Article Checklist: Use Before Publishing
Checklists are the best way to make sure you’ve accomplished everything you want to accomplish, like a daily or weekly To-Do list. Sometimes, though, our lives are so busy and complicated it’s even better if we make checklists inside our checklists. Maybe you already have a checklist you use when you’re setting up a new blog. Well, here’s one you can use before you hit “Publish” on your next blog post.
- Did you read it all the way through, from start to finish? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve skipped a whole block of information because I was writing fast so I could get all my thoughts down. Be sure to read your post from start to finish to make sure you didn’t forget something.
- Does it include everything the reader needs to know? Would it make your post more meaningful if you explained that jargon instead of assuming all your readers know what it means? How about that 10-step How-To article? Did you explain all the steps?
- Did you do your keyword research? Are you using the right keyword for this article? Think about the traffic you’re trying to attract. Will they find this article relevant if they land on it during an organic search?
- Did you create an attention-grabbing title? Go back and look at your title. Would you be tempted to click on it if you had nine others to choose from?
- Did you edit for spelling and grammar errors? I should put this at the bottom of the list because it should automatically be at the top!
- Did you link to an older post on your blog? Don’t forget about SEO. You must have at least one older post, deep inside your blog, that you could link to to give your readers even more information. If not, write one.
- Did you link to relevant sources? If you used “Studies show…” then link to those studies and prove it. Your readers aren’t going to stop following you because you backed up your facts and you’ll earn more credibility.
- Did you check that all the links work? Check all your links before you publish because you’ll never remember to come back. Better yet, install a plugin that monitors your blog for broken links.
- Do you have a meaningful image? Studies show…. (Just seeing if you’re paying attention!) Not all blogs use images but if you do, don’t forget to include one in your post.
- Did you preview and format? Preview your post to see how it’s going to look to your readers. Does the text wrap around images the way you want it to? Are you using headings and sub-headings to highlight blocks of content and make your post easier to read?
- Did you write toward a goal? Before I sit down to write any blog post I always think about what I want to achieve. Do I want to use this post to draw attention to a product, to get more RSS subscribers, to get subscribers for a newsletter… or maybe I just want to provide information and showcase my expertise. Always have a goal in mind for every post.
- Is this a good day to publish? Is today the best day to publish that post? If you’ve never payed attention, this is a good time to start. Look at your stats to see which days your blog gets the most traffic. Chances are you have at least one or two days where your traffic drops. Avoid posting on those days and post your best content when the highest number of visitors will be around to see it.
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