Blog Post Publishing Checklist

Looking for a good blog post publishing checklist?  As part of the 21 Day SEO Challenge we put together this checklist to help you remember what you should be doing. This is part of a series of printable checklists that are part of the Challenge.


1. What is the goal of the blog post? Is it clear what the reader should do?

  • Comment
  • Click Ad
  • Like, Pin, Plus, Tweet, Share
  • Go to another post
  • Buy, Join, Register, Optin

2.  Does the post have a compelling headline? Can you honestly say the title invokes intrigue?

3. Does the post include an image? If so does the image meet

  • Facebook display standards
  • Pinterest display standards
  • Twitter display standards

4. Is the post optimized for social sharing?

  • Social share buttons above and below the post?
  • Pin it button on photo (hover or in caption)?
  • “Tweet this” button with a shareable tweet highlighted?
  • Is it scannable with subheadings? Bullets?

5. Is the post optimized for your site’s SEO?

  • Is it linked from or does it to link to a supporting article?
  • Is it categorized and tagged within it’s silo correctly?
  • Does the title include keywords that support the silo?

6. Is the post SEO Optimized?

  • Does the main keyword appear in the title?
  • Does the main keyword appear in the first paragraph?
  • Does the main keyword appear in the meta description?
  • Does the main keyword appear in the post meta title?
  • Does the main keyword appear naturally throughout the content?
  • Does the post include supporting keywords (like toilet for bathroom)?
  • Does the post include sub headings that include supporting keywords?
  • Does the post include the keyword bolded, italicized, or as a text link?

7. Is the keyword hard to rank for?

  • Did you add the keyword to the list of keywords you’re tracking in Webmaster Tools?
  • Does it need incoming links? Did you go to old posts and link back to this one?

8. Is the URL as short as possible?

  • Have dates been removed?
  • Have hashtags been removed?
  • Has weird punctuation been removed?


9. If using Adsense to monetize, are the ads put in the best positions possible? Are the maximum allowed including link units on page?

10. If the sidebar has an optin form or your own product ads? If so are you using the Sidebar Ladder plugin to make sure you’re maximizing pixel space for those that optin and buy?

11. Is the post optimized for eyeballs?

  • Are faces, book covers, scenes facing toward the middle of the page?
  • Do any images sabotage your monetization efforts? (Example do you have an ad at the top of the sidebar but an image that draws the reader past the ad)?
  • Is it easy to find the goal of the page ie. the button, the ad, the link?

12. Has the featured image been chosen and indicated in your open graph plugin for Facebook?

13. Is the post set to autopost to social media? If not, are you prepared to pin, share, tweet, like, plus, etc. . . Where does it need to be shared first?

14. If this post goes viral, what will you regret? Do you need to change something?

15. Mis-spellings? Poor Grammar? Fuzzy images? Anything that will make a potential sponsor walk away?

16. Does your post meet the rules? Rich Snippets used? Google Authorship?

17. Need any short codes or embeds?

  • Does the post expire and therefore need the expiration shortcode?
  • Does the post need a light box plugin?
  • Got a relevant YouTube video to embed? Slideshare presentation?

18.  If this post requires the sidebar, did you choose the right sidebar? What qualities does the post have?

  • Commercial or Non-Commercial keywords?
  • Long or short post?
  • Ads or email optin?

19. Did you preview the content before pressing Publish?  Make sure everything lines up right and looks good.

20. When will you want this content to appear on the main page again?  Have you downloaded our Content Replay Plugin and have you scheduled when it should be republished?

That should do it. Hope your post builds your business, grows your audience, brings you lots of fans.

WordPress does not help SEO

WordPress does not help SEO. With all the talk about SEO plugins you might think you’re at a disadvantage without WordPress. And without the SEO plugins you might think you’re at a disadvantage compared to those who have them.

But you’d be wrong.

WordPress and SEO just aren’t related in any way.

Wordpress-does-not-help-your-seoSEO is the process by which you prove to the search engines that you are relevant for a given topic. Wordpress itself is just a content management system. WordPress is a program like Microsoft Word, but instead of being designed to create text documents it is designed to create web content. That’s all it is. WordPress is a program that makes it easy for you to put content online. Continue reading “WordPress does not help SEO”

The hyphenated domain name dilemma

It seems the hyphenated domain dilemma is rearing its head again.  However this time I’m hearing from SEO guys that hyphenated domain names actually hurt your search engine rankings.  I’ve found no evidence that this is the case but I do have plenty of evidence to the contrary. Not only that, hyphens can increase the number of  visitors you get once your site shows up in the rankings.

Let’s start with some hyphenated domain names that are #1 in Google for their search terms. For those people who think you can’t get to the top, this should dispel that myth:

Website Keyword Front porch ideas Dog Obedience Training Windows vista update Home theater guide Digital Photography Tips Digital Photography Tips Digital Photography Tips

So if you’re at all concerned about hyphenated domain names, you can clearly search for any of these terms and find these domains at the top of the list. Most of them are in the #1 position. And the digital photography tips page is dominated by hyphenated domain names. Dominated.

It’s clear from these domain names that the site owners are likely adept at using SEO techniques to help their domain names climb the ladder. Perhaps they are so adept they can overcome the fact that they have hyphenated domain names.  And perhaps a search for sites with lesser skilled developers would prove the point better. But since these are more skilled developers AND they still chose the hyphenated domain name  -wouldn’t that further indicate hyphens aren’t bad.

In fact, check out SiteBuildIt’s Results Page to see a list of sites in the top 1% of Alexa’s rankings built mainly by people who’d never built a site before. Notice that most of them are hyphenated. Hyphens are one of the notions Site Build It teaches in their course (the best website building course on the net, in my opinion).

As I further explain in this YouTube Video (Does a Hyphenated Domain Name Make Sense?), hyphens can often increase the number of visitors, reduce confusion and quickly show visitors what your site is about. Suppose you were searching for “money making ideas from home” and you saw these two websites pop up in Google’s results: or

Which one draws your attention the fastest?

Some domain names should be hyphenated whether it hurts your rankings or not. Check out this domain for a popular restaurant in Philadelphia:

Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 9.55.27 AM

It’s clear from a marketing perspective that would have made better sense.

If you still believe hyphenated domain names will hurt your search engine results , I invite you to help sway my thoughts. What makes you believe this to be true? When asked if hyphens or underscores would be better, Matt Cutts of Google himself said hyphens would be better than underscores. While not totally related, he did not say that you should avoid using both.  Please leave your thoughts, I look forward to a different opinion.

(Also check out what Google prefers: hyphens or underscores)

Don’t Rely on Google

GoogleI spent a good period of time this week talking about traffic. Not only did one of my sites take a traffic hit from Google Penguin, but a few of our Mastermind Group members got hit and one lost almost all his traffic.
I’d like to contrast that with a new client we started working with this week. He’s only been online for 5 months now and is making more than $12,000/month. And almost none of his traffic is from Google.
Yep, it seems a bit crazy but it’s 100% true. And everything he’s doing is a little bit by accident. I don’t want to diminish what they’ve done because they’ve gone on instinct and their natural smarts. But as far as “scientific” approaches to list building and online income creation – nada.
So he got his start in forums. He started talking about what he knows best in forums where that subject was being discussed and the people in those forums liked what he had to say so much, they started coming to his site and populating his forum.
And then they followed him to Facebook and started interacting with him there as well.
AND he did this in more than one forum.
So his traffic is a really good mix of forums, other sites that his forum members are on, Facebook, and people Googling his name (which is somewhat unique). But to this point, he is completely insulated from Google algorithm changes.
So I would urge you to take a look at your traffic. If it’s all coming from one source, then you need to make diversification a top priority for the next six months.
That means work. SEO might seem like work to some people but I don’t think it’s nearly as hard as driving traffic other ways.
So get out there and start spreading the word about your niche. That’s Slideshare, Youtube, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, niche forums, guest blog posts, blog commenting, LinkedIn groups, Flickr groups. . . and that’s just the start.
And vice-versa if you don’t have much Google traffic at all, then you’re missing some folks. The great thing about SEO is you end up standing in front of people who are looking for you at that exact moment. That’s pretty powerful.
If you don’t know how to do that, I’d be happy to help you put together a keyword theme map. We do them all the time for our clients. Just let me know. Otherwise, get out there and diversify!

Keywords for clients

yay-1201886Your keywords are the keys to the kingdom. The keywords dictate who comes to your site. If you can bring the right people, you’ll end
up with the right people on your list.

Take a look at the testimonials you (or your client) have received. Which kind of groups have really appreciated your message? Which customers create referrals and which ones don’t? And what is it about your service or product they appreciated?

Also consider what is the ultimate goal? If you’re a speaker, do you want to be the keynote speaker at the Republican National Convention, or at the Truck Stops of America Convention? That changes who you want to be visible for.. Continue reading “Keywords for clients”

Duplicate Content

survey-buying-processI got a question today from last week’s “repurposing” email about duplicate content. Here was the question:

“In the olden days, you didn’t want to repeat content verbatim on more than one web site because it diluted your rankings. I know this to be true because at a former job, we had three web sites, but some of the content was identical on each of the sites. Our Google rep explained that was viewed as “cheating” and we were downgraded. “

(and feel free to ask your own question at on Facebook)

So, the answer isn’t black and white – but what you should do and how you should handle your content is quite clear.

Duplicate content is an issue, and has become a more costly problem since last year’s Google Panda update. So let’s tackle it.

Places like CNN use duplicated Associate Press content all the time and don’t get downgraded for it. As does pretty much every local TV station website. Duplicate content is abound and part of life. It’s not always bad. In some cases, links from all those duplicate posts are quite good for the original writer.

However, as a general rule Google returns an article once in the search results. If you search for “hutto shark attack” on Google you’re going to get 10 different articles about the same story. Google is not going to return 10 sites with the same article.

So if you’re looking to get indexed for a topic, you don’t want to fight someone else whose got the original content.

As far as repurposing goes, make sure you put the original content here it matters most first.  Snippets of it, rewrites, modifications and images of it can be used everywhere – because they’re not exactly the same.

Taking that content and putting it in an ebook is OK because ebook content is not typically indexed.

Use your stuff often, and as much as you can. Just remember that if you want it indexed it pretty much needs to be original.

Hyphenated Domain Names

domain names

I got a few tweets the last couple weeks about hyphenated domain names. I wasn’t sure why at first but then remembered I’d made a couple YouTube videos on the subject.

Well, the conversation ended up being colossal with many people on Twitter chiming in at which time I thought I’d write an entire blog post on the subject and give good quality examples.

The question is “Do hyphens affect your search results?” And the answer is. . . well, not clear.  How can you really test that? It’s not possible.

What I did do was explain with examples, why I don’t think it adversely affects your search ranking. And why in some cases, it’s a real good idea.

So instead of my notes from that conversation, I’d like you to check out my blog post on the subject and see what you think.

Do hyphens matter or not? And why does this subject matter to you anyway?

More on niche internet marketing.

Supporting Keywords

One of my clients asked what articles she needed to be writing. So I sent her a list of keywords I need her to write articles about. The funny thing is, none of them were directly related to people hiring her.

None of them were keywords like “why you should hire me”.

I’m sure that stumped her, though she didn’t say as much. You see Google’s entire goal is to return search results that are relevant to a searcher’s query. They use the three basic criteria to evaluate every page on the internet and from that they decide on which page to show the result. Continue reading “Supporting Keywords”