February 25, 2021
/ by Beyond Bylines Team
See the original post on Beyond Bylines.
After all the hard work you put into writing your blog post, hitting “publish” can be as rewarding as sipping a glass of wine after a long, hard day of work.
However, before shutting that computer down for the day and relaxing, a blogger should always be referencing a checklist before publishing a new post.
Below is a list of 10 questions bloggers should ask themselves before making a new post live.
In a rush? We get it. Jump to the infographic.
The more consistent your blog is, the more professional it looks. Figuring out a style guide for your blog will take it to the next level. Once you have that sorted, make sure any new posts fall within your guidelines. Ask yourself:
Consistent visuals are another thing to keep in mind. Use the same fonts, colors, and general format for your blog headers to help everything tie together visually.
Bad grammar and typos can really hurt your blog and reputation. So ask yourself before publishing:
Images make blog posts more enjoyable to read. They help to draw the eye to key information and can enhance the structure of the blog post by breaking up large blocks of text.
Ideally, every post would contain at least one image. In addition to a header image, other asset options include:
Hint: Know the rules on what images you are allowed to include in your posts.
It’s not as simple as just adding a photo to the post. Some common multimedia mistakes can cause serious damage to your content.
Adding titles, captions, and alt text to the images you use ensures Google can understand what the images are about and increases chances that they will be surfaced in search results. For example, if someone searches “cute baby boy” under images in a search engine, your image is more likely to pop up in results if it contains the words “cute,” “baby,” and “boy” in its title or alt text.
Your blog traffic will not increase if people can’t find your blog – no matter how amazing your content is.
Having keywords in your post’s title can help people find your article. Think about what your readers are searching for on Google (e.g., “How to Start a Blog” or “10 Easy Summer Fashion Tips” or “An Easy Recipe for Chicken Pot Pie”). Their intent should drive the types of content you’re creating, as well as the keywords that are written into it.
Also, make sure some of those keywords lie within the text of your blog post. But be careful not to overdo it – your text should still read naturally and the keywords should be included organically. No keyword stuffing!
And like the previous item notes, make sure relevant keywords are also included in the metadata of any multimedia assets.
Links are a critical piece of SEO that needs to be factored into your writing process. Here are three link-related items to double-check before you publish:
If you don’t include a clear call-to-action in your posts, you’re risking a reader leaving your site as soon as they’ve read a page. That’s not ideal.
Ask yourself: What do you want a reader to DO once they land on your site? Whether it’s buying a product, signing up for a newsletter, downloading a report, or anything else, make that desired action easy to spot on the page.
Also, don’t forget to include visible contact information or other ways to be reached – email address, social media links, etc. Don’t make readers dig for this information.
As you scroll down your page, does your blog post look boring? Would you be interested in reading it? Are there big chunks of text that don’t look appealing?
Formatting can make a huge difference when deciding whether to read your post. It’s not just about numbered lists and bullet points (though those are great). Add section headers where it makes sense. Consider adding images or videos. Embed tweets or Instagram posts. Infographics are great, too.
Bottom line: Make your posts visually dynamic and easy to read!
Sometimes a blogger can become too comfortable writing in his or her own voice. Reread your blog post and see if you’ve said something that another reader may not understand.
Did you use any shorthand, slang, abbreviations, or jargon your reader may not get? If so, try to explain it, or even link the phrase to an explainer article or video – if it’s your own explainer, even better.
Tools like Grammarly and Hemingway are good options to help you figure out if the text is reader-friendly and can point out sentences that would benefit from being reworked and simplified.
This is the *most important* question to ask yourself before publishing your post.
If you aren’t feeling 100% about it, ask yourself where the hang-ups are. It’s better to take some extra time to get it perfect than rushing to publish something that you wouldn’t want to put your name on.
The prouder you are of your post, the more effortless it becomes to share your work and build an audience.
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