Blog Post Checklist:
21 Essential Things to Do

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Blog Post Checklist - Things to do when writing a blog postSo all you need to do is write some blog posts, hit publish and that’s all it takes right?

Wrong!

If your aim is to generate traffic, build an audience and eventually turn it into a business and quasi-passive income stream you will definitely want to avoid doing the above.

We call this the hit and hope approach, a.k.a spray and pray.

While quantity might allow you to do some testing and gather data, you should always prioritize quality, but you know that right?

The truth is there’s an art to crafting blog posts that perform and that includes ticking all of the boxes, these include a mixture of things to help you appease both your readers and Google simultaneously.

It’s a balancing act.

Your blog post needs to have the following attributes:

  • It needs to be high-quality.
  • It needs to solve a problem.
  • It needs to engage your audience and ideal buyer persona.
  • It needs to ranks on search engines to generate organic traffic and contain relevant keywords with search volume.
  • It needs to leave your readers wanting more.

In this article, we are going to take you step-by-step through all of the things you should do before publishing your latest blog post, during the production process and immediately after.

You could consider this a very thorough blog post checklist.

Content Planning

The first area to focus on is your blog post idea and planning to make sure you are creating the right type of content.

1. Purpose

When planning your blog posts and creating a content strategy you need to have an end goal and purpose for each piece of content you create.

Examples can include:

  • Establishing your authority
  • Earning backlinks
  • Encouraging social shares
  • Building your email list
  • Generating affiliate clicks
  • Generating customers for your own products or services
  • Testing a new niche, subject or keyword

Making sure your content serves a purpose for your brand is the best way to make sure you are spending your time efficiently and on content that matters and can deliver a measurable return on investment.

Considering the end goal of your blog posts is also a great way to make sure you mix it up. If you publish one article a week and this week you publish an article with a commercial angle promoting a product, you should consider making your next post so it focuses more on delivering pure value and generating email sign-ups.

I know what you are thinking.

Some of your blog posts have the ability to achieve multiple goals at the same time but you want to at least make sure your content can tick one or two of these boxes for you each time and ideally have a singular primary goal.

If your aim is to generate backlinks then you might want to prioritize creating something unique, extremely useful, including data, independent research, and link-worthy visual content.

When your aim is to generate affiliate sales for a niche product you want to focus on being persuasive and covering all of the potential rebuttals your reader might have. You also want to make sure you rank for keywords with buyer intent that are relevant to the product you are talking about.

Remember your approach will vary depending on your end goal, but you can’t begin until you have your goal in mind.

2. Topical Relevance

Does your new blog post idea complete part of the puzzle for your readers and serve a purpose?

How does it fit into the grand scheme of things?

While it’s tempting to turn your blog into a broad lifestyle blog so you can whimsically write about anything you desire, this is very difficult to maintain because not many visitors want to subscribe to a blog that covers hundreds of different subjects inconsistently.

You are far better off with 5-10 categories each containing 10-20 posts than you are 100 categories with 1-2 posts in each.

Google won’t understand what your website is about and neither will your readers.

When you continue to write on a closely related blog topic you are reaffirming with Google the subject matter and purpose of your blog which helps them rank you more appropriately for your target audience.

If you haven’t already, make sure to check out how and why you should choose a blog niche or topic.

It’s also far easier to monetize your blog and email list when you know that the majority of your readers are interested in a close group of subjects.

Another benefit is that it’s easier to know what your audience is interested in buying when you aren’t guessing what brought them to you in the first place.

Now I’m not saying there’s no room for experimentation, you need to try new and related topics to help you scale eventually but 80% of the time you should stick to the program and keep trying to serve and help the same kind of audience you have already nurtured.

So start by choosing a topic or closely related group of topics and create a coherent blog before you dilute your attention by covering too many subjects.

3. Topic Depth

Can you cover the topic in enough depth to produce an article worthy of your readers time?

There’s no point publishing a 500-word blog post every day thinking consistency is the key, you are far better off writing longer articles less frequently.

This means if you can’t write more than 500 words about the idea you probably need to aim broader or write about something else.

Let’s say you wanted to write a blog post about brushing a dogs fur but you are struggling to hit a decent word count. Consider adjusting your idea to “dog grooming” and then you will have much more to write about.

Personally, I don’t find this is an issue very often because over the years I have learned to use tools to help me expand on my idea and find the questions people are asking that I hadn’t thought of including and answering.

One example of these tools is called AnswerThePublic which allows you to search for your primary keywords to see what questions people are asking in relation to the topic.

This can help you quickly turn 500 words into 1500.

Longer articles will also contain more keywords and variations which can also lead to a lot more traffic.

Research has shown that the mass majority of web pages that rank on page 1 of Google for a specific keyword have a word length between 1500-2500.

So try and prioritize subjects you and blog post ideas you can write at length about, this is one reason why it helps to be at least moderately passionate about the topic.

Content Creation

Once you have planned out your content it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get typing.

When writing your content you want to make sure you keep several things in mind to make the editing process easier when you do a second pass.

4. Great Walls of Text

One of the most common mistakes new bloggers make is writing as though they are still at school and creating giant walls of text.

This is where people format their articles with long paragraphs without regular breaks, pauses, and changes in formatting.

In a world with billions of blogs, peoples attention spans have got shorter and formed habits to enable them to remain efficient.

One example of this is how people skim over blog posts to quickly gain a sense of value and quality before scrolling back to the start to read it properly.

While your school teacher might have given you bad grades for writing in short paragraphs, it has been proven that this format holds the readers’ attention for longer and has a higher chance of converting.

This advice should not be confused for “write less” as longer posts will always perform better, this is relating exclusively to the formatting of the content and how you break up your paragraphs to add pauses and breathing space.

Why do you think all of the sales copy newsletters and web pages are formatted this way?

To give you bite-sizes nuggets of information that keep you scrolling down to read more.

Break up your content by:

  • Shortening your paragraphs.
  • Using images to make your articles more interesting. There’s lots of psychology behind the use of color on web pages.
  • Organize and structure your content with heading titles.
  • Use bullet points where relevant.
  • Add subheadings.
  • Use other formatting tweaks like bold/italic.
  • Add blockquotes, pull-quotes or even lead magnets.
  • Use videos, graphs, charts and other visual content.
  • Even use the occasional humorous animated GIF.

Read our complete guide on blog post formatting and WordPress HTML.

One prerequisite that should be applied globally but is worth mentioning is that you should have a clean and easy to read font that is web safe and uses the right font size, amount of line-height and spacing to ensure it has breathing space and is easily readable even to those with poor vision.

Also avoid one of my pet peeves, justified text.

Not many know this but the use of justified text is exclusively for columns in print publications and has no place on the internet as it can be extremely difficult to read, especially for people with learning difficulties like dyslexia, autism etc.

Nothing justifies justified text online.

5. Internal Linking

I’m sure you are exhausted of hearing how important SEO and organic traffic are by now but it can’t be stressed enough and internal linking is one of the foundational on-page strategies that you need to be using.

It might be obvious to some but when you write a new article you should be linking to other previous posts or pages where relevant.

This allows you to create a unique user journey through your site.

You don’t want your blogs menu and index pages to be the only way for people to find other interesting things to read.

If you are talking about one aspect of a subject and want to mention something you have previously talked about without repeating yourself you can use an internal link to send your reader there.

Every blog post you publish should contain internal links to get the maximum benefit from it.

This can also help with bounce rate and dwell time by keeping your visitors on your website for longer and getting them to visit multiple pages instead of leaving after reading the first post.

You want to link strategically to your most important posts and pages the most and use keyword targetted anchor text.

Anchor text is the name we give to the words that appear hyperlinked.

Avoid overusing the same anchor text over and over for the same page, use variations to switch it up, this helps you rank for more keyword opportunities and helps you avoid over-optimizing for one specific phrase.

Don’t forget, you also want to include some internal links to your new blog post, so after you click publish make sure to copy the URL and then find some relevant articles you can add links to.

When you first publish a new article it will have a page authority score of 0.

The best way to give this a boost from day one is to point internal links to your brand new post URL from pages and posts on your site that have already built up some PA.

6. Adding Images

Images break up your content and make it more user-friendly and approachable.

But they also serve another purpose.

Images can help you in your on-page SEO efforts as they present another opportunity for you to hammer home what the primary focus of your blog post is to Google.

Firstly, name your image filename so it includes the primary keywords and ideally place them towards the start with hyphens replacing spaces.

So an image for this article could be named blog-post-checklist.jpg for example if “blog post checklist” were the primary keyword I was going for.

Secondly, when you insert an image using WordPress, there’s a box where you can add what’s known as alt text.

This is another opportunity for you to mention your primary keywords.

What is alt text?

Alt text stands for alternative text and is what is shown when the image isn’t available or visible.

This is for accessibility, screen readers will read out what the image alt text says to a blind person using a computer with special screen reading software installed.

So, don’t stuff it with a list of keywords and make it useful, use it for the purpose that was intended and conveniently craft your primary keyword into it.

If you have already added images and go to the text tab in WordPress you will see your images have an alt part in the code

<img src="blog-post-tips.jpg" alt="This is where your alt text goes">

You can always edit it later by coming here and changing it to something more suitable or keyword focussed.

While it’s great to use images, and ideally several throughout your article to keep it interesting it can come at a cost.

Lots of images can slow your web page down, especially if the images haven’t been properly resized and compressed.

Find out how to optimize images for speed and SEO.

7. Proofreading, Spelling, and Grammar

I’m a slow reader so maybe I pick up on it more than others but I see so many articles riddled with spelling mistakes, bad grammar, and punctuation.

When I see this it makes me second guess the website or author, do they even have editors?

If you see me making this mistake, I implore you to call me out on it.

These days it’s easier than ever to catch these mistakes before you hit publish.

Sure using a basic built-in spell check tool on your browser can help but nothing comes close to the power of using Grammarly.

Why is Grammarly so good?

  • Checks for spelling mistakes and has an extremely wide vocabulary that’s ever-expanding.
  • Features contextual spelling and grammar detection. This was a game changer for me as it spots the typos a traditional spell checker would miss.
  • Teaches you about your mistakes so you can learn and avoid repeating them in the future.
  • Makes you think more and will 100% make you a better writer.
  • Keeps track of your writing weekly so you can report on your progress, bad habits etc
  • Runs as a chrome extension in the browser. Ideal for WordPress users! You can also install the desktop app or use it via their own website.

Proofreading Blog Posts with Grammarly

This is ideal for non-native English speakers who are working out a few kinks in their writing but it’s just as useful for those who only speak English, this is the ultimate typo-catcher.

You have no excuses, the free version is more than sufficient though their pro version does have some nice extras.

8. Craft an Engaging Headline

It’s important to make a good first impression.

Your title is your post in summary and it’s also what everyone sees first.

People that find you via Google or linked from another site may only ever see your title if you don’t make it engaging enough to click.

While I would never endorse click-bait titles I definitely recommend making them click-worthy.

What’s the difference?

A click-bait title promises the world or some exciting juicy news and delivers zilch.

A click-worthy title can be equally bold and striking but the content backs up the promise and delivers.

If you are ever going to play to your audiences emotions and lizard brain, this is the best time.

Entice your reader with something you know will be compelling, excite them, shock them and even confuse them by going against conventional wisdom.

There are lots of ingredients that make for a solid blog post headline and these are just a few of them.

Another formula for creating a post title with a high click-through rate includes creating list posts with an odd number at the start like this one.

I will often start off with a working title for my post, something that at least contains my primary keywords and topic.

Once I have written the post and have a better sense of how to summarize it I will then go back to the headline and start trying to make it more persuasive and click-worthy.

CoSchedule have a headline analyzer tool which can help you optimize your headlines and also analyzes which headlines perform best.

You can also take a look at the most successful bloggers in your niche and compare their headlines to your own.

Never forget that your competitors have done the hard work for you and you can use this to expedite your research and progress.

There’s no need to reinvent the wheel when you can take the best 5 competitors in your niche and reverse engineer what’s working.

9. Covering Your Subject Thoroughly

Have you covered your subject thoroughly and looked at it from every angle?

If you are struggling to hit a competitive word count then maybe there are some stones you have left unturned.

We already mentioned using AnswerThePublic earlier for planning your content and ideas.

You should use this with each and every article you write for a few reasons.

It will help you write a more in-depth piece that answers more questions and establishes you as an authority on the subject but it will also allow you to include many more longtail keywords that likely have lower competition yet still have some search volume.

Put 50 or 100 of these longtail keywords together and they can drive more traffic than ranking top of page one for a small handful of more competitive search queries.

Head over to Google (to use Google autosuggest), Quora, Twitter, YouTube for more angles on your subject.

You will also want to use SEMRush and other keyword research tools we recommend though most of the best options involve upgrading to a paid membership which may not be ideal if you are just starting out.

One of the best techniques and possibly the reason for so many successful bloggers writing lengthier posts is known as the Skyscraper Technique, an approach devised and coined by one of the most respected SEO experts Brian Dean.

This includes searching for your primary keyword on Google, then taking the top 10 results and analyzing the content of each.

Narrow it down to the best 4 or 5 and then write your piece using these examples as your research.

Look for commonalities like keyword inclusions, features they all have all included and their word counts.

Then when you write your article take the best ideas from the 4 or 5 you are left with and make your content longer and better than these competitors.

Doing so will make it easy for you to organically attract links and increase your motivation to share it and promote your content.

I like to use a Chrome Extension called Word Counter Plus that makes it as easy as highlighting and right-clicking to reveal the total word count of any web page or section of a web page.

10. User and Search Friendly Permalinks

A permalink is a name given to your URL or web address including the extension slug.

https://mazepress.com < Domain

/this-post-title < Slug

https://mazepress.com/this-post-title < Permalink

It’s short for a permanent static hyperlink, so you don’t want to keep changing it otherwise you will have to create 301 redirects and risk losing the power and authority it has gained from any backlinks.

I’m sure you have seen websites that have ugly permalinks like

https://mazepress.com/p?87487633827

or worse, it could include more characters than that and be literally impossible to remember. The above example also doesn’t include any keywords to help Google understand the context of the post.

A lot of WordPress installs still include the date slug which obviously makes your content look old pretty quickly.

https://mazepress.com/2016/6/10/this-post-title

While this isn’t as bad since it does at least include the title, having that date there is poor for the user experience as people will see it and likely think the post is old and not relevant.

If your content is evergreen then why put a read by date on it?

The benefits of optimizing your permalinks are:

  • More user-friendly – Easier for both yourself and your readers to share and remember.
  • Search Engine Optimization – Helps Google and other search engines quickly understand the purpose of the post.
  • Evergreen – Removing the date allows you to keep your content from looking stale.

In WordPress, under Settings > Permalinks you can set them however you want but avoid doing this if your blog is already established unless you know the risks and have 301 redirects prepared to fix any broken URLs.

Other things you should do when it comes to setting your permalinks include:

  • Keeping it short – Google prefers short URLs over it being long and wordy and this also makes them easier to remember, type and share.
  • Remove any stop words. These include words that add no context like (the, to, and, this, of).
  • If you create a list post “26 things you can…” remove the number from the permalink so you can always add or remove items from your list later without it not matching.
  • Don’t add the year, even if you are writing a blog post with the year in the title, remove it from the permalink. You might be able to update and repurpose the post next year without having to change the URL.
  • Use hyphens (-) where you would have a space. Don’t use underscores (_).
  • Don’t add special characters, if you add Non-ASCII Glyphs or Emojis to your title, which you shouldn’t anyway, these will introduce abnormalities in your permalinks. It’s a rare occurrence but I’ve seen people doing it.

Using the Yoast plugin you can gain even more control over your permalink structure including having the ability to remove surplus words from your category slugs.

SEO Friendly Blog Post Permalinks

In the above screenshot, you can see where to edit your post permalink slug in WordPress.

11. Create Visual Content

You want to create some visual content to compliment your blog post for a few reasons.

  • To create an on-brand thumbnail or featured image for your post. So your thumbnails are consistent, this doesn’t mean you need to add your logo to your thumbnails though, but try and make them your own and uniform.
  • To create images and other visual content that you can use on social media to help market your posts. The most effective example of this is creating 2-3 images for Pinterest that you can share on your own boards and group boards to generate traffic.
  • Because good visual content is hard to copy and recreate and can be a great way to encourage more organic backlinks, especially if you create infographics, maps and other data-driven visual content types.

Featured Images

You can use Canva, PicMonkey or Photoshop if you have the design chops to create simple but attractive thumbnails for your blog posts. You can also include them in the body of your article too like I do in the top right of my articles.

You want to pick the dimensions for your featured images (thumbnails) and then stick with it, this will help you create a consistent look and feel, especially if your posts are laid out in a grid format like mine often are on this site.

When you have your graphic ready and you have sized and optimized it for speed you then just need to add it to your post in WordPress under the Featured Image section.

Social Content

There are lots of types of social content and different formats work better than others depending on the platform.

For our example, we are going to just focus on the social network that is responsible for the success of so many bloggers and that is Pinterest.

Pinterest has a preference for vertical images, and creating 1-3 for each of your blog posts and then seeding them on Pinterest is one of the best ways to give your articles a kick start.

If you have looked into content repurposing you might already be familiar with the idea of taking one piece of content from your blog with several tips or pieces of information and then creating several images each focussing on just one.

This is why you want to create multiple Pinterest formatted images for each article so you can have more attempts at driving traffic to your blog.

If you share 3 different images to promote your article you have 3X the chance of it going viral and being picked up by a Power-Pinner.

You can also generate longterm traffic if you learn some Pinterest strategies and grow your account using a scheduling tool like Tailwind.

Make sure to verify your site with Pinterest and setup Rich Pins and the Pin hover button so people can pin your post directly from your post.

You will also need to add your best Pinterest pin image somewhere in your blog post. I like to add them at the end.

Video

There are lots of ways to use video to help you with your marketing efforts.

You could embed a related video from YouTube created by someone else or you can create your own video either manually or by using a tool that helps you convert your blog post into a bite-sized video with captions in less than 10 minutes.

The added benefit of adding a video to your blog post is that it’s likely to keep visitors on the page longer, resulting in a lower bounce rate, and a longer dwell time, both of which are positive SEO factors.

There has never been a better time to start incorporating video into your marketing stack, whether you are comfortable with it or not because there is a definite trend of users opting to consume an increasing amount of video content online and this shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

If you are a blogger or digital marketer and want to build or maintain longevity in the space you have to be agile and willing to pick up new skills and try new tactics, but the caveat is trying avoiding shiny object syndrome and trying everything and anything without any data or positive results to justify it.

12. On-Page SEO Optimization with Yoast

To generate an ongoing and organic stream of targetted visitors you want to be ranking on Google for your target keywords.

One of the best ways is to make sure your content is well optimized for those terms and phrases.

If you don’t have Yoast SEO installed start by doing that.

Yoast SEO is by far the best free SEO plugin for WordPress and affords you both global and post by post control over various search engine settings and access to tools that help you to optimize your content for organic traffic and ranking for keywords.

I won’t go into every detail but using Yoast SEO you want to do the following:

  • Add a custom meta title to improve your click-through rate and rankings. Include your primary keywords.
  • Add a custom meta description which can also improve your CTR.
  • Add your primary keyword
  • Follow any recommendations that are advised but take some with a pinch of salt.

Yoast SEO Blog Post Tips

In another article, we will talk in more detail about using Yoast SEO Plugin to maximize the on-page SEO of your posts and pages.

13. Lead Magnets

I’ll be honest, you might not want to add lead magnets within the content of all of your posts but in many occasions, you will, especially if you appreciate how powerful they can be.

Lead magnets allow you to add subject-relevant calls-to-action that offer your reader what is known as an ethical bribe, this could be a free eBook, access to a private community, a free email course or some other digital download you have created.

The point is that when done well and related to your article they can convert like gangbusters.

That means lots of people subscribing to your email list, which is your most valuable asset as a blogger or any other kind of website owner.

There’s no subscription method as powerful as email, don’t believe the chatbot hype, yes chatbots are awesome, I love them, but they aren’t replacing email anytime soon.

You can use a plugin like ThriveLeads which makes it extremely easy to design as many lead magnets as you need and provides you with a shortcode to easily add them anywhere in your content.

It’s also arguably the best WordPress popup plugin.

While I said you might not want lead magnets within the content of all of your posts, you will definitely want a global call to action somewhere at the end of your post or as part of a global footer.

This gives your readers an action to take once they reach the end of your post and signing up for your email list is the most intimate and important first step in building a relationship with a reader other than them straight up buying your products of course.

Here comes a lead magnet!

Content Promotion / Post-Publishing

Once you have written your content, edited it and digitally dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s you might be forgiven for thinking your job here is done.

Unfortunately, I’m not that forgiving so I will be brutally honest when I say, if you put 2 hours into writing your blog post, you should put at least 4 hours into promoting it.

That means whatever time you spent writing the post, spend twice as much time and effort promoting it.

You don’t have to do the promotional work all at once, especially if your website only has a few articles and you are urgently trying to build your base content first.

You have to consider your circumstances but for most people, you want to be putting as much effort into promoting your content directly after publishing it and then repeatedly return to it and promote again.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can go about promoting your blog posts.

14. Pinterest Pin Promotion

If you followed my earlier suggestion of creating 1-3 pin-worthy images then this is the time when you can seed them into the system to start bringing some visitors to your freshly published article.

Don’t pin them all at the same time, consider pinning one immediately, presuming you published your blog post at a popular time and then schedule the rest using a Pinterest Pin scheduling tool like Tailwind to have your others share out later or over the next week.

Don’t forget to also share them on group boards and anywhere relevant you have access to with a large number of followers.

If you have built up a relationship with other bloggers and Pinterest users, reach out to them and see if they want to repin your content.

Hopefully, you have also installed Rich Pins and the Pin Hover button to your website to make it as easy as possible for your visitors to pin it themselves directly from your site.

I could go into great detail about how to promote your blog posts on Pinterest to build your blog traffic but I will save that for another article.

15. Social Networks & Platforms

While most social networks are notoriously difficult to take visitors off the platform and onto your own website it’s still worth sharing your content across any platforms relevant to your niche.

Ideally, you have a social media management tool that allows you to curate and schedule like Buffer, Hootsuite, Jarvee, SproutSocial or Agora Pulse.

If so, then you probably have this covered, proceed as normal and syndicate your post.

If you haven’t got to the automation stage then you can either continue to do the process manually or consider if it’s time to adopt a tool to so you can use your time more efficiently.

Some people prefer to handle it manually, and that’s totally fine, you can certainly add the personal touch this way, but for me, that sounds like a lot of wasted time.

I like to automate what I can, but that doesn’t mean I don’t log in to the various social platforms later on to engage with other users and read and reply to comments.

Some things simply can’t be solved with automation.

Where you decide to post and share your content will depend on the topics you are blogging about but the main sites most bloggers use are:

  • Facebook – The big daddy of the social space, though their greed means they are constantly reducing the organic reach and visibility as they force marketers to pay-to-play. There are many tools that can be used to automate and syndicate your content from your blogs RSS feed to Facebook.
  • Twitter – A great place to network and engage though not the greatest for driving traffic as the feed can quickly become overwhelming and most users are following several thousand people at once. Myself included – Guilty!
  • Instagram – Awesome brand building tool and if you are an influencer with a large following it can be great but links are banned from posts leaving you with just your profile link to use as leverage to get people off the platform. You can automate using Later, but you can’t syndicate to auto push from your website because it expects a square image or video ideally, not a blog post from an RSS feed.
  • Reddit – A tough crowd but if you can find an authentic angle that allows you to share your content on a high volume subreddit then you can generate a lot of targetted traffic. No real way to automate and even if there was it wouldn’t deliver any results due to the way the platform works.
  • StumbleUpon (RIP) Now part of Mix, we will see how that goes – Once sent me 100k hits in under 24 hours to a blog I was running a decade ago, provided a great way to discover content and drive traffic. The verdict is still out on Mix but be sure I will test it.

For a lot of my social media automation and syndication, I use Jarvee because I manage 20+ websites and Jarvee is scalable for my needs while not breaking the bank.

If you are running just the one blog or less than five I would recommend using Agora Pulse for Facebook and Twitter and Later for Instagram.

There are also other platforms that you can’t syndicate your content on but you can still use for post specific content promotion such as:

  • Quora – By answering related questions and tactically and tactfully including a hyperlink to your article.
  • Medium – By reposting your article since it includes a canonical that points back to the original if you use their import feature. I don’t personally recommend this myself. I think it’s better to write unique but related content on this sort of platform and include a couple of links. Use it as an opportunity to guest post as much as you want.
  • Forums – On your niche and topics. Will vary a lot but there are forums on literally every topic under the sun.
  • Misc – Each niche and topic has its own unique list of different websites including content syndicators.

Much like with Pinterest, we could go on all day about social media marketing, but that’s not the main purpose of this guide.

16. Outreach & Using Your Network

You know the adage “Your network is your net worth?” It’s pretty much on the money!

When it comes to promoting your new blog post what’s better than one person promoting it?

Two! or even twenty-two!

The more you build your network the larger your potential army of co-promoters becomes.

Of course, it can’t be all take-take-take. You have to reciprocate to maintain healthy relationships and rapport.

Look for other websites and blogs serving the same audience with similar or related content and share your content with them. Don’t ask them to share it, just say that you thought they might like it.

If they like it, they will most likely share it and if they have influence and an engaged following you should be able to detect if it impacted your traffic.

When first reaching out, you may want to focus on delivering value before asking for help but that shouldn’t put you off from performing tactical email outreach and utilizing the existing network you have already built.

If you are doing cold outreach then you might want to check out hunter.io for finding peoples emails and MailShake for automating the email outreach, monitoring, and the follow-up process.

It saves a lot of time.

17.  Email Newsletter

If you already have an email list then this is your chance to market your content to people who have already expressed an interest.

Emailing your email list once a week or as and when you publish new content is one of the best ways to bring in some instant and regular traffic.

Provided you aren’t publishing daily or several times a day this approach should be fine and is unlikely to annoy your subscribers.

If you think you are emailing too frequently adopt a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly newsletter where you send a roundup of what they have missed or your best content from that time period.

Anybody who says you shouldn’t email your list simply hasn’t mastered the arts of digital marketing yet or writes tedious emails.

18. Engage in the Discussion

There are two types of discussion to keep an eye on and engage with.

Blog comments – Depending on your preference you may or may not have comments turned on. For some they become frustrated with the spam, others thrive off the direct conversation.

Comments can be a good way to learn more about your readers and answer follow up questions to organically grow the content of your posts.

If you opt to use the comments feature, make sure you don’t ignore your readers when they do comment because this is a sure fire way to lose people.

I have gone through phases of having comments turned on and off on various blogs I run or manage over the years depending on the circumstances.

Some of my blogs and websites use them and others like this one currently don’t.

Social Discussion – The other type of discussion to manage is the conversation that takes place on social media surrounding both your brand and more specifically in this case the article you have published.

If people are retweeting it, commenting, replying you should be observing this both manually and with the help of social monitoring tools to speed up your workflow. Sprout Social is a tool that is excellent for Social Monitoring.

You can then continue to build the relationship with these people by answering questions, following, thanking them and finding other creative ways to engage further with them with the goal of making them fans for life.

This is a great way to stand out and over-deliver.

Ongoing Tasks

So now you are really done, right?

Still wrong! Sorry, not sorry.

You see, even weeks, months and years after publishing your articles they still require and benefit from a bit of tender love and care from time to time.

19. Analytics

Best Blog Post AnalyticsIf you have been following this site then you will probably have some form of analytics installed on your blog. Most likely Google Analytics.

This means you can check the performance of each page and post on your website as well as lots of other useful metrics.

I advise that people don’t obsess over their analytics, if you check it every day or several times a day then you are wasting precious time but checking it once every few days or once a week to get an update is fine.

Then periodically you can spend some time digging a little deeper and looking at how all of you posts have performed and start to draw some conclusions from your data by looking for similarities between your best-performing posts as well as your worst performing posts.

Which leads me nicely onto the next point.

20. Content Audit

When your content is published, even if it is mostly evergreen there are going to be times where you will want to do a content audit and decide if some edits and updates need to be made.

Instances where you will want to perform a content audit:

  • A blog post or posts aren’t performing as well as expected, the traffic is low for example, though there are other criteria you could measure like the conversion rate.
  • On the contrary to the above, when a blog post is performing better than expected, this could mean that by doing a bit more work on it you could improve the conversion rate or rank for more keywords by expanding the article.
  • Quite a while has passed since a blog post was last reviewed and edited
  • Something fundamental has changed about the topic of your blog post.
  • When certain blog posts no longer fit in with the big picture you have for your blog.

In fact, often you can get more benefit from going back and editing, updating and even purging blog posts than you can by producing fresh content.

Don’t be afraid to delete old posts if they aren’t performing well or don’t connect or make sense alongside the rest of your content.

By deleting these weak and thin pages you are improving the overall quality of your site.

21. Internal Links

Internal links again?

Yes, just like with the process of publishing your article and then going through other related articles to add internal links, you also want to strategically edit and add internal links over time.

You might be editing an old article to add a link because you just published something fresh and the article you are editing leads into your new one perfectly.

On the other hand, you might find one of your blog posts has major authority and has generated a tonne of backlinks.

To make the most of these backlinks you want to spread the link juice wisely and place internal links to your most important posts and pages so some of that power trickles through.

This is an ongoing process as your blog evolves, and as you produce new content you need to ensure things interconnect by adding and updating your internal links.

I know I said 21 things but then I had to include another…

22. External Links (Mostly referred to as Backlinks)

If there’s one thing that’s remained fairly consistent in the world of SEO, even if you read old SEO blog posts, is that backlinks are the key to building authority and ranking on Google for highly competitive keywords.

Backlinking is an area you can and should work on from the moment you publish but you can generate backlinks in a plethora of ways, one of which is by promoting your content and doing email outreach.

The thing to keep in mind is that while you might give your article a push when it’s initially published, provided its evergreen content it should be as good today as it was when you published, that’s why you should routinely be repromoting your content.

Build backlinks on an ongoing basis by:

  • Using email outreach to contact relevant websites that might want to link to your content or at least share it on social media.
  • Reaching out to your network for backlink opportunities.
  • Use services like HARO though they are more likely to include a backlink to your homepage, however, if you are creative you can have some success with post-specific backlinks.
  • Keep your eyes open for opportunities. If you are reading articles and you see an opportunity where someone could link to your blog, drop them a message via social media or email and see if they are interested.
  • Re-syndicate your content on social platforms. The more you recycle your old content, the more people will see it, the more people who see your content, the more chance you have of gaining organic backlinks.

If you are struggling to grow your blog traffic and you don’t have a backlink strategy then you know why.

Blog Post Checklist: Final Thoughts

Now YOU Can Craft the Perfect Blog Post!

I didn’t intend to write a 7000-word article, but that’s what happened.

Sometimes you just can’t cover a subject thoroughly enough without really going to town.

We have covered every aspect of creating a blog post including pre-production and planning, creation, formatting, editing, post-production, and promotion.

With this content production recipe, you should be able to create posts that engage your audience and rank on Google like you invented the internet.

If you want to be a successful blogger, follow the steps outlined in this guide, bookmark it and re-read it regularly or use it as a reference to skim over everytime you write a new article until it’s ingrained in your soul.

Blogging Checklist Essential Steps, Tricks and Tips

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David

Web Designer, Digital Marketer & Entrepreneur with over a decades worth of experience helping small and medium sized businesses evolve and adapt to the modern digital marketplace.