Monday, April 10, 2017

Blog Editing Checklist

by Edie Melson

Lately, I’ve notice more and more typos creeping into my blog posts. It’s not a fun thing to admit, but it’s because I’ve become complacent about editing. 

Oh I could blame it on being busy, or life getting crazy, but the truth is...I’ve gotten sloppy.

It’s easy to do. We’re a third of the way through the year, things are going well with my blog, and my concentration has been elsewhere. Still no excuse. 

So today I’m going back to the basics. I’m posting the checklist I use before I hit the publish/schedule button for a blog. It’s not a long involved process, but it will ensure those annoying typos become much less commonplace.

Before I get to the list you should know I compose my blog posts in a word document, with very little formatting. I use Times, 12-point font. I use block formatting, everything justified left and an extra blank line between paragraphs. I have my Microsoft word set up with no default extra blank spaces inserted after a hard return. 

Here's why I go to this trouble:
  • First, it gives me a back-up of everything I post on my blogs.
  • Second, it’s easier to check for misspelled words here rather than in the compose pane of my blog.
Blog Edit Check List
1. I begin the process in Microsoft Word by looking for misspelled words. First checking for the ones underlined in red, then checking some common words that have more than one spelling. Here’s a short list of ones that frequently get by me:
  • Lose vs. loose.
  • Chose vs. choose.
  • Its vs. it’s.
  • There vs. they’re vs. their.
  • Your vs. you’re.
2. At this point, I stop to copy and paste the post into the compose window of my blog. This is when I add the additional formatting, like bullet points, numbered lists, etc. I wait to add these to my blog because most of this type of  formatting doesn’t copy and paste accurately. The reason for this due to the code involved with publishing a blog to the web. When you're working in a compose window of a blog, it's a text editor. This is very different than a word processing program. 

Use the remove formatting icon to fix format issues.
NOTE: Especially with blogs that are on Blogger, sometimes, weird formatting accidently gets copied over to my post and I can’t seem to get rid of it. This could be extra spaces between lines, weird formatting for bullet points, or even odd indentions. If I can’t make the text behave, I have a fool-proof way to tame the text. I highlight the offending paragraph and click on the REMOVE FORMATTING icon at the top of the page. It’s easy to find, it’s a capital T with a red x at the base. There is a remove formatting option on all major blogging platforms, although the way you get to is is different. Once I click that button, I can add back in the formatting I want.

To find this option in WordPress, click on the FORMAT tab and choose the icon that looks like an eraser and says remove formatting. 

3. Stop & assess ways to break up the text. Although I've done of the bold headings in the word doc, I'm still looking for natural breaks or shifts in the content. By denoting these with a bold heading, I make my post more reader friendly.
4. Next I add the featured image to illustrate the post. If I find it necessary, I'll also add other images in the body of the text. I do that less now because it's so time-consuming, but there are instances (like with the image above), that it makes sense to use more than one image. 

NOTE: Images aren't searchable in a search engine, so be sure to add a caption to every image or graphic. 

5. Now that I have the images loaded, I go to the preview window to see if the font type is correct (verdana for this site, again this is primarily a Blogger issue), and all the spacing lines up. Here’s what I’m looking for:
  • I want an extra, blank line between paragraphs (no indentions allowed).
  • I don't want extra lines anywhere else.
  • I make certain the text and the pictures line up well, with the top of the picture even with the top of a paragraph.
  • I also make sure there isn’t an odd or short line of text sticking out anywhere around the photos.
Insert a Jump Break or Read More Tag to posts.

6. I insert a jump break. This is something I find helpful for a Blogger site.

On WordPress, it's done by inserting a Read More Tag. I want to make sure the home page of my blog is easily scannable.

7. Finally, I return to the compose window and read the entire post out loud. I know it sounds weird, but this is a VITAL step. Our brains uses different pathways when we read something out loud and we’re less likely to insert things we want to see on the page versus what's actually there. This is when I add any commas or other punctuation marks I may have missed.

These steps won't insure a perfect post every time, but they will cut way back on incidental typos.

Now I'd like to know what you do to insure a clean blog before you hit publish. Any tips you share about your process can help us all get better.

Don't forget to join the conversation!



  1. Very helpful blog. Thank you! I also ask someone I trust to read and edit for me when I think I am ready to cut and past into my blog post window.

    1. Loretta, that's a great thing to do! Blessings, E

  2. Great checklist, Edie! I also like to verify that any links I include work properly.

    1. Lynette, I need to add that to the list! That's so important. A dead link doesn't just irritate the readers but affects the site's entire search engine ranking. Blessings, E

  3. so much yes!! i not only create as a word doc but i save them all in folders - each feature on my blog has a folder, with separate folders for each date - i can save images used and any other notes - my OCD comes in hands! LOL

    1. Robin, great way to stay organized! Blessings, E

  4. Grammarly and ProWritingAid My best friends.

    1. Tina, those are excellent resources. Thanks so much for sharing them! Blessings, E