The last newbie blogging mistake I discussed was ignoring or overdoing SEO. This post will delve into what should (and shouldn’t) happen once you’ve written the blog post.
It’s tempting, especially when it’s taken you a long time to write, to hit the “Publish” button as soon as you’ve put the content together. However, this is the easiest way to ensure that your post goes live while riddled with errors—related to grammar, formatting or other oversights.
As a new blogger, the last thing you want to do is leave a bad impression on readers, especially because a small thing like a few spelling mistakes in your posts is enough to turn them off for good. It implies carelessness at best and unprofessionalism at worst.
Proofread and Edit
One of the biggest newbie blogging mistakes that you can make is not proofreading and editing your writing. I see many blogging guides suggest that writers get Grammarly to proofread their posts. I wouldn’t recommend this. Although it’s certainly a leading tool in this area, there are a lot of mistakes that it can’t detect and it is in no way a good replacement for a human. If you don’t have the time or skills to proofread yourself, consider hiring a professional, especially if you plan to blog for a long period and/or make money out of it.
Then there’s editing to make sure that your post is succinct and trustworthy:
- Split up very long sentences
- Cut out wordiness, redundancy, etc.
- Double-check facts such as statistics
- Check the flow of content between paragraphs
- Take out anything slightly irrelevant or inappropriate
Finalize Before Publishing
Apart from mistakes in the actual text, there’s plenty of other things that can go wrong if you don’t review the post before hitting Publish. One way of catching potential problems, if your CMS allows it, is to view the post in “preview mode” to see how it would look when live. Here’s a basic checklist of what to look out for:
- All images are sized and aligned correctly.
- Any info from external sources is clearly attributed.
- The date and time of publishing has been set correctly.
- The live URL of your post is customized with keywords.
- All hyperlinks are working (and ideally open in a new tab).
- Metadata such as a page description, keywords, etc. has been added.
- Formatting elements, e.g. font, spacing, headings and so forth, look right.
Remember: the Preview button is your friend! Is there anything I left out that you check before publishing a blog post? If so, let me know in the comments…