Five Really Useful Checklists for Content Marketers (+ Tools Suggestions)
I am a checklist addict, and I can’t deny it. My Pinterest account is full of boards dedicated to infographics, cheat sheets, and checklists. So much so that I have created multiple boards and numbered them, just so I can more easily navigate through them all.
Does that sound strange to you? It shouldn’t! These forms of visual media are attractive, make information more digestible, and tasks more manageable.
So this article is my roundup of the most useful checklists for bloggers and freelance writers that make some of the most tedious content marketing tasks easier to organize.
1. SEO Checklist
I had been looking for a one-page SEO checklist which would be easy to follow from article to article. There are a few great ones but most of them had more detailed / steps I needed.
This checklist seemed the perfect balance between being comprehensive and not wordy.
Checklist source: The Ultimate On-Page SEO Checklist For 2020 To Increase Rankings
Keyword research is fundamental for SEO, so the best tool to help here is Ubersuggest. The best part of the tool is that it is very easy to understand, even for a blogger who never had time to figure out SEO.
[The tool] generates a list of keywords for you based on what is working for your competitors and based on what people are typing into Google.
With Ubersuggest, you can:
- Find a keyword to focus on (something with a doable competition)
- Discover content ideas based on your competitors,
- Estimate how easy it is going to be rank your article for your chosen keyword, based on “SEO difficulty”
For a more descriptive to-do list, print out this SEO checklist. It explains your options, and suggest tools and plugins to help you with each step. Also, if you are new to the concept of SEO, Google has helpfully created this guide to help you out.
2. Writing Checklist
Good content is key to digital business success. Any other marketing tactic relies on a copy. Content is the future of commerce and the foundation of online business.
Even experienced writers can miss some essential writing steps, so this checklist was a godsend.
It includes everything from research to citing your source. Some important things I tend to need reminders for from that checklist include:
- Avoiding cliches and repetitions
- Giving definitions
- Using connection words
- Using Active Voice whenever possible
Checklist source: Writing Checklist: How to Create and Use One (+Free Template)
Using Yoast (or an alternative plugin) will handle some of those steps, like reminding you of using shorter paragraphs or forcing you to stick to the active voice. The checklist is editable, so you can remove any redundant checks.
3. Image Optimization Checklist
Long gone are the days when images were purely decorative assets, that were mostly optional. This day no article is hardly ever published without at least some images.
On top of that, images are part of the context and audience perception of any digital content, so writers are often responsible for creating or finding visual assets for their articles as well as optimizing them for search and social discoverability.
I have been trying a lot of image optimization checklists, but this one has turned out to be the most actionable for me:
Infographic source: Beyond Image Optimization: How To Build Visibility with a Visual Marketing Strategy
One item that didn’t make it to the checklist (but is included in the original article) is using Text Optimizer for creating search-optimized context for your image. I use the tool for all tasks when it comes to search engine optimization.
When it comes to image SEO, Text Optimizer helps me create image title, image caption, and image description:
[Clicking any concept in the list will suggest some phrases involving your chosen keyword. This is the feature I use to write optimized captions and image titles]
4. Blogging Checklist
This 21-step blogging checklist is so comprehensive that it may actually seem excessive. In fact, it is useful to the point when it may hurt your productivity (it takes time to go through all of it!)
But I would definitely recommend downloading it and:
- Use it for long-form content
- Pass it over to newer writers, in case you have a team of contributors to manage
The checklist even includes things like adding content upgrades and doing brief competitive research before publishing an article. I mean those are absolutely useful tactics, but if I were to do them for every single article, I’d be burned out by the amount of work each blog post takes.
Still, it is a great walk-through of all the tasks and steps involved in an effective content marketing routine.
Checklist source: How to Write Amazing Posts With This Awesome Blog Writing Checklist
There would be lots of tools to mention here, as this is such a broad task… For a bit more higher-level and descriptive step-by-step checklist of crafting a good blog post, check out this article on creating successful content and this guide on content marketing overall.
5. Social Sharing Checklist
If you are like me, freelance writing is not the only thing you are doing. On top of writing, there’s much more you have to deal with on a daily basis, and social media sharing is probably the most overwhelming one.
You see, in order to achieve any results on social media, you need to be there every day crafting updates, replying, and engaging. How on Earth can this be organized when it’s not even your primary task.
This checklist offers a weekly planner allowing you to check off things you managed to do. It breaks social media tasks into daily and weekly checklists and includes all the micro-tasks you can think of. It also applies to just about any social media network you choose to build your presence on:
Checklist source: The Only Social Media Checklist You’ll Ever Need
Agorapulse is a nice tool to handle most of these tasks, including scheduling, replying, and even delegating!
These checklists keep me organized as I take a specific pleasure in checking things off my list as I work on. This makes me feel more motivated to move forward. I hope these checklists will have a similar effect on you too! Please do share your own favorite checklists and infographics that you use daily to keep your writing standards high and improve your website performance.
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