The ultimate health blogging checklist

done for you health content

The ultimate health blogging checklist

Originally published January 2018; updated with even more awesomeness September 2018.

ultimate health blogging checklist

 

You’re a health and wellness professional and you have a blog.  You know how important good content is to build your “know, like, and trust” factors with your audience and ideal clients.

Having great content (be it blog posts, vlogs, or podcast episodes) is the first step to building your authority and following (and sales). Awesome blog content is also a great foundation for your social media and newsletter. But, content is just one-half of the phrase “content marketing” which, as a business with an online presence, is really what you’re going for, right?

‘Cause y’know: content + marketing = traffic = audience = subscribers = customers.

Exactly!

So, that’s why I created the Ultimate health blogging checklist!

This will help you get readers to:

  • Find your blog posts;
  • Click to visit your website;
  • Read it and love it;
  • Start to know, like, and trust you;
  • Do the action(s) you’ve called for (your CTA);
  • Sign up for your newsletter; and,
  • Become a customer or client.

Enjoy using this checklist to the fullest potential to rock your health blog and turn it into a content marketing machine!

Rock your blog by turning it into a content marketing machine with this Ultimate health blogging checklist. #healthblog Click To Tweet

Don’t have time to read it all? Download the overview in the checklist now.

Ultimate Health Blogging Checklist

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1 – Health blog setup (only need to do this once)

 

1a – Blog position in menu

How do your readers reach your website?

You can check your site’s analytics, but it’s likely that people land on your site through a blog post (which is the entire raison d’être of your blog – to market your business using quality content).

Regularly publishing awesome content and promoting your blog posts is what will draw people to your site. Whether that’s from a search engine like Google, or from a social media post.

So, for simplicity, let’s say a reader lands on your home page and looks for your blog. How will they find it?

  • Is your blog in your main menu or a footer menu? Either one works, as long as it’s at the top-level and not in a sub-level or drop down option.
  • Is it called “blog?” Make sure it’s easy and intuitive for a new visitor to find. I recommend calling it “blog”.

For now, I’m trying mine on my footer because I want my header menu to be very simple, with just About, Free Resources, Work with me, Contact, and a search option. That’s it.

1b – Main blog post page

When you click on your main blog page – the one that lists your posts, not any one post in particular (see my blog page here) – is it:

  • Sorted by most recent?
  • Can you see the featured images for each post?
  • Is the blog post title/headline clearly readable?
  • Do you include just a few lines of the introduction so they can easily scan through your different posts? (This is optional, assuming your headlines are great).
  • Do you have a “next” button at the bottom (or do you use infinite scroll)?

From UX planet:

“In general, an infinite scroll works well for something like Twitter where users consuming an endlessly flowing stream of data without looking for anything in particular, while pagination interface is good for search results pages where people are looking for a specific item and where the location of all the items the user has viewed matter.”

In my opinion, I dislike the “infinite scroll” when it comes to blogs. I don’t find people’s websites to see everything they’ve ever said in date order, so I prefer seeing the featured images (with the title), just a few lines of the intro, and a “next” button at the bottom. It also doesn’t give you an option for a handy menu at the footer of your blog page – for social media following buttons, or your legal docs either.

1c – Blog post organization

  • Do you have categories for different kinds of posts?
  • Can you filter blog posts by category on your main blog page?
  • Do these categories take into consideration your target market’s needs and their user experience? For example, think about your reader & the reason they came to your blog. Group all of your posts according to what your reader wants into one category. And don’t have too many. 🙂

leesaklich.com blog page

1d – Searchability of your posts

  • Do you have a search bar so readers can look for a specific topic or keyword?
  • Do you track which terms are being searched?

Having this set up makes for a better user experience (UX), plus it gives you GREAT market research and insight into what people are looking for, and the exact words they use. This can give you ideas for future blog topics, and also the keywords to use in your copy and try to rank for on search engines.

Here’s a very comprehensive post full of simple SEO tips – for both your website and your posts.

Here’s how to set up Google Analytics in your WordPress site, via my friend Marie, the girl who knows tech.

1e – URL (web address) format

  • Have you converted your website (and blog) from “http” to “https” yet?
  • Don’t clutter your URL with unnecessary info, like dates, or the word “blog,” etc. Make it super-simple.

According to Moz, the optimal URL structure is:

“http://www.example.com/category-keyword/subcategory-keyword/primary-keyword.html”

 

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2 – Checklist for each blog post

 

2a – Blog post format and structure

How would you rate your blog posts in terms of:

BuzzSumo analyzed the social shares of over one million articles and found that:

“…articles with an image once every 75-100 words got double the amount of shares of articles with fewer images…”

Here are 12 types of visual content you can use in your blog.

How many images do you put in each blog post? You might not want to stop at one. #blog #images #contentmarketing Click To Tweet

2b – Blog post content

  • If you need content for your blog posts, you don’t have to create everything yourself from scratch every single time! There are lots of ways to get quality blog content!
  • If you’re committed to the effort of ranking on search engines like Google, have you done your keyword research, optimized your site, and are optimizing this post? How I got to #1 position on Google for “Health and wellness blog ideas” is another entire post on its own. 😉
  • Readability – Is your post “scannable,” with short paragraphs and grade-school reading level vocabulary, etc.)? One free app I sometimes use is Hemingway app.

PRO TIP: Take all electronic recommendations from apps under advisement – don’t just accept what the software says. That goes for all writing apps.

PRO TIP: Make sure all external links open in a new tab. That way after your readers leave your site, read that other blog’s post & close that tab, your original post is still there waiting for them.

Linking to other blog posts & references is super-important for your health blog. #credibility #research #bloggingtips Click To Tweet

done for you health content

  • How’s your headline? I’m mentioning this last because it really should be done last, but it is NOT the least important thing…some would argue it’s one of the MOST important parts of your blog post. I’ve curated a bunch of blog post headline resources for you here.
  • Have social sharing or SEO plugins? Make sure when your post is shared that it has more than the link – your headline, relevant keywords and hashtags (where applicable), the current images, and that it “tags” you on social media when someone shares it. 😉

If you want a bit of help with creating your health blog posts, I’ve written a few posts on how to write an article for your health blog.

2c  – CTAs & Opt-in incentives

The whole purpose of your blog posts are for content marketing. You want to supply amazing content for your audience to show them you’re a reliable, credible expert in your field, and you can help them.

But, when your blog draws people to it, you also want to give your audience something to do; and that something is a “call to action” or CTA. It may be:

PRO TIP: Don’t forget to acknowledge and thank everyone who does the action you’ve called them to do. Reply to comments and emails, and thank sharers. If Gary V and Neil Patel can… so can you. 😉

All of these are CTAs, and you should have AT LEAST one for every single blog post. Sometimes you don’t even want them to finish reading the whole post before calling them to an action, so you can embed one (or more) into the body of your blog post.

What you don’t want is someone to find your blog post, read it, love it, get to the bottom, and then have no idea what’s next! Give them a call to action (CTA)!

2d – Sharing/Promoting your blog posts

Once you’ve created an awesome post, please never stop with just one or two promotions of it. Promote it a lot!

Share it with your email newsletter subscribers, social media followers, and elsewhere on social media.

“…sharing more than once probably is an essential part of providing your audience with the value you promised them. If you don’t share your links a few times, they may never see any of your updates.”

PRO TIP: NEVER STOP WITH ONE OR TWO PROMOTIONS! (Emphasis intended – this is the #1 reason I see that blogs aren’t getting the results they want from their blogs!)

I personally use Missinglettr to schedule nine (yes, nine) social media shares throughout the year for every single evergreen blog post I create.

I find Missinglettr is better than the average social media scheduler because it helps to draft social media shares for you by taking excerpts from the blog and automatically pulling up images. #TimeSaver #SetItAndForgetIt

PRO TIP: Sharing your blog posts with your followers should be part of your social media strategy, but not all of it! Make sure to also share others’ great posts, and be active in groups with your ideal clients and engage with people who don’t follow you as well!

 

Ultimate Health Blogging Checklist

Health blogging checklist %281%29

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3 – Health blogging strategy

Now that you know what to do for each individual blog post, how about a strategic plan for posts (i.e. which topic/keyword to talk about and which CTA to include each time).

3a -Quantity/Frequency

  • How often are you publishing on your blog (at least once/every other week)?

From Hubspot (2017):

As expected, we found that the more blog posts companies published per month, the more traffic they saw on their website. Companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got almost 3.5X more traffic than companies that published between 0 – 4 monthly posts.

Here are places to get blog posts if you can’t create all of the content yourself.

3b – Blog content mission

  • Who are you trying to attract with your blog, vlog, or podcast? With all of my Content Calendar Coaching clients, we go through my workbook and do a 2-hour strategy session to create their blog content mission. It ends up looking like this:

“The health content I publish helps (my business) accomplish (mission) by providing (frequency) (length) (type) (format) content in (categories) that helps (audience) feel (emotion) and (do action) so they can (eliminate pain point).”

Feel free to fill in the parentheses and create your own.

3c – Blog editorial calendar

Now that you know how often you’re going to publish and what your mission is, you can plan out your content for the next month or two:

 

3d – Measuring success

It’s always important to measure success of your plans. It helps you to see what to do more of, what to tweak, and what to stop doing.

Let’s be real here, content is a long-term game.

Let's be real here, content is a long-term game. #contentmarketing #blogging Click To Tweet

My post from July 2017 ranked on page 1 of Google around September, and just got to the #1 position last December. It’s VERY unlikely you will see immediate results (don’t be fooled with promises of “going viral”).

Health blog optimization google rank

Ideally, you’re going to measure the success of your blog posts at least 30+ days after you hit publish.

  • How much traffic (# of hits/visits) did your posts get? Check your Google Analytics or JetPack Site Stats.
  • How many social shares did each post get? Check BuzzSumo (the free version gives you a sneak peek).
  • How has your blog’s overall traffic (# of hits/visits) increased over time? Check your Google Analytics or JetPack Site Stats.
  • How much has your email list grown? (Remember those calls to action in every single post!)
  • Did you put a monumental effort into a few key posts to rank in search engines? How are they doing?
  • Are you starting to get inquiries to give backlinks, accept guest posts, or sponsors for your posts? (You probably shouldn’t say “yes” to all of these, be VERY particular and always be true to your audience and subscribers!)

PRO TIP: Always ask people where they found you. See if they can remember the exact post they saw and where they saw it. #marketresearch

 

Conclusion

 

Go through this free Ultimate checklist and choose one or two things to implement every week. Download it for future reference if you want.

This is totally DIY-able!

Want my help going through this and prioritizing optimizations on YOUR health blog? Check out my one-on-one VIP Health Blog Optimization Plan service.

 

Ultimate Health Blogging Checklist

Health blogging checklist %281%29

Use your health blog to grow your audience, subscribers, and sales.

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

 

Signing off and toasting: To using this Ultimate health blogging checklist to rock your blog (and grow your biz).

 

Over to you

 

What do you think? Did I miss any critical items from this Ultimate health blogging checklist? Want me to expand any particular items into an entire blog post?

I’d love to know (in the comments below)!

Ultimate Health Blogging Checklist

Health blogging checklist %281%29

Use your health blog to grow your audience, subscribers, and sales.

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit
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I'm Leesa Klich, MSc., R.H.N.

Health writer – Blogging expert – Research nerd.

I help health and wellness professionals build their authority with scientific health content. They want to stand out in the crowded, often unqualified, market of entrepreneurs. I help them establish trust with their audiences, add credibility to their services, and save them a ton of time so they don’t have to do the research or writing themselves. To work with me, click here.

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