As I finalized the headline, added photos and made the last few formatting updates to the latest post on my lifestyle blog, I paused. Did I go through my editorial guidelines checklist? Ah, I better do that quick to make sure this content aligns with what I want to put out there.
Yes, even the blogging I do for myself, on my websites, has parameters in place to ensure I’m putting out the type of content I’m proud to have my byline attached to each day.
This hasn’t always been the case.
I too have ridden the rollercoaster of pushing out posts to simply meet a calendar deadline, skipping quality checks along the way, and later feeling like I didn’t offer readers my best work. Done is better than perfect I’d tell myself. Sure, but quality triumphs quantity, any day of the week.
Over the years (almost 13 as a full-time business owner!) I’ve refined my content creation process and decided I needed one last tool to ensure I’ve metaphorically crossed my ‘t’s and dotted all the ‘i’s.
Today, I’m sharing this editorial guidelines checklist.
Perhaps it will inspire the writer in you to set up a similar list of checks and balances relevant to your own content creation endeavors. Or, maybe you’ll find a tidbit that will enhance the polishing stage of your process. Here’s what’s on the top of each document I create for the Cupcakes And Yoga Pants blog.
I Ask Myself These Questions Before Publishing a New Blog Post
- Did this post teach, educate or inspire someone? Is it useful? Am I proud of this content? Am I excited to publish it?
- Did I make a point? Is it clear? Is it succinct? Direct?
- Have I gone deep enough? Did I offer examples, stories, quotes, sources or resources? Can I embed other content to make it deeper? Videos? Audio? YouTube clip? Tweet? Instagram
- Does the headline draw readers in to read the first line of the blog post?
- Is this post unique? Does it offer some first-person insight? My opinion?
- Are people searching for this on Google? What angle or aspect is trending? Have I included keywords in the title, subheadings and body of the text?
- Grammar, spelling and flow matter. Pay attention to this!
- How will this post make the reader feel after the last sentence? Empowered? Happy? How do I want to make the reader feel?
- Did I link to other posts on the site to build authority and credibility on this topic?
- Did I end with a CTA or click to tweet to help others share the post easily?
- Did I invite readers to comment and engage with the post? Don’t forget to suggest what to do next, and where. What’s my CTA?
- Is the post visually scannable and easy to read? Preview the post on mobile and desktop before publishing.
- What are my plans to promote the post? Can I link this new post to content in the archives
- Can I follow up on this post with a related topic that extends upon it? Is a Part 2 a good idea
- Have I written a social post to promote this new piece? How am I creating momentum for this new post?
Are you also doing these things before hitting the publish button on your blog posts? Do you have any pre-publication reminders to add to this list? I’d love to hear how you give your content one final comb-through before sending it out into the world!
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