10 Things to Do Before Publishing Content
When it comes to online marketing, web content is king. The content of your website, article, or blog can cement or mar your reputation. While the desire to hit the submit button immediately after creating the content is very strong, particularly when you are trying to meet a tight deadline, it is advisable to read through your piece atleast once to ensure that it is completely error free.
Here is a checklist that will help you ensure that your content is as good as it can be.
1. Give a clear message
What is the central idea of your article? Do you say everything you need to say in a concise, clear and easy to follow way? While writing, it may happen that you unintentionally veer off the topic. As a result, somewhere down the line, the content becomes irrelevant. Once you have finished writing and before hitting the submit button, take a small break and then re-read your content and edit it down to improve the focus and clarity of the piece.
2. Target specific audience
Each article or blog post you write does not have to apply to your entire market. But it does have to speak to a relevant segment of your target audience. Think from the reader’s perspective to see whether the information you are providing would be of value to them. The tone of the content should also match your media persona or social persona, depending on where your content will be distributed.
3. Use relevant keywords
Each piece of content that you write for the online media should be focussed around a couple of keywords to support search engine rankings. The keywords should be skilfully woven into the text such that they reinforce the subject matter of your article. Use SEO best practices and ensure the keywords are used at strategic points such as the title, para headings and in the body of the article.
4. Link to additional content
To further support your SEO goals include links to the other content pages you have created. For example, in a product description, you can give a link to your website for more information. These links will help drive traffic to your website.
5. Give an attention-grabbing headline
Many potential readers decide whether to read your content based on the headline you have provided. If it catches their attention, they will in all probability read through your piece. A good headline can make or break your content so give a title which not only grabs attention but clearly summarizes the piece.
6. Include an image
It may sound clichéd but a picture speaks a thousand words. Visual content helps you grab readers. If possible, use images, preferably of people, to maximize impact. Avoid using bland stock photography. Also make sure that you choose photographs that are copyright-cleared and are available for commercial use.
7. Format your content
Format content in a way that it facilitates reading. Make content easy to scan so that your audience can read it via any device including tablets and smartphones. This means use a lot of bullet points and bolding and also keep your content left-aligned.
8. Review your content for grammatical errors
Word processors don’t always capture everything, and besides you may also make the wrong choice of the options suggested, for example, while choosing between they’re and there. It is useful to re-read your content to ensure that it is consistent with grammar and style rules for whatever content outlet you are using.
9. Incorporate a call to action
Each content piece that you create should include a call-to-action – for example, visit your site for more information or to purchase the product you have described, or sign up for a newsletter etc. Ensure that your article clearly directs reader to take the next step.
10. Engage readers
This is all the more important when you wish to encourage readers to share or comment on your content. To take the conversation forward, include questions for readers to address. Also make sure to add social sharing buttons to make it easy for your readers to share your post.