The Checklist Every Online Content Writer Needs

By Gem Muzones on February 05, 2014
Gem Muzones
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Writing isn't easy. That's why when writers are done with an article, all they want to do is to hit publish and jump on the bed or watch Bruno Mars at the Super Bowl halftime show. I feel you. (And Bruno Mars, you were awesome). However, writing quality content doesn't end when you've typed in that last period.

As a writer, your goal is to not just write but to have that piece read by people, ideally from start to finish or have them buy something from you through that article. And how can you do that if your content is lacking in quality? So before hitting that publish button, here are 13 questions that you need to ask yourself to assess if you've written quality content:

1. Is your title captivating?

Will your headline entice your reader into clicking "Read More"? Your title should be informative and catchy without giving away too much. It should let your reader instantly understand what the article is all about before they even read it.

captivating-headline

The ad that inspired the concept of ViralNova's headlines

2. Is your topic relevant to your target reader?

It all boils down to what you're actually writing about. The most important factor of a quality content is it's value to your target audience. Will your reader learn something new? Is it helpful? Is it original?

3. Did you answer/discuss the main question/issue completely?

Make it your goal to write THAT article that your target reader is looking for. Discuss your main issue completely. Review it over and over again if you have missed any important points. Make it as long as it needs to be.

4. Is it styled for the impatient reader?

Text-heavy posts = big turn-off for readers. Remember that you are just a speck of dust in the vast universe that is the Internet. Readers won't bother dissecting a page when all they see is a big block of text. Style your text by writing lists, bullet points, and subheadings.

text-heavy

5. Does it have visuals?

Your article will be easier to understand and more memorable to your reader if you incorporate visuals likes photos and videos.

6. Is it clear of grammar and spelling mistakes?

Having elementary mistakes of grammar and spelling has a negative impact in the credibility of the writer and the website. Proofread before hitting that publish button.

7. Is it entertaining?

Don't bore your readers to death. Having a sense of humor instantly makes your article more interesting to read. Be witty or sarcastic, crack a joke, insert pop culture references, add funny memes or comics.

bored reader

This is what a bored reader looks like. Instead of a gun, he has the power to click on that X button.

8. Does it have a human voice?

Put your personality into what you’re writing. Make your reader feel that you’re an actual human being and not a robot. Readers trust an article more when it has a distinct human voice.

9. Are you speaking in English?

Did you write too much industry jargons? Paraphrase them in a way that an ordinary person will be able to understand them easily without having to open an online dictionary or Wikipedia.

10. Did you promote yourself too much?

If you’re offering a product or a service, obvious self-promotion is a big turn-off. Write about topics or issues that your target audience can relate to such as tips, how-to’s, human interest stories, or related current events.

11. Does it include the keywords that your target reader searches for?

Your main goal is for Google to find you and recommend you when people search for keywords. Check if your content contains these important keywords. To make it SEO-friendly, make sure that these keywords are included not just in your content but also in your title.

12. Are your links working?

If you have links in your article, check if all of them are working.

dead links

13. Does it have a call to action?

Ask your reader to subscribe to your website/blog, or tell them that you offer a product/service related to what you're writing about. Encourage them to check out your products/services or read about other articles that may interest them.

Topics: Content Marketing

Gem Muzones

About Gem Muzones

Gem is Spiralytics' adopted nomad and Content Marketing Manager. Before she dove into content marketing, she was a news writer who walked alongside protesters in the streets of Manila and a magazine editor who got free passes to product launches and the hippest events. She's a big Game of Thrones fangirl, 1/2 of a budget travel blogging duo behind Travels with a Hobo, and suffers from chronic hair dissatisfaction (she changes her hair color every month). Connect with her in Twitter for writing, blogging, and content marketing news and tips @GemMuzones

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