The Ultimate Checklist for Creating High-Performing Blog Posts
Get out your pen and pad. Here lies everything you need to know about writing the best blog posts ever.
On the outside looking in, writing a blog post may seem very simple. You choose a topic, write about it, hit publish, and wish for the best. However, it’s not quite that simple when you’re a serious blogger looking to grow a brand and make a living from blogging. There are, in fact, a ton of moving parts that you must pay close attention to create impactful, high-quality posts.
In this blog post, we’ll provide a general checklist for you to work off of when creating blog posts, in addition to diving deeper into why each of these agenda items is essential.
Before Writing Your Blog Post
- Thoroughly Research Your Topic
- Conduct Keyword Research for SEO
- Create a Rough Outline
Writing Your Blog Post
- Come Up With an Engaging Headline
- Craft Your Hook
- Flesh Out a Rough Draft of Your Blog Post
- Insert All Links Where Necessary
Editing Your Blog Post
- Proofread Your Blog Post
- Optimize Your URL/Slug
- Include Internal Links Where it Makes Sense
- Make Sure Formatting Makes Sense
- Place Keywords in Key Areas of the Post
- Input Engaging Photos for Feature Image and Throughout the Post
After Writing Your Blog Post
- Promote on Social Media
- Share Links/Update your Willow Page
- Check For Broken Links and Embeds
- Send out to Email or Newsletter to Subscribers
- Repurpose Your Blog Post
- Come Up With Future Blog Post Ideas
Before Writing Your Blog Post
Thoroughly Research Your Topic
Even if you’re writing about something you’re well versed in, you should always research beforehand as a refresher to ensure you have the most up-to-date and accurate information. It may also be worth exploring what blog posts already exist to determine how to add more value (relative to what’s already out there).
Conduct Keyword Research for SEO
Including the right keywords in your blog posts (aka what people are searching for when they go on Google) can make the difference between you just getting a few views on your post or a few hundred (or even thousands). Research what keywords people are searching related to the topic you’re writing about to include them in your blog post organically. Below are a few tools you can use for keyword research:
Create a Rough Outline
When writing a blog post, you can easily find yourself jumping from point A to point B, making your blog post less cohesive and scattered. Creating an outline gives you direction in regards to getting from point A (your introduction or hook/presenting the problem at hand) to point B (sharing a solution or advice with your audience).
Writing Your Blog Post
Come Up With an Engaging Headline
The headline is one of the first pieces of your blog post that people see. It can quickly drive them to click or drive them away. Create a catchy headline that gets readers excited but don’t choose anything clickbaity as readers may quickly lose interest when they catch on.
Craft Your Hook
First impressions matter even when it comes to blog posts. The first couple of sentences in your post should entice a reader and make them want to read more. Whether you ask a thought-provoking question or share an intriguing stat, find a way to grab their attention.
Flesh Out a Rough Draft of Your Blog Post
Now it’s time to start writing. Don’t focus on making it perfect the first time around. Get words on paper (digitally, of course) until everything you need to say is in one place. Worry about perfection in the editing process.
Insert All Links Where Necessary
…and make sure they are correct. Nothing is more frustrating for a reader than a link that provides them with even more information or value just to discover that a link is missing or broken.
Editing Your Blog Post
Proofread Your Blog Post
Now that your ideas are in one place, it’s time to clean them up and ensure everything flows. Re-read and make tweaks until you feel you have driven home your point and have value to offer your readers.
Optimize Your URL/Slug
Make sure the link to your blog post works in your primary keyword. This doesn’t only help with search results, but also readers are more likely to click URLs that include what they’re searching for.
Include Internal Links Where it Makes Sense
Linking to your own content within a blog post is another one of those things that helps search engines rank your blog posts and can also help drive readers to your other posts. Make sure to do this a few times within any blog post where it makes sense.
Make Sure Formatting Makes Sense
Glance over your blog post to ensure that it flows and information is broken up in ways that make sense. For this, use headers to separate information (sort of how we’re doing in this blog post). This makes it easier for readers (and Google) to comprehend and follow along.
Make Sure to Include Keywords in Key Areas
The first step to optimizing your blog post for search engines is weaving your keywords throughout the text in a way that makes sense (don’t force it). Below are a few other places you’ll want to work in keywords:
- Image captions and Alt Text
Input Photo for Feature Images and Throughout the Post
They say a picture speaks a thousand words, which is why you should add engaging images to your blog post. Not only will it grab your reader’s attention, but it can also help with search results when done right. Also, it can give your reader’s eyes a break when reading lengthier blog posts.
After Publishing Your Blog Post
Contrary to some beliefs, the work doesn’t stop once your blog post is published. You still need to complete a few tasks (some of which will be done routinely).
Promote Promote Promote
Whether on social media or in your newsletter, tell your network of followers that you have posted new blog content that they would love to read. Remember, blog posts aren’t going to promote themselves.
Share Links/Update your Willow Page
Speaking of sharing, Willow is a great tool to share links with your audience no matter which platform you’re most active on. This free tool allows you to put your most important links in one convenient place—especially on platforms like Instagram or TikTok, where you can only place one link in your bio. Make it a habit to update your Willow profile with links to new blog posts to share with your followers.
Want to learn more? Check out our guide to using the WIllow all-in-one link in bio tool.
Check For Broken Links and Embeds
While embedding content like Instagram posts and YouTube videos are great ways to make your blog posts more engaging, sometimes owners will remove content, leaving a broken image or video within your blog post. Review your blog posts (especially those with steady traffic) to ensure this content is updated if necessary.
Repurpose Your Blog Post
Working smarter, not harder, is the name of the game. Repurposing your blog posts into videos or social media posts is a great way to create content for other platforms without starting from scratch. Get creative!
Come Up With Future Blog Post Ideas
When writing a blog post, you may think about or touch on related topics worthy of having their own posts. Keep track of these ideas as they come to mind so you can always have content ideas on hand.
Now that you’re equipped with everything you need to master crafting the perfect blog, what topics will you write about first using this checklist?