Correct me if I'm wrong, but more often than not, you'd most likely hear “crickets” on your blog than consistently receive constructive criticism from readers via the comments section. Believe it or not, your readers know where you could improve user experience on the blog. Sometimes, having your list of standard checkpoints for posts, that you can mainly devise from doing a once-over on your post from a reader's perspective can make a huge difference.
Regardless of the type of blog you have or what you discuss, many of these points will surely across-the-board translate to your subject matter.
Some Items to Consider:
How Can Your Reader Shop This Post?
As you wax poetic about your latest shoe purchase, do you have the brand and the official name of that particular style listed? If it's vintage or no longer available, have you offered up similar styles? Do your readers expect you to include pricing information? Did you discuss or credit everything visible in your images? Sometimes I forget to list an item (like my sunglasses,) and don't you know someone will post a comment, asking where they were from; oops!
I also have a rule that if I'm doing a shopping post, and if there is only one size left of an item, I would skip featuring it. Why? Because there's nothing more frustrating than getting excited about something, then going to the page to add it to the cart and realizing that there's only a random size or two left.
Did You Explain the Importance of the “Nouns”?
I know this may sound like a simple, elementary item for the checklist, but trust me, consider it! Be sure to give an ample explanation, definition, or description of the nouns, i.e. the people, places, and things in your post. Your readers may not be on the same page as you. It's so easy to become biased, wrapped up in fashion jargon, but your readers may not be able to dedicate as much time to fashion as you. They rely on you, the fashion insider, to educate them on the latest terminology. Don't forget to share a bit of the back story about what you're discussing, even if it's a sentence or a few words.
Are You Well-Captioned?
Again, something that may sound deceptively straightforward can often be forgotten. For some odd reason, I hate doing image captions and leave it for last, meaning that sometimes it doesn't get done at all. Besides providing a photo credit (if needed), having an expected format for captioning will play as a nice guidebook for your readers to follow along without too much pause or distractions in your posts.
Are Your Links Easy to Follow?
The most important aspect of linking is to make sure you do it where the readers' interest is piqued to click through, and also, it's important to not lose them when they do click away. Don't forget to select the option, or add in the “target_blank” coding so that it opens in a new window.
Get your readers to the other pages as quickly as possible, by stripping out extraneous code out of the links. If you found the product through Google, ShopStyle, and even your RSS reader, there may be a lot of extra characters (and other sites' affiliate info) in the link. You can extract to clean up the links. Just look for the breaking point, which can, usually, be found by looking for the following: “&” “utm_source=” “siteID=” “affiliate” or “?”. Delete it. Refresh the link and make sure it works in its new, trim version.
Of course, always make sure that you clearly note if it's a sponsored post, which items may have been gifted or given to you gratis. I hope that these protocols to consider to not leave your readers hanging when reading your post comes in handy the next time you find yourself doing a once-over prior to publishing it!
What suggestions would you add?
[Image credit: Shutterstock.com]