When I first started blogging over 7 years ago, I thought creating content to be easy.
I was so, so wrong.
In fact, it turns out most bloggers, even the extremely talented among us, tend to make the same mistakes over and over again.
Because even if you know, in theory, what are the ingredients to a great blog post, sometimes it’s easy to forget.
This list is a reminder of what you need to do before you hit that publish button.
- Did you deliver the promises that you’ve made in the headline? Every single Internet user hates clickbait. Make sure that you deliver on the promises you’ve made at the beginning of the post.
- Is what you’re saying relatable? Did you write with passion about the things that matter to you? Odds are, that’s something someone else can relate to. Write what you know is one of the best writing advice ever because otherwise you risk sounding alien to those who know what you’re trying to say.
- Is your perspective on this topic different from others? The goal is to add to the conversation. Do you add something new or just repeating what others have said?
- Does the writing flow in a way that makes sense? Try to write in such a way that a reader understands what you’re all about. Don’t meander. Don’t change the subject. Don’t use pretty words that mean nothing.
- Does the length of your piece reflect the necessary depth of the subject? If I’m looking to get out of debt, I want all the help I can get, not a short post that is rather vague. Tell your readers everything you think they need to know; give them something they can bookmark or print out and come back to again and again.
- Is this written by you? It sounds like such a silly question, but we often don’t write like ourselves. What is your style? What are your catch-phrases? Did you use them? Did you write this blog post like yourself, or trying to be someone else?
- Is your writing clear and concise enough? Have you explained your subject in a way that everyone will understand? Is your language overly flowery or is it easy to comprehend? Do you attempt to connect with your readers by asking questions?
- Did you add a bit of magic in your blog post? Magic has a lot to do with vulnerability, with the ability to write the truth that hurts, the words that cut deep.
- Have you checked thoroughly for typos, broken links, missing quote attributions? Writing is rewriting. Keep that in mind.
- Is there variety in your writing? Short and long paragraphs, short and long sentences. Punctuation marks. Bullet lists. Bold, italics, underlines.
- Is the blog post properly formatted? Squint at your article from afar. Are all your subheads the same size and do they follow the same rules regarding capitalization and punctuation? Have you used the same style of bullet points? These things matter. A lot.
- Have you used an image that’s eye-catching?
- Is it absolutely obvious what kind of value you’re adding to your readers’ lives? Does your headline accurately describe what people are about to read? Do your subheads define what your readers will be learning? Does it all look enticing enough for someone to invest time into reading your article?
We cannot trust such an important task as writing fantastic content for our blogs to our memory alone.
We must know, for certain, what needs to be done and in what order.
We must also be aware of what’s important and why when it comes to the content we create.
This is why a checklist such as this comes in handy. It’s a roadmap. It shows you where you need to be, and how to get there. Otherwise, odds are you won’t be getting anywhere at all.