The writing process is a chance to let creativity fly and tell a story with your own words.
Another, less glamorous part of the writing process is editing.
As you may know, proofreading is essential for any blog or ebook. It makes your work look professional, and without editing, it’s unclear to know how many mistakes or readability problems being published.
Remembering every single little grammar and editing rule is nonsense. While many become instincts over time, humans are known to make mistakes. That’s why we’ve created a checklist for you to use while editing so you have a point of reference while proofreading.
This list isn’t just about grammar rules; it also includes tips from topic selection, SEO, to promotion. Essentially, it can take you from beginning to the end of what you write.
Read on for our complete editing and proofreading checklist — made with the content creator in mind.
The Content Creator’s Editing Checklist
In this checklist, we will go over nine sections, listed below.
We’ll start at the beginning with topics. Knowing which topic to write about can come from various places, but these tips will double check that what you’re writing about will resonate with your readers and have the chance to rock it with SEO.
buyer personas care about it?
updating and republishing the original draft.
Does this topic have SEO have high potential?
Is this topic relevant to the industry/timely?
Structure & Format
How do you structure your pieces? This section makes sure your content is formatted in the best way for readability. It also provides some room for checking consistency.
Are all major points associated with the topic covered in the post?
high quality and interesting? Have they been resized and compressed so keep page load time short?
We can’t have an editing checklist without a section to double-check your copy. These are little things to make sure the narrative of your writing is succinct and engaging, as well as minor grammar edits.
Does the introduction capture the reader’s attention? Is it interesting enough to get the reader to keep reading?
compelling, and clear?
Does the tone of the writing align with the content being presented?
Any good editor makes sure he/she is giving credit where credit is due. Here’s what to think about.
properly attributed to the original source with a link back?
allowed to use these photos/images?
(Here’s a cautionary tale about internet copyright law.)
Titles are the first exposure most of your readers get to your piece. How are you going to use that to your advantage? Go over some tips for the effectiveness of your title.
(Tip: Keep in mind longer titles will get cut off in search engine results.)
Is the title keyword-conscious without being keyword-heavy and sacrificing user experience and clickthroughs (
see also the section about search engine optimization)?
Style Guide Alignment
Written style guides serve as the commonly acknowledged authority when questions of grammar, punctuation, and style come up in writing. A style guide answers questions like whether you use title case for article titles and headers; whether you capitalize the word internet; or whether you use the Oxford comma.
You can either adopt an already-established style guide, like the AP Stylebook, or create an in-house version that enables you to borrow from different schools of thought and address any nuances specific to your industry or company. The important thing is to be consistent across all content you publish. Here’s the main question you should ask yourself …
(Tip: If you don’t have a style guide, you can download HubSpot’s and customize it as you see fit.)
One of the most important parts of a post, SEO helps others and search engines find your piece. Are you doing all you can to boost that? Check your work below.
keyword research to identify relevant keywords with which to optimize your content?
on-page SEO best practices?
You’re almost there. To make sure your post is excellent rather than mediocre, use this section to do a final run-through.
(It happens. We’ve done it.)
embed codes and adding
Pinterest ‘Pin it’ buttons to proprietary images/infographics/visuals/charts, adding
social sharing buttons, etc.)?
Now that your piece is complete, you’ve gotta promote it. This section gives you different ideas of how to get your writing out there.
or Medium to expose it to other audiences?