X MARKS THE SPOT: PROOFREADING TIPS FOR BLOGGERS
Writing for a blog is SO different from writing anything else - that's a fact.
When it comes to writing your blog content, it has to be great if you want your readers to stick around. And one of the main ways that causes a reader to leave and never come back is publishing content with loads of errors.
Proofreading your blog post isn’t just about making sure it’s error-free. It’s about building credibility with your readers as quickly as possible so they stick around and share your content.
So I wanted to share with you some quick actionable proofreading tips. You can use one of these tips or all of them but they’re really going to help polish your blog posts.
#1 | WALK AWAY
A lot of bloggers write a blog post and immediately publish it but I’d advise against that.
This again comes down to time management and scheduling which we talked about in a couple of previous videos.
But if you proofread your posts when you’ve just written them, it’ll be ineffective.
Step away for half an hour or even a full day if you can and then check your work. Trust me, it’s amazing how many more errors you spot that way.
#2 | ASK FOR HELP
Nobody is perfect and sometimes, you’ll miss errors because that’s naturally what happens when you proofread your own work.
So ask for help - it could be a friend or family member, just get them to take a quick look.
#3 | USE A TOOL
You might think you’re the best speller ever, but when you’re in the writing flow, you’re bound to make errors that you might not spot.
So your best bet is to use a tool and my favourite one for this is Grammarly. It’s a free Chrome extension and it’s honestly the quickest way to proofread and edit your work.
This isn’t just great for spelling but grammar too, like sentence structure and if you’re using too many commas. I use commas A LOT.
#4 | PROOFREAD IT MORE THAN ONCE
I know a lot of you will be watching this right now thinking, “proofread more than once? Do you think I‘ve got all the time in the world?”
I get it but honestly? Once isn’t enough.
It’s best to proofread your posts two or three times just to make sure you’ve got all the errors.
You could also look for different things each time you proofread. So first you could check for spelling and grammar mistakes and then you might proofread it to see if it all flows alright.
#5 | DON'T WRITE IN RIDDLES
And by this I mean don’t just jargon, don’t use words your readers won’t understand.
You might think your readers know what you’re talking about but you don’t want to assume that.
Plus, if readers can’t understand your writing they’ll think you’re not writing for them and then they’ll leave.
So write out abbreviations, cut down on jargon and make sure your readers can follow along easily.
#6 | PRINT IT OUT
This is something I’ve started doing recently for articles for the Blogging Breakthrough magazine and I cannot tell you what a difference it makes.
You proofread on your screen and you’re like, "hey that’s not too shabby!" But then on paper? There’s an error, there’s an error, there’s an error.
Proofreading something on paper forces you to examine it differently, so this is a really useful tip to try.
#7 | FACT CHECK
I did a Masters Degree in Magazine Journalism in 2013/2014 and this piece of advice was drilled into us.
If you even want to give your blog a chance of being shared and getting found in search, you’ve got to spell the names of products, people and companies correctly.
And don’t just leave it to the spell checker. They’re not magicians, they may not pick up everything.
Pay extra attention because not only does this build trust with your readers, but it also makes you look good in search engines too.
#8 | READ IT OUT LOUD
This is my favourite proofreading tip of all and even though I mentioned it yesterday, I’m just gonna go ahead and mention it again.
Read your post out loud!
If you write your post as if you’re talking to your reader over coffee, you need to read it out loud to see if it has the conversational tone that you’re aiming for.
And if you stumble over a sentence or something doesn’t flow quite right, you’ll be able to spot it much better by reading alpoud them just reading in your head.
These proofreading tips will really help you improve your credibility.
But was there a proofreading tip you love that I didn't include? I'm sure my list could be a lot longer so let me know in the comments!
Remember to proofread your blog posts like a boss so you can get one step closer to a breakthrough.