Get your free complete guide & checklist on How to Write, Optimize and Promote Blog Posts
This is your ultimate guide on How to Write Perfect Blog Posts, Optimize your Posts for SEO and Promote Your Posts for Top Performance. A free down-loadable checklist will help you to cross-check you have not forgotten anything before & after hitting the publish button.
Things to Check on your Blog Post Before you Hit the Publish Button
# 1 Make sure your Blog Post Title is Catchy
- How To . . . is something many people ask and actually enter as search phrases into the search engines. Use these for basic help content, that gives advise for frequently asked questions or for a Step-by-Step Guide.
- Listicles with Numbers: 3,5 or 7 Steps, Tips, Tricks, Tactics, Secrets, Things, Ways, Reasons, or odd numbers like 19, 37 or 101 Ideas, Principles or Facts is always something people like to read and to share.
- Strong Adjectives like Effortless, Fun, Incredible, Essential, Killer, Painstaking
- Freebies: A Free Checklist, Whitepaper, Step-by-Step guide, Infographice, Template is always tempting
- Arguments: Dos and Don’ts, Pros and Cons
- Triggers and Promises: What, Why You Should Never . . . , When is the Best Time to. . . , How I Managed to . . .
- Best Practice: advice or tips from experts or professionals of the niche your target audience looks up at.
Your Magic Headline Formula
If you are looking for a Magic Headline Formula, try this one: Take your Keywords and than add one or two or tree of the following headline catalysts:
Tools to use for creating perfect headlines
- Try the Portent Content Idea Generator is a creative blog title idea generator. If you enter a keyword the tool will come out with some serious, some fun and cheeky suggestions. Though you should not take it too serious, it is worth giving a try, especially if you have a bad day or a writing blockade. However, the tool will inspire you and brighten up your day.
- Try the Seopressor Blog Title Generator to get some ideas on creative titles for your blog posts. You can enter and describe your focus keyword and the tools comes up with a couple of strong headline titles surrounding your keyword.
# 2 Write a Descriptive Blog Post Introduction with a Hook
- interesting facts, stats or arguments to rise eyebrows
- a controversial argument
- a question
- telling your readers “Why” you are writing the post, or “What” they learn by reading it
# 3 Maximize the Readability of your Blog Post
Perfect length of a blog post
Bring your copy into easily digestible titbits
- Keep your post as short as possible and as long as needed to get to the bottom of your topic.
- Create strong subheadings focusing on a single aspect of your topic, including top keywords.
- Organize your post in sections with less than 300 word each and add a strong subtitle to each paragraph.
- Keep each paragraph with less than 150 words.
- Use italics and bold to highlight important sentences, keywords or important terms, but don’t overuse it
- Include lists with bullet points to stress your key facts and tips.
- Keep your sentences short and easy to understand.
- Use a language that meets the linguistic usage and tonality of your target audience.
- Always proofread your blog post and check for grammar and spelling mistakes.
Tools to use for checking the readability of your blog post
- Use the Yoast SEO plugin to help you with a basic readability checker for your text structure (free & premium)
- Try the Hemmingway app to check the readability and your style on a wider scope (free)
- Use Grammarly to eliminates grammatical errors and spelling mistake and enhance your writing (free & premium)
# 4 Use the Power of Images and Videos as Visuals for your Blog Post
How to use images and videos for your blog post
- Include at least one image near to the top our your post.
- Always include keywords in image names or video titles, image’s Alt tags and description.
- Define your featured image with a strong and descriptive visual
Tools to use for creating awesome images, infographics and videos
- Use Canva to create super fast and easy visuals and infographics for your blog posts. Canva offers a huge variety of templates, layouts, photos and icons you can use to create professional looking images. (free & premium)
- Try Movely to create animated videos (starting from $ 5 per month)
- Use the SEO friendly images plugin for your blog to automatically update all images with proper ALT and TITLE attributes for SEO purposes. Additionally this makes the post W3C/xHTML valid as well. (free & premium).
- Try Zara4 image compressor as web app or as plugin to compress your images in order to reduce impact on page speed.
#5 Use Internal and External Links in your Blog Post
Internal links for your blog posts
- Use at least 1-2 internal links to link to past post.
- Write a descriptive anchor text for the link to make it clear where the link leads to.
- Always use keywords in your anchor text.
- Only use links that are relevant to your current topic.
- Don’t use too many links to irritate or mislead your readers.
External links for your blog posts
- Use at least 1-2 external links in your blog post.
- Only link to websites or articles which actually add value to the topic you are writing about.
- Link to websites with a good page authority or domain authority. Look out for influencers in your industry or in your niche.
Tools to use for internal and external link strategies
- Use the WordPress default feature to interlink your blog posts. When you select a text and click on the hyperlink symbol to add a link, you can search for your published posts. You can select your post and link it directly with an anchor text. Or, you can search for your post by keywords.
- Try the Internal Link Generator plugin to automatically create links and anchor texts for your blog posts.
- Check the domain authority for your external links with Moz open site explorer.
#6 Use Strong Call-to-Actions to Make your Readers Stick to your Blog and to Generate Leads
How to hook your headers to your blog
- Link to other related posts on your blog at the end of each post to make your visitors read on and browse your site.
- Add a question at the end to encourage your readers to comment on your post or discuss your topic.
- Invite your readers to subscribe to your blog.
- Encourage your readers to subscribe to your social channels.
- Provide a free download to let your readers take away something from your blog, a white paper, a checklist or an ebook with additional help content to follow up.
Tools to use for sticky content and inbound leads
- Use the Icegram plugin to collect leads with all kinds of forms you can create for your blog, white papers, checklists or ebooks. (free & premium)
- Use the Email Subscribers plugin to get your visitors subscribe to your blog. (free & premium)
- Try the Related Posts for WordPress to automatically show related posts at the end of each post without any impact on your page speed. (free & premium)
- Get the Content Aware Sidebars plugin for your blog to add sticky content to the eye of your readers. This plugin lets you display custom sidebars on any post, page or category of your blog. This helps you to displaying content specific adds or offers to your sidebar for different contexts. The sidebar manager lets you create post sidebars, page sidebars, category sidebars and more. (free & premium)
#7 Optimize your Blog Posts for SEO
- valuable content that attracts your target audience,
- relevant keywords that meets the search terms of your target readers.
How to place keywords in your blog post
Use keywords your target audience actually uses for searching when looking for information on your topic. Integrate your keywords in your:
- headline / title
- introduction / lead
- images and videos
- links and anchor texts
How to optimize your headline and introduction of your blog post for SEO
- Write a title with less than 57 characters and include your keywords. This makes sure your title is properly displayed and gets not truncated in the search engines.
- Make sure the first 160 characters of your introduction cover the essence of what your post is about and also include your focus keywords so that it can double act as meta description and snippet for your post.
Tools to use for SEO optimizing your blog posts
- Use the Yoast SEO plugin to help you with basic SEO-optimizing your blog and your posts. (free & premium)
- Try keywordtool.io or ubersuggest.io to find keywords related to your topic. (free & premium)
- Use the SEO friendly images plugin for your blog to automatically update all images with proper ALT and TITLE attributes for SEO purposes. Additionally this makes the post W3C/xHTML valid as well. (free & premium)
#8 Make it Easy for your Blog Visitors to Follow, Like and Share your Blog Posts and Images
How to encourage your visitors to follow, like and share your blog posts and images
- Add social media buttons for your social channels at the top of your blog, in your footer and on your contact page and add call-to-action: Follow me.
- Add social media buttons and bars at the top and at the bottom of each blog post.
- Use social media buttons on your images.
- Display an embed code for your infographics and invite your readers to share (see an example).
- Always use strong call-to-actions like please follow, please share.
Tools to use to make it easy for your visitors to share your posts
- Try the Simple Social Icons plugin for your blog to display simple social media icons to follow you on social networks. (free & premium)
- Use the Better Click to Tweet plugin for your blog. The plugin adds ready to use Twitter boxes to your posts or pages. (free & premium)
- Try the GetSocial Social Share Button or the Social Warfare plugin for your blog to add social media buttons to your post. There are multiple design options to choose from more networks, designs and analytics options. (premium)
- Get the Pinterest Hover Pin It Button plugin for your blog to make your blog post images pinnable (free)
- Use the WWM Social Share On Image Hover for your blog, if your want to offer your readers more options to share your images on social media. The plugin adds 6 social media icons on your blog post images: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ Pinterest, and Tumblr. It will show the social media icons automatically on hover the post images on your site. (free & premium)
Things to Do with your Blog Post After Hitting the Publish Button
#9 Cross-Promote your Post on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and other Social Media Platforms
Once you have optimized and published a new post, you will need to promote your post as hell. Start by sharing your blog post on your social media channels. Social media are very powerful sources to get more outreach for your content and to drive traffic to your blog.
However, each social network offers different options for promoting your content. Not only the number of characters allowed differs and image sizes vary. The communities react differently to post formats. Each network is used for different purposes and at different times. In some networks you can join current discussions by adding popular hashtags. Hashtags also turn your posts into searchable content. Or, you can add @ handles to reach out to specific users. Or, you can add emojis to personalize your posts with emotions. Hashtags work fine for Twitter and Instagram, but they perform less on Facebook and LinkedIn. You may also need to address your LinkedIn business contacts in a different way than your Facebook friends.
To effectively cross-promote your blog post, don’t just cross-post the same message on every social network. Tailor the message for your posts to fit each social media platform and audience. Get the Complete Guide to Social Media Sharing: What, When & How to Share to help you set up your cross-promotion plan.
How to cross-promote your blog post on social media
- Share your post on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
- If you have business pages on Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+, share your posts to your pages as well but at different times and days.
- Also share your blog post to relevant groups and communities on Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+, but share them on different days and times and use different messages tailored for each group.
- Schedule your post multiple times on Twitter.
- Share your blog post images on Pinterest, Instagram and Flickr, using your focus image with your introduction, hashtags and a link to your post.
- If you use multiple images, share them all, but share them on different days and at different times.
- You can also share your images on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ to re-share your posts with different visual anchors.
- Share your blog post in special interest communities such as Reddit.
- Also share a link to your blog post to social bookmark networks such as Diigo, Digg, StumbleUpon.
- Schedule your posts at the best times for each network and across several days, weeks and month to extend the lifespan of your posts.
- Re-share and re-schedule your evergreen posts from time to time to revive them.
You can do this manually or automatically. If you do it manually, this will be a lot of legwork, everytime you publish a new post. Social media automation tools save a lot of time and helps you to get more outreach for your post in less time.
Tools to use for sharing your content automatically on social media networks
- Use the Blog2Social plugin to share and cross-promote your blog posts automatically to your social media channels, directly from the WordPress dashboard. The plugin allows you to auto-post and to customize your posts individually for each network. You can also schedule your posts to be shared at the best times to post on each network. The plugin auto-posts your blog posts to Facebook (profiles, pages), Twitter, Google+ (profiles, pages, groups), LinkedIn (profiles, pages), XING (profiles, pages, groups), Diigo and Reddit, to Tumblr, Medium, Torial for re-publishing your post, as well as your images on Instagram, Flickr and Pinterest. You may also re-post old post and pre-schedule your scheduled post for auto-posting.
#9 Syndicate your Content on LinkedIn Pulse, Medium, Tumblr, Quora
There are several other social sites with large communities and high authority, where you should consider to syndicate or re-publish your content. Exposure to these audiences benefits your visibility and outreach. You can syndicate your content as a complete copy of the content on your site, or only a part of it. Whatever you do for syndication, always make sure to re-publish your content a couple of days after you published the content on your blog. This allows the search engines to index your content first as original content.
How to re-publish and syndicate your blog post
- Re-publish your post in blogging networks such as Medium, Tumblr or Bloglovin.
- Re-publish your content on Torial if it is relevant for journalists.
- Syndicate your blog post to LinkedIn Pulse, if it is businessrelated.
- Syndicate your post as blog post to Quora.
Tools to use for re-publishing your content automatically on social media networks
- You can use the Medium plugin to automatically re-publish your blog post on Medium
- Use the Blog2Social plugin to re-publish your blog post to Tumblr, Medium, Torial automatically. The plugin provides a full Rich Text Editor for these networks, so you can optionally edit your title and copy or even change your image, if needed. And, most importantly, you can schedule your post to get them re-published on different days and times.
#10 Re-purpose your Content
Once you have put so much effort in creating a valuable blog post, you should make the most of your content and re-purpose the content as much as possible. There are several other media formats you can make use of and easily create a multimedia portfolio for your content. Each single media format can then again be cross-promoted on social media to catch as many eyeballs as possible for a single piece of content.
How to use multiple media formats for your blog post content
- Turn your key facts and images into a slideshow and share it on networks like Slideshare, Scribd
- Screencast your slideshow into a short video clip with a link to your blog post and share it on YouTube, Vine & Co.
- Add voice to your post and turn your blog post into a podcast. Add it to your blog post for readers who prefer to listen rather than to read and share it on sites such as iTunes, Google Play Music, Stitcher, PocketCast.
- Turn long posts into a white paper or ebook as take away for your blog and to share it on Slideshare, Scribd, Issue & Co.
- Write a checklist for your post as take away and share them.
- Create an infographic for your post and share them.
- Use these repurposed content media also to re-share your post on your social media channel on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Co.
- Repurpose your content for guest posts on other niche related sites
Tools to use for repurposing your content in other media formats
- Use Powerpoint or Google Slides to create a simple presentation of your blog post. You can create a mp4 or .wmv file to use them as video.
- Use Prezi to create vivid and animated slides
- Create a screencast with Camtasia if you need more options and editing.
- Use Audacity for creating a simple podcast
# 11 Reach Out to Influencers to Network for your Blog Post
Reaching out to influencers and fellow bloggers is most important to build up your network to get more outreach, authority, reputation, and valuable backlinks for your blog post. Start with fellow bloggers you know and invite them to comment on your blog post, ask for their opinion. Or, start with site you use for your external links. Reach out to the bloggers and tell them you referred to them. Look up your keywords in the search engines and
Comment on other topic related blog’s posts and link to your post to generate valuable backlinks. But do so only if your post really adds value to what it said.
Tools to use for reaching out to influencers
- Use the Buzzsumo search engine to look for related posts on your topic.
- Use networks like Kred or Klout to find influencers in your niche and topics by keyword search.
#12 Watch your Blog Post Stats
Keeping track of your blog post stats and social media performance is crucial to get a better grasp of your audience’s preferences and makes it easier to create content that performs best for your blog. The easiest way to do so is to open the Google Analytics dashboard to look at your blog stats. The statistics show you the page views and performance of your posts, but they also show where your website visitors come from, how long they stay on your page. So you can see, if users stay to read or if they exit after a few seconds, if the browse your site and where they exit.
Also your social media statistics are important to see show many comments, likes and shares your posts get. Whereas people are easy on giving a like, the number of shares show if they really value your content to share them with their own community. Comments on your post shows that they actively interact with your content.
- Analyze your blog post stats for page views, page count and reading time.
- Watch your blog for comments on your post and reply to each comment in time.
- Keep track of your counts on blog subscriptions and leads for download material.
- Watch your social media statistics for likes, shares and comments.
Tools to use for easily analyzing your blog post stats
- Get the Google Analytics Dashboard plugin for your blog. If you’re regularly checking your stats on page views and performance of your posts, the plugin helps you keeping track of your stats more quickly and conveniently.
- Try Crazy egg to visualize where your visitors click on your blog and your post.