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9 Essential Questions to Ask Yourself Before Posting to Your Blog

Speed-PostingHaraldJohnsen asks “As a quality control, what are the most important questions to ask before hitting ‘submit’ / posting a blog post?”

Great question Harald – I actually think that most of us as bloggers could improve many of our posts by pausing before hitting ‘submit/publish’ and asking a few basic questions about the post. Here are a few questions that I ask myself:

  • Does this post give something useful and unique to my readers?
  • Will it enhance their lives in some way or is it ‘fluff’?
  • Is the spelling correct?
  • Does the post make sense grammatically?
  • What could I cut out of the post to make it more concise?
  • How could I make the post easier to ‘scan’ for readers (headings, formatting, images etc)?
  • Is the title engaging? Does it draw people into the post?
  • Could I give this post a little more time before publishing to ‘mature’? Would coming back to it tomorrow help me to add depth to it?
  • Have I written on this topic before and can I link to it?

I only had 3 minutes to write this post as part of my SpeedPosting series – so I’m interested to hear what questions you’d add to the list?

Update: Just before publishing this post I thought I’d take my own advice and search my archives to see what I’ve written on the topic before and found 13 Questions to Ask Before Publishing a Post on Your Blog which has even more questions to ask.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. How about…

    Is my first paragraph strong enough to keep the reader wanting more? It kind of fits in with having a catchy title.

    I really like the points you make on keeping it concise. I think most readers tune out when a post is too long.

    Doyle Slayton
    Executive Director & Sales Strategist
    http://www.SalesBlogcast.com

  2. I also like to find an image that I can add to the post – if nothing really grabs me then I don’t use one, but it’s fun if it spices up the post.

  3. Chetan says:

    Grammatical checks and proof reading is a must always. As the quality of the post depends on the spelling and grammar minimized there. One more question i ask myself before posting a post in my dentistry blog is -
    Is the matter real and have any citations that prove the matter to be correct?

  4. david cheong says:

    As always till now, I’m always worry about my spelling part and so does the english grammar, which might mis-lead readers.

  5. Cindy King says:

    Well, you already have this one on your list.

    But the question I need to ask myself most before posting, is should I let this sit for a while and come back to it later.

    That is the most important one to me. I often post and realize a day later it wasn’t ready.

    This is really a big, big question. And I don’t always give it the attention it deserves.

  6. Al Maawali says:

    I think I focus more on these two:
    # Is the spelling correct?
    # Does the post make sense grammatically?

    I dunno.. I guess that’s because english is my second language?

    BTW, this speed posting idea is amazing, although, I am not I can make it happen. I hope you don’t mind if I steal this idea for someday?

  7. MrCooker says:

    Just like JoLynn Braley said. Adding a picture to a post can spice it up a bit.

    Your 9 points are kind of obvious, but there are quite some times when I forget to check some of them.

  8. John Stewart says:

    No 4 on your list is a really big one for me…

    If I visit a website or blog with horrific spelling and/or grammatical errors, puts me off for life!

    Saying that, I’m now praying my blog doesn’t have any mistakes, haha!!

    Good post!!

  9. Some very nice tips there. I especially like the linking to older post one as it’s really a convenient way for your visitors to see more of your content without having to look around your categories… And looking at your posted post and realizing that: “this is just fluff” is one of the most annoying things that can happen.

  10. a husband says:

    I always try to ask myself whether or not I’m talking about one idea. It’s so easy to get off topic and then make your original topic fuzzy. I have to constantly ask, “Is this ONE idea coming through or not?”

  11. Tink *~*~* says:

    There is nothing I would add to the list… but I’d like to know how you got through that list in only three minutes :D

    Tink *~*~*
    http://MyMobileAdventures.blogspot.com</A

  12. SpaceAgeSage says:

    Darren, this list matches yours, but uses the letter “V” to help with memorization:

    1) Visually eye-catching? — less run on sentences, use bullets, photo, etc.

    2 ) Voice of the post appropriate? — versus preachy or too angry?

    3) Value of the writing — is it worthwhile?

    4) Vibrantly written — filled with word pictures or insight or humor?

    5) Viewpoint — can I add someone else’s perspective to my own?

    6) Verify — did I check my facts?

    7) Valid — does this really fit with my blog?

  13. i think one question I’m learning to ask myself is
    “Have I read through it fro start to finish in one go?”

    i discovered that its easy to jump from one train of thought to the other while writing a post, on the surface it may look okay, but sometimes it looses that purposeful sharpness that can give your readers something specific to go with after reading your post.

    I’ll be sure to use your list as a check for my own subsequent posts. Thanks.

  14. Hey, thanks Darren! :)

  15. I have just printed this list in big bold fonts and mounted it above my computer on the wall in a frame.

    Thanks Darren.

  16. Stan Dubin says:

    Could you elaborate on what one does to the headings, formatting and images to make the post easier to “scan” by the readers?

  17. Darren Rowse says:

    Stan – check out this post for more on how web users scan content online and how you can write with this in mind.

  18. Goldenzen says:

    Have I given my readers something worth them taking their NOW to read? Is it a take away, or simply words?

  19. I think the two points I would add and ones I know I’m constantly guilty of my self are:

    1. Did I stay On topic?

    2. Is it relevent to my readership type and complimenting my other articles or am I possibly crossing over into a new readership area that could also be interested in my other articles and therefore grow my reader base?

  20. Damien says:

    I think you’ve been stalking me Darren:

    10 Questions Every Blogger Should
    Ask Themselves Before Posting

    http://www.copyblogger.com/10-blogging-questions/

  21. Go-Gulf says:

    I think one of the things that gets severely underestimated is the time commitment that consistently blogging takes. A lot of people are avid blog readers prior to venturing into blogging themselves. But, until you start actively blogging, many dont understand the time that it takes to decide on topics, research and develop content regularly.

  22. Laura says:

    i understand why u would take all these things into account, but also i would say, for the sake of blogging, something u should ask yourself is ‘am i taking this all a bit too seriously?’ not meant in a rude way at all. im not dedicated enough to blog avidly and sometimes i wish i was but i just think sometimes people need to take a step back and realise its all a bit of fun, different to if you’re writing a factual book or article?
    Hope this is taken in the way it is intended!