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Blog Post Checklist for WordPress Authors


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Blog Post Checklist for WordPress Authors was delivered at WordCamp Tampa 2015 by Aaron Weiss of Tampa SEO Training Academy. This presentation provides a pre-publication checklist for blog posts that helps writers and bloggers develop a logical flow for each blog post they publish. This talk explains how to get the most out of WordPress’s core features, teach simple search engine friendly concepts, help writers develop habits that help them write better blog posts, and recommend free and premium plugins that help facilitate publication. By following each item in a checklist, you can create a standard operating procedure that ensures your blog post takes advantage of all features, is optimized, and ready to be shared, no matter who is developing content for your website.

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Blog Post Checklist for WordPress Authors

  1. 1. Blog Post Checklist By Aaron Weiss
  2. 2. Blog Post Checklist • Pre-publication checklist to – Utilize WordPress’s features – SEO Friendly – User friendly • Develop beneficial blog posting habits • Increase your site and business’s value • Standard operating procedure no matter who is developing content
  3. 3. 21-Point Blog Post Checklist • This presentation is live right now at – for-wordpress-authors/ • You’ll be able to re-live this amazing blog post checklist time and time again
  4. 4. 1. Topic/Keyword Research • Free – Google Keyword Planner/Google Trends – Internal Site Search – Google Search Console (Webmaster Tools) Search Analytics • Paid – WordTracker – SEM Rush – MOZ
  5. 5. 2. Write the Post • Write the post without SEO in mind – Focus on the topic and your users – Get the valuable information down first • Not a great writer? – Record your thoughts, then have someone transcribe it – Hire a writer
  6. 6. 3. Revise With SEO • Revise the post adding keywords sparingly – It should still be readable by a human – Check for • Spelling • Grammar • Run-on sentences • Clarity
  7. 7. 4. Add Images • Images provide examples or assist the theme or concept of your blog topic • Filename should be SEO/Human friendly – Not friendly: DSC-21234.jpg – Friendly: blog-post-checklist-example-image.jpg • Add ALT text, and sometimes Title Text – Example: <img src=” descriptive-file-name.jpg” alt=”This is descriptive ALT text”> • Credit image creators when appropriate
  8. 8. 5. Add H2s and H3s • Headings help organize your content and sections • Use keywords in your headings • H3s are excellent for sub-sections • Usually, your Blog Post Title is your H1. So don’t add another. – There should only be one H1 in your content
  9. 9. 6. Internal Linking • Find and link similar content on your site to and from your new blog post. • Keeps users on the site longer if they click on those links • Double-points if you use keyword-rich anchor text • Reminds users that you have written about something before
  10. 10. 7. Link Out • Link to sources and references • Be sure they are opened in a new tab/window – “Open link in a new window/tab” – target=“_blank” • Be (in)credible - credit others where due • Be careful linking to poor or low/no-value websites
  11. 11. 8. Categorize • Typically, add your post to one category, two if you have to • Make it the best category for your topic • Think of categories as chapters in your non-fiction book • Consider re-structuring your categories to have a more concise structure – See my blog post and Meetup slides on this topic: •
  12. 12. 9. Tags • Add tags liberally • You may add as many tags as you wish • Be sure they are words and phrases that best describe your content • Don’t duplicate or provide too many variant tags • It’s about organizing and describing your content, not stuffing keywords • Think of tags as items in the index of your book
  13. 13. 10. Add a Featured Image • Most themes use featured images very well. Use It! • Featured images become the visual poster for your blog post and catch the user’s eye • Find out the best width and height for your theme and stick to it • Social Media networks use the featured image as the image of a post in most cases
  14. 14. 11. Revise AGAIN! • Trust me, you’ve missed something • Our minds play tricks on us – So does the English language – Wrods look fnie mpelisled wenh we’re in a rsuh – Synonyms can confuse our subconscious • Read your post backwards, you’ll find more mistakes that way
  15. 15. 12. Write the Post Title • Keep your keywords as close to the beginning as possible • Keep it short • Make it irresistible • Consider your site/business’s voice – Clickbait – HYPE • Hypes it up, but often is a let down – Credibility – Less Hype • Stay level headed – deliver valuable information
  16. 16. 12-A. Write Post Title (continued) • Clickbait examples: – You’re Writing Blog Posts Wrong, Find Out How To Fix It – 42 Reasons Why Your Blog Posts Suck. Number 4 is the BEST – This Blog Post Checklist Will LAUNCH Your Blog To The Top – A Blog Post Checklist That WORKS
  17. 17. 12-B. Write Post Title (continued) • Standard examples: – How to Write Better Blog Posts for Your Business – A Blog Post Checklist for Businesses – Why You Should Follow a Blog Post Checklist – Blog Posts That Keep Readers Interested – A Blog Post Checklist for WordPress Users
  18. 18. 13. Permalinks • Settings > Permalinks – This will determine your default permalink settings • In most cases, there’s nothing you need to do • Yoast SEO will automatically remove Stop Words (i.e. a, the, in, at) – I recommend DISABLING this – Yoast SEO > Advanced > Permalinks > Remove stop words from slugs
  19. 19. 13. Permalinks (continued) • Bad Permalink: – • Doesn’t say anything about what the blog post is about • Good Permalink – for-wordpress • We know exactly what this page is about without even having to go to it • Google can read this better too!!!
  20. 20. ALL HAIL YOAST SEO! Install Yoast SEO for WordPress for your website. It’s free! You can see a Meetup presentation about Yoast I’ve done previously here: •
  21. 21. 14. Yoast SEO Meta Description • Recommends 156 characters. Get this to the max! • Does not directly affect rankings • Does entice clicks, which does affect your rankings • Not a place to stuff keywords or be spammy • Should be human readable • If you don’t write one, Google will find an excerpt from your content and display that instead. You may not like it. • Use Benefit-Trigger statements
  22. 22. 14. Yoast SEO Meta Description (continued) Example: Read this Blog Post Checklist to make sure you never miss out on WordPress features or opportunities for SEO. Download the slides for easy reference! • 149 Characters • Urgency – “Fear of Missing Out” • Call to Action – “read” and “download” • Simplicity – “easy reference”
  23. 23. 15. Yoast SEO Page Title • Page (SEO) Title – Yes, your Page (SEO) Title can be different from your Blog Post Title – There are no specific character min/max, it’s about pixel length – Generally, keep it between 50-70 characters – Include your Primary (focus) keyword as close to the beginning as possible.
  24. 24. 15. Yoast SEO Page Title • Example: Blog Post Checklist for WordPress Authors • 42 characters • Primary keyword is at the front • Short and concise
  25. 25. 16. Yoast SEO Focus Keyword • Focus Keyword (optional): – Helps find how often and where your target keyword is found and how many times in the: • Article heading • Page title • Page URL (permalink) • Content • Meta description • Do not stuff keywords in your content
  26. 26. 17. REVISE AGAIN!!! • Seriously, there’s something missing or wrong • I promise you there is • Fine, don’t take me seriously • But you can always…
  27. 27. 17-B. Hire an Editor • Editors keep you honest • They are a fresh pair of eyes • They help you say what you want BETTER • Help maintain your blog’s standards, style, and voice – sometimes better than you can • Even Stephen King has editors • They really do get the best out of you
  28. 28. 18. Optimize Social Sharing • Write special headings and descriptions for Google+, Twitter, and Facebook in Yoast SEO – Upload images for those networks too • These networks all have different demographics – Write headings and descriptions that cater to them – You still need to consider your own audience – Control the message, help users share it
  29. 29. 19. Schedule Social Sharing (continued) • Use a plugin to automatically share your post – Jetpack Publicize (free) – SNAP (Social Network Auto Poster) (free/paid) – Hootsuite (free/paid) – Buffer (free/paid) • Consider automated task services – If This Then That ( – Zapier (
  30. 30. 20. Automate/Schedule Email Marketing with RSS • Automatically tell your loyal readers and email subscribers about new content • Have an RSS to Email service – Mailchimp – Aweber – Feedburner – Many more…
  31. 31. 21. Preview • How does your blog post look on the front- end? • Catching anything wrong? Fix it! • Don’t tell your self “Good Enough”, instead ask “Is this my best?”
  32. 32. 22. Publish • Hit Publish or Schedule • What Now? – Additional promotion on social networks • Write to other bloggers about your new post – Relax – Get back to business – Write another one
  33. 33. Questions? Hit me with your best shot Questions may be spun into a blog post Presentation Slides and Blog Post at: wordpress-authors/