11 Things Before You Publish

June 25th, 2007
Business of Blogging

11 things to do before you hit the Publish button: Shankar Ganesh lists 11 things that you should do as a blogger before you hit the publish button. I have a few more that I would like to add.

  • Sleep on (some of) your posts. I have often done this to keep myself from making bad choices in publishing some items.
  • This is more for after I post something. I strongly believe that edits are a necessity and should not be avoided. If I make changes to a post after it has been published, I mark my posts to display the changes clearly. It makes the message clearer and adds continuity to the “story”.
  • Preview posts before publishing them. This is more true for blogs with active feeds and especially important for blogs that use Feedburner.
  • Formatting and WYSIWYG are nice but it is also quite easy to go overboard. Make sure you are helping your reader understand your point of view and not vice versa. Remove unneeded formatting. Make sure your formatting is not breaking the structure of the blog. In addition, if your feed is easier to read than your main blog, you might want to take a closer look at your design.
  • I am not so sure that using the “read more” feature just to increase pageviews is a good idea. That feature has its own place in breaking up long posts but can be annoying to readers and is detrimental if not used with care.

What other things do you do before you publish your post? Are you obsessive compulsive about tags? Do you feel compelled to add lots of links? What would you suggest to other bloggers if you were asked?




  1. Britgirl (10 comments.) says:

    Using “read more” simply to increase page views isn’t a good idea. But you don’t say why it’s annoying to readers, or detrimental.

    I use it to break up medium to long posts and because I prefer to give my readers a taster of my article rather than the entire post all at once, plus it enables me to have a number of “article intros” on my page rather than one or two long scrolling pages.

    I personally dislike being presented with masses of unbroken text in a post on a blog, I prefer it broken up and don’t mind clicking to read more. If the post is interesting and they want to read more, readers will so so. If it’s not, they won’t. The key is to build expectation.

    I’ve been using the “read more” feature for a while now and the majority of my readers always click it to read the rest of the article.

  2. Jesse Harris (10 comments.) says:

    I concur with Britgirl. Read More is a way to provide one or two paragraphs on an article to let people figure out if they are or are not interested in reading the whole thing. It’s useful to keep main pages uncluttered and gauge, based on who’s reading the full article, if you’re writing something of import or not.

  3. Jack (2 comments.) says:

    I do agree that is always useful to preview the post before publish it.
    You will win time, and not loose it, if you review it before you hit the publish button.

  4. david (7 comments.) says:

    I agree with comments #1&2. If a person isn’t interested in the first couple paragraphs, they probably wont stick around for more. (And opening the articles in tabs isn’t that hard.)

    Lately, I’ve tried to add more pictures/images to my posts to make then a little more entertaining – while trying not to break too many copyright laws.

    And I’m trying to go back to earlier posts to delete comments that are irrelevant and tidy-up the tags. (And to add ads there, too.)

  5. The Big Fez (1 comments.) says:

    1 & 2 are good for emails too. Unfortunately, I’ve learned that the hard way.

  6. Nemo de Monet (5 comments.) says:

    Using “read more” just to inflate pageviews is obviously bad, but those who do it for more benign reasons, like those stated above, can still do it in a really bad and obtrusive way.

    There are few things I hate more on blogs than people who (read more!)

  7. Jack Book (4 comments.) says:

    thank you for the tips.
    digged it!

  8. FIAR (2 comments.) says:

    Sleep on (some of) your posts.

    A great point that I need to start using more often. Not so much because I will regret what I say, but more because the additional time invested will create a bigger payoff in the end.

    Britgirl says:
    I’ve been using the “read more” feature for a while now and the majority of my readers always click it to read the rest of the article.

    Perhaps the majority of your readers do, but how many would be readers simply don’t visit at all. I can tell you this much. I do not and will not visit sites that force me into following an additional link to finish reading (when it’s done on a regular basis).

    I will not only not “read more,” I will banish the offending site forever.

    You may think that it’s not a problem, because you just don’t realize how many visitors have arrived and said, “that’s the last of that site.”

  9. egon (1 comments.) says:

    I use the “read more” because otherwise Google counts it as duplicate content (main page, post page, category page, etc. all having the same content.)

  10. Truden (23 comments.) says:

    What do I do before hit the “Publish” button:
    I pray to God that nobody get hurt and more people get helped,
    and I suggest that all of you do it :D
    Then God might decide to show you your faults and make you do some edits or just hit the RED button instead ;)

  11. Nan (1 comments.) says:

    I use “read more” often as I tend to post image heavy posts. If a visitor at least can load the main page first there a chance that he will stay longer than one who is frightened by my pages loading times.

  12. Peter says:

    Please make sure that all comments over an arbitrary number ( 10 ? ) are routed to another page and prohibit the use of avatars in comments. Also please refrain from widget madness and since most visitors will probably use some form of ad-blocking, you may want to seriously reconsider any ad overload, that’s just a form of spam ( monetize your blog, it just sucks ).
    My experience is, that adhering to these simple measures greatly speeds up page loading. When a page takes more than 10 seconds to load fully, I’m already gone and I’ll probably never come back…

  13. Matt Harwood (1 comments.) says:

    Very nice tips! As I’ve just started to blog a little more frequently and determinedly, I shall take these into account. I personally won’t be using ‘Read More’, though. Dugg!

    I’d also like to add – I find it hard to sleep on a post. I almost feel like it’s a race against time to get the post out there – the blogosphere conversation moves so rapidly, the last thing I want to do is be behind (and thus, quite possibly, irrelevant).

  14. Hans (6 comments.) says:

    @ BritGirl

    see here if you want more reasons for using the excerpt feature.

    @ Peter

    nice one. But if comments are reaching the level of more than 10, then this supposes that the article deserves reading and your 10 sec, don’t you think so?

  15. Michael Martine (11 comments.) says:

    There are two things I do before publishing: 1) I look for opportunities to add value to the post by adding in links where appropriate. This could be outside resources, but also to previous posts of my own that are relevant. This is a much better way to increase page views. 2) I often read the post out loud (or at least “move my lips” silently). This helps uncover awkward sentences and overlong sentences.

  16. Jennyjinx (2 comments.) says:

    I use the excerpt when I post a lot of images (and always let my readers know that there may be a heavy page load ahead) and when I have written an unusually long article. Like others I don’t want my main page to take long to load.

    Also, a lot of times to preview a post I simply publish it as private (taking away the option for the feed readers to see even the title), look it over, make any necessary changes, then publish it as public. I just don’t see the errors in the post preview that I see when it’s finally gone live.:)

  17. K-IntheHouse (4 comments.) says:

    I’m glad I’m not alone when it comes to ‘Read more’. I absolutely hate clicking an extra link to read a post and I haven’t used it at ShanKri-la. I have written somewhat long posts but none long enough to justify using this.

    I read a post silently before publishing it so I can look for opportunities to deep link as well as add value to the post by linking to good resources.

  18. Peter says:

    @ Hans
    The number of comments is not necessarily always indicative of the level of interest a post may have. Comments heavily interspaced with trackbacks drive me crazy, is there no way to filter these out ? But I take your point …

    ( hint ) Being able to preview comments ( and edit typo’s before posting ) is always a nice feature ;-)

  19. Shankar Ganesh (1 comments.) says:

    Hi there!
    Thanks for picking up my article.
    Glad to see a healthy discussion going on over here :)
    And I agree with you on the ‘overformatting’ thing. I’m seeing a lot of blogs nowadays emphasizing too much text.
    But I beg to disagree with you on the fact that excerpts are “detrimental”. I personally would prefer to use excerpts on the homepage because as others over here said, readers would prefer to get a glance of the post instead of reading it entirely – waiting for it to load for a lot of time. It would also save my blog from the ‘duplicate content penalty’.

  20. Pengiran (1 comments.) says:

    I love this tips, it since 3 1/2 years ago that I use freeweb based blog then using wordpress end year 2005.
    “This is more for after I post something.” very frequent thing must to do. No 100% every time the message you’re going to publish done well…
    “Preview posts before publishing them.” is good suggestions, it should have it since wordpress first released. I would think “everyone loves preview” before they going to publish their message.
    I would like say thetips strongly agree because such “read more” should be avoided because they are really annoying to those really love reading directly to get understanding.

    Thats it. I love blogger…

  21. scott bakalar (1 comments.) says:

    What other things do you do before you publish your post?

    spell check.

  22. Britgirl (10 comments.) says:

    @FIAR – Each to his own. What I do on my blog works for me and my readers and by all accounts they are fine with it.

    If readers don’t want to visit my blog, because I use a link that prevents yards of pancake text it means there is nothing they are interested in reading on my site. People don’t want to visit? They don’tlike how I present or break up my posts? That’s totally fine by me. Totally fine for them not to come back. I’m not out to capture every stray reader in the universe, nor am I intending to cater to every person who might happen by. There are plenty of blogs I visit only once. Since my traffic and the numbers of regular readers have been steadily increasing over the past year I’m quite happy with my decision.

    If people (who by the way aren’t my readers) don’t like what I do on my blog, they are welcome to stay away. I don’t mind. As I say, each to his/her own.

    “Read more” won’t be disappearing any time soon.

  23. Britgirl (10 comments.) says:

    @Hans – that’s a very useful resource! Thank you. 3# is one reason I use excerpts… I like to give readers a choice of whether to read the rest of the post or not and I myself appreciate it on blogs. I wasn’t aware of the SEO aspect, but that definitely another reason to continue to use “read more.” on my longer posts. You’ve just gained a new subscriber by the way :)

  24. Derrich (4 comments.) says:

    What Britgirl said. I use it ONLY for extra long posts…so probably 1 in every 7 or 8 posts. And in response to FIAR’s reaction to Britgirl’s comment…I’d be curious to know (a poll) how many people actually do what you suggest they are doing. I would be surprised if even 5% of any blog’s visitors say “read more? i’m outta here”. That would definitely be an interesting poll.

  25. ia (4 comments.) says:

    Preview posts before publishing them. This is more true for blogs with active feeds and especially important for blogs that use Feedburner.

    All the more reason the new version of WordPress shout not have removed the inline preview pane.

    And yes, I haven’t posted anything new on my blog because I’ve been “sleeping on” several saved posts for days. I do this a lot. But it’s not recommended for time-critical posts (obviuously). :)

  26. valent (1 comments.) says:

    I use “read more” often. When I write down a large article, I must use it. The article will take up to many space in main page.

  27. Mark says:

    Like most people here I use ‘read more’ not to add an extra pageview, but to give the user the choice to read the full post or not. This is perfectly inline with every serious news site on the internet and is just common sense (if it’s good enough for the BBC then it’s good enough for me).

    Naturally this must be done pragmatically. If the post is 2 sentences then it makes no sense to have a ‘read more’. However, if the post is more than a few paragraphs then I would much rather see an excerpt on the front page than a big lump of text.

    If clicking on an extra link is too much work then you really shouldn’t be using the web.

    Also, the comment about not using avatars is not something I agree with. Avatars, when used correctly, can greatly improve the look of a blog. If used incorrectly then they can slow things down.

  28. Manny (1 comments.) says:

    I don’t see why the “read more” link is annoying. I don’t mind clicking a link if I find the article interesting. Of course, if it’s not interesting, then even seeing the whole article on a single page won’t make me continue reading.

  29. Michael Martine (8 comments.) says:

    I write longer posts than most people at my blog, because many of them are how-to’s and tutorials. The more tag (I know it’s not really a tag, but it’s convenient to call it that) helps people get a sense of what’s going on the home page without having to scroll down too much. It’s an important first impression, I think. For people who arrive at a single page via search or a link, they don’t need to see the whole dang post again if they decide to visite the home page after landing on a single page.

  30. FIAR (2 comments.) says:

    This thread really took off on the “read more” portion of the topic. This is just my observation, but it seems to me that most of the people defending it’s use seem to have all the good “blogger” reasons for justifying it, but not much of a “reader” perspective on it’s use.

    I suggest you take a look at this review on a humor blog review site, and see for yourselves that the blog would have fared even better in it’s review if it didn’t use the “read more” feature.

    Although it reflects my opinion, I did not participate in the review itself in any way. It’s merely something I have read.

    samples from the review:

    “Also, I hate-hate-HATE blogs that make me click to read the entire post and then take you to a separate page.”

    “I don’t like that I have to click through to read the rest of each post. Otherwise, it’s a great blog!”

    “Why the extra click to read every post? That’s really annoying.”

  31. Alfa - Flood of Dollars (1 comments.) says:

    I try to look for phrases or words that I can hyperlink to one of my other posts to clarify those phrases or to provide continuity if the reader would like to read related posts since I haven’t installed the “related entry” plugin yet.

  32. BusinessMen (1 comments.) says:

    Nice staff, but it’s true, that if You will be thinking before every publishing, it would be too longer per time for every post, heh :)

  33. G. Chai (1 comments.) says:

    Sleep on (some of) your posts. I have often done this to keep myself from making bad choices in publishing some items.

    When bloggers are in a hurry to be the “first” to post, this important tool is often overlooked. One should “Save” the post, instead of “Publish”ing, and think about it for a few hours/days (depending on the urgency of the post). This will allow for edits before publishing…and brings clarity to the point/s one is trying to post.

  34. vikas says:

    Hey! i want information about some ebooks in MBA(management studies). Any suggestions please?


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