October 1, 2019
You agree that you need a blog for your business website and you’re blogging—that’s great! But no matter how many times you read over your blog post, you’ll find errors that you’ve missed. Because of that, you should get into the habit of reading over your blog posts before and after publishing! There’s nothing wrong with making mistakes, but there’s something professional about fixing them! If you don’t have time to review the blog post immediately after publishing, do it later (it’s never too late). And when you review your blog post, look out for these five things.
Formatting and style
If you like to spice up your blog posts by using different fonts or colours, by adding bold, italic, or underlined text, or by adding clickable links, then you should make sure that your published blog post looks the way that it should. If you’re human, you’ve published a blog post where, instead of linking (for example) “Jane’s website” in Visit Jane’s website for more information on editing your social media images, you linked “Visit Jane’s website fo“. It’s no big deal, but it does look sloppy, and suggests that you don’t have the best attention to detail. Time spent on a read-through after publishing, to check formatting, is time well spent.
My fingers are either faster than my brain or they work on autopilot because when I read over what I’ve published sometimes, I have no idea how some completely incorrect words snuck into my writing! I’m not only talking about words that are spelled incorrectly; I’m talking about homonyms, words that are spelled correctly but sound the same as other words (i.e., the word that I meant to use!). I’ve typed faze when I meant phase, and your instead of you’re before—it’s only when I read over my writing that I catch these mistakes. Homonyms aren’t the only words that can trip you up (no joke: I just wrote than instead of that). To find this kind of error more easily, take a break from your writing and read it later with fresh eyes. Another word-related error: typing the same word twice in a row; somehow, you you don’t notice that you’ve repeated the word “you”—see what I did there?
If you’ve read my free DIY Editing Checklist (which is more guide than checklist), then you know that I’m on team #addcontractionstowriting! A contraction is a shortened version of a word (for example, can’t instead of cannot or we’re instead of we are) that replaces missing letters with an apostrophe. You may avoid using contractions on your business website because you think that it makes your website look informal, but trust me: if your goal is to get someone to read what you’ve written, the reading flows better when contractions are involved! If you’re not sure, check out the two sentences that I compare in the DIY Editing Checklist. You may decide not to use contractions in legal documents like contracts, or when emphasizing a point (for example, You will not win this argument sounds weightier than You won’t win this argument.) (Or is it just me?)
When you’re writing a blog post, you often think of a couple of different ways of saying something. Sometimes a sentence ends up turning into a question by the time you’ve reworked it, but you forget to correct the punctuation. Or sometimes you leave off the punctuation at the end of a sentence entirely. Other times, you may have more than one kind of punctuation at the end of a sentence; I often see sentences ending with two periods. When you read over your blog post after you’ve published it, punctuation errors will probably be the easiest to catch.
FOLLOW the Links
I mentioned links before, but that was for formatting reasons. If you’re sharing links in a blog post, make sure that they go where they’re supposed to go so that the first comment on a blog post that you worked hard on isn’t “The link is broken!”
An online presence that is as error free as possible showcases that you’re a professional with impeccable attention to detail (or that you know how to hire a good copy editor!). As I mentioned earlier, writing mistakes are unavoidable, and most of the time, the errors will not affect a reader’s ability to understand your blog post. However, that’s no excuse to leave errors in your blog posts! It’s never too late to fix a mistake, and blogging software makes it so easy to edit your posts that you have no excuse not to.
Featured image by Amenemhet Lares Photography
Elevate my writing
Elevate My Writing is a copy editing service for online business owners. You’re the expert on what you do; my job is to take what you write about what you do and polish it so that you make the right first impression and present your brand in the best possible light!