Blogging: Top Tips Before Pressing Publish

A couple of weeks ago I divulged to a new acquaintance that I wrote a history blog and her response was interest and a question, ‘But who proofreads for you?’ 

That would be me.

Sadly, I’ve no-one at home who I can ask for a quick proofread. There is interest in what I write, but not enough to read a longer post and if I’m honest, they wouldn’t pick up the same grammatical errors or typos that I would expect to be picked up by a proofreader. 

I’m not infallible and sometimes little things do escape my notice, particularly at the end of a long piece of writing, when I’m less inclined to notice that autocorrect has completely ruined my sentence. Also, earlier paragraphs will have had frequent scrutiny as I always read from the beginning each time I open up a document on my laptop. The conclusion, therefore, might be a little suspect, although now that I’m aware of this I do try and remember to check! 

Please don’t feel the need to check the final paragraphs of each blog post to see if there are any errors – although it would boost my stats – silver linings, and all that  . . .  

So, to make sure I limit errors in my published work I take the following steps:

  • These days I use Pages on my Mac laptop (I previously used Microsoft Word) and let the computer dictate on spelling, nevertheless, I will ignore and amend the autocorrect function if I’m sure my spelling is correct. If I’m not sure, I do a quick Google search as etymology evolves continually. Consider the word ‘proofread’: initially it was two words – proof read, then hyphenated – proof-read and now modern usage has both words combined into one.
  • I set my document to double-line spacing as this is easier on the eye and looks more professional than single-line spacing.
  • I also justify my work – this means that there is a standard margin on the left and right side of the document. 
  • I try to keep paragraphs limited in length – this is easier to read on electronic devices and saves the reader from facing a wall of words. 
  • I read aloud from top to bottom to ensure my words flow nicely and all paragraphs are linked.
  • Sometimes I need to work on a particular sentence (I have a tendency to write overlong sentences which need to be edited into two coherent sentences). [See what I did there?]
  • I check my punctuation as I write, but sometimes I feel the need to move a misplaced comma. Occasionally I may stress different sections of the sentence when reading and need to rejig. 
  • I check that I’ve started every sentence with a capital letter and ended with a full stop.
  • I try to take a mental break from the work before proofreading. This can be a coffee break, a couple of hours or even a couple of days or more. This is because your brain is used to whatever you have written and it is best to read with fresh eyes that are more likely to spot errors. If you can, ask someone else to check it for you. Peer input can be invaluable, for example, open up new questions and insights to inform your research and writing. Friends can be go-to editors.
coffee please memo pad
Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com
  • Once I have read, reread and reread again. I will copy and paste onto WordPress. 
  • Sometimes when I copy to WordPress I may have to justify again as my previous settings do not always transfer across.
  • I tidy up any bullet points, again sometimes they don’t copy and paste so well. I ensure that If I have used sentences I have added a full stop, otherwise with a simple bullet list, I tend not to.
  • I now get to do the fun stuff  – I add in my hyperlinks (sometimes I have the URL prepared, pasted underneath the paragraph in which it will be placed).
  • I add the photographs and resize accordingly. I try to be consistent within an article, however, I have been experimenting with size recently and have also mosaicked groups of photographs that are similar. I usually centre non-mosaicked photos rather than aligning left or right. Photos are great for breaking up long paragraphs which would otherwise have the reader facing a wall of words.
  • I then select my categories and add in my tags. I have my default category set as ‘History’ and if required I add any other relevant categories. However, this article will be categorised under ‘Blogging’. 
  • I always press ‘preview’ before publishing as seeing the article in its final setting helps highlight inconsistencies or errors.
  • When I’m finally happy everything is reading as expected and photos are sited correctly I will press ‘publish’.

Hopefully, I will have managed to publish the above without any silly errors! Always a worry, however, once published, I will read again! 

This time if I spot something I don’t like – and I usually do – I click ‘edit’ and change the offending word, centre the photo or maybe add in the tag that I forgot. I press ‘update’ and then breathe, another article has been published.

Do you have any rituals before pressing ‘publish’?

37 thoughts on “Blogging: Top Tips Before Pressing Publish

  1. Great tips!! I like he part about reading it out loud, I’ll have to try that next time. I have WordPress through Bluehost so my dashboard looks different. I compose right on it and hope proofread catches most of it. I also usually find an error or two soon after publishing and make my correction. My big paranoia currently is that I accidentally hit publish too soon. I’ve done it twice without catching it for 20 minutes or so. I believe it was a matter of hitting publish when I meant to preview lol. We’re all human, make mistakes and are still learning. Thanks for sharing!!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I read aloud several times, wait a day and then read it again (this is when I catch errors), go back and revise and edit, wait one more day, and then publish.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Having that mental break is crucial – I admit sometimes lately I don’t have a decent break. Invariably, those are the posts that I want to change.
      The bulk of this specific post was mostly written last week, I’ve others that I’ve parked for longer, but they do need more work. I’ve found I’m more impatient with my shorter posts.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I have the same problem. Sometimes I just want to post, post, post so that I can get them out there, but I know it’s better to save them so that I can really work on them. I have several posts in my draft that I am working on so that they get better. I agree. My shorter posts are often rushed. These are the ones that have spelling errors or grammar errors and I have to go back and “update” them.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Great tips. Just a note about justified type: it’s harder to read than ragged right. It looks nice on the page (often), and appeals to many who find it neat and clean. However, it does not enhance readability, it hampers it. Same goes for all caps, for those who use them in headers and do on. All upper case is hard to read. Our eyes appreciate the break that ‘ascenders’ and ‘descenders’ give to our eyes, and make the copy easier to read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Interesting to know. I suppose years of reading has trained me to follow that pattern. I’ve said it before in another post, that it is my personal preference. I do find it neater. Thanks for your feedback. 🙂

      Like

  4. I am fortunate that my husband takes a great interest in my writing and is always ready to proofread before I publish. After I publish he usually rereads it and sometimes finds and error and points it out so I can edit it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I write mine in advance, give it time, then go back and read it again. Usually before it’s published, I’ve read it between 2-5 times, varying in length and my level of paranoia that day lol! I send mine to a friend and she’s actually an editor but that’s not why I send them; she’ll only point something out to me if it’s glaringly obvious because I generally can find the mistakes by the second or third read through. I also will look up definitions if need be! I like your list though!!! Great information and very useful. 😁 ~Kelsey

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s what works for me – when I was at uni I would share with friends, but I’m too impatient to wait these days, so I do it myself. My longer posts sometimes take a week’s worth of research and several days of checking so they get the proper editing treatment. Sometimes I’ll schedule, but I still will go back and read when it’s queued for publication! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Great tips! Great information which is very useful!

    Usually I am taking my coffee break after writing my articles! checking error, reading it as an observer’s eyes like someone else wrote it and I am reading it.

    After finishing it and shape it in proper manner publish it!

    Actually I noticed for myself that I am really enjoying my writing process and before publish it reading process which help me to find my own errors!

    Really useful article you shared! 👍 👌 😃

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I write everything on a smartphone so, I use the spellcheck function, but my autocorrect loves to change the word “out” to the word “put” so, I usually don’t notice until after it has been published even if I have read it a few times before publishing. I take all photos with my phone and edit them on the very same phone. When writing, I am either sitting in the passenger seat of a vehicle, wandering around the property, or I am sitting in bed, not sleeping. (I am currently sitting in bed, not sleeping.) I rarely have a plan for a post unless it is a project in progress. Today, I walked outside to have my coffee and decided to snap a few pictures of the flowers and it led to a post. 😄 I am probably a reader’s worst nightmare, but I write as of having a conversation. I may change that process as I continue along, but for now, it is working. (I used almost your exact method while I was in college. I was almost obsessive about my papers. My thesis was completed for several months, before I was finally convinced there were no further errors, and I could finally turn it in for approval.) Have a lovely day.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I use my phone for photos too. I add to media and select from there. I don’t like using my phone for posts, generally, I’ve done it once. I’m not a very good texter on a smartphone I find it laborious. It’s funny what can inspire a post, isn’t it?

      Like

      1. Having teenagers and kids in their 20’s, I have been forced to learn to text and to respond quickly. I find it to be easier to write because my phone is always with me, no matter where I happen to be in that moment. I have found that the strangest things tend to inspire my posts, a storm, flowers swaying in the wind, finding an unexpected litter of kittens , etc., it’s always something random. I don’t blame you for not using your phone to write with, had I not been forced into learning to text and constantly texting the lids, I would probably be in the same boat you are, finding it laborious and stressful. My laptop is ancient and I loathe sitting at my desktop computer so, until I eventually get a new laptop or even a tablet with the functional keyboard, I will probably continue to use my phone because it is convenient. I have never even seen my blog, or anyone else’s for that matter, on a computer. I have only seen them on my phone. Your blog looks very clean and organized on my phone, in case you had not seen it from your own.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. I lost my two thumb texting technique when I switched to a smartphone. I call my kids or give them brief texts 😁 they’re both in their 20s I’m glad the stressful teenage years have ended.

        Like

      3. Mine are obsessed with texting. I had to learn Snapchat and Instagram because they don’t use Facebook as a main social media account. I loathe Twitter. I refuse to use it because it’s so public and I don’t want to share my whole life in photos with the whole world. Facebook, I can hide everything from anyone who is not a friend. The younger generation doesn’t seem to care about privacy. My youngest is 17. He doesn’t cause too much stress. He is homeschooled and has 3 credits to complete in order to graduate. He’s pretty easy compared to his siblings, who were definitely stressful and still are stressful. Lol

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m obviously behind the times!
        On that subject – my app updated last night – I use a Samsung. It’s now very similar to the iPhone app – and I dislike that. Quite disappointed!

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  8. These are really great tips, thanks for sharing them! I especially like the suggestion to take a mental break – I find I end up involuntarily scan-reading if I try and proofread as soon as I finish a post, I suppose because my brain thinks it knows exactly what it’s reading, having just written it… I often pick up silly little errors when I return to my writing, even after a five-minute break!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. We’re trained in pharmacy to take a mental break from prescriptions to avoid errors. I know I’ve written something good when I read it years later and I wouldn’t change a thing.

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  9. All good points. I am obsessive about editing, but things still get by me, especially placement of commas and grammar rules. I proofread my last post just before I hit publish and still found three things I had to change. But sometimes you just have to hit publish and be done with it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hit publish and check again 😁 I try not to be too obsessive but I can’t help the gazillion readings every time. I must read from the top each time as my thought processes forget earlier statements. Bit sad really . . .

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Some great tips. I try to leave time in between writing and publishing to enable a reread with fresh eyes. doesn’t always work out that way. But I do, like you, edit and update if I find any errors after it’s been published. If I spot it, it will bug me until I fix it. Lol

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thanks for this. You’ve inspired me to get back in the game. I have several posts sitting around that I haven’t quit finished – taking too long of a mental break!

    Liked by 1 person

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