A great writer does not a great proofreader make. Yet, it is difficult to become a great blogger without developing top notch proofreading skills. As small business bloggers know, proofreading help is not always available, or may cost more than our online marketing budgets allow. So, I am sharing a few tips to help us effectively proofread our own blog posts.
1. Read the Draft Post Aloud
Don’t force our eyes to do all the work! Let our ears help. Reading our blog post slowly and aloud to ourselves will help us catch typos and other errors that our eyes may not see.
2. Read the Post in Reverse Order, Paragraph by Paragraph
A big part of proofreading is forcing our mind and eyes to read what is there — and not what might have been there in our mind or in a previous edit. One way to do this is to read our post in reverse order. So, read the last paragraph first. Then the penultimate paragraph. Then the third from the last, and so on. This method enables us to avoid falling into a rhythm of reading which can cause us to become less focused on the words on the page. This proofreading approach will also test that each paragraph can stand on its own.
3. Print the Post for Reading
Sometimes seeing our blog post drafts in a different medium can be enough to help our eyes catch those lurking typos and grammatical errors. Editing our written copy with good, old-fashioned pen and paper can prove a valuable way to make those final draft edits. To be kind to the environment, we can certainly print the drafts on recycled paper (with old content on the other side) as we are only proofing our work.
4. Review the Post on a Different Computer or Device
The trick here is to change it up so that our eyes and mind are seeing our words in a different context. Proof read our draft post on a different computer, on our mobile phone or on a tablet screen (like an iPad.) The change of presentation should help us catch any lingering mistakes.
5. Read the Post in Preview Mode
Most content management systems, like WordPress, allow for the previewing of draft posts so that we can see what they will look like once published. Proofreading our posts as they will appear on our live blog can help us by reducing the visual clutter of editing tools and enabling us the read the content.
Proofreading is important to the production of quality blog posts. It is difficult to review and edit our own copy, especially if we have already spent a fair amount of time editing. The above steps for proofreading blog posts should help us catch at least a few more of the typos hidden in our copy.
7 thoughts on “Five Tips for Proofreading Blog Posts”
Now here is a post I can sink my teeth into. I used to very much enjoy writing/blogging, but have found it more and more difficult over the past couple of years.
I can attribute most of my problem to difficulties in my private life. Regardless, I’ve been wondering what I could do not so much to help get me writing more, but improve the quality of what I write, which has also suffered.
Thanks for the tips/tricks/ideas.
For me, the more I write, the easier it gets. Sure, some days are better than others, but still, writing is a skill like many others. The longer we practice, the more we focus on it and the more time we develop to it, the better we shall get.
I have a long way to get to the point where I would consider myself a top writer, but in the meantime, it’s practice, practice, practice.
I would whole-heartedly agree practice makes a huge difference. Unfortunately, my private life has left me with less of a desire to write and so I wrote less.
And now when I go to write it doesn’t seem to flow as naturally and readily. That sucks.
At this point I’m probably more in need of inspiration than anything else!
I find that reading inspires me to write. When I’ve read a good book, a well told story, or even a succinct newspaper article, I want to jump onto the computer and type, type, type … you know, get my own story or viewpoint out.
What about breaking the writing process down a bit? Start with brainstorming for bullet points. Work that into shape. Try it for a few different topics that interest (or once interested you.) That might help jump-start the creative juices once again.
That’s not a bad suggestion.
I’m hoping an upcoming, short get-away may re-energize me in some way. It’s amazing how much of a mental mind-screw trying to write can be when other things aren’t going well or right.
If that makes sense.
Totally makes sense! A change of scene, away from it all, is a great way to get re-focused. Good luck! Enjoy the time away!
Really great to see that people are recognizing the importance of paying respect to the English language. Far too many bloggers assume that because blog posts are an informal means of communication they don’t need to check their posts. They are an extension and representation of you and/or your brand and should be presented with due care and attention. Thanks Liam.
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