There are two things that keep me (and most people) coming back to blogs: authenticity and quality. Once you find your blogging voice, it’s a walk in the park. But, if no one can find your blog or it’s not very easy on the eye, it’s going to be challenging getting people to read it.
KEEP THEM COMING BACK FOR MORE
No one wants a one-hit wonder, unless you’re Vanilla Ice, so make them excited to come back.
Because let’s be honest…
Just about everyone and their mother is blogging these days. You’re already putting so much effort into writing content, why not make sure it stands out – in a GOOD way.
YOUR BLOGGING CHECKLIST FOR NEW POSTS
This 10-step checklist is super simple; it’s really here to help you grow your blog and to help you become an even better blogger. You can also grab the free blogging checklist printable if you prefer to work notebook style.
Righto, let’s get to it!
1) Start with a layout – THEN flesh it out
Does writing the intro section right off the bat leave you feeling overwhelmed?
A good way to combat this is to break it down. Write out all your sub-headings and a few roughly written mini sentences to get the jist of what you want to say. And THEN, come back section by section and flesh out your content. If it helps, try writing your intro when you’ve finished your entire post.
2) Choose a catchy, but relevant blog post title
This one may take a bit of time, so be prepared! Play around with different ways of saying something. For example, you could write, “What my fitness routine looks like” or “5 Energy-boosting exercises that you might love, too”.
See the difference?
I’d much rather click on #2 because it promises value to ME, the reader.
3) Write an attention-grabbing first paragraph
Besides your heading (hook), the intro is what’s going to keep people reading.
Keep it simple and to the point, highlighting what the post is about. Basically, you’re enticing people to read your post when they have a gazillion other things they’d much rather do.
4) Create content that resonates or is helpful
Blog readers generally want one of two things when they come to your blog: To FEEL something and know that someone else gets what they’re going through, or to get HELP via practical advice or tools to solve a problem.
Keep this in mind when you write/edit your post. You can also combine the two for an epic post.
5) Include the SEO basics
This topic needs an entire blog post to cover in detail, but let’s just stick to the basics here…
- Choose a good keyword that’s between 2-4 words. See how I chose “blogging checklist” instead of just “blogging” here? This helps people find your content easier.
- Always include inbound and outbound inks. These show Google that you’re providing valuable content and that you’re playing the game (sharing), just don’t go crazy. One or two of each is fine. Inbound is to your other blog posts; outbound is to other reputable and relatable websites.
- SEO Yoast. This is an awesome SEO plugin that I use. It helps SO much by making sure that you’ve got your SEO basics covered – and that your content is readable. Download this plugin if you’re using WordPress.
6) Make it “snackable” for lazy readers
Most people won’t read your full post, so make sure it’s scannable. This is why sub-headings, bullet lists and other ways to break up your content is SO important.
One cool trick I learned in my digital copywriting course was to create white space.
This means keeping sentences short, making sure there is “breathing room” between sections (not one long essay), and using the “F-pattern” method.
7) Choose a high-quality, eye-grabbing image
Believe it or not, sometimes this takes almost as long as writing a blog post!
But, it’s worth it…
People are visual creatures and if an image isn’t high quality or relatable, it’s not going to do you any favours. My advice? Always, always use high-quality images, and preferably ones that evoke emotion or curiosity.
8) Include one or two calls to action
Calls to action engage your readers.
Because at the end of the day, you want people to take ACTION, right? Not just read your blog post and hop off and have a nice day. For me, that’s building my newsletter list. So I’ll usually include a subscribe option below my post.
Here are some other calls to action you could include:
- Questions – this works well at the end of a post and encourages people to comment
- Asking people to comment something related to the post, like any tips they have, etc.
9) Share your post – and get creative about how you do it
If only we could just spend our days blogging and people would magically find our stuff, right?
Sadly, more people are blogging now than ever before, so if you want your content visible, you need to plan time to spread the word. Pop the link into your newsletter if you have one, add it to previous blog posts that you’ve written, and share across your favourite social media channels.
10) Keep your post alive after it’s published
So you’ve blogged and shared your content, great! Now what? Does it just sit there to die?
You’ve worked too damn hard on it.
If your content is evergreen, nothing is stopping you from sharing your amazing content the following week or month, in three months time, or even a year from now. That’s the cool part about writing good content. It’s there forever.
And last, but not least – don’t forget to proofread your post before you hit publish!
There you have it: 10 basic blogging checks for providing awesome content to your readers and helping your blog shine. Tools and resources below…
Happy blogging! x
** RESOURCES AND TOOLS MENTIONED **
- Unsplash (free images)
- Pixabay (free images)
- Canva (create images)
- PicMonkey (create images)
- Hootsuite (to schedule posts on social media)
- Yoast SEO plugin
- Heading and meta description length checker
- Blog post layout