You’re over the moon as you’ve just published another post on your precious website. You can’t be happier, and life is beautiful, until you come to read, usually after a few days, what you’ve written. You find spelling and grammar mistakes all over the place. To add insult to injury, there are probably more that you’ve missed and didn’t even realize it. Were you so careless in your writing that you didn’t even realize you had made so many mistakes? The worst thing about it is that they could have been easily avoided. This brings about the importance of proofreading your blog.
“Who needs a proofreader, anyway?”
Sadly enough, most people do!
Any writing needs to be checked, and this ranges from putting together a simple letter, to multi-million dollar marketing campaigns. Proofreading is related to any piece of writing, irrelevant of how long or short it might be.
Just a simple sentence, or even a slogan, needs to be written properly.
There is nothing worse than reading something which you consider to be important, only to realize it is riddled with typos and grammatical errors. These will prompt any reader to doubt just how serious the author really is.
These mistakes, as far as many are concerned, have just rendered the blog useless.
The answer is simple…
Write your blog like you are a professional
Readers expect to read something written by a professional, a person who knows his or her subject inside-out, and somebody they would want to trust blindly. However, after coming across several typos or grammatical errors, or both, they will not trust the information.
Your readers have just lost faith in you…
Even if the material is immaculate, at least information-wise, and full of things they’d like to know about, they will only take in what they read with a pinch of salt. This is really a shame as the author of the article, book, brochure, or whatever it could be, would look incompetent.
Writing properly is not an easy task, and it’s not for everybody
Let me correct myself there.
Writing can be learned, just like any other skill, but writing and proofreading copy are actually two different things. The art of writing can almost be considered as a gift. There are so many brilliant writers out there, and their words mesmerize us, fill us with hope, or send us to distant worlds, or even make us transcend time and space.
The proofreading part comes after the writing is finished. Most times, the work is not proofread by the actual author as he’ll just skim over the written word, and mistakes which are obvious to the trained eye of the proofreader will be totally missed by the actual writer.
I enjoy a good book, although I have to admit that I do prefer to read comics, but of the few books I’ve read, I have come across disappointing errors, especially on eBooks. Once I come across such a failure, I just put the book down, for good.
Imagine if you’ve spent months, or even years working on your book. Writing pages upon pages, creating your plot, your sub-plot, bringing your characters to life and then killing the ones you don’t like. It might even be just a technical book, or on any other subject. In each of these cases, a good book might take years to write, after which, it’s then sent to the publishers.
Avoid writing a disaster
Frustration will surface after the masterpiece is created and put on paper. The satisfaction fades, and all because of stupid and careless errors.
Poor writing, as in the case of a CV, can cost somebody a missed job opportunity.
A company brochure will not get the desired response during a marketing campaign, but it will have the opposite effect.
An author will sell only a handful of the targeted number of books, be they in print, or eBooks. (Unless these are given away as freebies)
An advertising agency will surely not get the message through with a badly written copy.
A lawyer can lose, or even win a case over a comma in the wrong place. A person can be sent, or even freed from the gallows over such writing blunders.
Printing companies will have to take their work back if any major flaws are found.
Such mistakes, especially in huge numbers, can cripple a business and make it look…how shall I put it…amateurish?
Blog posts swamped with inaccuracies will not only make the blogger look awful, but will not attract a large following. The chances are that first time visitors won’t come again in a hurry.
Webmasters having poorly written content will most certainly not give their visitors an air of professionalism. This will hurt their business, big time. It is embarrassing, and it will kill any trust in the site, and the author.
If you can’t do it, hire a proofreader to check out your blog
If you can write well, but hopeless at catching mistakes, then please do hire a proofreader.
They are not very expensive, and will most certainly make your copy shine.
Even if you think you are good at proofreading, the chances are that you won’t catch everything. A different set of eyes is usually needed.
However, if you feel you can do away with having your work checked out, here are some tips which will most certainly improve to minimize mistakes in your copy.
Tips to help you out with proofreading your blog
Most word processors have a spell-check installed in them. Use it to your advantage. Be cautious of these tools as they are not always one hundred percent right, and they can easily miss some mistakes. You can use these word processor tools as a first guide to help you out. Personally, I use spell-check, but then I also check out my copy using Grammarly. I found the free version works out nicely.
Your writing isn’t just about putting the words together to fill up a page. It’s a bit more complex than that, but knowing a few guidelines to follow, you will be fine.
Blog writing guidelines to minimize mistakes
You need to cover properly the formatting of your content, and that includes the proper spacing between the lines and the words. You should also have consistent fonts all throughout your copy. There is normally one space after a comma, and two spaces after a full stop. There should also be an extra line between paragraphs.
Make sure your capitalization is correct where this concerns names and titles.
Read your copy several times. Check out for inaccuracies in your writing, which also includes references to specific sections of your work.
If possible, print it out and read it on paper, and even in a different location from where you usually are.
One of the best ways to catch mistakes is to either read it out loud, or to have somebody read it out to you.
Take one section at a time and make sure all is in order before you carry on to another section of your work.
Leave your writing alone for a few days
Yes, just leave it. Forget about it for a couple of days. You’ll be amazed at how you view your copy afterwards, as it will be like seeing it from a different point of view.
Never forget that when you proofread your work, it’s primarily aimed at removing spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors. The style of writing doesn’t come into it, although it would be great if you could master both these skills at the same time. In doing so, this will make your copy shine…
When I come to proofread my own work, I tend to leave the copy alone for a couple of days. Sometimes, I go through it, then leave it alone for a couple more days. It’s amazing what difference this makes when you check it out again. You’ll find that the longer you leave your copy, the more mistakes you be able to root out.
On top of that, you’ll also have a fresh new look at the writing. At the time, it might have seemed brilliant, but after reading it a few days later, you might think it’s all a load of rubbish. This is where the real work starts. Apart from sorting out the obvious mistakes, you will also be polishing the written piece in terms of style as well.
A good idea is to read it, or even listen to it, in another location to where you are usually accustomed to. It’s amazing what a difference this makes, but don’t just take my word for it.
Try it out yourself when you write something
The bottom line is that if you want visitors to read your work, and then come again for more, you have to make sure that what you’re writing is worth their reading. You need to make sure that it can be read, and without a great deal of effort from the part of the visitor.
In other words, you need to make your visitors enjoy a wonderful user experience, or UX, when they read your articles.
Proofreading services for your writing
I have no intention whatsoever of putting you through any expense which isn’t necessary. However, if you do value your work and want it to be perfect, then do consider hiring a proofreader.
You might be lucky enough to have a member of your family who can do this for you. If so, then this would be a blessing. I understand that when you are first starting up your blog, and aim to have it as your business, every cent counts. Initially, you just can’t afford to go around paying proofreaders for their services.
However, should your business take off and your writing has increased substantially, more than your family or friends can cope with, it would be time to seek the help of a professional proofreader.