The Ultimate blog post checklist. Things You Should Do to Every Blog Post Before and After You Hit Publish | If you want to grow your blog then this post is for you! It includes tips for bloggers, which will help you increase your SEO and more! Click through to check out all the tips and download the PDF checklist!

The Ultimate Blog Post Checklist Part One

If you’re a blogger I’m sure you’ll agree that writing a blog post really isn’t as simple as most people assume. A lot of work goes into blogging and it means learning lots of new skills.

Of course, it’s important that you can actually write content. However, there is so much more to it than simply writing.

As someone who loves writing, I’ve found that I’ve had to learn lots of other skills to help make my blog successful.

Not only am I the writer/content creator but I’m also the editor, marketer, SEO specialist, promotor and more for this blog!

It’s a lot of work but I love that I’m creating new content all the time. My blog is going from strength to strength and I love the challenge of making it better.

If you’re reading this then you probably want to make your blog posts even better than they already are or are a new blogger and wondering how to write a successful blog post. And so this is the ultimate blog post checklist for you!

Part One covers everything you need to do BEFORE you publish your posts. Part Two (coming soon) will cover everything you need to do AFTER publishing your post.

To save this list for quick reference, here’s a pinnable image I’ve created for you. Pin it to Pinterest so you can find the list easily whenever you need a refresher. I’ve also created a free PDF checklist for you to use too, you can download it at the end of the post.

Save this blog post checklist to Pinterest:The Ultimate blog post checklist. Things You Should Do to Every Blog Post Before and After You Hit Publish | If you want to grow your blog then this post is for you! It includes tips for bloggers, which will help you increase your SEO and more! Click through to check out all the tips and download the PDF checklist!

Before You Publish Your Blog Post

Write Great Content

I can hear you saying “Well duh” but honestly, I’ve read some blog posts that are dull and completely uninteresting.

This tends to happen more with sponsored content. Just because it’s a sponsored post doesn’t mean it can be boring! You still need to be writing with ‘your voice’.

Make sure your blog post:

  • Includes keywords or phrases.
  • Is informative.
  • Is persuasive or encourages someone to read your other content.
  • Has at least 300 words. I prefer my blog posts to have a minimum of 1200 words as it is recommended by SEO experts.

Use a long-tail keyword & variations of your keyword

A long-tail keyword consists of a few words or a short phrase that someone might search for in Google to help them answer a question.

If you choose a single word or a common phrase as your target keyword, you’ll be competing in google search against huge authoritative sites. When you’re up against high authority sites it’s unlikely that your post will be found.

I use a plugin called Yoast SEO. It helps me to make sure that I’ve got my blog post SEO ready. Ps if you are unsure about SEO then have a look at this super simple guide to it.

Yoast lets me know if I’ve inserted the keyword into my blog post the best amount of times. It essentially gives me an SEO checklist to follow at the bottom of each draft post.

However using your keyword the right amount of times isn’t enough. You can’t just scatter it throughout your post and expect it to rank well. You also need to make sure that your post has variations of your keyword and other words that you’d expect to find in related content.

E.G: if my long-tail keyword is ‘how to motivate yourself at work’ I would also include phrases such as:

  • ‘inspiring yourself’;
  • ‘improving work-life balance’;
  • ‘Using your initiative’ etc.

Most of the time I achieve this without needing to think about it – the related phrases tend to find their own way into my writing. That being said I do occasionally go back and add a few.

If you struggle with this, a simple trick is to google your main term and check the ‘related’ keywords. The options shown will be included in the suggestions on google because they’re driving a high volume of traffic. You can see an example of this below, for this post I would try to feature other phrases such as ‘how to write a blog post’.

The Ultimate blog post checklist. Things You Should Do to Every Blog Post Before and After You Hit Publish | If you want to grow your blog then this post is for you! It includes tips for bloggers, which will help you increase your SEO and more! Click through to check out all the tips and download the PDF checklist!

Format your blog post

Whenever I come across a blog post that has huge chunks of text my mind tends to lose focus.

It’s important to make sure that you break up your text with headings, paragraphs and bullet points. Also, it’s a lot easier to read text that is aligned to the right rather than centred.

You’ve spent all that time writing great content – don’t miss out on people actually reading it by skipping this step! 

The Ultimate blog post checklist. Things You Should Do to Every Blog Post Before and After You Hit Publish | If you want to grow your blog then this post is for you! It includes tips for bloggers, which will help you increase your SEO and more! Click through to check out all the tips and download the PDF checklist!

Choose the right blog post title

Is your blog post title catchy? If not people are less likely to actually click through to your post.

Is it between 40 – 69 characters long? That is the best length for a blog post title. If your post title is longer, the title will be cut off at 69 characters in search results. If it is shorter it might not grab people’s attention.

Edit the SEO title and meta description

Your SEO title aka the meta title and the meta description is what shows up in Google searches.

These are two more places that it’s important to make sure your long-tail keyword appears in.

I edit mine quickly and easily using the Yoast SEO Plugin which is a plugin I highly recommend to all bloggers.

The Ultimate blog post checklist. Things You Should Do to Every Blog Post Before and After You Hit Publish | If you want to grow your blog then this post is for you! It includes tips for bloggers, which will help you increase your SEO and more! Click through to check out all the tips and download the PDF checklist!

Link to other posts

There are two types of links you should always add to your posts:

  • Deep links to past blog posts
  • Links to external urls

If the post is sponsored or paid you also need to add:

  • No-follow links to the relevant products or sites
Deep links to past blog posts

Deep linking is basically just linking to past posts from your own blog in a new post. Every time I write a post which mentions a topic that I’ve written about before I add a link to that post. This improves your SEO but also keeps viewers on your site for longer.

For example; when I wrote a blog post about my trip to Iceland I mentioned that it was a destination that had always been on my Bucket List. As I have a whole post on my Bucket List I added that link too.

Links to external urls

Linking to external URLs mean that visitors to your site get more information on the topic that they are interested in. It can also help your Domain Authority (DA). When you link to other sites it is important to take their DA into consideration. For example, if their site is seen as spammy to google it can risk your blog authority.

 

I use the Moz DA checker here to check out sites before I add a link to them.

The Ultimate blog post checklist. Things You Should Do to Every Blog Post Before and After You Hit Publish | If you want to grow your blog then this post is for you! It includes tips for bloggers, which will help you increase your SEO and more! Click through to check out all the tips and download the PDF checklist!

No-follow links

As a rule I use no-follow links when writing a paid or sponsored post. These links basically help google see where content and promotion has been paid for and keeps the system fair.

I use another really simple plugin for no-follow links.

Green Lights in Yoast SEO

One thing I find very useful about Yoast SEO is that, as I’ve mentioned, it provides an SEO checklist of sorts. Once you have installed the plugin, at the bottom of every new post you are writing, it will give you a scoring card.

The Ultimate blog post checklist. Things You Should Do to Every Blog Post Before and After You Hit Publish | If you want to grow your blog then this post is for you! It includes tips for bloggers, which will help you increase your SEO and more! Click through to check out all the tips and download the PDF checklist!

As you can see here the bullet points are green. When you first start writing the post they will all be red, will change to amber if they need improvement and green if acceptable. It is however only a basic list where SEO comes in, so I simply use it as a reminder rather than as a final authority of my blog post’s SEO.

Add high quality and “on brand” images

Images are important for many reasons. Humans are highly visual and in general, images can help keep veiwers engaged for longer. They also help break up large chunks of text and are great for SEO.

Your blog or site has it’s own brand – it’s how people recognize your blog posts and will help you when producing marketing images and promotions.

It’s important that your images are consistently high quality, match your blog post and the style of your blog post.

I find taking photographs is the most time-consuming part of blogging. I often have great ideas for posts but not the right images to use in them.

You can use stock images from sites such as Pexels or Unsplash if you need something in particular for a post. Be sure that you credit any images you use as and when necessary too!

The Ultimate blog post checklist. Things You Should Do to Every Blog Post Before and After You Hit Publish | If you want to grow your blog then this post is for you! It includes tips for bloggers, which will help you increase your SEO and more! Click through to check out all the tips and download the PDF checklist!

Add “alt text” to your images

The alt text of your images is important for two reasons. It is another place you should add your long-tail keyword too which will help your images to show up in relevant Google searches. It is also the wording that automatically gets added to the ‘pin description’ when someone pins an image from your site to Pinterest.

This is something I’m still getting the hang of but basically I try to make my alt text a couple of sentences long, feature my long-tail keyword and bulk it out in a similar way to my meta description. I find that people are more likely to repin images, and to click through from Pinterest when I do this to my images.

Try pinning the below image and you will see what alt text description is automatically pulled through for the images in this particular post:

The Ultimate blog post checklist. Things You Should Do to Every Blog Post Before and After You Hit Publish | If you want to grow your blog then this post is for you! It includes tips for bloggers, which will help you increase your SEO and more! Click through to check out all the tips and download the PDF checklist!

Add a featured image

My blog theme looks best when I include a featured image for my post. It’s also the image that my site design automatically pulls into the ‘slider’ on my home page.

Categories and Tags

The way that I have my site set up and my pages displayed means that my blog posts are automatically sorted according to the categories I link them to. As you can see below the drop-down parts of my main menu are separated into different categories. If I don’t add a category to each individual blog post they won’t be archived in the right section and could be missed by viewers. It makes it a lot easier for viewers to navigate my site and the tags also help Google to link similar blog posts.

The Ultimate blog post checklist. Things You Should Do to Every Blog Post Before and After You Hit Publish | If you want to grow your blog then this post is for you! It includes tips for bloggers, which will help you increase your SEO and more! Click through to check out all the tips and download the PDF checklist!

Add a Pinnable Image

Pinterest is a big source of traffic for my blog and so I ensure to include at least one pinnable image in every blog post. This makes it a lot easier for people to share my content on Pinterest. I also have a social share plugin which adds share buttons such as those for Pinterest, Facebook and G+ to every page on my site.

IF YOU WANT TO GROW YOUR BLOG THEN THIS POST IS FOR YOU!

Prep your post with Click To Tweet

I find it a lot easier to share a blog post via Twitter if it already has the text ready for me to pull into a quote in a tweet. I got the Click To Tweet plugin which makes it easy to add a tweetable quote in every blog post to make social sharing really simple for my blog viewers.

Add a question at the end to encourage discussion.

I love getting comments on my posts and I love engaging with the people who read my posts. To help promote that I try to always add a question at the end of each post. It reminds people to comment and engage with me too!

The Ultimate blog post checklist. Things You Should Do to Every Blog Post Before and After You Hit Publish | If you want to grow your blog then this post is for you! It includes tips for bloggers, which will help you increase your SEO and more! Click through to check out all the tips and download the PDF checklist!

Proofread!

Last but certainly not least – ALWAYS proofread your blog posts before you publish! I downloaded a free computer programme called Grammarly which helps me check my spelling and grammar. If this is something you struggle with you can always write your posts in word and use a spellchecker before moving them over to WordPress drafts.

I like to read my post out loud before publishing when possible as personally, I find it a lot easier to spot errors when I’m reading it aloud.

Don’t forget to come back shortly for Part Two of the Ultimate Blog Post Checklist. In Part Two I’ll be covering everything you need to do AFTER your post is published.

Did you find this useful? Is there anything you’d like me to talk about in more detail?

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Alex

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40 Comments

  • Reply Helene September 21, 2017 at 8:49 am

    Love this post, it’s so useful because it provides a clear and concise checklist of actions to complete before publishing:) Some of these I haven’t implemented yet, and I definitely need to:) Thanks for sharing!!

    • Reply bettertogetherhome September 21, 2017 at 9:02 am

      Thanks Helene! I have only recently started doing a lot of them – now working on going back and editing my old posts too! Xx

  • Reply Kirsty Dee September 21, 2017 at 9:51 am

    I’m moving to self-hosted soon purely for that plugin and to help with SEO!

    • Reply bettertogetherhome September 21, 2017 at 4:31 pm

      Oh I 100% recommend going self-hosted! I wish I’d done it from the start as it would have been so useful! xx

  • Reply Lisa (Travel Loving Family) & Trips100 Editor September 21, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    Great tips! I’m picking up SEO slowly but surely but it is all so time consuming!

  • Reply Claire September 21, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    Love this Alex! You could almost be a blogger mentor! Oh wait a minute… 😉 I love how you made it simple to understand for beginners like me!

    • Reply bettertogetherhome September 21, 2017 at 8:18 pm

      Thankyou lovely! Hope it helps 🙂

  • Reply Jayne @ Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs September 21, 2017 at 6:25 pm

    Fab tips! I am sure this will be a massive help to new bloggers 🙂

    • Reply bettertogetherhome September 21, 2017 at 8:06 pm

      Thanks Jayne – I know I still find it useful to refer to now!

  • Reply Lexie Mary September 21, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    Such a detailed and informative post from you Alex! thanks for this wonderful full detailed guide for us. This is gonna be super helpful not just for me and also to all my fellow bloggers out there. I just pinned it!

    • Reply bettertogetherhome September 21, 2017 at 8:06 pm

      Thanks Lexie Mary glad it will help 🙂

  • Reply Nadia September 21, 2017 at 10:05 pm

    Very helpful post for anyone starting out in this crazy world of blogging. You’ve covered all areas so well. x

    • Reply bettertogetherhome September 22, 2017 at 7:46 pm

      Thanks Nadia! I definitely wish I’d found a post like this when I was starting out!

  • Reply Jordan Around The Globe September 21, 2017 at 10:27 pm

    I love your siteup and recommendations and tips. I just launched my new site and am trying to perfect it and I could use these tips for any blogging occasion but definitely for my next post. So beneficial, great read.

    • Reply bettertogetherhome September 22, 2017 at 7:47 pm

      Thanks Jordan! So glad you found it helpful 🙂

  • Reply Cath - BattleMum September 21, 2017 at 10:39 pm

    That’s a great guide for new bloggers or those unsure of SEO etc. I too read my posts out loud while proof reading them but I always do it in preview mode as I find it easier to spot mistakes that way.

    • Reply bettertogetherhome September 22, 2017 at 7:47 pm

      Great idea re reading out loud in preview mode! You can also see any formatting errors easier then too!

  • Reply Bri September 21, 2017 at 11:21 pm

    Thanks for sharing this! It comes at a perfect time for me as I am really focusing on research on how to improve my own blog 🙂

    • Reply bettertogetherhome September 22, 2017 at 7:47 pm

      Thanks Bri! So glad you found it helpful 🙂

  • Reply Christine September 22, 2017 at 1:10 am

    Thanks for the great tips! As somebody who is new to blogging and not the biggest “technical” expert, this was really helpful!

    • Reply bettertogetherhome September 22, 2017 at 7:48 pm

      Oh I’m not a technical expert either – I’m forever finding out new things! Just hoping it helps others!

  • Reply Anosa September 22, 2017 at 8:30 am

    It is incredible how much we need to do before we even publish the post. I do most of these but need to get good at asking questions at the end of the post.

    • Reply bettertogetherhome September 22, 2017 at 7:49 pm

      Yep – I think people underestimate how much work goes into blogging! I’ll be publishing a whole post tomorrow on what happens AFTER we press publish too! x

  • Reply Debbie Harris September 22, 2017 at 9:08 am

    Interesting and informative post. Proof reading really needs to be done more often in a lot of posts. It can let the whole post down. Thanks for sharing your tips.

    • Reply bettertogetherhome September 22, 2017 at 7:46 pm

      I hate reading posts with lots of typos! I appreciate that we all make mistakes but too many and it makes a blog unreadable!

  • Reply Fashion and Style Police September 22, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    Great tips here. I have recently started using Yoast and I am loving it.

    • Reply bettertogetherhome September 22, 2017 at 7:45 pm

      Yoast makes such a huge difference, doesn’t it?!

  • Reply Lyf&Spice September 22, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    Simply wow! You have provided all the information a blogger really needs to make their post perfect. I am bookmarking it for reference. Cheers!!

    • Reply bettertogetherhome September 22, 2017 at 7:45 pm

      Thank you! Glad you found it helpful 🙂

  • Reply Sarah | Boo Roo and Tigger Too September 22, 2017 at 6:43 pm

    Very informative and useful for bloggers of all levels. I must confess that I do miss the days when you could just write, include a photo and publish.

    • Reply bettertogetherhome September 22, 2017 at 7:44 pm

      Oh me too! Before I even knew what a DA was! 🙂

  • Reply Sarah Burns September 22, 2017 at 6:56 pm

    useful post, especially for those starting out as it makes it easier in the long run if you get the basics right

    • Reply bettertogetherhome September 22, 2017 at 7:44 pm

      It definitely does!

  • Reply Julie September 22, 2017 at 7:51 pm

    Thanks for the tips. I’m on the last one now, trying to create a pinnable image for each blog. I wish I had done this as I went along.

    • Reply bettertogetherhome September 22, 2017 at 8:12 pm

      Oh same! Am slowly going back through and editing old content but it takes so long!

  • Reply Charlotte September 23, 2017 at 11:54 am

    I love how in depth this post is and definitely loads for me to remember for sure! I like to think I do most of this but I know I have forgotten Alt text on some of my images or I will forget to write the meta description when I get excited!

    • Reply bettertogetherhome September 24, 2017 at 12:11 pm

      Hi Charlotte thanks – glad you like it! I’ve printed and laminated the pdf checklist and have it next to my desk so that I won’t forget! 🙂

  • Reply Kerry Norris September 23, 2017 at 9:59 pm

    This is a great post. I’ve saved it. I need to get better at linking back to my own older posts when I write new ones

    • Reply bettertogetherhome September 24, 2017 at 12:12 pm

      Thanks Kerry glad you think it’s helpful 🙂

  • Reply Kerry Norris September 23, 2017 at 9:59 pm

    This is a great post. I’ve saved it. I need to get better at linking back to my own older posts when I write new ones

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