The Editing / Publishing Process

8 Simple Steps From Rough Draft To Publication

This week I want to share the simple editing process I use to prepare blog posts and other content for publication. I also share the blogging mistake/story that inspired this article. I’m using the inverted pyramid so you’re getting the most important content first. 😉

Affiliate Disclaimer: This post contains an affiliate and/or partner link, which means that if you purchase or use one of the product links provided, I’ll benefit monetarily or otherwise. It won’t cost you a penny more to use my links (provided directly from the product suppler or vendor). Thank you in advance. 🙂

The Editing / Publishing Process

We are all wired differently so what works for me may not work for you but I thought I would share my editing process. My editing process is not fancy, expensive or complicated.

☑  The rough draft: We’re online consuming content we love and something triggered a surge of inspiration. We are just hit with an amazing blog post or content idea. This is where I want to immediately begin writing. I start dumping every thought into writing as it flows in.

I don’t worry about structure, context, spelling, or anything other than getting every thought recorded.

☑  Structure edit: Once I have the creative thought process recorded without interruption, I need to organize everything into understandable chunks of content. If I wait too long to edit structure, there is a good chance that I won’t understand a thing I just wrote. Yes, my mind really is that messy. lol

☑  Research and links edit: Next I try to add links where appropriate and research anything that might make me look stupid. For example, I wouldn’t want to use a stat or example I found randomly on Facebook to prove a point without verifying accuracy. Right? Trust me, screw up and someone WILL notice and they will announce it.

This is a great time to look for both external and internal linking opportunities as well as things like keyword research and affiliate links.

☑  Basic spelling and punctuation: Now it is time for basic spell check. Is everything readable and in easily skimmable chunks? Are there run-on sentences? One of my most common mistakes are little things like writing “the” when I should have written “then” or “that” when I meant to write “than“.

Note: I just wrote, “One of my most common mistakes are little thinks like writing…“.

☑  Add to WordPress Draft: I use Scrivener$ to create my written content. Personally, I don’t add the post to WordPress until the bulk of my editing is complete and it is time to preview the “almost” finished post.

☑  Read Out-loud Proofreading: I normally write at home so it isn’t quite as embarrassing as doing it in the coffee shop but I like to read my post out loud. Read slowly, listening to the words, and be sure to read every word as written – not as it should have been written.

This can take practice because our brains seem to have the ability to blindly fix our mistakes before we notice them.

☑  Read Along Proofreading: Now I read it again but silently along with my wife as she reads it out loud. My wife is such a good sport. She has been reading my blog post drafts aloud for years as I read along with her trying to find mistakes.

I have no idea why but this final proofreading exercise catches more mistakes than each of us proofreading separately.

☑  Save to draft, schedule, or publish: Now we are ready for publication. This is where we save the post as a final draft, schedule for later publication, or just publish immediately.

Easier Than It Looks

The process looks much more complicated than it really is. It is an eight step editing process on paper/screen but just what I do with little thought in practice.

Plan – Create – Edit – Publish

In that order. Notice you do not see…

Plan – Create – Edit – Publish – Edit/Update – Edit/Update – Edit/Update

Don’t get me wrong, feel free to edit and update blog posts, just not as an editing tool. Here, let me explain…

This Client’s Bad Blogging Habit Shocked Me

A local online marketer hired me for a couple of hours of blog consultation. He was having a few minor issues getting his newest blog started.

A couple of weeks ago, armed with enough gadgets to make Batman proud, I took the 20 mile trip north with the windows down and Nickelback blasting. It was the perfect Michigan summer day.

As I was helping him get a post ready for publication, he hit publish. Oops… I’m like, “You just hit the wrong button – you hit publish, not save draft“.

He said he always does that because it is easier to see it online and look for mistakes and other edits once it is live.

Please don’t do this, you’ll eventually run into problems. Use the WordPress draft feature, it is a powerful part of the writing software.

Try to get your WP post completely edited before hitting publish. Not only does each live update ping Google again, your feed subscribers may get the unedited (original) version.

Luckily, I was able to help my new client (if he needs further help – which I doubt) before it became an issue. Right now he doesn’t have any feed subscribers and Google isn’t really chomping at the bit waiting to index his blog content yet. His older blog, however, is another story altogether.

Until next time, blog on and don’t forget to love me always. Brian 😉

About Brian Hawkins

Blogging superhero by day and internet super villain by night. Blogger, future online millionaire and all around great guy. Subscribe to our
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