The Must-Have Blog Checklist Before You Hit Publish
February 20, 2017
So, you’ve written a killer blog article and can’t wait to publish it on your website. Wait! High-quality blogs are not just about great content; many different components contribute to their success.
To ensure your blog has all the necessary ingredients it’s crucial to take the time to review it thoroughly.The trouble is, it’s hard to remember every little detail.
To help you succeed, we’ve compiled a checklist of essentials to consider before you hit publish. You can also download our free Excel Blog Checklist Template here - no registration needed!
Your title is what sells your content. If your title isn’t captivating the rest of your content probably won’t be read. To assess your title ask yourself the following questions:
Is it intriguing enough to encourage your audience to read the article?
Does it appeal to your audience’s emotions?
Does it accurately reflect the content?
Is it short and to the point?
The recommended title length is over 40 characters to be descriptive enough to catch readers’ attention and under 70 characters so it won’t get cut off in search engine results.
If your writing isn’t top-notch your credibility and professionalism become questionable. Here’s what to ask yourself when proofreading and editing your content:
Is the introduction attention-grabbing and interesting enough to get your audience to continue reading?
Does the introduction clearly explain what value the article provides?
Is the content interesting and engaging?
Is the topic covered comprehensively?
Do the paragraphs transition smoothly and make sense?
Does the tone align with your target audience?
Is the language conversational and natural?
Did you use data, statistics, and examples to support your ideas?
Have they all been fact-checked?
Did you add a conclusion? Did you include a compelling call to action (CTA) in the conclusion? Check out these great examples from Hubspot and take a look at ours at the bottom of this post!
Does the content align with your style guide? A style guide is your company’s standard for grammar, punctuation, and style. It provides guidelines such as whether you use oxford commas and what fonts to use on your website.
Are there any grammar mistakes or typos?
Are there any punctuation issues?
Did you use capital letters properly?
SEO-friendly blog posts make your website more visible to people who are searching for relevant content related to your brand. Here’s what to ask yourself:
Did you do your research to identify relevant keywords?
Did you incorporate them naturally into your title, body content, URL, and headers?
Did you include a clear and catchy meta description?
Have you included meta tags?
Did you use relevant external (other websites) and internal (pages on your site) links?
Are all your links working and directing to the right locations?
A well-structured, visually appealing blog encourages people to read your content and share it with others. Consider these questions to ensure your article is structured and formatted in the best possible way:
Is your content structured in a logical way that clearly guides readers through the topic?
Did you use the right blog format?
Check out this article by marketing expert Susan Gunelius, to determine the right format for you.
Are big blocks of text broken into easily digestible bites?
Did you include high-quality, attractive visuals and images?
Are you allowed to use these images?
Study the guidelines in this article by copyrightlaws.com to make sure you’re using images legally.
Are they properly attributed to their source?
Are your headers consistently formatted?
Did you use different header styles (H2, H3, H4) to properly define content hierarchy?
Did you highlight important facts and ideas?
Make sure to confirm these nitty-gritty details:
Did you double-check the publish time and date to ensure the blog is scheduled correctly?
Did you include social sharing buttons?
Do they work and correctly display your content?
A great blog is useless if no one knows it exists. You need to actively promote your blog to increase visibility, build traffic, and encourage engagement. Ask yourself:
Did you email the blog to relevant contacts in your database?
Do you have a social media calendar to organize your post publishing schedule?
Do your posts include eye-catching images?
Did you create intriguing texts to introduce your article?
Did you tag expert sources and use proper hashtags?
Did you reach out to those experts and ask them to share your blog with their followers?
Do you have a social media promotion plan and budget?
Are you promoting the blog on paid content distribution platforms like Gravity or Outbrain?
High-quality blog posts with a well-thought-out promotion plan can be a real business asset. Follow this checklist whenever you write a new blog to ensure it has all the necessary components for reaching and engaging your target audience.