So you write a blog post and hit publish. In many cases, the content is the easiest part! It’s all the other stuff that takes time, energy, and a little bit of know-how. But some of it is necessary to make sure your blog is seen and heard on the Internet. Before you hit publish, here is a checklist of things to mark off. Every post does not need to include all of these – it’s simply a reference tool! And if you get to the bottom, you’ll see I’ve created a button for any of you to use – no backlink or attribution necessary.
1. Have you used any subheadings? It makes things easier to read. Do it!
2. Have you labeled your images using keywords? If your image is img_45345, no one will find it. But if it is spring wreath with eggs, then it’s possible Google will pull it up when people are looking.
3. Have you written a keyword friendly title? Think about what people might search for in Google and try to use accurate keywords. If you have the All in One SEO pack, you can write a separate title that will show up in search results. That way, your post title can remain a bit creative.
4. Have you checked out your competition? Do a google search before you write your post. What articles are currently occupying the top spots? Try to outdo them in some way.
5. Have you interlinked any related posts? This helps Google crawl your pages more quickly. If you have related blog posts that are older, link them up.
6. Have you provided helpful links that are from credible websites? This is another thing Google likes to see. Zemanta can help with that.
7. Have you previewed the post to make sure the formatting is correct? Always hit preview and test your links first.
8. Have you categorized your post? Do it!
9. Have you tagged your post? Do it! Put all the relevant keywords in your tag fields and the SEO fields (if you have a plugin).
10. Have you written an excerpt or description? This will be what people see under the title, so make sure you have something in the excerpt box.
11. Have you added any sort of question at the end? How does your blog post encourage comments or spark conversation? You should have something that keeps people talking.
12. Do you have any “tweetable” quotes that could be linked up? See my tutorial about how to do this. It’s another way to promote engagement on social media.
13. How is your media? Do you have images or video included?
14. Do you use a signature? If you do, don’t forget to put it at the bottom of your post.
15. Have you added any buttons, link ups, and/or voting network buttons at the bottom? Some people think this is a distraction. Others don’t mind as much. Whatever you do, try to remain consistent.
16. Did you use a featured image? WordPress allows you to use a featured image that doesn’t appear in the post, but will appear when you link it on social media. Some themes do better without one – others may it look incredible!
17. Did you add captions to your images? This also helps Google find your images for people who may be searching.
18. Did you check the automated publicize button? Sometimes it isn’t the best idea to blast out your post right when it goes live. After a while, you’ll know when the best times are to paste links.
19. Did you add your Google Adsense shortcode?
20. Do you like what you’ve written? I know it sounds silly, but so many of us put up posts that we then read later and think, “God – why did I write that?” Make sure you like and are proud of your post. It’s better to put up writing you like, then writing you feel obligated to publish because of a schedule. If you are feeling disillusioned, I’ve got an article on that too!