May 9, 2011

9 Steps to Check Off BEFORE Publishing a Blog Post

When you are about to publish a blog post, there are a few things you should always check for to make sure your post is top-quality for your readers. (I forget to check for all of these things a lot, so this post is quite helpful to me too!)


Make sure to include at least one picture in your posts. This creates visual attraction and eye-engaging content. Think about yourself. On the internet, would you be more likely to read an article formatted as plain text or one where you first see a pretty picture that catches your attention?

Break up Paragraphs

On the internet, you want to read and understand the main points fast. Using bullet points, numbering, or even just splitting up paragraphs with spaces in between can be extremely helpful for getting your point across quickly to readers, and keeping them happy. Again, think about if it were you. Would you rather read 10 spaced-out tips on a topic, or a huge paragraph/essay of the same content?


This one is obvious, but I still forget to do it all the time! So make sure you always run your post through the spell checker before posting.


It's helpful to read through the entire post and check for flow and sentence structure. Make your post sound interesting and conversational. Talk to your reader, as if you're having a conversation. This will make it easier to read while connecting directly with your reader.

Address Your Reader

You design your blog for multiple people. So it's easy to slip into the habit of addressing your audience as "people," "everyone," etc. But in order to connect and make an impact with your readers, you only should be talking to one person. Notice how in this particular post I am talking to YOU, not you and your mother, and brother, and grandmother, and best friend. This helps your reader apply what you are teaching directly to his or herself.

Labels/Tags/Key Words

In order to rank in search engines, which bring more traffic to you, you have to add labels, or tags, or key words (whatever you would like to call them) to your post. This helps the search engines know exactly what you are talking about and rank you appropriately. This is also beneficial to your readers if they choose to search for a certain topic on your blog. Sprinkle these words throughout your post a few times, not too much or else the search engines will think you're a robot, but just enough to show the importance. Synonyms are useful too.

Page Break

Your posts are most likely organized in order of published date on the homepage of your blog. If a new user looks at your blog for the first time to get an idea of what you write about, she will scroll through the homepage, skim the articles, and click on the ones she thinks are most important. You want to make sure you always include a page break so your entire post isn't showing up on the homepage. This will make it difficult for readers to see what's new and it will clog up your homepage. The page break also provides a nice hook to making readers interested enough to read the whole article.

Catchy Headline

What are you more likely to read, "7 Ways You Can Improve Your Writing Right Now" or "Improve Your Writing?" Creating a catchy headline will draw attention to you and your blog bringing you more readers, old and new. For excellent information on writing catchy headlines, PLEASE check out this series by Copyblogger, How to Write Magnetic Headlines.

Ask a Question

Invite your readers to interact with you. Be open for questions, comments, and thoughts. You're writing a conversation, so help your readers continue the conversation by asking something pertaining to your post. (See the next paragraph for an example!) And when your readers comment, respond back to them!

Follow this checklist BEFORE you press publish on any blog post, and you will be on your way to creating successful posts. I will be off to check this post, using my handy dandy checklist I just created, right now! Is there anything else you check for before posting? Let me know in the comments!


  1. yup - so true.

    I fail at a couple of these for sure. But i try.

    I always ask questions though. I like that one. I find that that invites people to comment.

    The only other thing i ask before i publish is: Will anyone get annoyed with me for this post, have i offended anyone and who is going to want to read this jumble. Then i can pick the most appropriate medium to promote the post and i am done.

    Oh and if i think i have offended someone i MIGHT fix it, or might not. It depends.

    anyway that is me, have a fab day


  2. Hey Sarah!

    That's a really good thing to ask yourself. It makes a lot of sense. Sometimes I wonder that AFTER I've posted, and that just doesn't solve anything, ha! Thanks for adding!

    And I like that you said you MIGHT fix it. That shows that you're still being true to you and your thoughts. I like it! (:

    You have a wonderful day as well!


  3. Well sometimes things need to be said.

    for example i am not a fan of 'modern' feminism. We are all equal, but we don't need to be the same. Also why should women need to 'act like men' to show they are powerful. everyone has their own strengths.

    i don't get it, and some people get their knickers in knot about it.. lol I still post about that, (perhaps a little gently though...)


  4. Hmm... I'm not sure I agree with all of your list. I'll have to come back, though, and go through it again. There are 2 things, though, that I can find really annoying in blogs. The first is pictures. Not always, but, often, they just seem sort of stuck in with no purpose. I read lots of all text blogs. I'm reading them for content, not illustration. Pictures aren't going to change what's being said, so, if the picture is superfluous, leave it out.
    The second is questions at the end of the post. Most often, these annoy me, as, again, they seem tacked on for the sake of having a question, not because the writer actually cares about the answer. In fact, frequently, bloggers don't respond to comments, so what's the point of asking the questions if you're not going to interact with the people that comment? I'd much rather write a thought-provoking post that invites comments due to its content rather than trying to poke comments out of people for the sake of comments by asking questions that I don't actually care about the answers to, and I wish other bloggers did the same thing.

    Following along with you, though, and I'll think about the rest of this post and, maybe, comment again.

  5. Hey Andrew!

    I understand your thoughts. I think a picture adds a nice touch, as long as it doesn't look forced. I agree that including one is not going to change the content of the post, and it's not why you're reading the post. But I do think it can add some professionalism, as long as it's not forced. I think I know the kind of posts you are referring to, when the blogger adds a picture just to add a picture and it looks tacky. Perhaps rephrasing that point to say the picture must be relevant and engaging, not just a filler.

    I also understand what you're saying about questions. I believe the point of questions is to give SOME readers a jumping off point. Not everyone needs it, and people will comment or not no matter what. But some readers need that little extra push. It's directly telling the reader to take action, which is why I like to include it. But again, sometimes it can seem forced. In this situation it would be better to leave it out. And if the blogger doesn't respond to comments, then the question should be also left out. Questions and answering comments go hand in hand, to an extent. No matter what, the blogger should interact with their readers, as that is specifically what a blog allows you to do. Hopefully the content is good enough to attract the readers into commenting, but I still like to include a question just in case. I respond to all the comments I can.

    Thank you for commenting - I appreciate your perspective. And thanks for following along! If you do think of anything else, I would love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to comment whenever (;


  6. I sometimes publish without writing a title!! I try to always make a note of checking that now...

    PS. I'm here from Sarah's blog hop of Awesome People :-)

    xx R

  7. A blog should be looked at as a miniature book, or a magazine article. They both have the pictures pertaining to the title. Magazines have several pictures sometimes.

    If a blogger is not going to respond to its followers then, please don't place a question. I would even say don't request for followers. If the purpose of your blog is to gain followers who you can pitch your book to, then you need that interaction.

    I would add grammar to the list. Word will check your spelling, but not necessarily your grammar, contrary to popular believe. I've seen "and" where it should have been "an" to instead of too. Commas in the wrong place, etc...

    Great post, because we are here trying to sell ourselves to the public.

  8. The most important thing is that a blog should be a reflection of the person doing it. Or, at least, the image s/he wants to show to the reader. With that in mind, I don't think you can actually have blog rules, because blogs should be as individual as people. This is not to say that some of your points are not good, but I would hesitate to call them rules. But, maybe, that's just the rebel in me :)

  9. Hi!

    Im a new follower. Thanks for the lovely post. You are definitely right about it.