*There may be affiliate links in this post. (Please see our legal pages, link in the footer, for more information.)
Recently a few people have been asking me how I’ve been able to make money from my blog so early on with such low pageviews and how other bloggers are able to make money blogging.
It’s a great question and and it really comes down to the foundation of your blog: your blog posts.
So I’m going to tell you the most important things I do before I publish a blog post, and I’ve made a free printable blog post checklist to help you start making money from your blog asap!
So let’s get started!
UPDATED: Having now been blogging for nearly a year, I updated this post on the 5th March, 2018, with all the new knowledge I have learnt!
Free Printable Blog Post Checklist:
If you want to download your free printable Blog Post Checklist that goes with this post, just hit the yellow button below! It’s nothing fancy and I kept the colours to black and white so it doesn’t run your printer ink down (because I hate that!). Just a really functional PDF for you to use!
How many of you guys write a blog post and then just click publish?
If we were back in school right now I can guarantee that about 80% of you would be self-consciously raising your hand while looking around the room to check you aren’t the only one.
Most people think of bloggers as writers but actually, that is only a tiny, tiny part of what we do. We are marketers, advertisers, salespeople, content creators, entertainers, educators, website designers, graphic designers, the list goes on…
So if all you do when you write a post is just write it then you really aren’t blogging. Or at least you aren’t blogging in a way that will make you money, which is the perspective I’m writing from.
Honestly, if you don’t care about growing your blog and making an income then this post probably isn’t for you. But if you do ever want to make money and cultivate an awesome tribe of people who are obsessed with what you say then you’re going to want to carry on reading.
There’s more to blog posts than writing?
Oh so much more. Don’t worry though because I’ve created this awesome checklist of 15 things you must do with every blog post that you can run through each time you’re about to publish a new post.
Before you start panicking that you’re never going to have enough time to do an additional 15 things to every post. Stop, take a deep breath and make a cup of tea. (I’m British…) Each item is pretty quick to implement and you are probably doing some already. Plus it’s so worth it because completing these actions could lead you to your first or more income from your blog!
Some of the below actions will directly help you make more money with your blog posts, others will improve traffic and some will increase your authority, meaning your readers are more likely to click on that affiliate link or buy your product. It’s the combination of all the different actions that’s so important, so don’t miss any out!
What I haven’t discussed below is anything to do with the writing of the content, that’s a whole other posts worth!
Do I need anything to complete the actions below?
You will need to have Yoast plugin installed, but it’s completely FREE and it’s super useful for SEO!
You will also need some sort of sharing buttons installed. I use the FREE version of Social Warfare which is fab!
Ready? Let’s get our list on!
15 things you MUST do on every blog post:
1) Make your titles super clickable
It’s number one because it’s so important!
If your post titles (or headlines) don’t sound super enticing then no one will be clicking on them, so make sure they’re irresistible.
You can use CoSchedule’s free Headline Analyzer to see if your titles are up to scratch.
2) No walls of text!!!
Okay this is more of a don’t do, but you must make sure your blog post isn’t just a wall of text.
Blog’s are meant to be fun and easy to read so include plenty of subheadings, bullet points, lists, bolded text and new paragraphs to break everything up.
3) Interlink to your own blog posts
This is so important for bounce rate and ensuring your readers know you have loads of authority on subjects relating to what they are currently reading. A related posts plugin is not enough. You need to link to other posts within your writing!
4) Include external links
I always like to include a couple of external links to good sites*. This shows that I’ve read around the subject I’m writing about and provides a better user experience for my readers because they can continue their research easily!
*By good sites, I mean non-spammy authoritative sites, don’t associate you and your blog with anything you wouldn’t trust either!
5) Ensure all links open into a new tab
Even if the links are internal!
Why? Well think about when you are browsing and reading blog posts. If you click on an external link, perhaps to check out a product, you often still want to read the rest of the post you were reading or compare what the person was saying to what you are seeing of the product.
Makes sense right, but why would you want to make internal links open in a new tab as well?
You’re reading an awesome blog post but then you notice a link to some content that you just can’t resist. Once you click on that you normally lose what you were just reading and probably forget to go back to it. However, if the link opens in a new tab then you can read both articles without missing out. Plus you will probably end up clicking even more links either from further down the page on the original article, or some links on the other post you opened!
Either way it all equals more pagviews!!!
6) Do basic SEO
DON’T PANIC (Is it just me who instantly panics at the thought of SEO???)
But don’t worry because basic SEO is super easy and can pay dividends down the line’, so its seriously worth doing!
First up you want to choose a keyword that’s around 3-5 words long that your post is about. I use KW Finder for my keyword research and this post from Maya Maceka shows you how to use it.
Then you want to try and include this keyword in your title (which should be your H1), in your meta data (which you can alter with the Yoast SEO plugin), alt tags (more on this later), blog post URL (also more on this later), in your H2 heading and a couple fo times in the body of your text. Just don’t keyword stuff!!!
Also make sure your writing keyword related phrases within your blog post, like if your keyword was ‘decluttering your home’ you would also want to write things like ‘tidy your home’ and organising your house’. But realistically if you are writing well then you should do this naturally!
You will want to focus on attaining that green light in the SEO section as well.
7) Make your blog post URL short and clean
Try and make your blog post URL your target keyword, this will really help it rank in Google.
So if you’re writing a post on ‘decluttering your home’ and that’s your target keyword use that as your URL, not your entire blog post title. As www.yourblog.com/declutter-your-home is better than www.yourblog.com/29-steps-to-decluttering-your-home-and-getting-tidy-in-the-new-year…
8) Include two to six Pinterest optimized images
What is Pinterest optimized?
Check out the image at the bottom of this post, that’s a Pinterest optimized image. It’s vertical (735px by 1102px or 600px by 900px), the title is large and clear and there is an eye-catching photo with plenty of white space.
Why two to six images?
So you have multiple opportunities to share the same post on Pinterest. Just make sure the images are different and have a slightly different title. If you don’t want to display both images within your blog post then you can hide the additional Pinterest images within your blog’s code. It’s super easy if you follow this tutorial.
9) Fill in the ‘alt text’ or ‘image alternative text’ for all images
On the majority of themes in WordPress the alt text will be pulled through as your description on your pin in Pinterest. Therefore make sure that is filled in with an awesome description chock full of keywords including your target SEO keyword.
Carly from Mommy on Purpose has an awesome blog post on how to write great pin descriptions, which you can check out here. She also wrote an amazing (and super cheap) ebook on how she gets well over 200k pageviews every month, have a look at her ebook Pinterest Strategies here!!! (Trust me you’re going to want to read this!)
10) Include one Facebook optimized image
Facebook has a completely different image specification in comparison to Pinterest. For your pic to look good on Facebook you want a horizontal image, I use 1200px by 630px and keep the design the same as my Pinterest featured image.
Then once you’ve done that, head down to Yoast on your post creation page because you can upload a Facebook specific image there that will automatically be pulled through when your post is shared to Facebook. (I’ve included some screenshots to make this process super easy).
Click on the dot line thing the red arrow is pointing towards below.
Then just upload your Facebook image using the button shown below (as shown by the red arrow) and make sure you fill out that alt text!
11) Include social share buttons on every post
I really like the free version of Social Warfare. Ensure you have social sharing enabled above and below your posts, and include floating share options. That way there is always a sharing option available to people on your site.
12) Ensure you have an ad embedded within post
This particular point won’t apply to everyone because not everyone has ads. But if you do make sure you embed one within the blog post. You can find out how to do that here on my post all about installing Google AdSense.
13) Always include affiliate links where appropriate
So many bloggers think that they shouldn’t add affiliate links to their blog posts until they hit a certain number of pageviews or subscribers. Stop thinking like that you are doing yourselves out of income!
I aim to include at least one affiliate link in each post. Realistically that isn’t always possible and it’s important not to include a link to something that is nothing to do with the post. In those cases I ensure I have linked to blog posts that are optimized with affiliate links.
Also, make sure you disclose that the post contains affiliate links, I use the FMTC Affiliate Disclosure plugin so I never forget to include it!
If you are struggling to make affiliate sales on your blog then I would really recommend this course from Carly at Mommy on Purpose, it’s absolutely incredible and I would honestly say it’s the best course I’ve ever taken! Check out Affiliate Marketing For Bloggers – Everything You’re Missing here!!!
14) Ensure you have multiple places for readers to subscribe with email opt-in freebies
I’m sure you’re already sick of hearing this but YOU MUST BUILD YOUR EMAIL LIST.
You should have multiple places on each post where people can subscribe and you must also have opt-in freebies to entice people to sign up! There are so many blogs nowadays that you have to give people a reason to hand over their email address.
You can click the button below to sign up for a free printable checklist so you don’t forget any of the steps in this post!!!
15) Always end with a call to action
This could be as simple as asking a question that readers can answer in the comments. Or it could be encouraging them to follow you on social media or download your awesome freebie. Just make sure that once someone reaches the end of your post they know exactly what they should do next.
There you are, 15 things that must be done on every post if you ever want to make money blogging! A lot of them can be automated or will only take a few minutes to do but seriously it’s the actions above that have meant I made money in my first month blogging!
Don’t forget to hit the button below to get your FREE printable blog post checklist so you never forget any of these crucial tasks!!!