A big part of blogging is writing content. There is so much that goes into each post. It can be very overwhelming especially if you post more often.
When I started my blog I had to stumble my way through. I was scared to publish my first posts. I had no idea what to expect.
It took time for me to feel confident when publishing my posts. I missed things, but luckily I was able to go back and edit them. It was very stressful.
Now after many mistakes and missed opportunities I have an amazing list of things I do on each blog post before I hit publish. I am sharing it with you. And as a BONUS I have created a printable checklist for you that you can access at the end of this post.
If you haven’t started your blog yet you should check out this post >> How To Start A Blog For Newbies
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure for more information.
Do keyword research
Keyword research is very important when writing blog posts. It ties into SEO or Search Engine Optimization. I’m sure you’ve heard of it.
The dream of many bloggers is to rank in top search engines like Google. SEO helps you do that. It takes time so you need to start as early as possible.
When you have a topic you want to write about go to Google and type it in. Below your entry, you will see suggestions by Google. These are top searches.
Let’s say you wanted to write a post about weddings. Here are the results on Google:
If you wrote a post about weddings it would be very broad and could cover many things. But if you were to write a post about wedding venues in your area it’s more targeted and specific. Give it a try!
Have an eye-catching title
The title of your post is crucial as it is what makes the difference between whether someone clicks on your post or not. You’ll want to include your keywords in the title.
For the wedding example, a good title would be Top Wedding Venues In Seattle or wherever you’re located. You’re probably more likely to click on that title than one that simply says Weddings.
Another important thing to note is the permalink for your post. The permalink is the URL of your post. WordPress automatically uses the title of your post and that can tend to be too long.
To change the permalink for a post go to Posts > All Posts on your WordPress dashboard. Once there hover over any post and click Quick Edit. You can make changes in the Slug box. Make sure your permalink has your keywords in it.
Write an outline
Before we start writing we need an outline. Are you writing a how-to post? What about a list post? Figure out what kind of post you want.
I always do an outline for my posts. Before I started doing that I would sit and look at a blank screen for a long time. I needed that structure to start writing. I suggest you start outlining your posts. It makes it easier to write.
If you are doing a list post write down each of your points. You would use these points as headings in your posts. This post is a perfect example of a list post.
Write your post
Alright, so you’ve got your outline. Now it’s time to start writing. This is the main bulk of your content. Throughout your post don’t let your paragraphs have more than 3-4 sentences. Big blocks of text are not very readable.
Start with an introduction and make sure you draw your reader in. We want our readers to stick around and read our whole posts.
Under each point in your outline write a few paragraphs summarizing it. Stay on topic and make sure the content is interesting. Would it keep your attention?
Google tends to favor longer posts. For my posts, I aim for 1000-2000 words. If you do longer posts make sure you don’t ramble.
Finally, you need a strong conclusion. Include your final thoughts and wrap up your post.
Optimize post with keywords
So your keywords are in your title. Now you need to sprinkle them throughout your post. Always make sure to include them in your introduction. This helps immensely with SEO.
There is an awesome WordPress plugin that helps with SEO. It’s called Yoast SEO. Installing plugins is very simple. On your WordPress dashboard go to Plugins > Add New. Then in the search bar type in what you are looking for.
When you are done with your post scroll down to find the Yoast SEO panel. This is where you can set your focus keyword, edit your meta description and meta title. These are important since they are what appears in search results.
For more essential plugins your blog needs check out this post >> 11 Essential Plugins Every Site Should Have
We all want our blog posts to be readable and enjoyable. Adding images is a great way to break up text and increase readability. Without images, readers will find your content boring and hard to read. We don’t want to lose readers.
When adding images they need to be clear and crisp. Don’t use blurry images unless you have specific intent behind them. You also want to make sure that you aren’t using someone else’s images. So where do you find images you can use?
There are many places you can get royalty-free images. I use Unsplash. It’s free and you just type in what you are looking for. Another great resource I use is Ivory Mix. They have beautiful FREE stock photos I love to use for my Pinterest graphics.
It’s also a great idea to make pinnable images for each of your blog posts. This way your readers can share them easily. I make 3-5 images on Canva for each blog post. I pick one of them and put it at the bottom of my post.
One last thing about images is the ALT text. For each image, you have on your post make sure you fill in the ALT text. This helps Google identify what the image is about. Make sure your description matches what is in the picture.
Add categories + tags
Adding categories and tags make it easier for your readers to navigate your blog. It also helps search engines to better index your blog. As you add more posts add more categories and tags to cover the topics.
To add new categories or tags go to Posts on your WordPress dashboard and then either Categories or Tags. To add categories and tags to individual posts go to the right-hand side in your post and you’ll see the boxes to add them.
Add internal + external links
Linking to other posts of yours is a great way to keep your readers on your site longer. These are internal links. I try to link to a few of my other posts in each of my new posts.
External links are links to sites other than your own. These include affiliate links and links to other blog posts. If you use affiliate links remember to include an affiliate disclosure in your post. Using external helps you to build authority for your blog. I always put a link to any blog post I reference.
Another great trick is to go back to your older blog posts and update them with links to your new blog posts. Using links is also great for SEO.
Add a strong call to action(CTA)
In your conclusion, you should include a call to action. This is an action you want your readers to take. Do you want them to comment on your post? Ask a question and tell them to comment below.
You could ask your readers to share your post on social media or subscribe to your email list. I tend to ask my readers to share my post. You could also use your call to action as an opportunity to get your readers to check out your freebie or other product.
Before publishing your post you need to proofread it. You don’t want to put a post out there that isn’t readable and has errors. A great tool that I love and recommend is Grammarly.
I use Google Docs to write my posts. With the free Chrome extension, Grammarly offers corrections and suggestions while I’m writing. I love it! It’s perfect if you struggle with grammar and spelling. Grammarly also checks your work for possible plagiarism.
It’s good to have a second pair of eyes look at your post as well. Sometimes we get too close to our work and it’s nice to have a fresh perspective. They might find things you missed.
Add social share buttons
If your post is shareable on social media that means that more people can find it. There is an awesome plugin I use for my social share buttons. It’s called Social Warfare.
I love Social Warfare because the buttons look super clean and my site speed isn’t affected. I can turn off the share counts, choose where the buttons show up, and pick which social media buttons appear. My traffic has definitely increased since I started using the Social Warfare plugin.
So that is my Ultimate Guide For Creating Blog Posts. That is everything I do before I hit publish. It seems like a lot I know. But the more you do it the more it will become second nature. Make sure you grab your FREE checklist so you can start writing blog posts like a PRO!
Now your post is ready. It’s ready for your readers and for Google. I hope this post helps you feel more confident when you hit publish.
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