If you’re a blogging beginner, creating a well-written post on an interesting topic is just part of the key to success. There are also some basic things you need to get right that are easy to overlook. But get them nailed down and they’ll help get more eyes on your posts and give them a more enjoyable experience when they’re there – and you want to make the eyeballs happy right? Here’s a handy checklist to tick off before every new blog post.
Our world may seem image-obsessed, but people will spend time on in-depth long-reads online if they’re into the content. That said, all posts can benefit from an image or two. They add interest, emphasis and used within the post, they also help with “chunking” (the golden rule of online copy) by breaking up the text. Even simply adding an image into the ‘Featured Image’ area will make your post more eye-catching on someone’s feed. Sites like Pixabay and Morguefile have tons of free images. As these are public, you may end up using generic images that many others will also us – so try and be imaginative! You could even try taking some photos or creating designs yourself.
3) Titles and alt text
Now you’ve got those images, make them work for you. Search engines look at your whole post, including the title of your images to judge the quality of your post. So it can help to use a descriptive title. You should also think about using alt text to make your images accessible for people who use screen readers. It’s especially useful if you’ve included images showing important information you don’t discuss in your blog post.
4) Internal links
If someone reads one of your posts, chances are they’ll be interested in reading more. So make it easy for them and add links to other posts about similar topics. These could be inline in the copy or at the end of your posts. Not only that, search engines use these links to look around your site so it’s a win-win situation. Don’t be tempted to link lots of stuff just for the sake of it though. It’s an old SEO trick that will probably do more harm than good.
A while back, I did a quick review of my URLs and noticed that many were just numbers! Not good. Your URL needs to be simple but relevant. Your readers (and Google) will like you better for it.
6) Social media sharing text
Sharing content on social media is a key way of attracting new followers and getting people to read your posts. Fortunately, most blogging platforms make this easy, but you need to think about what to include in your sharing messages. For some social media platforms, you’ll only have a finite number of characters to use and you’ll be competing with lots of other users for attention. And some platforms may be better for certain posts than others. For example, Linkedin is probably a better place to share for more formal posts, whilst Twitter is good for looser, more personal ones, and Instagram is all about the images. To attract new readers, research and use appropriate hashtags to show up in the most relevant searches.
What do you think? Do you have a blog checklist to go through before you post? Let me know in the comments.