So you’re blogging as part of you marketing plan. Good for you! A blog is one of the easiest (and least expensive) way to show off your expertise and attract your ideal client.

And while nearly any content is helpful, if you do a little planning and consider these 7 points before you post, you’ll have better results in the long run.

Does this topic fit with my audience? This is one of the biggest mistakes I see on virtual assistant websites.  If you are blogging for anyone but your ideal client, you’re wasting your breath. Keep your client in mind when you brainstorm blog topics and write your posts, and your traffic will be much more targeted and profitable. Not only that, but the questions your clients ask offer a never-ending supply of blog post topics.

Did I choose and use good keywords? If you’re going for “organic” traffic, the keywords you use are one of the primary factors to consider. Volumes have been written about how to choose keywords, but if you’re confused about the process, start by using the words your clients use when they ask you questions.

Does my post have a compelling title? Creating a title that commands attention takes a little practice, but it pays off with more eyes on your post. We’re scanners, so at best you have a split second to grab someone’s attention. A great headline can do that.

Does my post have a strong opening paragraph? Next to the title, the most important part of your post is the opening paragraph. Use it to make a promise of what’s to come, and your reader can’t help but continue reading.

Did I let it stew for a few days? It’s rarely a good idea to publish a post immediately. Let it sit for at least 24 hours – longer if you can – and then take a second look. You’ll nearly always find ways to improve it.

Did I thoroughly edit and proofread? Spell-check can only take you so far, so a careful human editing is critical. But here’s a secret all writers know: It’s nearly impossible to proofread your own writing. If at all possible, get someone else to read through everything you write before you post it.

Did I choose a great image for the post? The words are important, but images can catch a reader’s attention even when the headline doesn’t. In episode 3 of the Educated VA Podcast I shared some of my new favorite places to find images for free.

You might find it helpful to set up a blog post checklist that contains these and any other points you don’t want to miss. I keep mine in an Evernote template, so I can simply check each item off as it’s completed. When everything is checked, I’m ready to publish.

Your Turn

What “must do” items are on your blog posting checklist? Share with me in the comments!

Photo by Andrés Nieto Porras

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