16-Point Checklist for Creating the Perfect Blog

blogging checklist

Measure twice, cut once.

That guidance works in blogging and article writing just as well as it works in carpentry. Below is a 16-point checklist against which you should “measure” every piece of content you publish online. (And honestly, most of the points apply to print pieces as well.)

Study the list, print it out, and make sure any other writers on your team also have this at their sides.

? Uniqueness. Does your blog offer information that is generally not available elsewhere, or a new perspective on the information it conveys to the reader?

? Headline. Does the headline leverage a basic human emotion, such as fear of missing out, curiosity, desire or even anger? Does your headline or title include your keywords? Is it between 40 and 69 characters in length?

? Opening. Does your first paragraph “set the hook”? Does it grab the reader in just one or two short sentences?

? Closing/Call to Action. Does your article close with a call to action? There should be something you want your reader to do or at least take away with every article you write. Be sure you handle this properly at the end of your article.

? Subheads. Have you broken up the copy with H2 and H3 subheads that catch the reader’s eye? They need to tell the reader that there is interesting and important information throughout the article. Does at least one subhead include your keywords?

? Links. Does the article include links to other content on your site that will enhance the reader’s overall understanding of the topic? Have you linked to valuable outside resources? Are the links anchored by words and phrases that are relevant to your SEO goals? Have you checked your links to make sure they are good?

? Keywords. Does your article contain your keywords and synonyms for your keywords? Don’t worry about hitting any density target; keep your writing flow natural.

? Evergreen. Have you written your article so it will stand the test of time?

? Scan-ability. Can your article be easily scanned to pick up its most important points? Have you used bullet lists where appropriate?

? Graphics. Does your post include one or more graphic? Have you given these graphics SEO relevant alternate text and file names?

? Proofreading. Has your article been proofread by someone other than yourself? Have you used an app like Grammarly to suggest corrections to your article? If you must proofread your own writing, check out this “4Steps to Edit Your Own Copy” infographic. One more hint: Use your computer’s ability to read text on the screen to read your article back to you as you proofread. Nothing spoils the perfect blog you intended to publish more than a big old typo or grammatical error.

? Cost effectiveness. Have you considered how your content can be adapted for use on other platforms – such as Slideshare – and merged with other content to create a white paper or ebook so you can maximize your time investment?

? Search engine snippet. Have you written a meta description that uses your keywords and will entice Google searchers to check out your article? Is your description less than 160 characters long, including spaces?

? URL. Have you given the page the article will appear on a permalink that uses SEO relevant keywords?

? Categories. Have you assigned the best category or categories for your post?

? Tags. Have you tagged your article to include things like the people you’ve mentioned and other important attributes?

The 16 points in this “perfect blog checklist” should become second nature. However, in our hurry to get articles written and published, it’s easy for even experienced writers and bloggers to overlook an important point, so keep these handy and look at them often to make sure you don’t drop the ball.