Blogging & Social Media

Pre Publishing Blog Checklist

“WordPress Blog Checklist For Beginners"

If you had time to do something twice, you had time to do it right the first time.
One of my favorite quotes written by John Wooden. Not only can this quote be blogging related but I apply it to my everyday life. And yes, I still make mistakes just like everyone else out there.
Trial and error is by far one of my favorite experiences when it comes to blogging. I’ve taken a few courses, but in reality one course no matter how much you pay won’t teach you everything. You still have to fall on your face a few times and get back up. “Dust yo’self off and try again”
If you’ve been reading my blog post and watching my YouTube channel, you know that my goal is to share any and everything I’ve learned on the way to grow my social media presence. This includes but not limited to, the things I have learned about blogging, making money online, Pinterest marketing and working with brands on Instagram.
Lets face it, no matter how long you’ve been blogging it’s impossible to know everything. Why, because things constantly change, algorithms change and so does technology. So unless you’re Albert Einstein’s little sister or brother, it’s probably best to find a way to simply the process. I suggest using my WORDPRESS BLOG CHECKLIST FOR BEGINNERS, because it really does help. It’s the perfect way to ensure you have crossed your t’s and dotted your I’s.
Here are 9 things to check for before you publish your blog post
what should go on a blog

Pinterest Graphic (735 x 1102 px)

Any blogger will tell you how important it is to have a Pinterest strategy. Using Pinterest to drive free traffic to your blog is GOLD. Because Pinterest acts as a search engine, just think about all the people who use Pinterest a day.There are so many people searching for information that you as a blogger can provide. As a result, your websites traffic will increase. Especially when you learn how to use Tailwind, it schedules your pins for you!!!!
I see so many bloggers who have these informative and well put together post, that I can’t pin to Pinterest because there is not a pinnable image included within their blog post. I use Canva to create my pins, and if you want to know how to do that I made a step by tutorial teaching you how to do so. Make Sure you check that out!

Featured Image

There has been so many times, I myself forgot to include a featured image. This may be looked at as optional for some bloggers, but visually having a featured image makes your blog appealing. I use a static page on my blog and each time I create a new post I set it up for my blog’s featured image to appear on my static page (which is like the homepage for my blog, not to be confused with a landing page)
Get in the habit of using your own photos as your featured image. But if you don’t like using your own you can always use stock photos from websites such as Canva.com, Unsplash.com or even Shutterstock.com

CTA (Call To Action)

Having a CTA should be # 1 on your pre publishing blog checklist. What is a CTA, you’re probably wondering? CTA stands for a call to action. When your readers reach the end of your blog post, what do you want them to do next? Do you want them to comment? Do you want them to download a freebie? Do you want them to follow you on Instagram or maybe even sign up for your email list?
Having a call to action at the end of your blog post increases your engagement. Be sure to make it clear to your readers. Don’t give them more than one call to action. For example, don’t tell them to follow you, comment and visit your YouTube channel all at the end of your post. The average reader will get overwhelmed and ultimately just leave your website altogether.
So remember, don’t give too many options. Only 1 will do

Zero Typos (Recommended Grammarly)

OMG! Typos used to be something I struggled with tremendously. There was a time when I didn’t take blogging seriously, so every post was rushed. I would then ask my mama to read over my post before publishing, she would always let me know what I misspelled or what I could have worded differently. I now use Grammarly and it’s a life saver. I would recommend Grammarly to every blogger out there.
It’s a free Google extension that checks for typos and common grammatical errors. It can even be used with Google Docs. Sweet!

Affiliate Links

Money talks! I’m just sayin’
Make sure your affiliate links are strategically placed. But please don’t be too spammy. It’s not cute! There’s not a certain amount you should or should not have but just make sure they are present, visible and clickable.

Internal Links

Internal links are a great way to reduce your bounce rate, and as a result it keeps your readers on your blog even longer. Within your text you should also look for ways to to send your readers to other related blog post on your site. It’s your job to answer the next question they will have. Lets say your readers came across a term or a phrase they were unfamiliar with within your post. Like the term “bounce rate” for example. Every blogger doesn’t know what a bounce rate is.
The post you should link next should lead your readers to another post of yours explaining what a bounce rate is. It’s really a smart way to create binge worthy content.

Outbound Links

This post is not about SEO, however outbound links are great for SEO. Along with internal links they keep the SEO juices flowing. I usually insert 2 outbound links within my blog post, maybe more. Using outbound links will improve your blogs ranking. In the beginning I often asked myself, why would I want to direct my readers elsewhere? I want my readers to stay on my blog? But once I saw the after effects, using outbound links were more beneficial than harmful to my blog.
Outbound links add credibility to your post. If your readers are really interested in what you have to say, DON’T WORRY they will come back to your blog. When you insert outbound links, make sure you set it up to open a new window. So when your readers click the link a new window will open instead of exiting your site. See how that is down below.
wordpress blog check list for beginners

Alt Text & File Descriptions

So many bloggers underestimate the power of using alt text and I’m not sure why. Applying alt text to your images lets Google know what your post is about. It’s the best way to describe your image or HTML links in plain text. Yes, Google picks up on this. Once I started using more alt text, I did notice an increase in my organic traffic.
I know you’re probably thinking it’s technology shouldn’t it automatically pick up on what your image is about? Truth is the author is still expected to describe the image in detail. Also, get in the habit of changing the file name to any images you upload to your blog. This one is a winner!
Especially when using stock photos, from sites like Unsplash. Never keep the default file name. Make sure you locate the saved image after downloading and rename the file before uploading. If you have done your keyword research, this should be fairly easy to do.

Short Paragraphs

Just get to the point and get their quick. This step is on every bloggers SEO checklist. Attention spans are shorter than ever these days. Nobody wants to read your long drawn out paragraphs. Especially if you have a younger audience like I do.
I usually aim for no more than 150 words per paragraph. I’ve tested this method and it does keep the attention of my readers. So make sure you go back and revisit old post, if you see very long extended paragraphs go through and break them up. Add a GIF in between or even a Pinterest Graphic.
The more graphics you have within your post the better. People like pictures, or even add a related video. Videos perform well also.
When uploading content to WordPress, I follow this blog post checklist for beginners to ensure I have everything needed the first time around.
Tell me in the comments below, do you use all of these methods listed above? In your opinion, what should be on a blog post? If you were to create your very own WordPress blog post checklist for beginners, what would you include? Were any of these methods new to you?
-XOXO-
Cheri
BLOG POST CHECKLIST FOR BEGINNERS
content writing checklist
WORDPRESS FOR BEGINNERS
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16 Comments

    • Avatar

      Kimberlie

      As a freelance writer and new blogger, I appreciate this targeted checklist of things to focus on with each new blog post. I especially like that you addressed breaking up the content with images and videos to ensure your audience remains engaged.

    • Cheri

      Cheri

      That’s perfect Renee. I avoided doing it in the beginning, due to not having enough posts to link. So you are already a step ahead! Use those internal links girllll!! 🙂

  • Avatar

    Teresa

    This is a brilliant check list! Especially grammar is something I check multiple times before publishing, I find it sooo annoying when a text is riddled with typos or sentences that don’t seem to make any sense.

    • Cheri

      Cheri

      Hello Teresa,

      Grammar is definitely a tricky one because I believe in reflecting personality through my writing, so my grammar may not be the best to some. But typos are huge, we all make mistakes but at least we can try to eliminate them the best way possible!

  • Avatar

    Rachel

    This is uber useful, great idea for beginners or bloggers that are just really busy and need to make sure they’re doing the right thing every time they publish!

    • Cheri

      Cheri

      Hi Rachel (again – the person who commented before you is Rachel as well)

      I’m always looking to help new bloggers by providing information that can help. Glad you found my checklist to be a source of information!

  • Avatar

    Rachel O'Reilly

    This is so useful! I wasn’t sure what the alt text was for, but will definitely start using it now! I definitely need to sort a feature image too. I am going to keep referring back to this post, thank you so much!

    • Cheri

      Cheri

      Hi Rachel,

      Thanks so much for stopping by to comment. I’m also happy you found the checklist useful! That always makes me happy! 🙂

  • Avatar

    Nina

    So many great tips! In the beginning, I didn’t bother to describe my images. But when I learned about the importance of it for SEO, I started to do it more often, but inconsistently. So now, after reading your post, I’m determined to focus on it and make my alt descriptions better. Thank you so much! Have a great day!

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