So you came up with a great idea for your company’s blog page, written your post, and now you’re ready to publish – right?
Blog posts may be quick and easy ways for B2Bs to share ideas with their target audiences, but that doesn’t mean you have to rush through the process. By taking just a little extra time before publishing, you can add more value to your posts – value that can translate into better traffic, higher conversions, and maybe even more customers.
With that in mind, I’d recommend every B2B blogger follow this simple checklist before sending their posts out into the world.
1. Always check for spelling and grammar
Sounds obvious, right? Yet I’m amazed by how often people fail to re-read their blog posts after they write them. Remember – spellcheck doesn’t catch everything! Posts riddled with spelling and grammar errors look sloppy and reflect poorly on both you and your business.
I always re-read every post I write twice all the way through. Not only does this allow me to catch any errors I made the first time around, but it also helps me identify sentences that should be reworded or points that need clarification.
2. Test your links
Good blog posts often include links to additional resources within the text, so take the time to make sure they work! Dead and incorrect hyperlinks create a poor user experience and take SEO value off the table for your website. These issues are so easy to avoid that not doing so is just plain unacceptable.
3. Give your title a second look
The title is the first thing people notice when they see your post, so you should try your best to make it a good one. I rarely stick with the first title I write. Once I finish my post, I always go back to make sure the title still makes sense and adequately describes what the content is about. It can also be helpful to jot down a few different title variations so you can then choose the one you like best.
4. Make time for SEO
Not every post presents an obvious SEO opportunity, but you should do your best to optimize the ones that do. Before publishing, take a moment to do some keyword research on your topic.
Is there a relevant phrase to take advantage of? Can you include it in your title and text body? Have you written a compelling meta description? Simple SEO practices like these still work, and believe it or not, can be the difference between continuous search traffic and a post that gets lost in the online oblivion.
5. Decide if subtitles are needed
Subtitles provide a simple way to break up the text of your post and make it more readable for visitors. Most people don’t write this way, however, but for longer posts it can be a good idea to go back and look for places to section things off. Plus, including keywords in your subtitle text (i.e. the H2 or H3 tags) can add some addition SEO juice to your content.
6. Keep an eye out for visuals
Posts with graphics tend to perform better than plain blocks of text, so it can be a good idea to incorporate visual elements in your posts before publishing. Even a simple featured image can add some much needed color to your blog articles, and there is no shortage of stock images online to choose from.
7. Make friends with video
Video content can also add an extra element to your blog content, and can be embedded right in your post. Not every article you write needs a video, of course, but after you finish writing, take a moment to think about what type of video might add something to your message. Then do a simple YouTube search and see what’s out there. In some cases, an embedded video can encourage readers to stay on your site longer and even add more SEO value to your page.
8. Include a call to action
This one gets overlooked all the time. Remember, blogging is a content marketing tactic – so don’t forget to market! When you’ve finished writing your post, think about what you’d like readers to do next.
For example, you could provide a link to download an eBook or whitepaper related to the topic of the article, turning your blog post into a potential conversion opportunity. At the very least, try to provide additional links at the bottom for past article that readers might also find interesting.
9. Get a second set of eyes
Remember when I said I always re-read my posts twice before publishing? Well guess what – sometimes I still miss things. Whenever possible, take the time to have a colleague read your article before it goes live. They might catch a mistake you didn’t see, or at least offer a fresh perspective you hadn’t considered.
10. Preview before posting
Finally, don’t just toss your blog post in the CMS and publish. Make sure to always preview your content before it goes live. Just because something looks good in the visual editor doesn’t mean it will format properly on the website. Be sure to once again check for formatting issues, alignment problems, broken images – basically, just make sure it looks the way you want it to before hitting the “Publish” button.
Following these 10 steps can help ensure that your blog content is of the highest possible quality before it reaches your audience. Do you have some pre-publishing tips of your own? Sound off in the comments and let us know!
About the Author
Brendan Cournoyer is the Director of Content Marketing at Brainshark, a sales enablement platform provider that helps companies more effectively prepare employees, engage with key audiences, and advance business opportunities. For more musings on the world of content marketing, SEO, and more, follow Brendan on Twitter @brencournoyer.