I’ve been blogging for years and trust me, I know the importance of previewing your post before you hit that publish button. Yet it never fails, I always find some mistake after I publish, no matter how many times I preview. So imagine what a blog post looks like by someone who’s just started blogging. And worse, someone who’s just started blogging and never uses the preview button! Oh, yeah. They’re out there. But you know better, now, don’t you?
It’s imperative that you preview before publishing. Nothing looks the same way in the editor box as it does on the page of your blog. Everything lines up differently, fonts don’t look the same, even colors are a little different. Here are the things I preview before I publish each blog post:
Check your spelling
Most blogging platforms have spell-check built into the framework. Use it. When you see that little red squiggly line that means something is spelled wrong. If yours doesn’t have spell-check do your writing in Word and then copy and paste it into the editor using the Word icon at the top.
Check your grammar
Spelling errors and bad grammar are the two things which will immediately destroy your credibility. Words like “they’re, there and their” are all spelled properly so they won’t show up in your spell check. However, they have completely different meanings and using them in the wrong context is annoying for your reader and it makes you look uneducated.
Whatever language you’re blogging in, learn the grammar rules.
Check image alignment
When you upload images in your editor they’re lined up one way, but when you preview and look at your blog post those images are sometimes in a completely different position. Who care, right? At least they’re in there. (Notice how I just used they’re and there?) Your readers care, that’s who!
It all comes back to a professional blog appearance. Magazine editors don’t just slip in images wherever they land and you shouldn’t either. It makes you page look sloppy and throws all your text out of line.
Check headings and sub-headings
Sometimes when you use headings and sub-headings it pulls in the surrounding text. If you don’t preview you won’t see that and your whole blog post might go out under H1 tags.
Check quotation marks
One of the rules of online writing is to break up your text with some white space. Use those quotation marks up there. If you’re not actually quoting someone, pull a particularly important sentence or paragraph down and put it inside those large quotation marks. It highlights that bit of content making it more memorable for your reader.
Before you publish make sure your permalinks are set the way you want them. If you changed anything in your title then you may need to adjust the permalinks so they match.
This should be obvious. You put those links in there for a reason. Make sure they work.
Check categories and tags
Don’t forget to assign each blog post to one category and give it tags to further identify your content.