Helping Solopreneurs Design and Manage Their Online Presence

Blogging Checklist: 10 Things to Review Before You Hit Publish

blog-post-review-before-publishing

You worked so darn hard on that blog post; don’t publish it until you’ve made sure it’s as good as it can be!  Use this quick blog post review list to check your work before you put it out there for all to see.

1. Title

The title should be compelling to your target audience.  Have you answered a question or solved a problem that’s relevant to them?  Make sure your title lets them know that an answer/solution is waiting if they read your post.  But don’t tell all: you want them to want to click to get the full story!

2. Images

Have you included eye-catching and relevant images?  Bunches of studies have shown that posts with images are shared much more often than those without, and that they get more engagement from readers.  There are tons of tools out there to help you create awesome images, but if you’re not confident on your own, this is an excellent task to outsource.

3. Linking

If possible, link to outside sources that might be of interest to your readers.  And make sure that you link to any of your own previously-published content whenever you can — this lets first-time readers know that you have other material they might like to check out.

4. Call to Action

Did you end your post with a call to action (“contact me,” “sign up,” “comment below”) and/or a question to spark engagement (“tell me what you think,” “what are your ideas?”)?

5. Permalink

The permalink for your posts — the “link address” assigned by your blogging platform — can be edited.  It doesn’t have to be as detailed as your title might be, so shorten it if needed and be sure to include keywords (see #8 below).  Here’s a screenshot of where to find the permalink in WordPress:

screenshot permalink

6. Tags and Category

Make sure you’ve selected several relevant tags for your post, and at least one category.  If you don’t have categories for your blog, you really should, since they can help search engines find you!

7. Meta Description

The meta description is that snippet included with search results that lets someone know a little more about your article than just the title conveys.  Here’s a look at a search result showing a Day2DayBiz blog post entry:

screenshot meta description

If you have an SEO plugin installed in WordPress, you’ll likely be prompted to complete a good meta description; if not, search engines will use approximately the first 130 to 155 characters of your post.  Make sure you’ve included some meaningful information there.

8. Keywords

Keywords are the terms that your target audience is most likely to use in searching for your topic.  The more of them you can predict and include, the greater the chances that your post will be come up in search results.  Check your title, image captions, permalink, tags, category, meta description, and content for keywords.

9. Preview

Make sure you preview your post in a browser, not just in your writing space.  Your blog theme will add formatting that may or may not be what you intended.  Make sure your images are sized as you want them, and that their captions, if any, are displayed in a format that looks good with your theme.  While you’re there, test out any links you included in your post, and confirm that they lead to where you mean for them to lead (tip: set all links to open in a new tab or window, so that your reader can easily return to your blog and continue reading).

10. Proofread

Finally, proofread your post.  Check for typos, spelling errors (spellcheck doesn’t catch everything — and it doesn’t always check things like titles, tags, and permalinks), grammar, and readability.  As a self-professed grammar nerd, there is little that can do more to negatively affect my opinion of someone’s professionalism than to find their website riddled with grammar and spelling errors.  And, ugh, if the typography in your graphics contains errors, I’m out.  If you’re not confident in your proofing abilities, this is another good task  to outsource to someone else (a willing friend’s fresh eye can be invaluable, or you can hire someone to review all of your content before it’s published).

BONUS ITEM!
11. Proofread Again

Did I mention how important I think the profesionalism of your blog/website is to your reputation?  And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made a change during my first proofreading that resulted in something else not making sense or being repetitive.  Yup, proofread it one last time before you hit publish.  It can’t hurt, right?

 

Do you have any quick blog post review checks to add to the list?  Share in the comments!

 

some images courtesy of pixabay.com

 

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