Looking for a handy blog post checklist? Before you publish your next blog post, follow this 37-point checklist to make sure your content is ready for publishing.
Blog post writing checklist
Brainstorm blog post ideas
Don’t know what to write about? Get ideas on what to write from other bloggers in your niche. You can also look on Quora to find popular questions people in your niche are asking.
Solve one problem
Clearly identify one main problem you are going to solve in your blog post. You want to write about only one narrow topic per post.
Start with a working title
Your blog post headline matters – a lot. While I recommend writing your headline last, it helps get direction on your blog post by starting with a working title.
In fact, you might want to write more than one title and then choose one when you’re done with your article.
If you want help writing viral headlines, check out Hack My Headlines Toolkit, a resource I created that has tons of viral headline formulas and done-for-you templates.
Write an outline of your post
Write out the entire skeleton outline of your post first. It helps to plan out your content before you write it, then fill in the sections as you go.
For this blog post, my skeleton headline is:
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Start with a story
Your blog post needs to start with a hook! Start with a personal story about why this problem matters to you. Remember to write in a fun, friendly, conversational tone.
Write your blog post with a template
Need help writing your blog post? While this blog post checklist can help, my blog post template will help even more.
When you write with a template, you’re writing with a solid plan. Be sure to download my blog post template PDF to help with this.
Make your content easy to read
Do whatever it takes to break your content into smaller sections to make it easier to read.
Divide your content into short, easily digestible paragraphs. Separate main points into headings, and don’t forget to use lists, where appropriate.
Blog posts are more exciting with images. Your goal is to have the reader go through your entire blog post. When you add images, you’re making your page more visually appealing.
If you don’t like the selection and want exclusive images for your blog, you’ll have to turn to a premium stock photo site like 123RF.
Ask a question
Want more engagement in your blog posts? Ask a question at the end of your article. you’ll be sure to get more blog comments.
I like to end most of my blog posts with a question asking readers for their suggestions or recommendations. For example, in my article on the best page builders, I ask readers which page builder they use and why they like it.
When you’re done writing your post, re-read your entire blog post. Make sure you completely and fully solved the problem you’re addressing.
You also want to do a basic spelling and grammar check using Grammarly. While the free version will do basic checks for you, you’ll want to upgrade to the pro version (like I have) to help improve your writing.
Finalize your blog post title
Choose a catchy title to get the attention of people on Google search or social media. You can use a handy headline analyzer tool like this one to help you craft the perfect headline.
Create a content upgrade
One of the main goals of your blog post should be to either make a sale or to at least get an email subscriber. If you do, you have a chance at grabbing the attention of your visitor again in the future.
If you don’t yet have an email list, I encourage you to sign up for free at ConvertKit. But how do you get more subscribers? While you can create a generic lead magnet, why not create a post-specific lead magnet, also known as a content upgrade.
Your content upgrade could be as simple as a printable checklist that lays out the main points of your article.
Add an email opt-in form
To collect emails, add an opt-in form within the content of your blog post. You’ll also want to add one other form, either as an exit-intent lightbox, a slide-in widget, or a ribbon form (a thin bar at the top of your post).
Call to action
At the very end of your blog post, add a strong call to action.
What do you want your readers to do after consuming your content? If you don’t tell them what to do, they will do nothing and leave.
You can ask them to follow you on Instagram, join your email list, share this post, leave a comment, or buy an affiliate product. Either way, you have to ask!
Change your slug
You can (and should) edit the URL of your blog post on WordPress. Go to the Permalink setting in your blog post and edit the URL slug.
Keep this short, use your keyword phrase, and make sure you haven’t used this slug before. For this post, my slug is blog-post-checklist so my full URL is https://dosixfigures.com/blog-post-checklist/
Schedule your post!
Whew! That was a lot of work. When your blog post is ready, pick a date and time and schedule your post!
I call it “schedule” instead of “publish” because I recommend writing your content weeks (or even months) ahead. That way, no matter what project or hurdle comes your way, your blog continues to be updated on schedule.
Blog post SEO checklist
While the steps in this blog post SEO checklist aren’t required, I fully recommend them. If you want to get free SEO traffic from Google, it helps to follow the SEO best practices I’ll list below.
Before you write a blog post, figure out whether it’s even worth your time by doing keyword research.
By using SEMRush, you can get data about each keyword, such as its search volume and a difficulty score. You’re going to want to pick keywords that have high volume and a low difficulty score.
If you ignore this step, you risk writing content nobody is searching for or content you have no chance of ranking for in Google.
Identify your keyword(s)
Once you’ve nailed down the main keyword phrase you want to target, look for other related phrases too. These additional keywords are called LSI (latent semantic indexing) keywords.
You can use LSIGraph to find related phrases to target in addition to your main keyword.
Add your keywords in your post
Next, add your keywords throughout your post. Don’t worry too much about keyword density, though. Just don’t overdo it.
With the Yoast SEO plugin, you’ll get a green light if you keep your keyword density in the 0.5 to 3% range.
As far as where to add your keywords, there are a few key locations to target. Use them in the title (near the front), in the first paragraph, in the headings, and in your URL slug,
Edit the meta data
It’s possible to have a different blog post title for your blog and another one for Google. If you want a different title, you can edit the meta title using the Yoast SEO plugin.
But what’s more important to edit is the meta description. If you leave this blank, Google will use the first couple of sentences for the meta description.
Instead, add a meta description that uses your keywords and entices the reader to click through to your page.
Google needs to understand the hierarchy of your content. They need to know what is most important and how you divide up the content of your post.
Use the h1 tag for your title, h2 tags for the major points, and h3 tags for sub-points.
SEO your images
Aside from Google search, there’s also Google Images search to rank for too. To get your images ranked here, rename your image file name before uploading. For example, blog-post-checklist.jpg.
Next, add descriptive text in the alt tag. This text is meant for screen readers to use for the visually impaired, so don’t overload them with keywords.
Finally, optimize and compress your images using the ShortPixel plugin.
Add internal links
Adding links to your previous blog posts is good for your readers but also good for SEO. This helps Google know that blog posts are related to each other.
For example, in this blog post, I can link to a related piece I wrote on blog post ideas.
Add external links
While you might feel stingy about linking out to others, don’t be. It actually helps your blog if you freely link to reputable, authoritative sources.
This is especially true if you’re making any claims in your content. You need to be able to back these up with sources.
Add links pointing to your post
Many bloggers forget to add links to their new content from within their old content. What a big mistake!
Sometimes, our new content is so good yet never gets internal links. Meanwhile, your older, weaker content gets all the link love.
To cure this problem, use the LinkWhisper plugin. I use this plugin to create internal links to my new blog post. The plugin finds link opportunities for you and edits your existing posts, saving you the trouble of having to manually add the links yourself.
Get backlinks to your post
Want to climb Google’s search rankings? You’re going to need to get other bloggers in your niche to link to your blog post.
You can get backlinks with outreach, networking, and good old-fashioned guest posts.
Green lights on Yoast
In the Yoast SEO section, check that you have both green lights on. One is for SEO and the other is for readability. While not necessary, it’s helpful to know you’re doing all you can to create blog posts that are SEO-optimized.
Blog post promotion checklist
Once you publish your blog post, your work is not done! Spend the time to properly promote your blog post. Here’s a handy blog post promotion checklist to help you do just that.
Design a featured image
Using Canva, create a featured image for your post. This is the image you’ll use on your blog, but it’s also the image design you can use to promote your content on social media.
Create an image for Twitter
Using the same design you created for your featured image on your blog, create an image for Twitter.
The correct image size for a tweet with a link is 1200 x 628 pixels or a 1.91:1 ratio.
Create an image for Facebook
Good news! The image you created for Twitter can be used for Facebook as well.
The image size for a Facebook post share is 1200 x 628 pixels or a 1.91:1 ratio.
Create an image for Instagram
Don’t forget about Instagram! While you can’t add links in Instagram posts, you can use an Instagram bio link tool that updates with your latest blog posts.
The image size for an Instagram post is 1200 x 1200 pixels or a 1:1 ratio.
Create 5 Pinterest images
Pinterest is an awesome traffic source for bloggers. To get your blog posts shared on Pinterest, create and publish 5 pins to promote your blog post.
The image size for a Pinterest pin is 1000 x 1500, or a 2:3 aspect ratio.
Schedule your pins
Use a Pinterest scheduler like Tailwind to schedule your pins. You should spread out your pins several days or weeks apart. You can also add your pins to Tailwind Communities in your niche so others can share your pins too.
Share your post on social media
Once your post is published, share it on Facebook, Twitter, and anywhere else your audience is. Add it on your Stories too.
To reshare your posts on autopilot, use a social media scheduler like SocialPilot. You can also set it up to auto-post every time you publish a new blog post.
Write your list
You’ve just published a new post. is it something your email subscribers should hear about? If so, blast a message to your list with a preview of your newest blog post.
Repurpose your content
Make a YouTube video or a podcast episode about your post. Then embed the video or audio into your blog post.
Respond to comments
If you want to build a community on your blog, respond to every single comment.
Blog post checklist PDF
Until next time,