Hopped on the blogging bandwagon yet?
If you've read my previous post, you know that there are many questions you should ask yourself before you hit that unforgiving "publish" button. Without further ado, here's the justification for the next batch of those questions.
1. Are the spelling and grammar correct?
As we have noted time and time again, we can be slightly grammar crazy. My co-workers have been known to forward error-ridden news articles, blog posts, even other emails, with merciless heckling. Don't fall victim. Read it over, and read it again. Bad grammar wrecks your credibility.
2. Have I written the post as succinctly as possible?
When most browsers read blogs, they want to scan it, figure out if it's worthy of their time, and then read it. They don't want to dive deep into it, because, well, people are busy. Know that your readers' time is valuable, and write accordingly.
3. Have I credited sources of quotes and inspiration?
Plagiarism is bad—like, really bad. Furthermore, if you tag or link back to someone's amazing thoughts, chances are the original poster will take notice and spread your comments far and wide, helping out with your traffic exponentially. Be a good person—it's a win/win situation.
4. Have I written about a related topic that I could link to? Has someone else?
If you're a good blogger, this post is one of hundreds. Typically, your blog will introduce a lot of similar topics, so you should be able to dredge up a few good ones to link out to. The more people click, the longer they stay on your site and the more apt they are to share said content. Linking out to others? It delivers good karma and more knowledge for your reader.
5. Would I read this post?
You write about topics that interest you, so if you wouldn't bother reading the post, why should anyone else? Make it relevant; make it entertaining; and—overall—make it useful.
6. Have I previewed my post in its entirety?
Make sure you're previewing your post before it goes live, not just for grammar, but also for the look of things—is something extremely text heavy, where a well-placed image might break it up and make the post easier to scan? Are your captions correct? Is the byline correct (especially if you have multiple contributors to the blog)?
7. Have I left room for my readers to add something to this post? Have I invited them to?
You'll notice that many blog posts (ours included) end with a question. The reason is easy: People like answering questions, and prompts are more likely to start up a conversation.
Chloe Thompson is an assistant editor at TMG. A version of this article first appeared on TMG's Engage blog.