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.