What’s the biggest mistake you NEARLY MADE in a blog post, but caught at the last minute? (So we can all learn from it. 😊)

Posted February 10, 2021 in
Content Managers Content Managers
For me, it was a close photo disaster. I had to take a photo OF a photo that was in a frame of my boss and his wife. 

This is NOT that photo, but the one originally used as the feature photo for this post included a reflection of “yours truly.” Yep, right on my bosses’ black jacket—there was my reflection! Ha!

I actually didn’t find it until I published the post. But… I quickly went back and picked another photo and edited the post and inserted the new feature photo. You may still be able to see an image, but the one before was VERY noticeable.

For safety’s sake, I always have someone else read my blog posts. I never thought to ask them to check the photos…

It’s a good idea to always have a second set of eyes. I usually ask my bosses to read the posts, too, especially if it’s a Risk Management topic.

Of course, multiple readers doesn’t always work, either---I have found errors later after the copy was read by 3-4 people.

I find that reading your copy in a different format (post preview or printed out) helps you find errors, too. I’ve also heard that reading your copy backwards also helps and I’ve had to use that technique for a post I’d worked exhaustedly on.

Maybe you have some other techniques you’d like to share?

Whatever the case, we don’t want bad mistakes reflecting poorly (Ha—that was my mistake!) on our company. On the other hand, thankfully, most people realize that people do make mistakes. And sometimes, it even makes them feel good about themselves to find them!

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Connor DeLaney
Super funny one I had recently when staging an article was when I left a space saying "CONNOR - ADD VIDEO OF COURSE INTRO HERE" and completely disregarded it until I was about to hit publish and something in my head said to read it just one more time over.

I even told Ramona Sukhraj who was editing the article that I'd remember to add it and clearly that almost didn't happen. 

What I've learned from this now is that I need to leave comments within the documents I write in before I stage it or actually embed the videos or visuals in my drafts so I stop during the staging process and place them in rather than wait until it's about to go live.

Love this topic Chazz Hirschfeld !!
Chazz Hirschfeld
Thanks, Connor! That is a good one! And I like how you learned from your near-mistake and have now added a step in your process to avoid this type of error in the future! Way to go!
Connor DeLaney
Absolutely! Gotta be solution focused and learn from them when they happen :) Glad I caught it this time around. 
Kevin Phillips
I'm going to have to agree with  Connor DeLaney  . I used to put notes to myself within my draft. I've published articles that had some of these friendly reminders. Now I use Google Docs for drafts and add all notes as Comments in the sidebar.
Chazz Hirschfeld
Thanks so much, Kevin! This is a great suggestion---to add your notes as Comments in the sidebar! LOL@ your articles with friendly reminders. I appreciate your contribution to this thread. :)
Adam Stahl
This is great, Chazz Hirschfeld !

I'll own up to that this wasn't a mistake that I nearly made but actually did. Fortunately, a co-worker happened to read the post when it went out and caught this error so I could quickly correct it.

I had made a custom feature image for a blog post that had some text over a stock image.
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Unfortunately, I had done this in Photoshop (so no spell check) and though I could swear I read it up and down a few times, it went live reading, "Are you PREAPRED for it?"

When the co-worker pointed it out I was mortified but also thanked them exhaustively as I scrambled to edit and replace it in the live post, social, etc.

What I've changed since that moment:

  • When I'm doing image/photo/graphics edits like the image above (photo with a shape overlay and some text), I'll do it in InDesign rather than Photoshop so I have spellchecker as a safety net.

  • I read text both top down and then from the bottom up. It just causes my brain to process the information differently and I've caught a few errors with this method.

  • When possible, especially if it's something I've been working on for a while, I will close and walk away from the project. I'll do something else entirely then come back and proofread again. Sometimes I've been working on the same thing for so long that my brain gets too comfortable looking at it and that can open up the opportunity for errors.
Chazz Hirschfeld
Adam, what a wonderful contribution! I'm sorry for your mortification, but glad you were able to fix the error so quickly. Whew!

And these bullet points... ALL great ideas! I'm sure somebody will incorporate these into their flow and save themselves some future heartache. I know I'm going to keep these in mind.

You are right about all of these, of course, but I had forgotten about that last one. That definitely works for me, too. I'm glad you noted it. Many times, I've thought the draft was done. But after a few hours and a fresh read, I found things I'd just skimmed over before. THANKS again!

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