I like to make checklists. I make checklists for work projects and to-do lists for home tasks. When I started writing my first website Survival With Kids, I began making a checklist of tips for writing a quality blog post that I still use today.
Many of my tips are applicable to writing on any platform. I use WordPress as my content management system, so some of my tips will be specific to using WordPress to develop your blog post.
This checklist starts after you have come up with an idea for your next post.
Keywords and Title
The first step for your blog post is researching your possible focus keywords and developing your posts title.
- Does your focus keyword have at least 20 monthly searches, less than 100 QSR or competitive results, and article power or SEO of at least 80%?
- Is your keyword spelled correctly and does your keyword make sense?
- Is your title interesting enough to entice readers to click on it?
- Have you tried CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer? Shoot for a headline score of at least 60.
Now that you have a keyword and title, it is time to write out your post.
- Is your post written naturally without focusing on the keyword (ie no keyword stuffing)?
- Are your paragraphs small?
- Make most of your paragraphs a maximum of 2-4 lines in the WordPress editor.
- Are your subheadings as interesting as your title/heading? Or are they just a boring label?
- Do your opening and conclusion paragraphs forecast and then summarize everything in an interesting way?
Since you are in the business of promoting your own blog and/or content marketing, you want to create internal links to other pages and posts on your blog, as well as affiliate links where appropriate.
- Are your affiliate links only on review posts?
- If you have affiliate links on every single page and post on your site, Google thinks less highly of your work.
- Did you include your affiliate link in your review post roughly 5 times?
- Did you link to at least 3 other pages or posts from your website?
- Have you linked to at least 3 other reputable authority websites?
- Is the anchor text for your links relevant to the target page or post?
- When I first started writing, I would attach links to the words “Click Here” instead of using more relevant anchor text.
Now that you have written out your content, you get to add visual interest to your post.
- Do you have an image above the fold (beginning of your post)?
- Do you have relevant images for at least every 2-3 sections?
- Does each image have a relevant file name?
- If the text in the image is small, does that image open in a new tab?
- Did you assign a Facebook Image in the Yoast plugin?
- Did you assign a Twitter Image in the Yoast plugin?
WordPress has a couple of tools to help you organize your posts right in the post editor.
- Did you select a Category for your post?
- If you don’t add a category, it will default to Uncategorized.
- Did you add 2-5 tags to describe your content?
- Have you set a Featured Image for your post?
Search Engine Optimization
I use a plugin called “Yoast SEO” to analyze many SEO functions. If you use a different plugin, you may have a little different process. Below the text input area in WordPress, theYoast plugin has an area to edit the search engine information.
- Did you check your SEO title?
- Did you write a meta description?
- Did you enter your focus keyword?
- Did you eliminate all of the red lights in the Yoast SEO Analaysis (both keyword and readability)?
Google thinks higher of you when it can discern that people like your content. One of the best ways for Google to learn this is by seeing that you have comments on your posts.
- In your concluding section, did you ask readers a question or ask for them to leave a comment?
- Did you check that comments are enabled for your post?
Final Thoughts On A Quality Blog Post
This list helps me to create a quality blog post every time, so hopefully it will help you do the same with yours. Are there any other items that you check off when you go to publish your posts? Leave me a comment below so we can discuss.