Wednesday, January 30, 2008

13 Questions to Ask Before Publishing a Post On Your Blog

I like reading Darren Rowse over at ProBlogger. He's an excellent writer. He knows his stuff when it comes to blogging.

Many of his posts are instructional or informative. They cover topics to write, for example, which is not strictly blogging but something good bloggers cannot do without. Or he writes about how to increase traffic to your blog. Among other things, that is one of the probloggers goals, cuz more traffic means more potential revenue. See, I've learned a little bit by reading Darren, altho if he looks at Mental Blog, he'll probably question that assertion.

Since I'm such a web/social flutterby (too erratic for me own good) I don't read everything that Darren posts. Not enough time. But now and then something really catches my eye.

So it was with his post of Jan.30, the one entitled: 13 Questions to Ask Before Publishing a Post On Your Blog. Well, I just thought I'd better go through them and see how I fared. I answered the questions not by checking any specific posting of mine, but the general trend of my bloggishness.

1. What was the main point of this post? have I made it clearly?
I'm a ramblin' guy. I meander. I wander. I hum. I haw. I engage in interminable preambles. Sometimes the post has no point. But often it does. And when I do get around to making my point, I usually manage to say, "Here's the point." And I have enough practise that I can generally make it clear. However, you, dear reader, often have to wade thru extraneous material. In such cases, I hope to be entertaining, at least.
2. What do I want readers of this post to do? have I led them to this action?
Hmmm...what do I want readers to do? Laugh. Cry. Piss their pants. Sign a petition. See, a problogger wants readers to follow some advice, or click on an ad, or end up on the Checkout page. I ain't got none of that. Sometimes I ask readers to do something. Sometimes I just want them to ponder.
3. Have I written something useful?
Huh! If I had mastered "useful" I'd be on the best-seller list.
4. Have I written something unique?
This one I can lay claim to. Much of what I write is utterly, fantastically unique.
5. Has what I’ve written taken me closer or further away from my blog’s goals?
This is another problogger question. Goals? If I had mastered goals, I'd be hiring Tony Robbins as my valet.
6. Have I used a title that draws people into my post?
I think I'm a pretty good headline writer. (Just look at the title of this post, eh?)
7. Are my spelling and grammar correct?
Huh! Look at my profile blurb. Spelling and grammar are anathema. They are why I am here in this Yoni School for Wayward Poets! Having said that, my rebellion is calculated and deliberate. I can spell write when I wants to, and my grammar is impeccable when it's not execrable. It's the oppositionist in me that refuses to spell.
8. Could I have said it more succinctly?
No. Or yes. Depends.
9. Have I credited sources of quotes and inspiration?
I try to be scrupulous about crediting sources...even when I have to make the names up.
10. Have I written something previously that relates to this post that I could link to? has someone else?
If I have something on Mental Blog that I can link to, I do. (Assuming I remember...) If someone else has something, and I know about it, I link. Link Love. Spread the positive vibes around, man. The positive electrons. Recycle, reuse, repeat, repeat, repeat.
11. Have I left room for my readers to add something to this post? have I invited them to?
That's a good question. My comments section is wide open. They's always room, brotha. On the more philosophical level, have I left room? I dunno. When I'm expressing my opinion, there are always gaps. Things I haven't thought of. Or I'm open to hearing the opposite view. But have I invited them? Not always. I've probably assumed that readers assumed they could comment if they wished.
12. What keywords will people search Google for on this topic? have I optimized this post for those words? tags are highly individual. Most of them, anyway. Which is not to say I don't use the standard ones in some cases. (Or maybe I don't really. If somebody was looking for a piece on the US election, would they find it with my tag: US Election Watch?)
13. How could I follow this post up with another that extends it?
Another good question. For the most part, I don't follow any particular narrative. So my posts are not necessarily connected. I write about whatever grabs me at a given moment. Sometimes there's room for extension or follow-up, but I don't often take advantage of it.
There it is. My conclusion? I am not a problogger. I am definitely a Mental Blogger. A problogger has discipline. I have chronic Mental Blog. But I have to say this. Darren asks some very good questions. And if I ever acquire the necessary ambition to axe this Blogger blog and play with the big boys on some other platform like maybe WordPress, or finally take the real plunge and work up an honest-to-goodness website, part of what I'll be doing will be following Darren's example and advice.

Meanwhile, I've managed to link to every post that Darren linked to in his post. Now that's what I call Link Love, and if it weren't so much fun making Link Love, I'd say he should probably be paying me.

Digg! diigo it

No comments:

Help! I've written and I can't get up!