Blog Post Checklist: A Free Guide From WebFX
The company blog: An important part of content marketing
As content marketing has increased in popularity over the last few years, company blogs have become a necessity rather than an optional addition to your website. If you are not already creating content for your leads, customers, or website visitors to consume, you may be losing their trust—or worse, missing out on sales.
As you work on setting up a blog for your business, you may find yourself in need of some guidance. How long should a blog post be? Should links be included? How many times should it be edited? Where should each post be promoted?
To help you answer these questions (and many more), we created this free PDF checklist for blogs that can be used over and over again with each of your posts. This blog post checklist will help you create professional, compelling content that serves as the keystone to your content marketing program, attracting links, traffic, and potential leads.
What our blog post checklist contains
Our blog checklist is broken down into four sections:
- What to do before you write
- What to do while writing your post
- What to do after writing your post, before publishing
- What to do after your post is published
Each section contains a set of tips and processes you can follow in order as you are working on each post on your blog. It also contains links to related resources that will help you learn more about blogging best practices, and how best to approach unfamiliar situations, like keyword research or guest blogging.
Whether you are brand new to blogging or are simply trying to organize your existing blog’s processes, this checklist can keep you, your team, and your company on the same page, and ensure that all of your efforts are as efficient and effective as possible.
Need help with your blog?
Blogging can be tough, especially for businesses that simply don’t have the time for it. If you want to grow your business through content marketing but don’t have the resources, WebFX can help. We have years of experience helping companies grow their sales through content, including business blogs, and we’d be happy to work with you, too!
If you’re stuck, need help, or want a consultation, you can get in touch with our team at 1-888-449-3239 or by email at [email protected]. Feel free to reach out to us at any time with any questions you may have!
Table of Contents
- Before You Write
- Writing Your Post
- After Writing Your Post
- After Your Post is Published
Introduction to blogging
Blogging can be a daunting process, especially for those who have never done it before. From the outside looking in, it can seem as if everyone has a blog that takes no effort to maintain, with posts that rack up social shares and links easily, and that there’s no hope of competing or learning the trade.
Truthfully, blogging is hard work. It takes a long time to build a reliable, dedicated readership, and even the most popular companies and brands never stop promoting their content. Fortunately, with the right resources, anyone can become a skilled blogger – even you!
We created this blog post checklist in hopes of giving you a valuable resource that you can use to further your success online. This checklist, which you can follow each time you work on a new blog post, is broken up into four sections, which correspond to four specific stages of your posting process:
- Before you write
- Writing your post
- After writing your post
- After your post is published
There’s also a page of additional resources at the end that can you can consult to learn more about blogging, and to read some more tips from our team of experts.
Are you ready for the checklist? Let’s get started!
Before you write
Before you write even a single word of your blog post, it’s important to do some preliminary research, brainstorm titles, and ask two very important questions to ensure your ideas fit the goal of your blog. This section covers a few things you’ll want to do before starting each and every post.
Select your topic
Brainstorm, read emails, read other blogs, or talk to others within your company to select a topic for your post. Make sure you can agree to both of the following:
- Is the topic relevant to your blog’s purpose?
- Is the topic relevant to your readers?
Your title might change while you write your post, but brainstorming general ideas may help you stay on track.
- Brainstorm three or more potential titles for your blog post
By performing research, you can give your blog post a better chance of success online, both because it will contain higher quality information and stand a good chance of outranking your competitors.
- Perform keyword research
- Perform topic research – this will help you gain insight on the subject, find supporting data and factual information, and educate yourself enough on the topic to put together a quality blog post.
Writing your first blog post
Once your brainstorming, researching, and fact-checking is done, you’ll be ready to write. These general guidelines will help ensure your content is as high-quality as possible, is favored by search engines, and keeps the interest of website visitors for longer than just a minute or two.
Post content guidelines
Follow these general guidelines to ensure your post’s content is looked upon favorably by both search engines and readers.
- Write posts of 350 words or more – this length is generally desired for good SEO (search engine optimization) standing, and won’t leave readers feeling like they didn’t learn anything.
- Include the keywords found in your research.
- Add images to break up large blocks of text
- Add headings, subheadings, and bold text to keep the attention of those who may be skimming the post.
Good blog posts aren’t an island: they both link out to other sources of information, and invite links back to them.
- Outbound links – link to other sites where you may have found supporting material, or those who may have helped your research in some way
- Internal links – where possible, try to add helpful, relevant links to the other pages on your website. This can help keep readers on your site for longer
After writing your blog post
You may be tempted to hit “Publish” just as soon as you write that last word – but not so fast! These important post-writing steps are absolutely necessary, and skipping them could give readers the impression that you don’t really care about what you’re doing.
No one is perfect, and that’s why an editing stage is crucial — to catch mistakes and get your posts ready for publishing.
- Proofread your content and check for errors in grammar, spelling, or syntax
- Have someone else edit your post to catch anything you might have missed
These final details will ensure your blog post is in the best shape possible, and ready for primetime.
- Finalize your title — this may involve developing it with the keywords you identified in your research, or changing it slightly to better reflect the direction of your content.
- Test your links — make sure nothing is broken or sending visitors to the wrong place.
- Preview your post to ensure it looks the way you think it should.
Time to publish!
If you’re happy with the results, that can only mean one thing…
• Publish your blog post!
After your blog post is published
You’re not done yet! Follow these last steps to complete your checklist and give your blog post the highest chance of success possible. Once you’ve completed the final step, it’s time to start all over again!
Share your post
You can write the best piece of content in the world, but it won’t mean anything if no one sees it. Sharing your post on social media and other channels ensures that it reaches as many people as possible.
- Share on social media – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, Tumblr, etc.
- Share on communities – reddit, niche communities, forums, etc.
- Share on special platforms like StumbleUpon.
- Send via email to those who may be interested in it or are likely to link to it.
Don’t forget about your blog!
A blog post has only begun to live once you hit that “publish” button. Here are a few tips that will help you make the most of it.
- Monitor and respond to comments.
- Monitor and respond to social shares – don’t forget to say “thanks!”
- Make corrections or additions – through a comment or email, you may discover something you need to add to the post. Don’t be afraid to edit your original post and notify your readers of the addition!
- Keep your content relevant – over time, your content may become out of date. Fix broken links, make small changes, update data, or refresh full sections as you please. This will help keep your post useful long past the norm, and may help it rank in searches longer.
- After a period of time, look at the post’s data in Google Analytics to see what you can learn from it, and apply to future blog posts.