Write a Better Blog with These 21 Checkpoints

Are there elements that should pretty much always be included in every blog post? Yep. But it’s rare to find them all together in one, awesome post.

You don’t have to do all of these things every single time, but my own mental checklist that I run through as I’m writing, and before I hit “Publish” looks like this:

  1. Write a compelling title. Run it through CoSchedule’s headline analyzer?
  2. Use the first paragraph to motivate the reader to keep reading.
  3. Research some keywords to find out if anyone is actually searching for what I’m writing about.
  4. Include those keywords an appropriate number of times, especially in titles and headings.
  5. Include some bullet points.
  6. Include at least one image that looks good. Find them at Pexels.
  7. Assign a featured image and make sure it pops up in social posts. Debug if necessary.
  8. Include an average of two internal links to other posts within your blog.
  9. Include an average of two links to other relevant resources.
  10. Among those links, make one or two affiliate links.
  11. Pick an appropriate category or two.
  12. Add some relevant tags for cross-referencing purposes later on.
  13. Check the spelling.
  14. Evaluate the emotional impact of the post.
  15. Answer a question or solve a problem with the post.
  16. Be personal – use conversational language.
  17. Call the reader to act on what they’re reading in some small way.
  18. Post it to social media profiles, pages, groups, etc.
  19. Invite readers to connect and subscribe (not always within the post, but in the site design).
  20. Email your mailing list inviting them to check it out.
  21. Go back and re-evaluate the title one more time. After writing, is it still the best it can be?

As I said, this isn’t exhaustive. It’s just the list I run through as I write a post.

Read more from Brandon.


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brandon Cox

Brandon Cox has been a Pastor for fifteen years and is currently planting a church in northwest Arkansas, a Saddleback-sponsored church. He also serves as Editor of Pastors.com and Rick Warren's Pastors' Toolbox, and authors a top 100 blog for church leaders (brandonacox.com). He's also the author of Rewired: Using Technology to Share God's Love.

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Recent Comments
In this era, we have the opportunity of professional church staff today who utilize their gifting to shape the image and atmosphere of the church organization. But the 100% real impact on the church visitors is genuine evidence of changed lives by the gospel and the active growing discipleship (just as it was in the first century church). One demonstration is financially rich believers ministering equally together with poor believers (how odd, and incredibly miraculous; all humble and bow at the foot of the cross.). It is the awesome contrast of church members vocations, race, gender, age, maturity, gifting, humility that demonstrates to visitors "there is a Spirit in the place". That first-time guest list of 10 are "physical excuses", not spiritual excuses. Those don't tell the story. The condition of facilities and publicly greeting people have zero to do with it. The power of God in and through believers lives dedicated to impact other people with their relationship bridge-building of acceptance of the lost around them. Empowered believers are infectious, loving, helpful, giving, self-less, dynamic, compelling, bold, Christ-filled. As I have been in many church settings domestically and internationally, the facilities can be poor, and yet the fellowship can still be rich. We need to operate with first church humility. People come to Christ on His terms, not on our human abilities of hospitality. A huge catastrophe in a community, disaster relief brings lots of people into churches – many come to the church in those terrible conditions no matter the physical condition of the local church. Off the condition of facility, and onto the condition of God's people (living stones).... and everything else will grow.... and the other physical issues will be corrected by the staff.
 
— Russ Wright
 
"While I understand the intent behind this phrase" Expound please. What do you understand to be the intent behind that phrase?
 
— Ken
 
Thank you for this article! I'm the pastor of a small church. My gifting is in teaching and we are known for aiding Christians in becoming Biblically literate. Visitor's often comment on God's presence being very real in our services. But we just don't seem to be growing. I have some soul-searching, etc. to do and this article provides some solid ground from which to proceed. Thank you again.
 
— Jonathan Schultheis
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

The Secret to Meaningful Blogging

I never intended to become active on social media. My boss intended it for me and I am glad he did. It has helped me formulate thoughts more clearly, has pushed me to keep learning, and has broadened the types of people I can connect with.

At first, I did not have a social media or a blog strategy. As I started hearing feedback from people about things I wrote, I thought, “I really need to take this more seriously.” So Chris Martin helped me form a blog strategy. We sit down once a month and he brings me a list of potential topics, shows me data on what seems to be helping and resonating, and makes suggestions on tweaks I should make.

Culture might eat strategy for breakfast, but that doesn’t meant we abandon strategy. If you are a leader who uses social media, here are three reasons you should have a strategy:

1. Strategy saves time.

I don’t feel like I have any extra time, so when Chris nudged me to get on the Five Leadership Questions Podcast and to start Facebook Live videos, I was like “Dude, are you crazy.” He showed me we could simply plan to tweak and adjust existing content to move into different mediums. So Facebook Live videos are simply me explaining and articulating something I have already written. The podcast takes zero prep time, but then becomes prep time for future blogs.

2. Strategy simplifies processes.

Without a strategy incredible amounts of time are wasted having the same conversations over and over. Because we know the plan for what content will go where and when, we are not daily rehashing the same conversations. I write, send for editing, it gets posted, which later becomes a video, etc.

3. Strategy serves your audience.

Having a strategy allows you to think more intentionally. Having a strategy and being strategic are not the same things. But having a strategy can help you be strategic. Having a blog or content strategy provides a framework for you to think about how to best serve those in your audience.

Read more from Eric.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Eric Geiger

Eric Geiger serves as the Vice President of the Church Resource Division at LifeWay Christian Resources. Eric received his doctorate in leadership and church ministry from Southern Seminary. He is also a teaching pastor and a frequent speaker and consultant on church mission and strategy. Eric authored or co-authored several books including the best selling church leadership book, Simple Church. Eric is married to Kaye, and they have two daughters: Eden and Evie. During his free time, Eric enjoys dating his wife, playing with his daughters, and shooting basketball.

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COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
In this era, we have the opportunity of professional church staff today who utilize their gifting to shape the image and atmosphere of the church organization. But the 100% real impact on the church visitors is genuine evidence of changed lives by the gospel and the active growing discipleship (just as it was in the first century church). One demonstration is financially rich believers ministering equally together with poor believers (how odd, and incredibly miraculous; all humble and bow at the foot of the cross.). It is the awesome contrast of church members vocations, race, gender, age, maturity, gifting, humility that demonstrates to visitors "there is a Spirit in the place". That first-time guest list of 10 are "physical excuses", not spiritual excuses. Those don't tell the story. The condition of facilities and publicly greeting people have zero to do with it. The power of God in and through believers lives dedicated to impact other people with their relationship bridge-building of acceptance of the lost around them. Empowered believers are infectious, loving, helpful, giving, self-less, dynamic, compelling, bold, Christ-filled. As I have been in many church settings domestically and internationally, the facilities can be poor, and yet the fellowship can still be rich. We need to operate with first church humility. People come to Christ on His terms, not on our human abilities of hospitality. A huge catastrophe in a community, disaster relief brings lots of people into churches – many come to the church in those terrible conditions no matter the physical condition of the local church. Off the condition of facility, and onto the condition of God's people (living stones).... and everything else will grow.... and the other physical issues will be corrected by the staff.
 
— Russ Wright
 
"While I understand the intent behind this phrase" Expound please. What do you understand to be the intent behind that phrase?
 
— Ken
 
Thank you for this article! I'm the pastor of a small church. My gifting is in teaching and we are known for aiding Christians in becoming Biblically literate. Visitor's often comment on God's presence being very real in our services. But we just don't seem to be growing. I have some soul-searching, etc. to do and this article provides some solid ground from which to proceed. Thank you again.
 
— Jonathan Schultheis
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.