Your Blog Post Checklist

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Blog Post Check List

Blog Post Check List

When you’re first learning how to blog, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the shear volume of information out there.

Numerous other blogs, websites, articles, teleclasses, videos, books, coaching and podcasts are readily available to help you get started, stay motivated and achieve your blogging goals ~ whatever they are.

But whenever I’m looking at the El Capitan of information for something I need to learn, I like to break things down into steps and routines so it’s easier for me to apply.  That way I have a convenient guide that helps me be successful, and I build competence and confidence to then go to the next level of learning.

So I’m excited to share some specific steps I recently came across that will assist our Breakfast Blogging Club participants write “magnetic blog posts.”  This is a checklist that you can use to help attract more readers, get found on searches, facilitate more comments, and better leverage their blog for their business.

Sound good? You betcha!

This check list comes from a big supporter of the Breakfast Blogging Club, Lee Rodrigues of the Technology Dojo.

Your Magnetic Blog Post Checklist

Flickr post by Goddess_Spiral

Flickr post by Goddess_Spiral

1. Write to one specific reader, either real or fictitious.  I like to imagine I’m writing to my favorite client.  Or sometimes, I pretend I’m writing to my mom.   She loves everything I do, of course, so there’s kind of a safe and easy feeling while I write.  No pressure or concern about critique.  I just want my post to inform and amuse her – which is pretty easy for me to do…. and that leads me to the next item on our checklist….

2. Be helpful.  Provide information, steps, tips, stories, case studies, ideas, insights, behind-the-scenes details, and yes, even an opinion that your specific reader can benefit from.

3. Have a good headline, or title.  Headlines do 2 things: get humans to read the post, and get the post found by search engines.  While this topic warrants it’s own blog post, I’d like you to focus initially on the former.  The goal of the headline should be to get folks to read the first sentence of your post.  Then you need to get them to read the second sentence.  And so on….

3a. Sub-headlines are also important because they A) help the reader skim the post, and B) help improve search engine results.  Look for the H2 format….that far left button on the second row on your post editor dashboard.

4. Use the All-In-One SEO plugin for your blog.  SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.  Now, I’m not going to go into what a plugin is at this time.  Just know that this particular plugin helps your blog get found and rank higher in searches.  It does this by creating fields within your blog that prompt you to use keywords more strategically  – permalinks, titles, tags, descriptions, etc..  Just make sure the plugin is activated after you install it.  Apparently, lots of people miss that step.

5. Keywords…the holy grail, it seems, of the blog search crusades.  It’s a great idea to list out what you think your keywords are – those words and phrases your readers are putting into Google when they’re looking for information.  But don’t just stop there.  Do some research to confirm your musings, AND be on the lookout for other more niche-related terms.  Keywords can be used all over the place, like:

  • The main headline
  • Sub-headlines
  • Within the body of the post
  • Image titles
  • Image alt tags
  • Keyword fields from All-In-One-SEO
  • Tag fields
  • and optionally: catagories, image captions & the URL

We’ve recommended this free keyword tool to our participants to help with their research.  And sometimes the results will inspire more blog posts you can write.  Definitely check it out.

Finally, when you’re done with your post and ready to hit the Publish button, count the number of times your keyword appears.  Don’t obsess.  Just track and note for the time being.

6. End with a provocative, open-ended conclusion that invites comments and interaction from your audience. Like, what would you add to this checklist?

Many thanks to Lee for this list.  He will also be joining us in Oakland on June 30th to help facilitate a special “Tech Clinic” of the Breakfast Blogging Club.  We’ve asked him to walk us step-by-step through the use of images — which are the bane of my blogging experience thus far, so I’m really looking forward to it!

We only have a few spots left, so contact us if you want to register.  Blog on!



3 Comments on Your Blog Post Checklist

  1. Rhoda on Thu, 18th Jun 2009 6:55 am
  2. Cheryl, thanks for the great tips for us to incorporate. I do have one curoisity question though: the email announing this blog update had no subject line, but yet the blog post itself does. Is a subject line the same as a headline?


  3. admin on Thu, 18th Jun 2009 10:33 pm
  4. Thanks for your question, Rhoda. The title and headline of a post are the same thing as far as I can say. But the function of it being in the subject line of your email notification is a different technical issue — which I’m trying to figure out. It might have to do with how we have the RSS feed set up with Feedburner, which is a blog subscription manager. Or it could be something I need to format within the post itself. I’ll let you know what I find out, hopefully before our June 30th meeting. Cheryl

  5. Bill Bartmann on Thu, 3rd Sep 2009 10:25 am
  6. Excellent site, keep up the good work