When I’m blogging, I tend to be pretty spacey. Ideas flit into my head and I’m immediately distracted by a new post idea, social media avenue, or Pinterest find. Blogging is as much an art as it is a science, but there are certain things I try to remember to do every time. Having a blog post checklist helps immensely for making sure I don’t forget a key step that will help me get my post out there, more views, and eventually more income as a result. Even if your goal isn’t to monetize, having a blog post checklist visible will help you be more efficient and get you back to doing the stuff you really love– writing content, playing with your kids, or enjoying an adult beverage. To help you stay on track, I created a free printable for you to download and keep on your desk and ensure that your post gets all the visibility it deserves!
Speaking of efficiency, you need to have the right tools for the job so you can spend more time on money-making tasks (figuratively or literally). This Bloggers Toolbox has my list of programs, apps, and social media gurus that help me get the job done faster (again, so I can be back to my delicious beverage on the back porch– which may or may not also be where I blog).
Blog Post Checklist with FREE Printable!
Before Hitting Publish
Research keywords on Pinterest/Google
If you want your blog to do well, Pinterest is likely going to be your best social media. Then, of course, there’s the Google Gods who determine how your blog does on searches. Both are important to ensuring that you get seen by your potential readers. By researching your keywords using Google Keywords or even just searching similar terms on Pinterest, you’ll up where you show in the searches which gives you better odds of getting views.
Optimize SEO on Yoast
Once you have search terms, use them to optimize your search engine ranking. Yoast is the best plug-in out there for that. The premium version lets you pick multiple keywords, but even the free one is awesome. They have red, yellow, and green dots to tell you what’s good SEO and what’s not, and literally walks you through each piece of your blog to optimize it for SEO.
Link to Prior Posts
Internal linking is huge for showing up on Google, plus it keeps people on your blog longer. Have something that would interest the reader of that blog post? Link it! Whether it’s a related recipe (both soups, both sides, whatever) or something that would interest them topically (if it’s a mom post, is there another mom post?), find a way to either work it into the post or add it to your call-to-action.
You’ve seen these, but maybe not realized it. It’s one way people get you to stay on their blog, clicking around, reading multiple posts, and eventually (hopefully) subscribing. At the end of your post, add a call-to-action. Whether it’s giving them another blog post to read, a Facebook page to like, or a Pinterest board that might interest them (and get you more followers), make sure you include somewhere for them to go so they’ll come back later!
Make Graphics for Social Media
Graphics are the first thing that catches someone’s eye, so make sure yours are pretty, easy-to-read, and bright. You’ll need several so that they fit in all the spots you want them to correctly. Facebook needs a 1200 by 630, Pinterest needs a 735 by 1104, Instagram works best with a square (they allow different ones now, but for your grid on your profile to look its best, do a square image), and your featured image which will depend entirely on what your theme’s featured image size is (mine is 700 by 400, for example). You might even make your own blog post checklist bullet point for this one, to ensure you don’t miss one of the social media pieces that’s important to YOU. I use PicMonkey for mine because I’m able to easily edit and change sizes, fonts (using my own branding), and add my watermark. Once you’ve made them, make sure you use them where you’re supposed to!
Change Auto-Facebook Post on WordPress
Y’all, this is my most-missed step (and pretty much the reason for my creating the printable). I’ve had so many posts go out that have a pretty picture and just the first few sentences of my blog post (which is never actually about the content of the post). It’s ugly and irritates the heck out of me. So do yourself a favor and go over to that right column under “publish” and change the publicize piece!
After Hitting Publish
Publish to all Social Media
After making all those pretty blog graphics, do NOT forget to go publish it everywhere! It’s how your blog is going to get seen and go viral (maybe) so don’t skip this bullet on the blog post checklist. It’s also how your dedicated readers will know you posted again since everyone is on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. (and you should be having everyone go follow you someplace on social media somewhere in your posts).
Pin to Tailwind
Like I said before, Pinterest is most likely going to be your top performer when it comes to social media. Everyone goes there to find recipes, tips, tricks, how-to ANYTHING, you name it. Tailwind lets you schedule pins so you’re not just posting the same pin 15 times in a row to all your boards and group boards. Instead, schedule them for the best times, a day apart, and know that you’re going to reach people for days!
MissingLettr is a program that, once you connect your blog and social media, recognizes when you have published a new blog and prepares posts for you to edit and then hit “go” on to auto-post on days 0, 3, 7, 14, 30, 90, 180, 270, and 365. When you’ve published a new post, go in and optimize it for the best quotes and pictures so that you’re set for the next year of continuing to share your posts!
Respond to Comments
People LOVE to talk. When they comment, make sure you respond! The more they feel like your BFF, the more they’ll read, engage, and bring more traffic to your blog. This is usually a fairly quick item on the blog post checklist since you don’t get a TON of comments until you’re a bigger blog, but it’s important nonetheless!
Find Similar Posts to Share
It seems counterintuitive, but if all you ever do is share your own posts, you’re going to run out of content for your social media pretty quickly. Don’t share things that will be in direct competition with you, but definitely share posts that are still in your niche and ask your readers’ opinions (remember that “people love to talk” thing? Yep. They also LOVE to give their opinions) or have them answer the question the post might be answering.