I have previously recorded a tutorial video about how to publish blog posts on WordPress but I have neglected to really cover all the necessary elements of a successful blog post… both technical and strategic.
A Compelling Title
Your title is a headline. It alone will generally determine who will read your content. Sell your blog with the title. Leave out symbols like the &, %, “, #, @, etc. These generally convert to code when syndicated to places like Twitter.
Always Include An Image
Images not only make the content more presentable and professional but they also help your content to stick out when you share it on sites like Facebook. It gives Pinterest lovers something to pin and many WordPress themes will look to your images to create thumbnails for your home page layout or mobile blog layout. Along those lines be sure to always add a featured image (this can be the same image you use inside the blog post content).
In Content SEO Tricks
It is important to try to include some of the keywords within the text body of your blog post. Try to specifically include some of those keywords in Headings, Bold, Underline, Italic, Image Alternate Text, and Titles. These are the ways to draw extra attention to those words when the search bots read the page.
Always use the Excerpt
The built in WordPress Excerpt field is your place to build extra sizzle. This is the text that will show up directly under the title if the page displays in search results on Google or the like. It is also the text that is used on social networks like Facebook when the link is shared. The Excerpt should include some of those same keywords but most importantly needs to sell the content and make a compelling case as to why someone should proceed to read the full blog post.
Using Categories Correctly
Categories within WordPress serve two important purposes. The first is to help site visitors navigate your site content and find what they are looking for. The second purpose is to further help the search engine bots to index your content. Don't have more than 12 categories and try to post content evenly across all of them.
Using WordPress Tags
By default the tags you list for the blog post act as the Meta Tag keywords read by search engines and they also act as a deeper navigation tool for site visitors. Depending on your WordPress theme, your selected tags may appear below your blog post content to help readers find other similar relevant content. Don't stuff too much here either; using between 5 and 15 tags is a best practice.
Linking to Your Own Content
Another best practice is to cite old blog posts in new content. Linking to other content within your own site does remind search engines to index that old content anew. This doesn't need to be a part of every blog post but on occasion, and as appropriate, don't miss those opportunities.
I hope these simple rules can serve as a guide to help you craft powerful and compelling blog post content!