10 Steps to Publishing a Professional Looking Post…first time

Do you find yourself regularly going back and editing your posts after you’ve published them?

Now that I’ve added new plug-ins to help optimise my blog I find that there are a lot more steps I need to cover before I publish a post. And I’ve been finding that I constantly forget something and have to go back and edit the post. A real annoyance and a totally inefficient use of my time, which would be better spent enjoying reading some of my favourite blogs or writing more articles.

So I’ve compiled a Pre-Publish Checklist to keep me on the straight and narrow. Darren Rowse at ProBlogger is inviting his readers to submit their tips for improving their blogs so I thought I’d post my Checklist here and submit it to his growing knowledgebank.

  1. Write your post (I know, I know, but I have to have a starting point)
  2. Spellcheck. I have the Google Toolbar Spellchecker always turned on to highlight my fat-finger typos as I go along.
  3. Don’t trust the Spellchecker! Just because you’ve spelt a word correctly doesn’t mean you’ve actually typed the right word. Only recently my Darling Daughter left a comment on one of my posts letting me know I’d referred to ‘mere people’ when I meant to say ‘more people’. She just couldn’t help herself. But the truth is we do tend to get a bit sloppy when we have tools like Spellcheckers and forget they are not infallible.
  4. Review your post for link points. Have you referred to another blog post (your own or someone else’s) that you should connect to with a link?
  5. Are there any trackbacks that you need to enter from articles on other blogs that you have mentioned in your post?
  6. Check that the right categories have been selected for your article and it hasn’t just dropped into the default.
  7. If you have SEO (search engine optimisation) plug-ins, check that you have listed all the tags (keywords) for your post in the appropriate field.
  8. If you have been a bit creative with your title, check that the search engine optimised version has been entered in the appropriate field. For example, although the URL for this post reflects its long title, if you type “checklist-for-blog-posts” into a search engine ( a more likely title for people searching on this topic) then this article will come up.
  9. Is there a preferred excerpt that you want the search engines to display when your post comes up on someone’s search? If you don’t type your preferred words into the appropriate field then the search engines will just grab the first 3 or 4 lines of text in your post to display. And that might not be the message that best describes your article to a new reader.
  10. View your post in Preview mode. Read it through. It’s amazing how different it looks in proper ‘post format’ and you’ll be surprised at the grammar mistakes you will spot when you read it again.

Now this may sound like a lot of fiddling around. And you’re right, it is. For those of you who don’t get into the search engine optimisation stuff Nos 7-9 don’t apply. But the rest are really what you should be doing if you want to be sure of putting a good clean post out there, first time. And in the long run it will save you time as well as making your blog look more professional.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and check my Checklist before I post this article. How embarrassing if I didn’t follow my own advice.

By the way, if you have any other checkpoints that you recommend including in this Checklist please feel free to add them in the comments.

Other related Posts:

Top 10 Tips for Building a Better Blog (Part 1)
Top 10 Tips for Building a Better Blog (Part 2)
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14 Responses to 10 Steps to Publishing a Professional Looking Post…first time

  1. Hannah August 14, 2007 at 6:16 pm #

    Definitely good steps to follow.
    I can’t emphasise enough about checking spelling and grammar.
    I am SO bugged by mistakes in other people’s posts!

  2. karooch August 14, 2007 at 8:38 pm #

    Thanks Hannah. I’m glad you found it useful. It was driving me nuts every time I posted an article I would have missed checking something so I kept on wheel spinning after it had gone live, trying to fix it.

  3. Michael from Pro Blog Design August 14, 2007 at 9:18 pm #

    Thanks for the tips. I virtually live in preview mode when I’m writing a post! It’s a complete necessity if you’re including images/quotes etc.

    It can be a little embarrassing to get the post wrong, and need one of your readers to point it out. :lol:

  4. Tink August 16, 2007 at 3:23 am #

    I usually type mine out in word then transfer to my blog. Still I have been known to make errors, LOL Thanks for all the tips.

  5. karooch August 16, 2007 at 2:28 pm #

    I used to use Word too and copy/paste into the blog editor. But I’ve found that Word likes to think it’s an HTML Editor and it puts dodgy html code into the blog editor. So now I either write directly into the editor or I copy into Notepad text editor and then copy from there into the editor. That way I don’t get confused mixed code and I can make changes more easily.

  6. Antoinette August 17, 2007 at 12:11 pm #

    Hmm… if I look at the url it says: http://www.scrapsofmind.com/2007/08/14/10-steps-to-publishing-a-professional-looking-postfirst-time/
    Is it because I’m using Firefox? I know FF tends to overlook things IE does pick up.

    I agree about the spellchecker. Mistakes like ‘mere people’ will probably stay in my posts as English isn’t my first language and I sometimes just misspell words *sigh* wish they’d invent a checker which picks up on those mistakes!

  7. karooch August 17, 2007 at 10:50 pm #

    But if you look at the title is on you tab Antoinette, you’ll see that it says “Checklist for blog posts”. That should be the title in the URL. Don’t understand what’s happened there.

  8. Olga August 18, 2007 at 12:43 am #

    Yes I actually have the same issue as Antoinette, and I use Firefox. It might be that. And I had read about the problems of writing with Word and the extra code that might add. LOL So the Notepad tip is actually great. :)

    Anyway the article it’s really good and very useful thanks so much for sharing this information with us and best wishes. :O)

  9. karooch August 18, 2007 at 8:38 am #

    OK I’ve got it worked out and I’ll be updating the article. Thanks Antoinette and Olga for getting me onto this.

    The URL for the post doesn’t change but the title for the Search engines does. So if you’ve used a cutesy title that isn’t likely to be a ‘normal’ phrase that most people would search on then you can miss a lot of potential new visitors to you blog. With a SEO Optimisation plug-in, you can restate you title so that if people type ‘checklist for blog post’ into the search engine then this article will come up.

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