As bloggers, we put a lot of time and effort into creating our content and we want it to get the attention it deserves. In order to get people to your site and loving your stuff, it’s important to spend a few extra minutes to make sure everything is top-notch. By following these 10 essential steps, you’ll boost traffic to your blog, make readers stay on your page longer, and ensure that your content is credible, engaging, and shareable. I’ve also included a free checklist you can download that lists each step so it’s easy to refer to when you write your posts. Let’s get this party started!
1. Create a Click-Worthy Title
First things first, you need a catchy title that will get people interested in finding out more. Your title is essentially the most important part of your post, because it determines whether someone will actually read it or not!
- The best kinds of headlines are lists and user-addressed titles such as “3 Best Brownie Recipes” and “23 Things You Need To Do Before You Die”
- Include key words or keyword phrases in your title so it’s more likely to pop up on search engines
- Place one power word before your keyword phrase to help your title stand out and make an emotional connection with your readers. Examples include “free,” “how to,” “odd,” and “amazing”
- Keep the length between 8-12 words. The shorter, the better!
- Headline Analyzer is a great tool to use to measure up your working titles
2. Have High Quality Images
Face it: we’re a visual society and people love aesthetically pleasing photographs that evoke emotion. Attaching high quality images that relate to your post will make your site look more professional and your words more credible.
- Be sure to either use YOUR OWN photos, hire a photographer, or find free-use stock photos on sites like Unsplash, Creative Market, Pixaby, and StockSnap.io, which have a range of free and priced photos that are totally legal to use
- Use bright, clear, and crisp images
- Make sure the image is relevant to your post so your readers connect to what you’re saying and don’t get confused
- Your image should be “on-brand,” meaning that is fits with your blog theme and target audience
- SEO-ify your images by including alt-tags so it gets recognized in image searches
3. Make Sure Its SEO-Friendly
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. In order to rank high on search engine results (which means organic traffic!) you want your page to be optimized.
- Use keywords or keyword phrases in your title, URL, and throughout the main text 2-3 times to make your post searchable.
- To find relevant keywords, do a search on Google or Pinterest for a relevant theme to see what auto-populates.
- Add alt-tags to your images to make them searchable
- Include meta description to provide a concise summary
4. Add Affiliate Links and a Disclosure Statement
If done strategically, affiliate linking is a great way to monetize from your blog. You just want to make sure you aren’t sneaky with them. Be up front with your readers and you’ll gain their trust.
- Keep affiliate links relevant to your content
- Don’t go overboard with links
- Include a disclosure statement at the beginning of your post
- Statement should be clear and concise
5. Link to Old Posts
Always link yourself to similar blog posts when you can. Adding internal links is not only great for self promotion and keeping readers on your page longer, but they will also help them find related topics they might be interested in.
- Integrate into the body itself
- Add a related posts section at the end of your post
- Install a related post widget below your body text
- Update old posts with links to newer ones
6. Include a Call to Action at the End
- Encourage your readers to leave a comment by asking a relevant and engaging question
- Promote a freebie or product
- Add buttons asking readers to subscribe to your email list or follow your social accounts
7. Make Sure Your Posts Are Easy to Read
- Break up text into short paragraphs and sections with headings (h1, h2, h3)
- Use numbered or bulleted lists (oh hey–that’s what I’m doing!)
- Your font size should be 14 to 18 point
- Use black text on white-background (CRUCIAL!)
8. Proofread and Test Links
Seems like a no-brainer, but a post with quality information, but careless spelling mistakes and broken links will lower your credibility.
- Read through a couple times to check for typos and grammar mistakes. Grammarly is a great tool to use!
- Read it out loud to yourself to make sure it flows
- Have someone else read your post–another set of eyes will often find things you missed
- Double check all links
9. Create a Sharable Pinterest Photo
- Make sure the image is in vertical format and aim for a resolution of 735 x 1102 pixels
- Include your title or a relevant phrase on the image to grab readers’ attention and give them something to expect
- Create 2 or more graphics per post to up your odds of reaching different audiences
10. Include Social Sharing Buttons
Having social media icons so people can share your post is a great way to boost traffic. Many people follow their favorite bloggers’ social accounts for post updates!
- Include sharing buttons at the end of your post and follow icons on your sidebar
- Make sure to share your post on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, StumbleUpon, Google+ and any other platforms you use
- Stay organized with scheduling programs like Buffer, Hootsuite, and CoSchedule
What is something that you always do before you publish your blog posts? I’d love for you to add to my list down below in the comments. If this post helped you, please share the image below on Pinterest!
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