45 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Publishing a Blog Post

October 15, 2016

 

 

With 81% of U.S internet users trusting blogs for advice and information, it’s not such a huge surprise that 61% of them are subsequently converted thanks to blogging.  As a matter of fact, due to such success rates, 37% of marketers believe that it’s indeed the most effective type of content marketing across both B2B and B2C platforms.

 

As a result, 33% of businesses are currently using blogs to reach out to their prospective customers, who, according to Dream Systems Media, use more than 20% of their total internet usage time on blogs.

 

Unfortunately, this success is not replicated across the board. While 30% of marketers – those who have consistent content strategies – continue to make a killing, others are still struggling to find their footing in the world of blogging. If you’re one of the marketers who fall in the latter group, you need to begin reassessing your overall strategy.

 

First of all, no – the internet is not overcrowded with blogs. As a matter of fact, going by its potential, it’s severely underused. The only thing that sets the leaders ahead of the rest is quality. You have to publish outstanding pieces to effectually engage with your audience and subsequently set them through the conversion funnel.

 

To help you build and maintain that quality, here are 45 questions you should use to evaluate your blog post before you even think of hitting that all-important ‘publish’ button:

 

1.      Who am I targeting with this post?

 

Define your target audience down to the last detail, according to their information needs and the type of content that will resonate with them.

 

2.      What is the purpose of my blog post?

 

Your blog post could either be used to teach, ignite a discussion, solve a problem, or entertain your audience.

 

3.      Is my blog post topic relevant to my niche?

 

All your blog posts should be focused on your business niche to attract your target prospects, and subsequently kick-start the conversion process.

 

4.      What is unique about my approach?

 

Of course you wouldn’t want to sound like millions of other blog posts out there. You need a special, original angle to attract and engage your audience.

 

5.      Have I comprehensively researched my topic?

 

Research your topic thoroughly to draft an exceptionally informative blog post.

 

6.      How can I effectively present my points?

 

You have a variety of creative options to comprehensively pass your message on to your audience. For instance, you could format your text, embed social media, or use audio, infographics, video and images.

 

7.      Will my target audience search for my headline on search engines?

 

Well, your blog post would pretty much be pointless if your own target audience does not pose related queries, particularly to the headline, to search engines like Google.

 

8.      How attractive is my headline?

 

A great headline evokes curiosity. It makes you want to click on the article, even when you weren’t initially searching on the subject.

 

9.      How clear is my headline?

 

As much as you’d like to evoke curiosity, don’t go overboard. Keep it precise, simple and clear

 

10.   Have I included my main keyword in my headline?

 

Including the relevant keywords on your headline is an increasingly effective SEO strategy that will help push your blog post to the top of the search engine results when a related query is posed.

 

11.   Does my headline reflect the content?

 

Your headlines and subheadings should be directly linked to your content.

 

12.   Is my content engaging my readers?

 

A genius headline will amount to nothing if it’s not accompanied by equally engaging content. You’ll significantly increase your overall click through rate by hooking your audience.

13.   Does my text have some flair?

 

Consistent plain text is extremely boring. Introduce some vibrancy and flair to your blog posts with images, videos, and graphics.

 

14.   Have I over-formatted my text?

 

Avoid fancy fonts and text colors that risk repelling your readers.

 

15.   Have I used relevant subheadings to break up my post?

 

Most readers won’t just begin reading every word when they land on your post. Before going into the actual details, they’ll prefer to skim through the entire piece with the help of your subheadings.

 

16.   How short are my paragraphs?

 

Don’t overwhelm your readers with text blocks of paragraphs exceeding five lines.

 

17.   Have I made any grammatical errors?

 

Proofread your entire article a couple of times to get rid of possible grammatical errors.

 

18.   Is my content personalized?

 

Engage your readers with personalized content that uses a conversational tone and words like “you” and “I”.

 

19.   Am I using stories and illustrations to hook my audience?

 

Use interesting stories, illustrations and examples to keep your readers hooked and entertained.

 

20.   Is my blog post concise?

 

Demonstrate that you value your readers’ time by going straight to the point and avoiding fluff.

 

21.   Am I using an authoritative tone?

 

One of the easiest ways to lose an audience is acting smart and talking down to them. Use a respectful tone, and they’ll love you.

22.   How timely is my content?

 

Use current events, trends, examples and statistics to create content that’s relevant to the reader’s current interests.

 

23.   Am I appealing to an emotion?

 

Put your readers through an emotional roller coaster by choosing an emotion like humor, and subsequently sticking with it through the piece.

 

24.   Will my piece offend anyone?

 

Unless your marketing strategy involves being intentionally offensive, avoid racism and other controversial subjects which could easily offend part of your audience.

 

25.   Have I formatted my text accordingly?

 

Bold words, italicize sections, break your text into bullets and blocks, and use other formatting tools to edit your content into digestible pieces.

 

26.   Have I linked to authority sites?

 

Search engines like Google are particularly generous to sites with content that’s linked to other authority sites.

 

27.   Have I backed up my claims?

 

Although you probably trust yourself as an expert, your readers may not share the same sentiment. You should, therefore, back all your claims with relevant stats and quotes from other industry experts.

 

28.   Have I concluded my piece with a question?

 

The main purpose of your blog post isn’t just to pass information. It should also ignite a conversation – and there’s no better way of doing that than concluding with a question.

 

29.   How juicy is my conclusion?

 

Your conclusion is certainly as significant as your introduction. Be creative and add some flair to create something your readers will remember.

 

30.   What time and day should I publish my blog post?

 

Assess your target audience’s online patterns and publish your post during their peak times.

 

31.   On what site am I publishing my post?

 

Of course the piece is yours, but that doesn’t necessarily limit your potential publishing locations to your site. You could also take advantage of other high authority sites and feature it as a guest post.

 

32.   Have I included social sharing buttons in my post?

 

Give your readers the chance to share your great ideas and subsequently win you more leads through social media.

 

33.   Is my blog post building up to my next piece?

 

A good blog is governed by an overarching content strategy with posts that are linked in terms of ideas and concepts.

 

34.   How do I plan to promote my blog post?

 

Your promotion strategy should dictate the type of content you publish, plus where and how you post it.

 

35.   What actions do I want my readers to take after reading my blog post?

 

This will help you systematically arrange your content to draw your audience towards a certain set of actions.

 

36.   How do I measure my post’s conversion success?

 

Leverage a tracking tool to measure the success of your post through a set of predetermined KPIs.

 

37.   Is my post really helpful to my readers?

 

Don’t just write a blog post for the sake of posting. Provide value to your readers and they’ll stick

around.

 

38.   Have I over-used any phrases or words?

 

A powerful piece flows with synonyms and creative language to avoid constant repetition and monotony.

 

39.   Would I be interested in reading this post?

 

 

Put yourself in the shoes of your readers to understand how attractive and informative your blog post is.

 

40.   Who am I competing with?

 

It’s a straightforward tip, but one that’s ignored all too often: you should only publish content that exceeds the quality of blogs that could potentially steal some prospects from you.

 

41.   Have I copied or plagiarized anyone’s work?

 

Listen to your high school English teacher. To avoid getting blacklisted by search engines, don’t copy and paste someone else’s content.

 

42.   Is my piece timeless?

 

Although it’s a good idea to write about current events occasionally, the most effective posts contain content that remains relevant for at least a couple of years.

 

43.   Have I factored in feedback from another party?

 

Since blogging is an art, you should consider sharing it with other parties, just to get their opinions before posting. You never know what a second set of eyes will catch.

 

44.   What tools could I leverage to optimize my post?

 

Consider leveraging tools that could improve the user experience and search engine ranking.

 

45.   Is my post on a single page?

 

I know it can help you rack up extra clicks, but no one likes being directed to a separate web page just to get the missing half of your content.

 

Answer these 45 questions, and you’ll save yourself a tremendous amount of post-publishing regret.

 

Have another question to add to the list? Share yours by leaving a comment below:

 

Image: jisc.ac.uk, Flickr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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