Here’s a checklist for editing your blog content before you publish. For any content that is vitally important, i.e. sales content or articles delivered to clients, I use Barbara Feiner, a professional editor. She not only corrects errors, but evaluates for clarity and flow.
But for blog posts and everyday content creation, I put on my editor’s visor, and act like a grumpy newspaper editor with a red pencil. Here’s what I look for:
1. Common typos like theirs for there‘s, your for you’re, that or which for who, and all those pesky things a spell check won’t pick up.
2. Grammar goofs: The most common ones are when the verb doesn’t agree with the noun, as in “Here’s my mistakes…”
3. Review for commas, semi-colons, ellipses and em dashes. The important thing is for it to read well, read clearly. Helps to read it out loud.
4. Review for paragraph and line spacing, since I like to break up long blocks of text.
5. Review for bolded words and insert subheadings where needed.
6. Separate a blog post after 2-3 paragraphs so that it goes to the extended post feature (“read more…”
7. Review for eye-candy: Where would an interesting photo clip add interest to your blog post? I always start a post with a photo, usually from iStockPhoto.com.
8. Review for external link opportunities. I always link to a person’s name (to a page on the web where you can learn more about them), to a book, or to a Wikipedia definition when useful. This is really important for building relationships with the people you respect.
9. Review for internal link opportunities. Surely you’ve already written more than once about something; you should link the keywords to that post on your own blog or website.
10. Review for keywords. Do you make it easy for search engines to know what this is about? Come on, help the poor little spiders out, they’re not exactly geniuses.
11. Review your headline for how compelling it is. Does it draw the reader into the post to learn more? Is it keyword-rich?
12. Description. If you’re using a Scribe SEO Optimizer (you are, aren’t you?), make sure you’ve created a short description using the All-in-One SEO Plugin (160 characters maximum) containing keywords. Be sure to check your tags and categories, too.
You tell me: what other things do you check for before you hit the publish button? Hit the comment link and leave me your ideas.