When I was writing about revision earlier this week, I found myself thinking about how different writing pieces require different forms of revision. Rather than just a generic “don’t forget to proofread” message, I began reviewing what kinds of questions I ask myself when I write and post blog articles. Since many of you are bloggers as well, I’m hoping this can be a helpful checklist for you:
1. Does the title sum up and draw in the reader?
Because everyone hates click bait. Like the subject line of an email, you should always make sure your title gives the reader a fair preview of what they’re about to read.
2. Does the post offer valuable information?
Because why would you want to read something that’s super obvious? This is a hard one to figure out when you first begin blogging and aren’t quite sure what to write about. Sometimes new bloggers will slip into simply recycling opinions on the latest piece of news, leading to more clutter on the Internet. Try to narrow your focus a bit—what can you consistently blog about? Where are your areas of knowledge? I try to blog mostly about the skills and management of professional writing because these are things I wish I had known a few years ago.
3. If it is about an emotional or controversial topic, is it written with tact and maturity?
I don’t cover many controversial topics (if any), but many bloggers thrive on political, economical, or social issues. It’s important for you to carefully consider how you word your posts, especially since these posts can easily go viral, and you wouldn’t want to be quoted for saying something flippant.
4. Did I proofread at least three (or five) times?
It’s easy to get lazy on the Internet since whenever we see a mistake, we can easily just pop into our blog to correct it. However, if you have followers who receive your posts via email, they will see that mistake before you correct it. These mistakes can leave the wrong impression that you’re careless. No blogger wants to be known for sloppiness, especially if he or she is a writer/editor.
5. Would I want to read this?
Similar to the second question, you don’t want to write about something super obvious or written in a boring way. If you wouldn’t want to read it, why should your readers?