As we all know, content creation isn't as simple as just stringing together a few words and clicking "publish." At least all high-quality content creators know this.
From start to finish, content creation has quite a few steps if you really think about it -- concepting, production, and the whole editorial process. Unfortunately, it's that last one that often gets undermined/rushed through/swept aside, as content creators hurry to get things out the door. But if you really want to ship a remarkable, high-quality piece of content, you can't afford to overlook the editing process.
And during that editorial process, where there really is a lot to consider, it can be difficult to remember everything you should be thinking about before a piece of content is truly ready to rock. So in an effort to make things a little easier on you, we decided to compile a checklist you can use to make sure your next piece of content is ready and raring to go, whether it be a simple blog post or something longer form, like an ebook.
Bookmark this post, or download this Word Doc with just one click, which you can print out and customize with any additional considerations specific to your own editing process. This way, you can be sure you're not overlooking anything important in future content.
Consider these high-level questions at the beginning stages of the editorial process. (Tip: Ask contributors to run a working title/brief outline for the piece of content by you before they start writing so you can steer them in the right direction and save writers' time.)
Article Structure & Formatting
The way the writer presents and organizes their content and ideas is an important part of the editing process. Ask yourself these questions to determine whether the content is structured and formatted in an optimal way.
This section is pretty important, for obvious reasons. Here are the important things to consider as you're evaluating the writing in and of itself.
These are some additional considerations to make that can take your content from okay to awesome.
Any good editor makes sure he/she is giving credit where credit is due. Here's what to think about.
The title/headline of your piece of content is often the first impression someone has of your content (think social media shares, search results, etc.), so it's important to put some time and careful thought into its selection. Here's what to consider.
Is the title keyword-conscious without being keyword-heavy and sacrificing user experience?
Style Guide Alignment
Written style guides serve as the commonly acknowledged authority when questions of grammar and punctuation 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.
You're almost done! But don't overlook these finishing touches.
Final Sanity Check
Now that all the nitty-gritty edits have been made, sit back and take a look at the content holistically. Then ask yourself these final questions.
What else would you add to this editing checklist? Feel free to download this checklist in Word doc format to customize and add your own!