If you want to build a sizable reading audience, one of your goals should be to create valuable, unique, and engaging blog posts. But you’re just one person, and maybe in the beginning, you might not be able to afford a full-time editor. You can use this blog-editing checklist to help you through the process.
The Structure of Your Blog Post
- Did you create an outline for your blog post? If so, read through your article to make sure it tackles all the points concisely. If not, read through your article and write down four to five main points that speak to the bigger topic.
- Analyze each main point for relevancy. Is it important to the overall topic for your blog post? If it’s not, how can you polish it to make the foundation of your post stronger?
- Did you repeat any ideas throughout your article? If so, you’ll be able to eliminate some of this content.
- Think about your article through the lens of a reader with a specific goal. What might be your reader’s goal? And how does your article accomplish this? If this question is hard for you to answer, you need to do some polishing to help serve your readers’ most important goals.
The Execution of Your Blog Post
- Read your blog post out loud to ensure everything makes sense and flows well. If you pause on certain sentences, make a note to analyze why this sentence might need some work.
- Is your writing grammatical? If not, make any necessary adjustments.
- How often do you write in passive voice? If you notice a lot of passive voice throughout your post, find some instances that can be easily shifted to active voice.
- Check for any unintentional incomplete sentences.
- Are there certain words or phrases you repeat often? Adjust a couple of them so your content doesn’t sound repetitive.
Facts, Errors, and Formatting
- Fact check. Fact check. Fact check. This is extremely important if you’re implementing research into your blog post. And, if you do include research, you must include all your references at the end of your article. Most blogs get away with this because people don’t find the content to be all that credible, but you want your readers to trust you. So, you, my friend, will cite all your sources.
- Check your spelling! Most blogging and writing platforms are pretty good with signaling you that something is at least spelled incorrectly. Even so, I highly recommend reading through your article a couple of times to ensure there are no errors on the page.
- If your blog is just a big block of a bunch of text, we’ll have a serious chat about that in the next section. However, at this stage, I’d at least recommend adding some subheadings to split up the main points of your article.
- Check to make sure you punctuation is mostly correct. The reason I say “mostly” is because there are so many rules and nuances with commas that it’s challenging to know all of the rules if you’re not a copy editor.
- If you haven’t added any subheading yet, do that before you add anything else to your post or article.
- Have you added a bit of comic relief to your blog post? Add a GIF in that section.
- Are you talking about a concept that could use a bit more expert explanation? Find a YouTube video and embed it in your post. However, you should be careful about what videos you add—you don’t want to include videos from experts who could pull focus from your blog.
- See any opportunities for bulleted or numbered lists? That will help make your article more readable.
- Add photos, diagrams, and other visuals where appropriate but make sure you credit where they came from if you didn’t created the images. Yes, even royalty free images should be credited to the original artist.
- You can also change background colors of certain blocks of text to make it easier on your readers’ eyes.
And these are simply a fraction of the things an excellent blog editor can do for you. If you want a trial edit of your next blog post, shoot me an email to get on my schedule—I offer one free edit to bloggers who sign up for my email marketing list.