There are so many blogging tips out there, don’t you agree? Simply finding a reliable list of the things to do before getting your blog post live can be confusing already.
But seriously, what are all the important things you should do prior to hitting publish? In this article, I’ll be sharing my personal blogging checklist.
Hopefully, these basic tips that I use will be able to help your posts gain more engagement and better search performance.
I know how excited you are to get your ideas out. Let’s get started!
Here’s what to do before publishing blog content
1. Create an outline
Too many times I threw away the idea of creating outlines. Why? I simply thought they are waste of my time.
Along the way, I realize that there’s nothing worse than stopping right in the middle of a post and starting a blank screen. Literally. For hours.
Now don’t be like me in the past. You can avoid the oh-so-dreaded writer’s block and boost your writing productivity by writing an outline.
Here’s how to get started with an outline (if this is your first time to create one):
- Pick a topic to write about
- Come up with a working title
- Outline your main points
- Include 3 sub-points for each main point
You need not go into detail with your outline. Regardless of how you create an outline, what matters is that it’ll ease the writing process.
2. Write a benefit-driven headline
What’s the first part of your post that people get to read? You’re right, it’s your headline.
Your first goal should be to convince readers that they need your content.
In this case, make each word of your blog post headline count. It should be able to demonstrate the value that people are going to get right from the start.
Ask yourself, “What can my readers benefit from this blog post?”
For instance, How to Tidy Your Home and Achieve Happiness is a great example of a benefit-driven headline.
It demonstrates the bigger benefit of tidying one’s home which is achieving happiness.
3. Hook your readers with your intro
After convincing readers with your headline, you need to entice them to keep reading until the end of your post. Capture your readers with an irresistible introduction.
Believe me, not everyone who clicks on your blog post makes it to the end. So, how do you hook readers with your introduction?
There are many ways to do that:
- State an interesting or intriguing fact
- Tell a personal story
- Reveal the consequences of a problem
- Ask a question
- Challenge people’s beliefs
- Share an inspirational quote
Because you don’t get a second opportunity to create a first impression, introductions carry a lot of weight.
Check out how popular bloggers in your niche craft their intros. Learn from them. You can try their methods and eventually come up with your own unique style.
4. Include your keywords
A successful article does not only capture reader’s interest, it must also have the right ingredients to make it rank on search engines.
To optimize your post for SEO, what you need are keywords. There’s no getting away from them.
Keywords are specific words that online searchers enter on a search engine’s search box in order to find your blog post.
Come up with keywords to include throughout your post by using keywords research tools. Regardless of your blogging niche, these tools are the same:
- Google Keyword Planner
After doing keyword research, incorporate your keywords in these areas: Blog post title, meta description, image alt tags, permalinks, and their first paragraph of your post.
5. Make your content skimmable
Want to know a sad truth? A lot of people these days have transitioned from being readers to plain skimmers.
The internet and social media are to blame for the change in people’s reading habits, specifically the decrease in their attention spans.
Now you can assume that people who click through your article won’t be able to read everything.
The trick to creating a wow-worthy piece is to draw a skimmer’s eyes to the most important points of your article.
Use the following to craft a super skimmable piece of content:
- Headings (H2, H3, H4, etc.)
- Bulleted points or numbered lists
- Relevant images or screenshots
- Bolded/italicized phrases
- Link, internal and external
6. Link to your older posts
Linking to a previously published blog post is called internal linking.
Internal linking improves your SEO and user experience on your blog by doing the following:
- Suggest another relevant blog post to your reader
- Increase your website’s navigability
- Passes link authority to other pages
Keeping your blog updated with regularly published content is the way to have more internal links.
Make sure that you link to other pages on your blog in a very natural way.
The page you link to must be relevant to readers that they will want to stop where they are to visit your suggested page.
Avoid leading people away from your main content by making sure that the link opens in a new window.
7. Link to other websites
Linking to pages outside your blog is called external linking. Now, why should you bother to link out to other websites? Will this benefit you in any way?
Here’s what external linking exactly does for you: It increases the value of your blog content by linking to high-quality and relevant resources.
So if you want to build your credibility as an authoritative blog, don’t be afraid to link out. Where should you link out to?
- In-depth blog post related to your topic
- Blog post with a high page authority or domain authority
- Blogs in your niche (so you can start building connections)
Similar to internal linking, have all your outbound links open in a new window so readers can easily go back to your article.
8. Proofread your post
Always make it a habit to reread everything you’ve written before hitting publish. Proofreading can be daunting but it’s more than necessary to ensure quality.
You’re probably going to discover a few (or many) things that you need to omit from your content. These are spelling errors, grammatical errors, and unnecessary details.
Luckily, there are a ton of proofreading tools you can use for a winning post. You might want to choose from these free tools:
- Slick Write
If you are using WordPress as your CMS and have the Yoast plugin installed, utilize Yoast’s Readability to get helpful suggestions for your content.
Also, one thing I do to make sure that my article flows smoothly is that I ask someone else to read it and give an honest opinion.
Having a second set of eyes will help you catch mistakes or get a better perspective on your post.
9. End with a call-to-action
Right before you end your post, what do you want your readers to do? This is where your call-to-action (CTA) comes in.
Let me give you some great call-to-action ideas to place at the bottom of your post:
- Comment on and share your post
- Sign-up for your email list
- Download your e-book or nay freebie
- Read your other helpful blog posts
- Buy or try a free trial of your product
Depending on your CTA, you can include buttons or links for your readers to click on.
A lot of people don’t usually respond to calls-to-action but including them will certainly enable you to reach your goal of getting more conversions.
Are you following these 9 practices before publishing your post? By sticking to the steps in this guide, your content will surely keep your audience engaged.
If you enjoyed my blog post, don’t forget to comment below or share it with your friends.
Kanti Kashyap is blogger and SEO expert at a blog thelifetech.com. She has contributed to many websites/blogs related to SEO, social media and Internet marketing. She loves to share her knowledge with others through blogging.