post checklist as guide to create content that can attract more traffic and generate backlinks while building authority around your site.
Writing blog posts that showcase your expertise within your niche and matching that with the professional design outlook of your website are necessary ingredients required to gain traction and authority within the blogging community and audience at large. The rate of conversion would inevitably go higher, building loyal customer and audience all the way.
But, you don’t write great content by chance, they always spring forth when there is a checklist that guides your writing pattern and inspiration for good format would flow seamlessly.
Though the checklist for blogging is rather simple to imbibe, but we seems to forget to use it as guide whenever we want to publish blog post. One of the secrets of human intelligence lies in the degree of adherence to lay-down principles.
Crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s before publishing a blog post are necessary ingredients in creating magnetic user experience. Some bloggers may be innocently ignorant about drawing a checklist for their content creation.
Remember, blogging is not just about publishing content. It should be about excellent presentation of an up-to-date information in the most readable and understandable way.
Below are the list of what you should naturally look out for in your blog post before you hit the publish button.
# Read your blog post aloud: The best way to know if a write up is good is to read it aloud and listen with your inner mind at the same time. Check the flow and the degree of how logical argument and presentation aligned.
Are the paragraph well articulated or disjointed? Do your best to make it an out pour of your heart and definite intention.
# Proofread: I’ve made this mistake over and over again in my early days of blogging. No matter how professional we may be, we’ll need checks and balances to be the best we can be.
Always use MS word to proofread your article for grammatical errors. This turn out to be my most resourceful companion for grammar composition.
Though, there are instances where you’ll have to close your eyes to errors especially phrases, in as much they make sense and covey the meaning you intended. I call them “newly invented” words.
Nevertheless, MS word can be very handy for correcting spelling mistakes. Please, use it except you have better alternative.
# Widen the scope of content: Whether a post is intended for pillar or killer article or not, it should be blogger’s altitude to always engage in thorough research on the topic we want to write about before putting pen on paper.
Apart from the opportunity to gain more insight on the topic and setting the template for authority, it would momentarily evolve your site as a must-go-to destination within your niche.
It has been said that post with about 2000 words perform better on search engine because, it would have all the characteristics of a complete content. Mark you, we are in the era of content marketing optimization (CMO) which blog heralds.
# Link external resources: It is not a bad idea neither would it affect your page rank or make you lost readers if external but related resources are linked to within your post.
This would further enhance the understanding of audience and equip them more about the information you want to pass across on the blog post.
This portrays knowledge and professionalism. Your blog readers would definitely love you for that. However, you might need to wrap external links with nofollow tag in order to protect your site from Google penalty.
# Killer headline: The first connecting attraction to content from visitors stand point is the title. Create a title that has the capacity to captivate and draw attention. This would make audience want to dig into the content.
Do not forget to include your target keywords and make it closer to the beginning of post title. For example: Blog post checklist for creating outstanding content that rocks; where “blog post checklist” is the target keyword phrase. This is good for SEO.
# Sales-Pitch Meta description that actually sells: Once your title have pre-sell your content, the next thing to work on is the Meta description. It should be specially crafted in a way that will make audience want to read further.
It should also give hope to a solution needed or spur the reality of a need they must get. This is called curiosity gap.
Ensure your Meta description is not more than 160 alphabets including spaces and full stop. It should also contain your keywords. All these will make your content perform better on SERP especially the click through rate.
# Optimize permalink: It is a good idea to optimize permalink structure from SEO point of view, especially long post URL. WordPress blogging platform and some other popular blogging software have features where permalink could be edited. Use it to optimize your post URL to contain targeted keywords devoid of too many words.
# Place post in appropriate category: It would be a disservice if the post that is supposed to be archived under WordPress tutorial category for instance is found in social media or marketing category.
This would mar discretional or intuitive content accessibility when visitor navigates or browse through such website. User friendliness and over-all perception of audience could be hampered.
Even return visit may nose dive on Google analytics page because returning visitors could not get what they wanted the initial time they came.
Archive content appropriately. It’s good for visitors and its one of the SEO best practices as far as relevancy (as one of the ranking factors) is concern.
# Use keywords most target audience search for: This is particularly necessary if major traffic source is expected from search engine. It is expedient to do keyword research on either Google or Wordtracker to ascertain the number of people searching for those keywords on global and local basis.
It may daze you to discover that a little twist might be necessary to get the best outcome in terms of traffic. Don’t forget to harness the power of long tail keyword.
# Link internal posts: Audience they say is the king. To do everything possible to satisfy them is good business. Linking old but related posts within the site would spur them to click through and that would enhance their understanding and eventually increase your site page view and lower bounce rate.
Indeed, we want them to have full grasp of the subject matter. This is also good for SEO in terms of creating relevancy and search spider depth of crawl.
# Filter dead links: It would be dishearten for visitor to be greeted by error 404 when a link is clicked on a newly published post.
Search engine spider doesn’t like it either. It diminishes user experience and site friendliness. Even though this error sometimes could be unavoidable, most especially on externally linked resources, care must be taken to ensure they don’t find their way into new blog post.
It is rather easy to find link error on post. A single misspell word can result in an error. For example, http://frandimore.cm instead of http://fradimore.com will result in error. So, ensure you test all links at the preview page before you click the publish button.
# Tags: Tags are the easiest way to categorize/archive blog posts. It provide neat format to access posts within the same group of keywords.
Simple and direct! But care should be taken when tagging post to avoid duplication. You may choose from existing tags instead if you already have closely related once.
# March post content with image: Visual content has dominated online scene. From Pinterest to twitter card to Facebook Page timeline, images have taken central priority in connecting with people probably because of its ability to convey unspoken words thereby engaging the creative mind.
A compelling image that perfectly blends with post content would go a long way to add color, interest and willingness to read the entire article. You sure want people to read your blog post.
Use at least one image on your post. It can help bring traffic from Google image search on its own if the alt tag is optimized properly.
For me, I use Pixabay and sometimes I go for freedigitalphotos. On freedigital photo, you have to give credit to the source of image by linking to it. Read their terms and condition before you use their images.
There are so many places you can get royalty free images for blog post or search for images or online tools you can to create your own images. You could buy images or design one yourself with Photoshop or CorelDraw.
# Post Layout: The beauty and readability of a post lies in the structural efficiency of the layout. Article should have bold subheads with colors that match the template and the length of paragraph must not be too long for easy understanding.
You may install TinyMCE Advanced plugin to enhance post structure on WordPress.
# Excite readers to send feedback: Feedback is necessary to weigh acceptability and degree of assimilation. It also creates opportunity for improvement. It is therefore a good practice to excite readers by way of asking soft questions at the end of post that would spur them to air their opinion in the comment box.
# Give credit to resources used: This is particularly important for free image outsource. Ensure you credit the original source of materials used. It’s ethical and also a norm.
# Publish post during high traffic days: This can rather be controversial, but with the help of analytical tools like Google analytics, you can determine high traffic days of the week for your audience. Generally speaking, Monday to Wednesday are adjudged to be traffic spike days.
However, with the advent of increasing number of people accessing the web on mobile phone couple with the raising consciousness of optimizing website for mobile, it is suffice to say that individual site traffic spike days should be determined through installed analytical tool and then plan to publish blog post on those days. I guess the exception is during national holidays.
What other ways do you check your blog post before hitting the publish button?
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