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Bloggers: 7 questions to ask before hitting "Publish"

There are many things a blogger should check before hitting the “Publish” button. One of the greatest mistakes a blogger can make is hitting the publish button too soon. I wish I could say I have never made that mistake but I have made it more times than I would like to admit!

Here are 7 questions that I ask before I hit the "publish" button:

1. Have I read the post in its entirety after finishing it?

I know that sounds obvious but many bloggers don't read what they wrote before publishing it.  When we fail to do this, our post may not make sense or we may miss an important point that we wanted to make.  Take the time to read the entire post.  It is well worth the effort!

2. Have I chosen my title carefully?

I strongly believe that the title is the most important part of the post because unless the title grabs the attention of visitors, there is a good chance that they won't read the post!  A good title should draw people in.  I have found that titles with numbers in them work well (i.e 23 ways to know it is going to be a really bad day).  Also, compelling titles (i.e. Kill your stress before it kills you!) and titles with questions (i.e. Why can't we?) work well too.

3. Have I proofread it?

Again, this sounds obvious but it is not! If I don't take the time to do a thorough proofread before I hit "Publish" there will be typos and spelling mistakes ... guaranteed!  If possible, have someone else proofread it for you.  I always find that helpful.

4. Have I linked to one or more of my older posts?

If you are anything like me, you have many great posts that haven't been read by a lot of people and it's a shame (to me anyway;).  Linking to older posts inside your post helps bring those posts out into the light.  It also helps to complement or expand on the information that you have written. 

5. Have I made sure that all my links are working?

I hate clicking on broken links!  It frustrates me to no end!  Unfortunately, it does not take much to create a broken link.  All it takes is omitting a letter, a dot, or misspelling a word.  Readers will get frustrated when the link they click on doesn't work!

6. Have I included a captivating image?

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  If that is true then why not use one in your post? Images are a great way to entice people to read the rest of your post. I work very hard at trying to find the perfect image for each post.  I typically use Google Images for this.

7. Have I included one or more ways to engage with my readers?

Blogging isn't a monologue for me.  I want to build community with my blog.  I want to engage with my readers.  To do this, I always ask a question or two or make a call to action at the end of each of my posts.

By asking these questions before I hit the "Publish" button I have saved myself and my readers a lot of grief and frustration.

What do you check before hitting the "publish" button? Have I missed anything important?  Please share your responses below!


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Join The Conversation

  • Jun 20 Posted 7 years ago alaminmohammad Kevin don't use another's thought try to write your thought. This post published before you in dbt. So don't copy other. I know you can write better too. Thanks
  • Jun 5 Posted 7 years ago BryanFoster Kevin

    I would also like to add two more: 8. Is my content relevant for my demographic target? 9. Have I correctly allowed for SEO?


  • Jun 3 Posted 7 years ago BrandonWatt A very helpful post full of rules to blog by!

    I have posted many times only to realize I missed a grammatical mistake or some major formatting issue.

  • Jun 2 Posted 7 years ago LauraG1 Great post - a helpful list I've tacked up by the desk of everyone who writes for the SFSPCA blog - litterdidyouknow.com 
  • Jun 2 Posted 7 years ago KevinMartineau @Ileane Great points Ileane!  I have been guilty of reposting links that are already being posted through other means. :)

    @Debbie Yes, SEO is important too!

    @Lance Great points! 

    @Venita LOL!  Yep, questions have to be compelling!

  • webermedia's picture
    May 28 Posted 7 years ago webermedia Hi Kevin,
    Thanks for the post. I'd add SEO to the list. In wordpress you can use the all-in-one SEO plug-in--being able to further tweak the title for search engine optimization, keywords and description. Also important is determining tags and categories before hitting publish.

    Debbie Hemley



  • Ileane Smith's picture
    May 27 Posted 7 years ago IleaneSmith Hi Kevin, nice to find you guest posting here. Sometimes it's a good idea to schedule a post to publish at a later date or time in the future. One other thing I often see bloggers ignore is the number of social networks that are broadcasting the post. If all of your post are auto Tweeted through RSS, double check before you manually post it or ping it out to 3 or 4 different services so that your stream isn't flooded with the same post announcement. 

    Thanks for the links Kevin.
  • May 27 Posted 7 years ago KevinMartineau @Ron I love that idea!  Thanks for sharing it!

    @Russ Great point Russ!  For me, that is part of what I am looking for in the first initial read.  There have been many times where I have totally changed the post after the first read.

  • May 27 Posted 7 years ago RussPratt Great article.  One of the things I don't but wish I did every time ties to reading before hitting publish and also am I engaging my target, and that is "Am I striking the right tone" Being passionate about the subject is one thing, unintentionally turning off or insulting someone is something else.
  • RonHeimbecher's picture
    May 27 Posted 7 years ago RonHeimbecher I keep a decent digital camera handy for when I see something that might either a) be appropriate for a post I have in mind or b) something I see that triggers an idea for a post.

    I also use a large number of licensed images. They can be pretty inexpensive for web sized files. I think I'm probably averaging about $1.25 per purchased image.


  • May 27 Posted 7 years ago KevinMartineau Thanks for all the great and encouraging comments everyone!

    @Shannon Good question to ask!  Once in a while I like to step out of my specific targeted audience.  I have met some great people this way! :)

    @Ron Great point!  This is something that I need to be more diligent about.  I recently heard of someone being fined $300 (not a lot of money but too much for me to waste!) for using an image on their website.

  • May 27 Posted 7 years ago DannyBrown (not verified) Great point by Ron - bloggers always complain (and rightly so) about their content being stolen via RSS scrapers. The least they can do is not do the same back.

    I use PhotoDropper - http://photodropper.com - which is a great WordPress plug-in that searches Creative Commons images on Flickr, and attributes a link back to that person.

    Even if you're not on WordPress, there are a ton of ways to make sure full credit for the image is given.



  • RonHeimbecher's picture
    May 27 Posted 7 years ago RonHeimbecher One important thing to add to item #6 is that the images are appropriately credited and that their use does not violate the photographer's copyright.

    The downside to Google images is that people incorrectly assume that if they found the image via image search that they have a legal right to use it. Not true.

    "Fair Use" within copyright law is very narrowly defined, and illustrating a blog does not automatically qualify. Bloggers should always completely understand the terms of use before using an image (perhaps the copyright owner simply wants credit, or to have a link to the photo's original location.)

  • GWSMedia's picture
    May 27 Posted 7 years ago GWSMedia Great checklist - thanks very much. I particularly liked points 4 & 7 - so important for making blogs work to their full potential.

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