Blogging is a cornerstone of inbound marketing. The content on your blog can cement or mar your reputation, so the stakes are high. While the desire to hit the submit button immediately after drafting a post is often strong – particularly when you are trying to meet a tight deadline – you’ll do better by taking time to breathe and reflect before sharing your ideas with the world.
Here’s are 10 questions you should ask before publishing blog content:
1. Does the post have a clear message?
What is the central idea of your article? Do you say everything you need to say in a concise, clear and easy to follow way? While writing, you may unintentionally veer off topic. As a result, somewhere down the line, the content becomes irrelevant. Budget time for an edit after your draft is done.
2. Are you speaking to a specific target audience and/or buyer persona?
Each blog post you write does not have to apply to your entire market. Content should speak to specific segments or buyer personas. The tone of the content should also match your media persona or social persona, depending on where your content will be distributed.
3. Is the post built around relevant keywords?
Each piece of content that you write for the online media should be focussed around a couple of keywords to support search engine rankings. The keywords should be skilfully woven into the text such that they reinforce the subject matter of your article. Use SEO best practices and ensure the keywords are used at strategic points such as the title, para headings and in the body of the article.
Interested in love from Google, Bing, et al? Link to other content you have created. Search engines will love it and these links can help drive traffic to your website.
5. How’s the headline?
This is the internet. Potential readers decide whether to consume your content based on the headline you have provided. If it catches their attention, they will, in all probability, read through your piece. Titles should grab attention and summarize the piece.
6. Is there an image?
It may sound clichéd but a picture speaks a thousand words. Visual content helps you grab readers. I’ll go out on a limb and say you should avoid using bland stock photography. Make sure keywords show up in image alt text.
7. Is the content formatted for the web?
Format content in a way that facilitates reading. Make content easy to scan so that your audience can read it via any device including tablets and smartphones. This means section headers, numbers, bullet points and bolding.
8. Have you had a good look at the copy?
This one is self explanatory, but it is sometimes damn hard to find the time.
9. Is there a call to action?
Each content piece that you create should include a call-to-action – for example, visit your site for more information or to purchase the product you have described, or sign up for a newsletter etc. Ensure that your article clearly directs reader to take the next step.
10. Is the content crafted in a way that will engage readers?
You want readers to share your stuff, right? To take the conversation forward, include questions for readers to address. Also make sure your blog has buttons that allow readers to share posts.