How to Make Your Blog Post Work Hard for You + FREE Checklist

Melanie Ferguson
Episode 73: Melanie Ferguson

Listen on: Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcher, and Google Podcasts

This week I’m sharing with you my top tips for making your blog post work harder for you! It’s my opinion that each post should be a sort of “mini-business” within your blog. You spend all that time on creating content, shouldn’t it work just as hard for you? Don’t forget to grab your copy of my FREE Blog Post Checklist!

I’ve worked hard on my blog over the last couple of years and grown it to an average of 150k monthly pageviews. It was not always like that, it took trial and error to learn what works best in getting the most out of each post. Today I want to share what those efforts look like.

Make Your Blog Post Work Hard for You

Listen in as I share with you how I:

  • Prep each post before the content is created
  • Preview my blog post content thoroughly
  • All of the many steps taken when I publish the post
  • How and where I promote each blog post

In this episode, we cover:

  • How to do keyword research
  • Where to check your post title
  • What you need to check before you hit publish
  • Tips on repurposing content you already have or are making
  • How to promote your post on auto-pilot

Links and resources mentioned during this episode:

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Complete Transcript of this Episode

This week I want to chat about something that we should all be paying close attention to, but sometimes things just fall through the cracks. So I’m talking about our blog posts. Now, we spend all of our heart and soul on our blogs. Most of us treat our blogs like another child and we love them so much. But we need to also show them the love they need in order for them to love us back.

So all that being said, I want to go over the steps that I take each time I write a blog post to make sure I squeeze the most juice out of it and that it can perform for me in the best way possible. And I hope that you find some of these ideas helpful and maybe there are some things that you haven’t even thought about.

Blog Post Checklist

So let’s get to it. Let’s talk about my blog post checklist. If you want a copy of this checklist, I will be putting a link down in the show notes and hopefully, you will be able to grab that and just use it and change it up to fit your specific blog.

Now, my blog is a DIY crafts and recipe blog, so this works best for me. If you have a travel blog or a different type of blog, you may have to tweak it a little bit to fit your blog, but it will still be super helpful because there are lots of things on this list that are generic and apply to anybody’s blog. So I have divided it into four sections. We’re going to talk about prep, preview, publish and promote.

Prepping your Blog Post

So let’s dive right into prep. Prepping your blog Post so before you even get to the actual writing of the blog post, these are some things that you should keep in mind. Keyword research coming up with your headline or title editing your photos deciding what affiliate links or Shopify links or LTK reward style links or maybe a link to a printable that you’re going to want to use for this specific blog post. You’re going to want to decide if you’re going to create a YouTube video for this blog post. You’re going to want to make sure you have taken your styled photos so your final images, and then you’re going to want to decide if well, not if, but what your opt-in is. So every blog post I treat as its own little entity, its own little business. And so that being said, it’s got to work for me. You’ve heard about having your money work for you. Your blog posts need to work for you also. And this can be achieved through an opt-in any time. You can grow that email list and grow your audience the better. So you should always have an opt-in mind when you are prepping for your blog post.

And then I skip from prepping the blog post to actually writing the blog post. Now that part is understood. So I don’t really have a section on my checklist for writing the blog post. Just know that you should be obviously putting in the time and creating your headings and your paragraphs and everything accordingly. Now on my checklist, I have it where either I could have written a blog post myself or I could have had a ghostwriter help me or a VA helped me write the blog post as well.

Preview Your Blog Post

And that is where the second category comes in called Preview. You should be previewing your blog post before you hit that all-important publish button. So when you go to preview your blog post, you’re going to check all of those images and make sure they are optimized for SEO. Make sure that they have alt text, make sure that they have a description in case someone pins directly from your blog, and just make sure that their title is not just a bunch of mumbo jumbo letters and numbers that just came off your computer. You should always title your images before you upload them to your media library in WordPress.

The second thing you’re going to want to do when you’re previewing your blog post is check for your keywords. Make sure that you used them in the post and that you use them enough times. Now they say a good average is between five and ten times depending on the length of your blog post. You don’t want to go overboard where your post starts to look spammy, but you also don’t want to only mention your keyword once. You’ve got to have enough authority in your blog post with your keywords that Google recognizes it and wants to choose that post to do the heavy lifting over in Google search.

Also, you’re going to want to add a table of contents. Now again, like I mentioned, I have a DIY and recipe post blog. So most of my posts are going to have step-by-step instructions and different categories within the actual post. So it makes sense for me to have a table of contents. And if you have a long blog post, I shoot for a thousand words or more. If you have a long blog post like that, it’s very nice to add that table of contents up at the beginning for your reader so they can just find the sections that they want to most spend their time on and hit it and immediately put that section in front of them. So I love having a table of contents and I just like to check it and make sure that it looks how I want it to. I don’t want to add all my H3 and H4 headings to the table of contents. I really just show my H2 headings in there and it’s just another indicator for Google to be, oh wow, this person is an authority. Look, they have this in here multiple times in multiple ways.

At the same time as I’m checking the table of contents, I will check that recipe card. So I use WP recipe and I do have a link for that that I’ll put below. But you can also use any of the tasty recipe plugins. There are a lot of them on the market now. And these are just plugins where you have an actual separate, dedicated little card is what they call it, that you can add and reiterate all of your steps, your supplies, your ingredients, depending on whether it’s a recipe or a DIY. And this again is another indicator to Google that you are an authority and that this is going to be an easy post for the reader to get through because there’s going to be a really nice little cheat sheet at the bottom, if you will. I don’t ever link to recipes so that they can just open up the blog post and click and go straight to it, but I do always offer it on the bottom of my blog post. These are handy and super convenient, especially when it comes to food recipes because people like to print them. You can also upgrade some of your plugins and get the ability to link to specific products in those cards, and I highly recommend you do so.

Once I’ve checked my table of contents and my recipe card, I’m going to go down and actually check that Meta description. The Meta description is super important when it comes to alerting Google what the post is about. So you’re going to want to make sure the Meta description has your keywords in it and it has a very succinct and shortened one to two sentences about what your post actually contains. And this is going to be what Google uses to decide if this is the appropriate piece of content to put in front of someone who has just made a search online then I’m going to check the featured image size, and make sure that it fits the aesthetics of my blog, and it’s the one that I want to use. The featured image size is so important, you guys. It is the one that Google picks up a lot of times as a snippet. Have you heard about Google snippets? This is going to be the one that Google recognizes first, and it attaches to your post. So you’re going to want to pick a really good, aesthetically pleasing styled image for this featured image.

And then I just go back and check links. I want to make sure all of my links are working. They’re all going to the correct place because remember, the blog post is a business. It is going to work for you, and it’s really hard for it to work for you if the links within it do not work. So this, again, lends to that user experience. Nobody likes to have to get on a blog post, be interested enough in something to actually click on it these days, and it goes to nowhere. So that is the second quadrant called preview.

Publishing Your Blog Post

And then we’re going to go down to publish. So once you have prepped your blog post, written your blog post, and previewed your blog post, whether you wrote it or someone wrote it for you, you’re then going to push the all-important publish button. All right, you can schedule this. I like to schedule my publish content to go out the night. I schedule it the night before for the next morning. And that just gives me peace of mind. I know it’s done, I think really clearly at that time, and I like to make sure that it is good to go for the next day.

Once I hit publish, I’m going to go back to that blog post and I am going to pin the images that I have added in there as Pin images. Now, you can at least add one Pin image, but two is even better. So whenever you offer a couple of different pins towards the bottom of your post, your readers can pin those as well. But how convenient is it if you have already pinned them for them and all they have to do is hit the image for it to pin? Now I pin the images to Pinterest and I use that first little paragraph. That is also my handy meta description with a few hashtags over in my Pinterest and bada, bing, badaboom, I have pinned the blog post. It is out for the masses.

Then I check it on my live blog post, my blog. I want to make sure that when I hit my homepage, boom, that post is showing up as it should and that all is well and it looks great. Then you’re going to want to link it to any schedulers that you have that promote that blog post and add it to any spreadsheets that I have going that are ongoing to check the quality of the post and be able to go back and rank them as well.

And then I take that moment after I’ve hit published to link it to my biweekly email draft. So if I have a draft going at all times twice a week, that I email my subscribers. And so I like to make sure that I have that ready to go. And that way when it’s time to actually push out an email, all of the links and the content are already there. All I have to think about is that intro and just making sure to check all the links, make sure they’re working.

Promote Your Blog Post

All right, the fourth and final quadrant of my blog post, a checklist for each and every single blog post that I write so that it gets the most you squeezed out of it for my time is promote. And this one, my friends, is probably the second most important. I believe prepping and promoting can be the keys to success when it comes to blogging. So on the promote section, I like to again make sure that I send it out in an email, whether that’s once a week or twice a week, whatever works for you. If it’s daily, go for it. But make sure to always promote that blog post. Don’t forget about it.

I like to add a before image or a supply list image to my stories with a link to see how it turned out or what it looks like in the after. And this is a great way to get engagement on the blog post from your followers on social media, as well as encourage them and get them in the practice of checking your blog on a constant basis. Now, giving them the after is fine too, a couple of days later, but it’s really fun to give them the before and say, hey, click here to see how this turned out, and most people will click through to check out your blog post. I do this on Instagram and Facebook, and I know TikTok now has stories as well.

I go in and if my blog post has a YouTube video at this point, I will add a fast sped-up video to Facebook, all right, so that it can get a little bit of juice from this blog post as well. So I’ll do a shortened, maybe three-minute version of my project or recipe post that on Facebook, put it out to the world, let Facebook do its thing, and then I will also share it to relative Facebook groups. And this is really important, and you maybe haven’t thought of this before, but if you have a few categories on your blog. So whether it’s crafting or recipes and you know, there are Facebook groups out there that really foster these subjects, join them, become friends with the people in them, and then if it’s allowed, share your blog posts in there every time you have one that is pertinent to that subject. So I have a couple of my very own groups. You don’t have to start your own group, but it’s super convenient, I will tell you that when it comes to wondering if it’s allowed or not. But I have a Christmas group and I do always share all of my Christmas blog posts over there every single time. And then I have a Buffalo Check group on Facebook that I share all of my Buffalo Check projects to. And then I have several crafting and dollar tree groups that I’m involved in where I will also share links to my blog post in those. So don’t ever forget about the power of social media and making sure that you are in a relationship with the people in these groups and you are creating value by sharing your blog post you just wrote.

I also promote my blog posts by mentioning them in live videos. So if you go live on any capacity on any platform, you should be mentioning your blog post. Hey, I just wrote a blog post yesterday about XYZ. I think you should check it out because it will really be helpful when you go to XYZ. So making sure that you verbalize about the blog post you wrote and where they can find it and link to it in your live video is super important.

And then if you subscribe to a text message service, you can actually push out your blog post to the entire group. Or you can even whittle it down to those who ask to be specifically informed when you publish a new blog post because there will be people who raise their hand that say I want to know immediately. And so you can text that group of people when you have a new blog post and link to it directly.

And then last but not least, a couple of ideas to promote your blog post are to create a Reel. So you can add a Reel to Instagram or Facebook, I mean either one. And it’s going to be a shortened 22nd video, tops of your project or recipe or behind the scenes about the blog post. And then you’re going to tell them the link is in Bio, okay? And that is where you will put the link to the actual project because Instagram now has the ability for you to link in your Bio. So I use Smart bio and I’ll link that below. But you can actually link a link to your Reel, which I absolutely love. They can tap on my link and Bio, see the Reel and tap on the link and go directly to the blog post. So you can get traffic that way. And then take that Reel, that 20 second video that you’ve created for Instagram and Facebook. And here’s where the magic happens. You can use that as an idea pin.

So I will go back and I will add the reel to Pinterest as an idea Pin and I will also repurpose it for a TikTok video. So definitely you want to repurpose, repurpose, repurpose. Take all of the content from that blog post, squeeze the juice out of it, and make it work for you. Make that blog post worth the time that you put into it. Don’t just throw it out there and forget it and just think, oh, I published it. Great. I’m done. No, no, no. You want to promote it.

And I hope that these ideas for you to prep it, preview it, publish it, and promote it are super helpful and handy for you. I will again link the entire blog post checklist below so that you can double-check it for yourself and tweak it where you need to tweak it.

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