I’ve been known to start a draft post with just a title. Over a period of days I’ll go back and add a paragraph, add some links, add another paragraph, put in a list, move things around and tinker, tinker, tweak. Eventually I’ll hit “Publish” and then find myself tweaking some more. There has to come a time when you’re finished with post but for perfectionists that may be somewhere in the far distant future. How do you know when enough is enough?
When Should You Stop Editing?
- When you’ve answered the question completely
- When you start going off on a tangent
- When you’re tempted to provide more information than the reader needs
- When you’re adding that paragraph so you can show off
- When you jump to a completely different topic
- When your spelling and grammar are accurate
- When your content is formatted for easy-reading
When Should You Stop Updating?
I always cringe when I read a blog post that includes an “update” at the end. What if I’d read that post before the update was added, and what if I didn’t come back to it because I recognized the title as one I’d already read? And I’m sure I’m not the only reader who feels this way.
I rarely, if ever, add more content to a post I’ve already published. If I have more to say on the topic I start a new post and link back to the original. This is better all around. It builds on your internal linking structure, it gives you another URL on the index, and it ensures your readers won’t ignore your update because they’ve already read that post once before.
What About All That Pinging?
There’s some concern about pinging because each time you hit publish your blog may automatically ping the search engines. Constant pinging is a tactic used by spammers so many bloggers are afraid they’re going to bring Google down around their ears if they keep editing and hitting that publish button.
If you’re hitting that button 10 or 20 times a day as you continue to tweak that same post then your problems are much bigger than the search engines.
What You Can Do Instead
- Save it as a draft until you’re absolutely sure you’re ready to publish
- Use the preview button to view your post until you’re absolutely sure you’re ready to publish
- Read your post out loud to make sure you’re staying on-topic and your message is concise and orderly
- Have someone else read your posts before you publish
- Set a time limit and force yourself to stop worrying and just hit “Publish”
- Set a time limit and force yourself to use the entire time polishing your post before you hit “Publish”
Your Constant Editing Is Killing Your Productivity
Obviously, if you can’t give it up, finish a post and move on to the next one, you’re wasting valuable time. Ask yourself why you feel the need to constantly keep updating that post. Are you a perfectionist who just can’t let go? Or are you a sloppy blogger who just can’t get it right the first time? Either way, it’s important to understand that your blogging habits are killing your productivity and you may even be running off your visitors.