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 key questions bloggers should ask themselves before making a new post live.
Is your blog post consistent in format?
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:
Are all your headers formatted the same way and do they have a similar tone? (Some bloggers write headlines like titles, while others write headlines in complete sentences.)
Are you consistent with how you spell and format words and phrases? (e.g., “Q&A” versus “Q and A.”)
Have you used the right tags and categories? Including consistent tags (blog tips, SEO, headline writing, etc.) helps readers easily navigate your site and find related content.
Consistent visuals are another thing to keep in mind. You’ll notice that Beyond Bylines uses the same font, colors, and general format for our blog headers. It helps everything tie together visually.
Have you proofread your post?
Bad grammar and typos can really hurt your blog and reputation. So ask yourself before publishing:
Did you read your post more than once?
Hint: Read your post out loud. It can sometimes be easier to catch mistakes this way. And if something sounds off when read aloud, it will probably be amplified when a reader comes across it.
Can you ask someone else to look over your post? A fresh set of eyes will usually spot something you’ve missed, even if you’ve read the post 10 times.
Does your blog post contain at least one shareable image?
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:
- Custom infographics
- Embedded social media posts
- Stock images
Hint: Know the rules on what images you are allowed to include in your posts.
Have you added titles and alt text to your images?
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.
Have you included the right keywords?
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.
Rocky Parker is the manager of Audience Relations at PR Newswire.