As Jess mentioned in her post this week, sometimes you just run on auto-pilot when it comes to your blog, and don't take or have the time to really THINK about what you're putting out there, or come up with interesting content. Instead of just blogging because you have to, or focusing more on quantity than quality, make an effort to have every post count – and here are 15 things you can ask yourself to help do just that:
Have I proofread it? Try reading your post strictly for spelling/grammatical mistakes, paying attention to each word individually making sure it's spelled right, and used in the correct way.
Did I re-read it for content? – maybe after some time has passed, take a step away, then read again – this is especially important if your post is “emotional” or reactionary…
Does this post truly reflect me as a person? Are you being honest with your readers, and yourself? Is it an accurate reflection of your views on a subject? or are you holding something back?
Am I ready to defend my post/opinion? If you get negative comments or people disagreeing with you, are you ready to defend your position? If you're not, or you can't, then DON'T PUBLISH your post.
Would I use this post as a reference? This is especially important when you're doing a sponsored post, but it's always useful to think this way: you should feel comfortable using any post you write on your blog as a reference or example of your work.
If this was THE ONE post an editor from Vogue, etc., saw on my blog, would I be satisfied with that? Doesn't necessarily have to be Vogue, or a magazine, just think of any person you'd like to work for or with and picture them reading your post/looking at your blog. Are you proud of your work?
Is my post too long? Are you being wordy because you just rambled on? Make sure every word you use is necessary and you're not just writing to “hear yourself talk.”
Is it long enough? Do you write enough to come to a conclusion and make a well-thought out argument? Too long isn't great, but too short is not ideal either. Even if you're just posting an outfit picture, I like to read about the outfit, or the story behind it. I don't read blogs just for the pictures.
Is there at least one picture, but not 15,000? Images in blog posts are important, but too many are annoying. Find the right picture to make your point, or feature one or two different angles of your outfit, and let that be enough.
Did I make my point, do I come to a conclusion? Make sure you HAVE a point, and you're not just rambling. Don't waste your readers' time.
Do I ask a question? Do I leave it open enough for my readers to respond and engage with my post? You don't necessarily have to ask a question at the end of every post, but do encourage your readers to leave comments and continue the conversation. Most of the time I find that asking a question is a natural way to do that.
Do I have enough/the right keywords for SEO purposes? Are they linked? Think about the keywords you want to rank in the search engines for and make sure your post contains those keywords, and that they're linked.
Is this my best work? If it's not your best, don't publish it. Life is too short!
How will this post get me closer to my goal? Think about your ultimate goal for your blog. Is it monetizing? or using it as a stepping-off point? Does your post help you get closer to that goal or not? If not, maybe it's not worth publishing…
Do I really want this post to be out there forever? Even thought there's a delete option or “move to trash” option for your blog post, once it's been published, it's very hard to remove completely. Make sure you're ready for anything positive – or negative – that can result from your post.
[Image credit: Shutterstock.com]