Sometimes after we spend a few hours (or even a few days in some cases) writing a new blog post, we are so eager to get finished – that we hit “Publish” too soon.
Only to find out later, that we left something out, one of our main links are broken or the post just plain SUCKS!
Well, that’s exactly what this list is hopefully going to help prevent.
I originally created this check-list for myself to use, then realised it would probably be just as beneficial to you guys!
Basically it is a quick check-list you can run through before publishing any new blog posts to make sure that you haven’t left anything out, and also to make sure that it’s an awesome post that will HELP your brand (rather than hurt it, which is something a sub-par post can do).
Anyway, it’s time to make sure this new post is going to be awesome:
#1 Does your new post have a good title?
The title of our blog post is maybe more important than you currently realise. Our post title is basically like a small text advert, with the job of interesting potential readers enough to click it.
So be sure that you spend a minute or two coming up with a good post title. Here is a quick example, which do you think sounds more appealing?
“How to get more traffic to your blog”
“How I got more traffic than I thought possible (and how you can too!)”
(Hopefully you said the second one).
Just try and make your post sound as interesting as possible to the potential reader, try and underline the BENEFIT of them reading the post. In the example given above, this would have been “more traffic than they thought possible”.
#2 Does this post solve a problem?
There may be a FEW exceptions to this, but usually there is no point in posting a blog post that doesn’t solve a problem.
Just think about it, most of the time you read an article or blog post, it’s because you are trying to figure something out or solve a problem.
So be sure that there is a REASON for someone to read your blog post before you publish it, otherwise people may feel like you have wasted their time. This will then decrease the chances that they return to your blog (or tell their friends about you).
#3 Are there at least 1,000 words in your post?
Think about it this way, what can really be achieved in 500 words? Not much, right? If you keep giving your visitors exceptional value in each post, they will keep coming back for more.
I would personally rather post a single 1,500 word post, full of detail rather than 3x 500 word (mediocre) posts.
Although, don’t write 1,000 words just for the sake of writing 1,000 words, if you can FULLY cover the subject in 700-800 words, then publish that.
But in most cases you should easily be able to write 1,000 words (or more) per post. Just think of what you would want to know if you were reading about the subject for the first time and add that.
#4 Have you included a few Main Keywords or Search Terms throughout the post?
Make sure that you include a few different variations of your main keywords and search terms throughout your post, in the main text, headings, etc. This will make sure that the search engines know what your post is about, and rank you accordingly.
So if your main keyword was “make money online”, why not also add “making money online” and “earn money online”? This will help your blog post sound a lot more natural to humans, while also covering more for the search engines (to help categorize your site).
Just don’t go overboard, Google (and the other search engines) are getting smarter and know when people are being “Spammy” or trying to “game the system”.
#5 Are all clickable links working?
Just double check that all the clickable links you have added to your post are actually working. This means not only that they are going to the correct site, but also whether or not they open in a new window/tab (if they are in fact supposed to).
If you’re using the self-hosted version of WordPress, you can install the free “Link Checker” plugin which can scan EVERY link on your site within a couple of seconds.
Then, scan your site JUST AFTER hitting publish on any new post, and if any links are broken you can quickly go back in and fix them before too many people try clicking on them.
#6 Have you added at least 2 images?
Images definitely add more to our post, and help underline our points. A blog post without images, is going to be a pretty boring blog post (even if it is FULL of great information).
You can find free images for your posts in places like pixabay.com or freeimages.com, or else create your own using free online tools such as canva.com. I actually used both Pixabay and Canva for the images used in this post.
As a general rule of thumb, try to add AT LEAST 2 images for every 1,000 words or so of your post.
#7 Is the content nicely broken up and easy to read?
Use different sized headings, bullet points, italics, etc, to break up your content and make it easier for the reader to follow. Big chunks of text are boring and harder to read. It’s that simple.
#8 Could you read this post to a friend or family member without feeling stupid?
This may seem really simple, but it is probably one of the most powerful things on this list. Could you read your new post to a friend or family member without feeling a bit “cheesy” or “stupid”?
If not, maybe think about how to re-word it before posting it to your readers.
#9 Have you linked to previous posts were applicable?
Be sure to link to some of your old posts in your newer ones (where relevant). Chances are, you will reference things in your posts which you have gone into greater detail before in the past, link to these posts.
I would normally aim for at least 2-3 links back to older posts, for every new post I create (when possible, sometimes it just isn’t – especially if you’re covering a new subject).
#10 Does the post have a good, searchable slug?
Just in case you’re wondering, the post “slug” is the string of text that appears after your domain name in your URL.
So for example on my post titled “How To Install WordPress on HostGator Web Hosting”, the URL is:
The part in bold is what’s known as the posts “SLUG”.
You want to try and make the posts SLUG something that people will be searching for, so a main keyword or search phrase. Although, try to keep it around 3-4 words in length for best results.
#11 Could you add or remove 100 words?
Is there anything else you could add to this post to make it better? Are there maybe any statistics you could add, or any influential sources you could cite to back up your post? People love stats.
It may take you an extra 10 or 15 minutes to add it but, would your readers appreciate it? (if so, you should consider adding it in).
Although this works both ways, if there is something in your post that doesn’t add any REAL VALUE to your reader, you should remove it. This way we can avoid boring our readers, and almost forcing them to push the BACK BUTTON!
#12 Is there a CTA?
CTA = Call to Action.
What do you want your readers to do after/while reading your post? Sign up to your email list, follow your tutorial, buy a certain product?
Whatever it is, the best way to get them to do it – is just ask them. It really can be that easy. If you can’t think of anything else, you could always ask your readers to share/comment on your post.
An example of this on my blog is:
“If you wouldn’t mind, I would LOVE if you could leave a comment below letting me (and other visitors to this site) know what you thought of the tutorial.”
#13 Have you added it to the correct category?
This is something that I have forgotten in the past and ending up setting it as the dreaded “Uncategorized” Category.
Make sure you add each post to the correct category (or categories) on your site, not only will this help with your User Experience, but can also be beneficial to your search rankings.
This is due to the fact that your sites categories can contain more information and keywords to back up the post.
So there you have it, 13 things to double check BEFORE hitting publish on your new blog post.
I hope you find this check-list as useful as I do… I use it for nearly every post I create!
Feel free to share it with anyone you think may benefit from it, and why not print out a copy for yourself to keep by your computer?
Until Next Time,