I've been creating daily online content for quite a while now and I've found myself in a routine and process I'm really happy with. Whether it's for this space or ALO, there are a few questions and things I check every time before I schedule content to be published so that I can know I'm 100% happy with the piece. Today I thought I'd run you through the 10 things I check before a post is ready to go, as these are the main things that guide me when creating content.
Is this useful for my readers? My main aim when creating any form of online content is that it's useful and helpful for anyone reading it. I always ask myself whether the piece offers any insight or advice that may be valuable for my readers, though this of course can come in the form of both bigger and smaller topics and concepts.
Is this interesting for my readers? Alongside being useful, I always hope that my content can be interesting and engaging as well. Re-reading the piece, I ask myself if it's enjoyable to read and interesting enough and expresses itself in a way that engages the reader.
Does this suit the tone and purpose of my blog? I'm a big believer in being consistent with your space, and even though I think it's a-okay to not box yourself into one niche, staying consistent with your message and your tone is a great way to really connect with your readership. I always double check whether the piece really fits the purpose of my blog (or ALO when I'm creating content for over there) and whether it stays true to my personal brand or not.
Is the title engaging and clear? Headlines are as much a part of the content as the copy, and it's usually the first thing a potential reader will see. I try and find a good balance between an engaging and clear title that offers some insight into what the piece will be about without being too generic or bland. Buffer wrote an awesome piece on this here.
Is there a visual to go alongside the piece? I've spoke before about how I'm not all that confident when it comes to the visual side of creating content, though there's no denying that they are important. With my visuals I just try and stick to a similar style that works alongside my blog and put together something that compliments the piece.
Have I proof read and checked my grammar? Just putting aside 10 minutes to proof read my content and double check my grammar makes all the difference I've found - and the more you do it the easier it becomes to just skim your content and spot any mistakes.
Have I formatted the content to be easily read? I've spoke a little in the past about writing for the web, and keeping in mind that your readers are usually busy people leading busy and hectic lives can be super helpful when formatting your content to be easily digested.
Have I scheduled promotional social media? I tend to schedule my social media the night before using Buffer which is an awesome web tool, and I try and keep my tweets consistent and to the point. My best advice? Include a visual to go alongside the tweet - I've found it makes all the difference when it comes to engagement.
Are all links working properly? There's nothing worse than browsing a post and clicking on a link that's included to find it's broken. I double check all links to make sure they're working and add in any ones I may have missed.
Have I given credit where credit is due? Whether the post has been inspired by someone else, or I've used visuals from elsewhere, I always make sure I've credited whoever it belongs to when credit is due. I always double check beforehand as well their policy for their visuals or content being used elsewhere as online copyright is of course just as important as it is offline.
What about you, do you have things you like to check before you hit publish?
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