If your New Year’s goal was to blog more for your business, then we congratulate you. Creating a steady stream of valuable content really is the best way to carve out your niche and get your message out to the right people.
Once you’ve got into the swing of writing, you’ll come to recognise the euphoria that accompanies the finishing of a great blog article. There will be five minutes when what you’ve just written is the most important thing that’s ever been written in the entire world on that subject. There’s not a moment to waste – you have to share it now, this very second, your life and the sanity of the world depends upon it!
There’s also a drive to be finished with it, particularly if you’re in the grip of the resolution fuelled New Year’s spirit. Ticking it off your things-to-do list would make you feel better, so you’re itching to upload.
The very best thing to do now is not to press send, but to save the document, close it, and go back and look at again tomorrow with clearer, more cynical eyes.
Just a few hours distance should make you better able to check the piece for the following common mistakes.
Five things to do before you press ‘publish’
1. Is it on target? It felt like it was at the time, but writing can be deceptive sometimes. Ask yourself if it is genuinely useful for your clients? It might be that some simple tweaking is all that’s needed to pull it back in line, or it might be that you need to put it on hold for longer. Great ideas are never wasted, but they do need the right format to fly. Don’t be scared of pulling something if you know it’s not right.
2. Have you missed any words out? Easily done when the prose is flying. Check your copy slowly and carefully to make sure it makes sense.
3. Have you repeated words? Again, it’s a common mistake when you’re writing fast. Check again.
4. Is it spelt correctly? Is it the right word? Spell check picks up most errors – but it won’t pick up mis-substituted words. Don’t let something go out until it makes perfect sense.
5. Is the grammar right? Developing a natural and engaging tone of voice doesn’t mean you can stop writing proper, like. Inaccurate grammar halts readers in their tracks, and it makes your writing hard to understand. If you’re not sure, ask someone else to check too. Even if you are sure, a second pair of eyes is never a bad idea.
So, do start writing, and keep at it, but make sure you build a window of editing and reflection time into your blogging schedule. And Happy New Year!