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13 Questions to Ask Before Publishing a Post On Your Blog

1. What was the main point of this post? have I made it clearly?

2. What do I want readers of this post to do? have I led them to this action?

3. Have I written something useful?

4. Have I written something unique?

5. Has what I’ve written taken me closer or further away from my blog’s goals?

6. Have I used a title that draws people into my post?

7. Are my spelling and grammar correct?

8. Could I have said it more succinctly?

9. Have I credited sources of quotes and inspiration?

10. Have I written something previously that relates to this post that I could link to? has someone else?

11. Have I left room for my readers to add something to this post? have I invited them to?

12. What keywords will people search Google for on this topic? have I optimized this post for those words?

13. How could I follow this post up with another that extends it?

Image by Elín Elísabet

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 and LinkedIn.
  1. Excellent set of questions to ask yourself before blogging. I would also include: Have I created inspiration for this post, whether or not it was to start a comment war, an answer from readers, or for them to go do something on their own, etc. etc.

    Thanks for the tips, Darren.

    Justin Dupre

  2. Thank you so much for this post!!! I’m just getting started on blogging and your blog has been incredibly helpful in pointing me in the right direction.

  3. Great list. I’ve been thinking about this with regards to my own blog. I’m not sure I’m staying on topic with a lot of my posts. Any feedback from other readers is welcome.

    I’ll probably use this list to write my next posts.

  4. Great post. I think I’ll print it up and tape it to my monitor.

    I would also like to add something Seth Godin would say, “is it remarkable?”

  5. Excellent…this is now permanent fixture in my WordPress admin section. :)

  6. Wow… there is so much I’ve been missing in my blogging. This is really a mind expanding list and I see now I could write much better posts rather than just the ramblings I write now.

    @Ryan Detzel, you mention this list being a permanent fixture in your WordPress admin section – can you point me to an article that explains how to do that?

  7. Hard copied and on my bulletin board. Need to have something in my face for awhile until habit becomes ingrained. Thanks, Darren.

  8. This is a great list. One of those that you can read over and over.

  9. Good stuff — sort of a “pre-flight” checklist before launch! Thanks for the tip.

  10. While a lot of blogger would like to do that, I don’t think enough of them find the time. When blogging is not the top thing on your list of things to do in a day, it’s easy for blogging time to get pinched. For someone in college; classes, homework, labs, a part time job, and sleep are going to take presidency over blogging, so they either have to hold off the post for another day or even week or just publish it without checking it much.

  11. Answer to Question 11 is: NO. And NO, NOT REALLY. :-)

  12. Is my Spelling and Grammar Correct?

    Nope. Why are spelling and grammar capitalized? LOL, great checklist, though. This is exactly the sort of thing that more bloggers should be doing if they want to rise to the top. I especially appreciate the questions about alignment with blog goals and desired reader actions.

  13. oops, fat fingers- I mean #14

  14. For you WordPress users I made a plugin for this, I think it’s worth it and I was bored. :P


  15. a great list and a good example of using this type of post to get readers deeper into your site (by the use of those strategically placed links)

  16. I think this post represents a useful thing for bloggers who’ve been writing for a while to do: occasionally sum up what’s been written before. But this is a particularly creative way to do it. Well done!

  17. I’ve just installed the plugin and I’m loving it! Great list, thanks!

  18. Darren, thanks for the awesome checklist. I no longer have any excuses in writing sub-par posts.

  19. Great job. This is the best post I’ve read here in months.

  20. Great checklist. Bookmarking this one to del.icio.us. I’ve started reading them aloud to my husband if he’s around. It helps me catch errors or things I’d like to phrase better just reading them aloud. And he gives me feedback on simple things like whether it makes sense, how I might make it more useful, etc.

  21. Perfect criteria for writing posts for your own blog. Thanks for this list. Its also a great set of questions to ask when thinning out your reading list. If people ONLY subscribed to these types of posts, it would force people to deliver higher quality posts as well in order to get readers.

  22. A great checklist and one I think I, too, need to print off!

    One I might add is:
    – Could this post link to something I’ll write in the future?

    If a post gives me an idea for a follow-up or a series, I often mention at the bottom that I’ll be doing a whole series on the topic.

    For example, I’m posting an “excuse-busting” series on my blog at present, tackling common reasons that people use to avoid making the diet/exercise changes they know they should. The first post was a list of these excuses, subsequent ones deal with each in turn.

    Anyway, great post, and one that I suspect lots of us need to take on board!


  23. great checklist!

  24. Very useful checklist. I think it’s nearly impossible though to make every post stellar if you’re posting every day or more than once a day.

  25. Really good checklist. Even I am not sure if Q.4 is adjustable “on flow”, in every post, rather something to be considered in long term.

  26. Darren, I noticed that you use a copyrighted photo from Flickr. I just mention it in case you thought it has a CC licence. Two weeks ago a girl from Germany just settled a case with a Norwegian political party that had used a picture of her sister on the cover of their magazine… stolen from Flickr. They paid her something like 6000 euros to avoid a lawsuit. So be careful in case you didn’t buy the rights :)

  27. Forget printing it out, I just tattoo’d this list on the inside of my eyelids. Such a simple list, yet we all overlook at least one or two of these almost every time we post. Thank You

  28. Thanks for the post. I am relatively new to blogging. I have seen your sight for quite some time and I dropped by before, but I am going have to do this some more.

    The 13 questions are very thought provoking. I will have to remember those questions each time I submit a post.

  29. Great list.

    Writing blog entries with your personality shining through is also important. It’s what gives a blog flair or it’s own style.

    For example:
    John Chow’s entries are not always grammatically correct, but they get their point across. His restaurant reviews are not always well received, but it makes his blog different.
    On the other hand, your blog is always straightforward and very informational.
    ShoeMoney tends to be passionate and emotional. He has no problem shooting off some steam or using a few “colorful” words.
    Dooce is completley off the wall. That’s why people keep coming back. You just never know what sh’e s going to say.
    Perez Hilton? The hair says it all!

    BTW, thanks for the link love you sent me yesterday!

  30. Nice list, I would also add “is it fun re-reading the post? Is it too long/too short?” Sometimes it helps to read it with the eyes of a stranger and see if the length is good enough.

    Thanks for the inspirational post! Loved rule # 6, actually thought about a title (and blogged about it):

    [b]Google.com: is it really a PageRank 10 website?[/b]

  31. Great list! I’ve created a sticky on my desktop with its content.

  32. Great example of the post demonstrating the content. I Need to put this up where I can see it. The links that dive deeper makes for a rich post as well. With all these tutorials floating around there is no reason why we can’t all write effectively. Thanks again for the continued flow of insight.

  33. A host of good points. No pun intended.

    It’s very rare that people take the time and ask self-reflective comments, in writing and elsewhere. Imagine how much time could be saved if people always said “Hey, is this worthwhile” before they took action.

  34. What about…

    14) Is this post visually stimulating

    15) Are there any interactive elements that will add to my post (i.e. You Tube videos)

    I love the first 13! You my friend are my next Though Leader profile.


  35. A good way to correct “Spelling and Grammar Mistakes” is to use ms-word application.

    I always check my posts in word before it goes public.

  36. This is a great post and gives great insight into what I need to be doing for my new blog. Everyone come out and check it out. I appreciate you doing this for all of us trying to be like you and get our opinions out into the world.


  37. Useful, but if I had to go through that checklist every time I write a post, I’d get nothing done.

  38. thanks all for your suggestions and feedback. I might write a followup post with some of your questions.

  39. Great list there :)
    Spelling and grammar are a point of concern which decides a part of quality of our blog and posts.

  40. Great list, Danielle. Very sensible.
    Everyone seems to agree. Lotsa comments here!

  41. Wow! I’ve been missing some of those elements myself. Thanks for this great checklist.

  42. I liked it how you made a link for further reading, this article is something you should add in your top 10 links:)
    It is also a very printable post :) I just printed it thanks…
    Make sure you though.

  43. Darren, it’s posts like this that make me love you! I read ProBlogger via the Feedburner email and every now and then I email posts to my staff as required reading. You make my life easier by putting into words my thoughts and direction for my writers! Today I told this to print out this post and tape up near their computers to review before they publish new posts.

    Hugs from the suburbs of New Jersey!


  44. I have been so guilty of not doing a follow-up to previous posts (even when I promised to…) but with this useful guidelines on what to do before you publish…I will be doing more thinking before I decide to hit on the “Publish” button next time.

    Thank you

  45. Great post – just found your site and it is very helpful and insightful. I think I often forget to ask for feed back – though I desperatley want it. I need to leave some open ended questions. I only get that ‘feed back’ when I strike on a touchy subject that gets the troops all ralliede up. I think they should make bloggers read your blog before posting….mandatory!


  46. These questions are very interesting to ask. However, if I may add two more, not that 13 is an unlucky number but also I think they are relevant.

    14.0 Did I make it readable? One good reason I like your posts is because you do not allow your readers suffer from bumping thier heads while they are reading. They have enough font size and has clear and white background.

    15.0 Did I use common English words? The reality is not all readers are fluent in English and some of them has to get a dictionary just to understand what you want to say.

    Actually, I made a post about How to post a Good Post not so long ago and most of your questions has been discussed there, including my added ones.

    Thanks for reminding us though.

  47. Excellent checklist.

    The spelling and grammar are my weakness. I type way slower than I think..so my stuff is full of typos. I hit submit way too fast.

    Have to remember that the reader is not going to know what I meant.

  48. Great checklist. It clearly argues for me to quit blogging. Thanks.

  49. This is a kind of TO-DO I was expecting. I’m bookmarking this. Also, the point.4, do you think that it is always archived?

    Also the interlinking I myself have experienced it in my blog. That is always a great TO-DO.

  50. Perhaps a newb in blogging has to consult this great list each time he/she writes a post, yet it comes naturally to experienced bloggers.

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