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The way I see it, every single blog post has the potential to explode your blog’s traffic.

Seriously. You could wake up tomorrow and see that one of your blog posts went viral.

Which is kind of awesome, when you think about it.

…but also means you’ve gotta make sure every blog post is reaching its full potential.

There are a lot of things that you can do to create the perfect blog post, but this blog post checklist includes 7 ESSENTIAL things that every blog post needs in order to effectively grow your blog traffic!

1. CREATE AN IRRESISTIBLE HEADLINE

First up on this blog post checklist is the headline.

The key to driving traffic to your blog isn’t just about creating amazing content (although that’s definitely important!)

It actually starts with creating an amazing, eye-catching headline.

Think about it- no mater what topic your post is about, there’s probably hundreds of other blog posts out there already written about the exact same thing.

So how can you make someone clicks to read your post?

That’s right, my friend! The headline.

You’ve got to create an enticing headline that stands out from the crowd and motivates someone to click and read your post over the other jillion posts out there.

So…how do you do that?

Well, you’ve got to include words/phrases that intrigue people.

For example, let’s say you’re a food blogger and have a great new recipe for homemade pizzas.

Instead of your headline being ‘How to Make Pizza’, you could change the headline to ‘How to Make the Perfect Pizza in Under 20 Minutes’.

This is much more intriguing and will help you stand out from the other pizza recipes on Pinterest!

Here are a few examples of a great headline:

  • 7 Creative Ways to Make Your Small Home Seem Bigger
  • How to Easily Make the Perfect Pasta Dish
  • How to Quickly Save Money for Your Dream Vacation
  • 5 Simple Tips for a More Productive Morning

You’ll notice that all of these headlines have certain keywords that help them to stand out and enhances the headline so it’s not so bland.

Also, make sure your headline is optimized for SEO so it can rank better on Google.

To do that, plug your headline into the headline analyzer from CoSchedule! It’s free and helps make sure your headline:

  • isn’t too long
  • has a good amount of interesting words
  • is more likely to be clicked

If you’re in need of some inspiration for interesting keywords, try checking out Buzzfeed.

Just look at some of the words they use in their headlines. Their articles stand out and make you WANT to read them.

Try picking out some of the keywords Buzzfeed uses and incorporate them into your own headlines!

2. PROVIDE HIGH-QUALITY CONTENT

First impressions are everything, especially as a blogger.

And, since you never know what blog post someone’s gonna stumble upon from your blog, you have to make every post as amazing as you can.

If your content is just meh, nobody’s going to want to share your post or read other posts from your blog!

We want to share posts that are mind-blowing!

Nobody sits there and thinks, Wow, I HAVE to share this boring, mediocre post! It just doesn’t happen.

Remember, people are only willing to invest their time/money into things that provide value to them.

Nobody wants to waste their time/money on something that doesn’t help them in some way.

I’ve got a whole post on how to create high-quality content, but here are a few quick tips:

  • Know your audience. You can’t create amazing content curated to your audience unless you know who you’re writing to. Check out this post if you have no idea who your target audience is.
  • Be thorough. Be specific and detailed about the topic you’re covering! Don’t let people leave your post feeling like they still don’t fully understand the topic.
  • Be relatable. Nobody wants to read something that resembles an encyclopedia! Make a connection with your reader. You don’t have to be boring in your writing so make it fun, emotional, entertaining, etc.

And if you’re one of those bloggers churning out a new post every single day, that’s awesome!

But if it’s only so-so quality, trust me, you’ll be better off lessening your posting to 1-2 times a week and taking the time to perfect your post.

Be sure to check out the full post on creating high-quality content for your blog.

3. MAKE IT EASY-TO-READ

Next up on this blog post checklist is to make sure every post is easy-to-read for your visitors.

To do this, you need to:

  • Add subheadings
  • Use short sentences
  • Break long paragraphs into smaller chunks
  • Add bullet points, images, etc. to break up a large body of text

Not only does this help with readability and make it easier for readers to skim your content, it’ll help with SEO.

SEO doesn’t like to see big chunks of information with nothing to break them up.

You don’t have to be excessive, but make sure you can throw in a subheading when possible to make it easier on the eyes of your readers.

To be honest, when I see a huge chunk of text in a blog post, especially on my phone, I don’t even read that section. A lot of us would rather skim and get the info we need quickly!

You WANT your readers to get to know you, and it’s hard to fall in love after just one post!

Interlinking to other posts will help people stay on your site longer and get to know you better.

So, whether it’s within the post or a ‘related posts’ section (or both) you need to make sure you’ve got links to other amazing posts.

Also, you should also try to include links to OTHER posts/websites when you can.

This is great for SEO, but it’s also a great way to network with other bloggers! Let them know you linked to their post and they may check it out, or even retweet you!

PRO TIP: Don’t forget to go to old posts and add links to your newer content as well! Many bloggers forget to do this, and they miss out on the opportunity to direct readers that stumbled upon old blog posts to their newer stuff!

5. SHARE BUTTONS

Another essential item on this blog post checklist is the share buttons!

You want to make it as easy as possible for people to share your content.

So make it easy for your readers and add share buttons to each and every post.

I recommend the WordPress plugin Social Warfare to add share buttons to your blog posts!

This was one of the first plugins I put on my blog to make sure my readers had an easy way to share my content online. It helped me get my first views to my blog and still helps me drive traffic now!

You can also download the Pin It! plugin, which allows you to add a Pinterest share button to your images when someone hovers over them.

6. EYE-CATCHING + PIN-WORTHY IMAGES

To piggyback off that last point, you wanna make sure you’ve got nice, pin-worthy images on every post!

Whether it’s stock photos or your own images, you wanna give people something visually appealing and on-brand with your business.

This is just as important as a catchy headline sometimes, because it’s easy to fade into the crowd on Pinterest.

You’ve got to create pinnable images that are on-brand and unique to your vibe. This makes you more recognizable and stand out from other bloggers in your niche.

TIPS FOR AN AMAZING PIN IMAGE:

  • Shoot for a Pinterest image that’s a 2:3 ratio
  • Only use 2-3 fonts, and make sure they’re easy-to-read. When you start using multiple fonts, it can make your image seem busy and confusing
  • Use consistent colors for an on-brand look
  • Use crisp, clean images

If you want to use free stock photos, I get a lot of my stock photos from Unsplash and use Canva to create all of my Pinterest images for my blog!

7. CALL-TO-ACTION

Okay, so we’ve read your amazing post…now what? Where should we go next?

Remember, your blog’s a business so every blog post should lead your reader somewhere to encourage them to do something.

Whether you want them to sign up for your email list, or to buy something through your affiliate link, your CTA need to be towards the end of your post so they will have something to do to stay on your page.

A lot of bloggers use this to plug an affiliate, or promote a product they’re selling.

But it could also be a CTA to check out your about me page, so readers can become more familiar with you and your story.

Try implementing these things into each and every post, and I guarantee you’ll see an improvement in your traffic!

Have something you’d add to this list? Let me know down below! 🙂

And be sure to save this blog post checklist to Pinterest so you can find it again!