Before you hit publish on your blog post, there is one critical step before you click that button.

That mission critical step is to review your work. If you are a one-man show (where you don’t have the luxury of having a team) then you’ll be going through the system of a self-edit process.

It may sound tedious but you want to make sure that your writing is polished, easy-to-read and effective. It is important that you review your work with a critical eye. You wouldn’t want the world to read poor writing, you can lose a lot of readers that way.

Here are 5 things you must do before you hit publish!

1) Walk away

When you’re done your blog post, step away from it. For a minute, for an hour, maybe even a day. Let yourself breathe for a second so that when you go back to it, you’ll have fresh eyes and a clear mind.

When you come back to it, you’ll be able to evaluate things like if the body actually matches the title and delivers on its headline promise, or if the post makes sense from start to finish.

2) Remember those grammar rules in school?

Be meticulous when you’re proofreading and editing. Thoroughly look at your grammar and style. If you’re unsure about your grammar or punctuation, look it up. Make sure your writing is error-free because this is one of reader’s biggest (if not, the biggest) turn-off.

3) Read Aloud

If you’re still unsure if your readers will understand the whole piece, read your finished work aloud. This will help you focus in on what is on the page and let you hone in on overall story. You might catch something that you wouldn’t have reading in your head.

4) Formatting

Reviewing your format means things like font (size, type, bold, italics, etc), paragraph and line spacing. Sub-headings are really important in online reading and writing and you should definitely includes these in your article if you can. Sub-headings help break up blocks of text and caters to our world of skimming, mobile readers.

5) Rewrite your title over and over again

Here’s why you should write the best title you possibly can. Brian Clark of says,

“On average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest. This is the secret to the power of your title, and why it so highly determines the effectiveness of the entire piece.”

Without an attention-grabbing title, the rest of the words might as well not exist because people will not feel compelled to click on your post.