How to Make Sure Your Blog Post is Ready for Publication

Filed as Guides on July 11, 2009 9:54 pm

Are you one of those bloggers who worries a lot about whether your posts are “good enough” to publish?

Here are a few tips on how to ensure that it’s the right time to hit the “Publish” button on your latest blog article.

1. Create a post checklist … and use it every time. I have one that I keep pretty close to my chest, but it includes things like “check for broken links,” “search the Web for related resources to cite,” “check your sources,” “add clear calls to action if necessary,” and other such reminders. If you can check off every item on your personal posting checklist for a given article, you’re probably ready to publish the sucker.

2. Have someone else review your draft. This is a real forehead-slapper. But how often do you show your posts to friends or colleagues before you publish them? I’m not suggesting that you do this with every single post. But sometimes you will find this tip to be extremely helpful. You’ll be amazed at the feedback you get, and it can’t hurt to get an educated opinion and some helpful suggestions before releasing your offering into the wild.

3. Make sure the post is imperfect. This one may strike you as odd, but let me explain. There is always something you can improve about a blog post. Always. Add a paragraph, go with a different image, change a word choice, tweak the headline … the list goes on and on. But if you actually consciously take a moment to consider the fact that your about-to-be-broadcast post is not practically perfect in every way, and if you take an additional moment to choose to be okay with that fact, you’ll conquer that perennial stumbling block that so many bloggers trip over – the double-edged sword of perfectionism/procrastination.

4. Ask yourself, “If I never publish this, will someone suffer for it?” Will a day be darkened because your good humor goes unpublished? Will a mind starve out there because you refrain from shooting your carefully assembled bits of information out into the ether? In other words, what difference does this blog post make? If you think it stands a good chance of doing something, somewhere, for someone, then consider yourself almost almost ready to publish.

5. Publish. Sometimes I think you should make this tip #1, just so you keep the spontaneity alive. Yes, don’t just publish haphazardly. Don’t get all trigger-happy. But sometimes you’ll find yourself staring at a blinking cursor next to a considerable chunk of mental energy that you’re formed into a decent article, and the best thing to do is not to go back to the old, “Gee, what could I add to this? What could I change?” rut. Sometimes the best thing to do is not to teeter to the edge of the diving board only to peer timidly down and wonder what will happen when your epidermis smacks against the hydrogen and oxygen sloshing obliviously below.

Sometimes the best thing to do is just leap off that diving board and see what kind of splash you make.

What do you think?

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  1. By jan_geronimo posted on July 12, 2009 at 5:29 pm
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    Creating a check list is a great idea – especially about making sure that the links work. But shouldn’t checking for related resources to cite be part of the pre-writing process called research? Just saying. Okay, I think what you’re saying is to search for something like related posts.

    Number 3 sounds a good idea – making sure the post is imperfect. It will be easier for readers to interact with the post if there’s something for him to add to the discussion. If the post is perfect – what’s there else to say? Nothing, perhaps I’d just nod my head in agreement and move on, without leaving a reaction.

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  2. By Darnell Clayton posted on July 13, 2009 at 9:55 pm
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    I think #3 is where I struggle with a lot (as I always want a post to be perfect before it goes live).

    Perhaps I’ll focus more on producing the content (regardless of its imperfections) than making it entirely flawless. :-)

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  3. By Easton Ellsworth posted on July 16, 2009 at 11:27 am
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    Thanks guys for the great comments!

    Yeah, checking for related resources both in your stable and among other people’s works is what I mean … which of course should be done well before the final “ready to publish?” check. But it can’t hurt to make extra sure right at the end.

    Yup, just get it out there and start a thread. It’s what blogs lend themselves to. Comments are so valuable. And tweets and diggs and all the other conversations that can go on because of the initial post. Ideally it leads to offline conversations and relationships.

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