When you’re blogging on your own website, you have to worry about so much more than just writing the content. Yesterday, I wrote, “I realized that I must become more intentional with my post excerpts . . . .” To help me, I started a blogging checklist that I now complete at the end of every post.

Here is the blogging checklist that I created yesterday and have been using for every post, including this one:

Checklist v211110: 

- [ ] I did not start the post with an HTML comment as doing so would make it appear in the RSS feed. 
- [ ] If you start a post with a `raw` liquid tag, you must indicate where the excerpt ends. 
- [ ] I changed the time for the post. 
- [ ] Categories do not include a URL protected by MemberSpace, unless I want it protected.
  - [ ] I did not use `tax` as a category unless I wanted it protected.      
- [ ] I added tags to the post. 
- [ ] If I have an ad, there is a minimum of two ad tags set to true: ad and one or both of Amazon and MemberSpace. 
- [ ] I used the excerpt separator in the post, or I deleted the content of the excerpt separator from the YAML. 

Here are some notes about this checklist:

  • The checklist has a version number because I anticipate revising it as my blogging practices change. (Also, I might revise the checklist’s grammar in the future. It’s not important to me right now because I view the checklist as a tool, not a deliverable product.)
  • The checklist’s order follows the YAML tags that I use for my Jekyll blog. I’ve been adding tags as I’ve increased the blog’s features. For example, the last item on the checklist is there because I started using Jekyll’s excerpt_separator tag yesterday when I changed my RSS feed to show just excerpts instead of the entire post’s content. See How MemberSpace Can Protect Jekyll Blog Posts (11/10/2021).
  • When I first started blogging with Jekyll, the YAML tags served as a sufficient checklist. But my tweaks to Jekyll have added quirks that aren’t obvious. For example, the first two items on the checklist are to avoid unwanted results that I observed with yesterday’s changes to the blog.
  • The checklist is at the end of every recent post in HTML comments, which Jekyll removes before publishing the post.

As you can tell, I’m a huge proponent of checklists. If you want to learn about the power of checklists, then I recommend Atul Gawande’s book, The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right.