Well, you can just start a blog just like that after you have seen the basic tutorials on YouTube or somewhere.
However, as you know, well beginning is half done, it is best to have a piece of prior knowledge on how to start blogging right from the start, which I called “The Blogging Checklist”. Believe me, that will save you much of your time, money, and energy!
I also believe these important blogging checklists will help your success faster.
It’s not a hard and fast rule, but if you can incorporate them before posting your blog, it will give you awesome results in the long run.
Here is the list of what you need to know before starting a blog regardless of any blogging niche you choose.
1. Keyword Research
I cannot stress enough the importance of doing your research for keywords.
Even if you are not in a highly competitive niche, doing thorough keyword research will helps you rank and be seen in the search engines.
Try to focus on keywords that have high search volumes with lower competition.
There are many free tools you can use for your keyword research. You can use tools like answerthepublic, Keyword Surfer, Google Trends, Using Google Autofill option in the search that is when you type any word in the Google search bar, you will see that the words populate and automatically add the next words which people used to search in Google, etc.
2. Descriptive Title
You found your keyword now, what next?
The next thing you will do is try to make your blog post title captivating, alluring, and make sense.
When someone sees the title, they need to feel the curiosity that they Must Click and Read what is inside of your post.
Your title should be clear and directive enough to convey your content message.
3. SEO Target
Both Google and Pinterest use SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and so your posts should be published with SEO in mind.
SEO is not a plug-and-play formula kind of software. SEO is not a plug-and-play formula kind of software.
To simply put it’s the process of getting free or organic traffic from search engines.
There is no specific tool to apply SEO, however, you can avoid these SEO mistakes when optimizing your website.
Having a keyword within your blog post along with long-tail keyword form is the ideal way to go.
However, you should not overstuff your blog with keywords using the same keyword sentence again and again.
4. Proof Read Your Post
Reading through a blog post that has several grammatical mistakes can be quite annoying.
I have found that even after reading and rereading my post three or four times, it is easy to miss some spelling or punctuation mistakes and the likes. So, always proofread your post several times before publishing it. You can also ask your friends or family member to go through your post.
There is nothing annoying than going through piles of grammatical mistakes especially mis-spellings in articles.
5. Paragraphs And Text
It is a good habit to break up paragraphs into 3-5 sentences as much as possible.
No one wants to read long paragraphs and text unless they are really interested.
Use bolding, italics, fonts, etc. to your advantage. Choose a font style and size which is mobile-friendly.
Use fonts that are easy to read, simple, and are not straining the eyes.
Restrict yourself from using two or three fonts for a single post.
6. Tags And Categories
Choosing the appropriate Tags and Categories not only makes it much easier for your readers to find and navigate through your blog post on your site especially if you have hundreds of posts, but it also helps in SEO.
Your tags and categories are the meta descriptions that help your post to be seen in the search engines.
7. Set Featured Image
It’s always a good choice to have a featured image for your every post.
Having a featured image not only makes your post catch more attention, but it is very important because when you or people share your post, your featured image will pull up on sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter.
You can create your own featured image using Canva. It’s free to use. The free version is limited to an image size of fixed 560x315px with JPEG format for download.
The premium version offers additional PNG files that can be resized according to your requirements along with more professional images, font styles, sizes, and much more.
When creating your own featured image, always name your image with the title of your post for which you desired to use the image!
8. Pinterest Image
If you are active in Pinterest, instead of using someone else’s pin, create a beautiful and eye-catching Pinterest pin yourself. You can use software like Canva. Use different colors and make sure the pins are vertical and also the letters are easy to read.
It is not necessary to recreate your feature images just for Pinterest, you can very well use the same image but with a different size.
The ideal image size recommended by Pinterest is 1000 x 1500px and has an aspect ratio of 2:3. Photo sizes should be a minimum of 600 x 900 pixels.
Since Pinterest’s interface is portrait-oriented, vertical pins with a 2:3 ratio are best. The optimal image dimension is 735 x 1102 pixels.
9. Internal And External Links
You must make sure to link back your blog posts to related posts from your own blog and other blogs. It’s up to you if you want the link to be opened in a new window.
Some insist on setting it for a new window for user experience and to make the readers stay longer on your site.
However, some of your readers might be a little intimidated if they are redirected to another new window.
So, there are both advantages and disadvantages of directing your links to be opened in a new window.
It’s up to you. I prefer to make my link open in a new window with a no-follow for affiliate links.
Interlink your blog posts as much as possible.
10. Adding Affiliate Link
You should incorporate affiliate links in your post naturally and genuinely to help your readers with resources (which they will need anyway whether they check it out from your links or from someone else’s links). This will also help in increasing your revenue from your blog.
You can set the links to be opened in a new window with a no-follow option. A good place to smart-start affiliate marketing with free resources with Trust Pilot 5 star ratings is Affilorama. It’s free to sign up and you will get valuable information and affiliate tools there.
Most affiliate programs are free to join.
However, make sure to add affiliate links that are relevant to the post only. (Of course, that is understood).
11. Email Opt-In
Email opt-in is a must. You need to have an audience who follows and subscribes to your site.
Emails are your priceless possession because they let you engaged with your readers. It helps in building the bond and trust between you and your readers.
You can use it in many ways like sending them your offers, newsletter, etc. However, you must do it cautiously.
Never spam your mailing lists constantly with offers. Do so genuinely relevant to the subject or content of your emails.
Create an opt-in that your readers would love in the form or free resources to get more subscribers.
12. Share Your Post On Social Media
One of the best free ways to drive traffic to your site is to share your post on social media platforms to boost the number of viewers.
You can take advantage of your social media profiles like Facebook, Pinterest, Linked In, Instagram. It is also good for SEO.
Conclusion On What To Know Before Starting A Blog
To sum up, these are the checklist you should keep in mind, before starting a blog.
- Keyword Research
- Descriptive Title
- SEO Target
- Proofread Your Post
- Paragraphs and Text
- Tags and Categories
- Set Featured Images
- Pinterest Image
- Internal and External Links
- Adding Affiliate Link
- Email Opt-in
- Share Your Post On Social Media.
There you are. These are the most important checklist you must do before publishing your blog content.
However, you must also know that even if you incorporate all these, if your blog doesn’t contain valuable information or doesn’t give a solution to a problem, it will be difficult to rank in the search engines.
Ultimately, it’s a combination of quality and doing it right that will increase traffic to your website.
Focusing on giving out valuable content to your audience is the only key to make your readers stick with you and believe in what you say!
Hope you find this post helpful.
Which one strategy do you feel is the most important checklist that will help in your ranking? Have you implemented any of those?
DISCLOSURE: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I will get a small commission if you make a purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. For more info, please read my Affiliate Disclaimer.