But is it finished?
Here are 12 things to do before you hit that publish or post button.
1. Get up from your computer and walk away. Grab yourself a glass of water or a coffee. Why? Sometimes we need to remove ourselves from what we are engrossed in and with fresh eyes, check again.
2. Is this what you wanted to write? Sometimes we begin with a topic in mind, but our minds can wander and we get off topic.
3. Is the post concise? Or have you waffled…
4. Spelling and grammar – you run good old spellcheck over the post, but is spellchecker right?
Spellcheck can miss errors with words such as “to” and “too”. Spellcheck thinks the word you typed is spelled correctly, but the word you used is incorrect for the sentence. An example is: “I wanted to go tool.” This should be, “I wanted to go too”.
Nope, no little red line under the word “tool”. Spellcheck didn’t pick up the word “tool” as being incorrect for this sentence.
So proof read again or better yet, let someone else check the post for you… use those fresh eyes.
5. Images? People love a pic or 2, so use relevant, interesting images to go with the post. An image helps break up the post into segments. Videos in a post add an extra layer of information.
Make sure you don’t infringe any copyright with the images you use.
There are great places to buy images from, such as BigStock Photo, istock photo and Shutterstock. There are good free sites that use the Creative Commons licence, such as flickr and Pixabay.
6. Readability – Is the post easy to read, remember to break big chunky paragraphs into easier to read smaller paragraphs, subheadings or bullet points. People often need to scan a post and breaking the post up makes it easy to see the main points.
7. Hyperlinks – Add any relevant internal links? (e.g. to other similar blog posts or areas of your website). Link appropriately to external websites and check the links are correct?
This is where previewing your post before you publish and testing the links is a great idea!
8. Call to action – Have you included one in your post?
9. Does your headline work? Will it grab the reader’s attention?
10. Is the document constructed in line with your content style guide? Consistency is important across your content and today you might have hyphenated the word “check-out”, when your style guide says it should not be hyphenated: “checkout.
11. Are you publishing at the right time of day for your audience? You might be happy to shoot off a post at 9am on a Monday morning, but will the post be read? Think of the Monday morning meetings, full inboxes and people kicking off their working week. Timing is key.
12. How will you promote the post? Which social media platforms are best suited to this style of article? Will you include a link to the post in your next email newsletter?
Now is the time to check your content publishing schedule and make sure you are targeting the right audience and covered your bases.
So are you ready to push “publish” on your blog post or is it time to re-check a couple of things?
For me, I am off to grab a coffee and then read this post again, just in case.
Well, I have reviewed the post and decided to make a “baker’s dozen” of tips.
So number 13 is “keywords” and “keyprhases” – take time to make sure you have done a little SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) on your post. Make sure every post counts in the search engines and your relevant audience.
Need help with developing a content style guide or content publishing schedule?
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