Love it or hate it, blogging is here to stay. Every week I meet business owners who ask me about whether or not they should be blogging. Most times, my answer is yes, but under one condition.
Don’t be a dummy.
Okay, that may not be quite what I say, but if you’re going to write a blog you need to follow some house-rules. The rules aren’t complicated, in fact, they aren’t too different from what your 7th grade English teacher taught you in regards to writing a paper.
Awhile back, we made this blog writing checklist for a training session we did with one of our clients. This checklist is a quick and easy way to make sure you cover all the bases before you publish your blog post. Use this checklist as you get started writing and before you know it, blog writing will become second nature.
1. Headline: Is it strong, engaging, and search-friendly? Use this Headline-Analyzer to check.
2. Headline: Is it between 40-69 characters long?
3. Headline: Is your keyword included?
4. Introduction: Does the first sentence grab your audience’s attention?
5. Body: Do you include your keyword? Use it naturally.
6. Body: Does it deliver on the promise you made in the introduction?
7. Body: Is it easy to follow? Clear, concise, focused.
8. Body: Is it easy to skim? Do you use subheadings?
9. Body: Do you use bullets, lists and call out boxes? All content should not be in paragraph form. Don’t be afraid to use short paragraphs. (1 sentence is okay!)
10. Conclusion: Does the reader know it is the end of the post? Are they left satisfied with the information you promised?
11. Style/Tone: Does your language sound natural? Is it friendly and approachable while still professional? Does the voice fit the overall tone of the blog/website?
12. Call to action: Do you have a strong and clear call to action? What do you want the reader to do/download? Remember, you are a business - you need to guide them to the sale.
13. Links: Have you included links throughout the post to other relevant posts on your website (2-3) or outside resources (2+)?
14. Design: Is the look and feel consistent with your brand? Have you included a quality picture or graphic?
Edit & Verify:
15. Grammar: Use a workbook or an online tool to verify your grammar! We love Grammarly.
16. Editing: Print it out, read it aloud, and be thorough! Don't miss typos!
17. Keywords: Review keywords and make sure they are included.
18. Sources: Did you give proper credit to the sources you used?
19. Tags: Did you add a meta description and descriptive tags for images? This is important for SEO.
20. Links: Do all links work and open in new tabs?
To make the process even easier, we've developed a handy-dandy print-out for you. >>Click the button below to request yours! For more tips on blogging, please check out our “related” posts.