7 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Publish Your Content

You’ve just written a fantastic piece of web content. You’ve cleaned it up, checked your spelling, and fixed all the grammatical errors. You’re ready to hit the “submit” button, right?

Don’t hit that button just yet! Have you considered your audience? Your headline? Your promotional strategies?

No?

Then your piece isn’t ready for publication. Here are seven questions you need to ask before you hit that submit button.

1) What is this content really about?

Don’t say photography. Don’t say it’s about pet care, fashion, or social networking. These are all great examples of subjects, but your content needs to have a narrow, specific focus. Write about photographing newborns. Write about dog grooming tips, Betsy Johnson’s fall line, or marketing your blog on Facebook.

If you find anything in your content that doesn’t specifically relate to your defined focus, you need to cut it, tighten it, or scrap it.

2) Who am I writing for?

Who makes up your audience? Are you writing for academics who will want to see your sources? Are you trying to persuade customer to check out your website? Are you writing a linkbait piece for college kids?

Pretend you’re a member of your target audience (or better yet, have someone you know in that target audience read over your work). Is anything jarring? Does your phrasing seem out-of-place or off-putting?

3) Do I have a killer headline?

Your headline will make or break your content. Give your content the must-read factor: a title so catchy that your readers feel they have to click on your content. If your headline isn’t engaging, why should readers believe your content will be any better?

4) Did I choose and utilize smart keywords?

Don’t go keyword-crazy. Keyword stuffing makes your content look spammy. However, you should utilize keyword tools naturally in your content to make sure your content will do well on the search engines. Just make sure you use your keywords naturally— your readers will be turned off by awkwardly placed keywords.

5) Is my content “shareable?”

Is it something you’d want to share with either your family, friends, or colleagues? Could you see yourself posting it on Twitter? How about Facebook? Aim to make your content as share-worthy as possible– you’ll gain much more traction and web traffic.

6) Where am I going to promote this?

You’ve got to share your content before the rest of the world can do the same. Where would your content get the most traction? Like-minded Twitter accounts? Social bookmarking sites like Digg or StumbleUpon? What about topic-based forums or your LinkedIn groups? Find outlets for your target audience and get ready to promote your content like crazy.

7) Am I happy with this piece?

It may sound touchy-feely, but there’s no reason to publish something if you’re not satisfied with it. You may need to tweak some sections or (we shudder to say it) scrap the whole thing, but publishing content you’re proud of is well worth the extra work.

Need Some Extra Help?

  • Looking for a free, easy-to-use keyword tool? Start with Google’s.
  • Got a grammatical or style question? Few writing resources are more respected than Purdue’s OWL.
  • For those new to SEO, check out SEO guides or SEO copywriting blogs.

Guest post by Nicki Porter. Nicki graduated summa cum laude from Old Dominion University with a B.A. in English and her writing has appeared in publications like The Albion Review and the Wildwood Journal.

When not writing for CopyPress, Nicki can be found wandering through farmers’ markets, making a mess of her kitchen, or snapping photos with her trusty camera.