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Have you ever spent a butt load of time on a blog post, felt really great about the content, only to have it get very little page views? You start to feel bummed and wonder if maybe your content isn’t very good. Well I am here to tell you your content probably isn’t the issue, especially if your main concern is lack of people actually reading it.
The issue is most likely that you are not optimizing your blog posts to their full potential.
You see, for people to actually read and enjoy your content, you need to get them to your blog posts! If you are having trouble doing that, this post may help!
You see, it really isn’t as simple as typing up your blog post and sharing it a few times on social media. Every single blog post needs to be optimized to it’s full potential for you to see a big spike in readers, as well as having people return to your blog for more!
So, what should you be doing then??
I created a list of everything you need to do to your blog post before you hit that wonderful publish button. By following the list below, you will make your content engaging, easy to read, share worthy, and SEO friendly.
The 8 Things Your Blog Post Should Have Before You Hit Publish:
1 | A Catchy and SEO Friendly Title
You want your title to be catchy and have the ability to draw people in. With there being SO much information on the internet, you need to figure out how to stand out. Making your title catchy and using wording that pull people in is a great way to make your blog post stand out in the crowd.
You want to create some intrigue in your title to draw readers in.
A great example would be these two titles: How to Make Money with Your Blog VS. How I Doubled My Blog Income With This One Amazing Strategy.
Which would draw you in more? Would you feel intrigued to know what that one strategy was?? I know I would!
While a catchy and intriguing title is important, you also want to ensure your title is SEO friendly and that you are using relevant keywords in your title.
2 | Title + keyword(s) within your blog post
To help your SEO and Search Engine ranking, you should repeat your title within your blog post. You should also include your keyword(s) within your first few sentences or at the very least, your first paragraph.
Doing these two super simple things will help your SEO.
3 | Subheadings
Using Subheadings helps to break up your post and to avoid your post looking like a giant wall of text. Having Subheadings break up your content makes your post flow nicely and increases the post’s readability.
People also tend to skim and scan blog posts for information, and having subheadings within your post allows your readers to do this. I know I personally skim posts to see if it has the information I am looking for, and if I see a few headings that indicate it does, I read the whole thing.
I recommend using H2 or H3 within WordPress for your headings. Remember not to use H1 as that is usually the Post Header and often quite large.
4 | Pinnable Images
If you are a blogger, you should be using Pinterest as a tool for driving your blog traffic. If you are not currently using Pinterest, please head over to this post to read all about how to use it to grow your blog.
Now, if you are using Pinterest, you probably know how important it is to have eye catching, vertical images, that draw people into your blog post.
Now, you can always add your pinnable image manually to your pinterest profile linking it back to your post, but you should also include at least one pinnable image directly within your blog post as well. The reason for this is because if people want to share your blog post on Pinterest, when they hit the share button, your beautiful pinnable image will be the photo that shows up for them to pin.
If you do not include your pinnable image within your post, when someone tries to share it, they will most likely only have your featured image or images withing your post to chose from. The problem with this is that those images are often small and horizontal. They also would not include your post title or anything to draw someone in.
5 | Links to other relevant posts on your blog
Every Single post on your blog should be relevant and important. You never want to post just to post. Because of this you should never be publishing a post, and then neglecting or forget about it. That is why whenever possible, I recommend you place links to your older content, within your new content.
Blog posts often tie into other blog posts or relate in various ways. I often find myself linking to older posts that may provided further information about a topic I touch on within a post. Linking to older posts allows me to elaborate further on a point without having to get too off topic in my new post. It also drives traffic to older content, increases page views, and reduces your bounce rate.
Keeping people on your blog is always a great thing!
Speaking of internal links, here are some other great posts on KendraBlogs:
6 | External links set to “open in a new window”
So speaking of keeping people on your blog…. let us talk about external links.
Have you ever been reading a great blog post, came across a link to something else within the post that interested you, clicked it, and were taken away from the post. The new link you clicked sucked you in and you forgot about the original post you were reading, or forget to hit the back button to go finish reading it.
I hate that.
That is why clicking the little box that says “open in a new window” is so important. You don’t want to pull people away from your blog. Sure, you may want to promote an external link, and I am all for that, but do it in a way that they can VERY easily click back to your post when they are finished with the external link.
7 | A Permalink That is not too Long
Okay, make sure you edit your permalink BEFORE you publish and share your new post. You never want to go back and change the permalink of a post that has already been published. If you do that, all of your previously pinned and shared links will no longer bring readers to your post because the permalink is now different.
I will be the first to admit I sometimes forget this step, even though I know it is important. Then it is too late to make the change by the time I realize my permalink is like 20 words long.
Your Permalink should be similar to your blog title and contain your keyword(s). BUT, sometimes you may want to edit it if you have a long title, because your permalink does not need to be more then 6-7 words max.
In WordPress, you can edit it at the very top of your page when creating a new post, directly under your title.
ALSO, if your permalink is showing as the date or as random numbers, you can simply go into settings on your WordPress sidebar, and click permalinks. Then, change the type of link you want. I recommend choosing the option “post name”.
8 | A Call to Action
I always like to end with a call to action to engage my readers and build relationships with them.
There are two CTA’s that I use often:
The first is simply to ask a question
I like to get a conversation started by asking a question or two at the end of my posts to encourage people to leave comments or feedback.
The second is directing readers to a freebie or opt-in
If I have an opt-in that is relevant to the post, I will include it with a CIA such as “if you enjoyed this post be sure to grab a copy of my free [insert opt-in]! Click here to download!” prompting people to sign up to my email list to gain access.
Both of these are great ways to engage your audience and turn them into regular readers of your blog.
Phew! That list wasn’t so bad was it? All easy to implement strategies that provide big results!
So tell me, what do you always include in your blog posts to make sure they are optimized to their full potential? Let me know in the comments below 🙂