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2. It All Starts Here

Multimedia can be enjoyable and user-friendly 

As we all know, content creation isn't as simple as just stringing together a few words and clicking "publish." At least all high-quality content creators know this.

From start to finish, content creation has quite a few steps if you really think about it -- concepting, production, and the whole editorial process. Unfortunately, it's that last one that often gets undermined/rushed through/swept aside, as content creators hurry to get things out the door. But if you really want to ship a remarkable, high-quality piece of content, you can't afford to overlook the editing process.

And during that editorial process, where there really is a lot to consider, it can be difficult to remember everything you should be thinking about before a piece of content is truly ready to rock. So in an effort to make things a little easier on you, we decided to compile a checklist you can use to make sure your next piece of content is ready and raring to go, whether it be a simple blog post or something longer form, like an ebook.

Bookmark this post, or download this Word Doc with just one click, which you can print out and customize with any additional considerations specific to your own editing process. This way, you can be sure you're not overlooking anything important in future content.

Topic Selection

Consider these high-level questions at the beginning stages of the editorial process. (Tip: Ask contributors to run a working title/brief outline for the piece of content by you before they start writing so you can steer them in the right direction and save writers' time.)

Can the angle be tweaked to be more interesting?

Article Structure & Formatting

The way the writer presents and organizes their content and ideas is an important part of the editing process. Ask yourself these questions to determine whether the content is structured and formatted in an optimal way.

Are these visuals and images high quality and interesting?

Writing

This section is pretty important, for obvious reasons. Here are the important things to consider as you're evaluating the writing in and of itself.

Is grammar correct?

Does the intro tee up the rest of the content well and indicate the value the reader will get out of reading it?

Yet, are we still allowing the writer's individual writing personality to shine through?

Supporting Elements

These are some additional considerations to make that can take your content from okay to awesome.

Attribution

Any good editor makes sure he/she is giving credit where credit is due. Here's what to think about.

Are we actually allowed to use those images? (Here's a cautionary tale.)

Title Selection

The title/headline of your piece of content is often the first impression someone has of your content (think social media shares, search results, etc.), so it's important to put some time and careful thought into its selection. Here's what to consider.

Style Guide Alignment

Written style guides serve as the commonly acknowledged authority when questions of grammar and punctuation come up in writing. A style guide answers questions like, whether you use title case for article titles and headers; whether you capitalize the word internet; or whether you use the Oxford comma. You can either adopt an already-established style guide, like the AP Stylebook, or create an in-house version that enables you to borrow from different schools of thought and address any nuances specific to your industry or company. The important thing is to be consistent across all content you publish.

Does anything contradict our style guide? (Tip: If you don't have a style guide, you can download HubSpot's and customize it as you see fit.)

Finishing Touches

You're almost done! But don't overlook these finishing touches.

Are there relevant calls-to-action (CTAs) included where appropriate?

Final Sanity Check

Now that all the nitty-gritty edits have been made, sit back and take a look at the content holistically. Then ask yourself these final questions.

Congrats! You've made it to the bitter end. Now that you have the tools, the real work begins.