Sometimes during a tremendously complicated project, content quality and self-checking mechanisms can get swamped among the millions of other things on your plate. As you probably know, there’s more to writing that simply grammar and punctuation. So here’s a couple of essential tips. Use them as a homing beacon after a 18 hour stint behind the computer, and enough coffee to fuel a Pacific archipelago. Until you actually get to finish it and chill out…god speed!
Usefulness and Relevance
- Does the content meet user needs, goals, and interests?
- Does it meet the goals of the business?
- For how long will the content be useful?
- When will the content’s usefulness expire? Is there anything you can do to mitigate against the expiry?
- Is the content timely and relevant?
- Are you able to use reputable sources for additional information, should the reader want to find out more?
Clarity and Accuracy:
- Will the content be understood by the target audience?
- Is it organized in a logical structure?
- Have you done all of your fact checking?
- Have you weeded out the factual errors, typos, or grammatical errors?
Influence and Engagement:
- Have you added enough multimedia, quote boxes and additional content for it to engage with readers?
- Have you gone overboard with too many of these techniques?
- Have you pared it back too much and made it bland?
- Could you include additional information about the topic within the word limit?
- Have you included too much or too little information about a topic for the context/word limit?
Voice and Style:
- Does the content consistently reflect the editorial guidelines or brand voice?
- Does the tone of voice adjust according to the subject matter and context?
- Does it read as though it’s crafted by a professional?
Usability and Findability:
- Is the content easy to scan or read, with the addition of sub-headings?
- Have you made the copy easy to read, with devices such as sub-headings, bullet point lists, white space or images (as appropriate to the context)?
- If you’re creating copy for online, does the content have the appropriate metadata?
- If you’re creating copy for online, have you adhered to SEO guidelines, without sacrificing content quality?
Although there’s a thousand and one different contexts for copywriting, these cornerstone rules are good to have sitting somewhere on your desk. It doesn’t matter what industry or job you’re in. When you have to wrangle words into shape and form, having guidelines helps to keep your head from exploding on a stressful day. In future posts, I’ll be talking about what to do when the answer to any of the above points is ”no”.
If you discovered some checklist points that I missed and you want to add some…please go right ahead below.