“Read, read, read. Read everything — trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it.
Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.” William Faulkner
Before you hit Publish, are you satisfied with your post?
Don’t many of us write extemporaneous posts? Sometimes I simply sit down at the keyboard and plunk away at a thought or a prompt from reading other posts. When I read the published version, I often regret putting it out there. I often discover flagrant faux pas or glaring grammar goofs. Cringing at my carelessness, I sometimes resort to editing it and re-publishing. (Keep in mind, I’m a former reporter and editor and got paid to write. My stuff had to be good. Old habits, you know.)
Are you ever dissatisfied with a post you’re about to share with the world? Try asking yourself these 7 questions I ask myself when I proofread my posts. You might want to consider them to improve your posts.
- Is your heading too long?
A reasonable length is 6 to 8 words. As we’ve said before in this space, many readers don’t read past your heading. If you don’t entice them with those 6-8 words, you might lose them before they get to your opening sentence.
- Did you proofread your text?
That’s a cardinal rule for me. It ought to be for all of you as well. My dingbat blogging buddy, Suze, will disagree. She spends most of her time at the home staring into space and playing bingo when she’s not blogging.
- Did you put yourself in my readers’ place?
What will your audience gain from reading your post? Who are you writing for? Yourself or your readers?
- Did you use “you” often? Writing for that second person pronoun, draws readers in and helps them think you’re writing to them.
- Can you use “how to’s” or lists or numbers.
Readers love lists. Use them if you can.
- Did you ask for feedback?
Do you want to know what your readers thought about your post? They’ll think you’re really interested in their opinions and comments. People love to connect with other people. I often use the hashtag #feedback when I post on the BMU. And I sometimes ask readers directly, “What do you think?” Or, “I’d like to get your feedback on this topic (idea, post).”
- Is your purpose for writing clear?
Will your readers “get it”? Will they perceive your intent for writing your post? Do you get it yourself?
Well, there they are. Seven questions I ask (and answer) myself so I’ll be satisfied with my post once it’s published. Hope you’ll try these out yourself. You may be pleasantly surprised how your writing may improve when you ask and answer them.
Do you have questions you ask yourself while you’re writing to make it better? I’d love to hear from you. How do your questions help you improve your posts.