As some of you may know I am one for my lists. I have a check list of things to do on all social networking platforms, as I find that working through a list eliminates procrastination and distraction. It is important to get the main objectives out of the way, and then if time allows you can then play and read other articles etc.
I recently posted on my Linkedin profile “do you have a blogging check list?” and numerous people responded saying “no, what is a blogging check list?”, hence this blog post.
Before I sit down to write a blog article I turn on my “anti-social” software for a period of 60 minutes. This means that I will not be distracted by emails, or social networking notifications. It also means that I am not tempted to “just check twitter or Facebook” as the software will not allow me access to these sites. You will often see a tweet from me saying “I have been Anti-Social for the last 60 minutes” – now you know the reason why!
Now I am ready to write my blog article. I check my Passle (which is some software that I use to collect blogging ideas throughout the week), and I have my blog article in my head. Now it’s time to get it down on paper.
As promised, here is my blogging check list:
Number 1 – Write the blog post
- Does the content show personality and is it conversational?
- Will the readers get value from the article (make sure it is not salesy)?
- Does it answer a question, issue or other topic your readers need or want to know?
- Have I included some type of fact, figure or statistic?
- Use spell check
- Then read the article out loud.
- Ask my PA to proof read the article for spelling and grammar.
Number 2 – Format your blog post on the website
- Is it easy on the eye? – Lists and short paragraphs work really well.
- Headlines from the content – I use a book called “Advertising headlines that make you rich” by David Garfinkle, to get some great headlines.
- Bullets for lists- makes it easy reading for visitors
- Tag and hyperlink to external and internal sources further explaining points made, and resources
- Add an image – with titles and alt descriptions (I pay for all my images using dreamstime.com, however there are numerous places where you can obtain free images).
- Add a call to action, or an affiliated image.
- Add a minimum of 4 “related articles” – at least one of these articles should be linked back to a previous article within your own website. I use a free WordPress plugin called Zemanta to help me with this.
Number 3 – SEO the blog post
I actually use a plugin on WordPress to help me with the SEO called Yoast. I have used numerous plugins in the past, but this one is by far the best to date.
- Title has keyword
- H tag with the keyword
- Keyword bolded in content
- Keyword in the URL (and the URL short and easy to decipher from other content)
- Appropriate tags
- Meta keyword- usually 1 or 2
- Meta description
- Picture Alt Tag with the keyword
Number 4 – Publish your post
The process for publication for the Green Umbrella blog is actually an automated process. Those that have subscribed to the blog will receive this into their inbox within 24hours of the post going live. We use mailchimp to help us achieve this and it works really well. Those people who have downloaded my free ebook, will also automatically receive my blog post, so I am constantly drip feeding my audience with valuable content. (Or at least I hope you feel that this is valuable content!).
I also use the RSS Atom feed within Hootsuite, so that all posts are automatically sent to Linkedin profiles, Linkedin company page, Google Plus, and Twitter. I then manually pin the post to Pinterest and add the post to Facebook at optimised times.
If you do not have any automated systems set up, then here is a check list of how to distribute your blog:-
- Email going out about new post to subscribed readers.
- Blog post going immediately to your social networks.
- For additional mileage, register your articles on places such as go articles, article base, Ezine etc (but I suggest you do this a few days after you have posted on your own website, as you want Google to index the article on your site before anywhere else).
I hope that this detailed check list helps. I would be interested to know if there are any systems or procedures that you use to construct your blogs. Do you use any special plugins or software to help you optimise the articles?
- A daily Linkedin technique that is worth consideration for your business [podcast] (green-umbrella.biz)
- Are you making these 10 Twitter mistakes? (green-umbrella.biz)
- 4 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Amplify Content On LinkedIn (mashable.com)
- What Small Businesses Look Like on LinkedIn [INFOGRAPHIC] (linkedin.com)