The shame of linkus interruptus: 9 things to check before you click publish

Ian Lurie

Some new, some not—my pre-blog publication checklist. I don’t follow these as well as I should, but do as I say, not as I do:

  1. Check links. Make sure they work! I blow this one all the time. It feels really stupid. Spare yourself the embarrassment of linkus interruptus.
  2. Delete the 1st two sentences. Whenever I write a post, the first two sentences turn out to be me prattling on about raccoons or some such. They’re never relevant. So, I either delete them, or move them to the end. Check your post for the same thing. You make your point a lot better when you actually get to it.
  3. Count lines per paragraph. Sounds silly, but try to keep your paragraphs to no more than 5-6 lines each. It’s easier for folks to read. If your paragraphs are longer, give ’em a trim.
  4. Turn two words into one. If you’ve written something in a long form, but know it could be shorter, make it shorter Tighten up your sentences. Your readers will thank you.
  5. Link to related posts. A couple years ago, I started adding the ‘other stuff’ list to each post. My page views immediately went up 25%.
  6. Preview your post. Don’t just review it in your blog editor. Click ‘preview’ and make sure it looks OK. I’ve maimed my poor blog beyond all recognition by ignoring this rule.
  7. Check your spelling. That will catapult you into the top 5% of all bloggers.
  8. Check your grammar. A little intentionally bad grammar is fun. But make sure you’ve got the right their there. Readers take you more seriously.
  9. Think for a second: Should you publish this right now? I’m horrible about this. When I write something, I want it out there right now. Ideally, though, I should consider the time of day and day of the week. For my audience, earlier in the day and earlier in the week is generally better. A Friday post is rarely read. A Tuesday morning post, on the other hand, gets lots of readers.

OK. Now click ‘publish’.

Other stuff

Ian Lurie
CEO & Founder

Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent and the EVP of Marketing Services at Clearlink. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). He's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Follow him on Twitter at portentint, and on LinkedIn at LinkedIn.com/in/ianlurie.

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Comments

  1. Not generally a fan of “me too” comments – but I love #2 – although not often raccoon oriented – I always end up coming across like some pompous news anchor. I think it’s because I spend so much time worrying about those first two sentences – that I don’t worry about the next one – by the time I get to sentence 3 I’m already flowing. Nice tip – reinforces my experience and behavior. Thank you!

  2. @Andrew That’s usually what happens to me, too. I think we naturally want to write a great first sentence or two, so we can’t. Or something.

  3. Can you stop posting all this ridiculously good content please? If I have to tweet another one of your posts for its awesomeness, people will think you’re paying me.
    Wait a minute. I’ve just thought of a great idea…

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