By Jael Strong
The bigest miss take a bloggger kan make is flailÂ to edit there riting..Â Oh, I hate it when I see something that IÂ reallyÂ wantÂ to read and half way through I have to stop because the mistakes are inexcusable.Â I’m not talking about the occasional typo (Though, those are definitely avoidable!).Â I’m talking about a decent piece of writing peppered with spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors galore.Â What can a writer do to avoid this terrible downfall?
First Step: Spell Check
A simple step that may ultimately save you some time is to use that handy dandy spell checker.Â It won’t catch everything, but it willÂ identify some of the most obvious mistakes.Â It is certainly easy enough to use so nobody has an excuse for not clicking that little button.Â
However, a warning is in order:Â Spell check does not catch everything!Â In fact, the spell check program only located four of the eight mistakes in my first sentence. The reason is simple; this is a computer program and it will not identify mistakes that involve the use of the wrong word.Â If you get your “their”, “there”, and “they’re” mixed up, don’t expect spell check to help you out.Â More is needed.
Second Step: Read
Â I’ll be honest with you.Â I don’t always enjoy reading my own writing, especially when I have the suspicion that it isn’t quite up to par.Â But, we have already noted that the computer isn’t going to catch every mistake.Â So, you have to read what you write.Â A quick read can spare you some embarrassment.Â Another plus, besides catching spelling and grammar errors, is that as I read I tend to revise content, improving on my writing as a whole.
Third Step: Read Backward
Â Read backward?Â That’s right.Â This is actually my favorite editing tool.Â Start at the end and, sentence by sentence, read through your writing.Â It is amazing how many errors can be found using this technique.Â True, you won’t find many spelling errors this way, but you will find incorrect punctuation, runons and fragments using this method. Also, it will be easier to identify ambiguous wording, helping you to revise for the sake of clarity.
Fourth Step: Employ an Extra Set of Eyes
Â This one can be a challenge.Â After all, where are you going to be able to find someone who is willing to take time out of their busy schedule to help you out?Â There are a lot of options.Â Find a friend, a relative, or a colleague and say, “Hey, can you take aÂ look at my latest post?”Â Find someone you trust, ask them to tell you if anything needs adjusting, and then edit.Â Of course, thank them profusely for their help.
These steps might seem a bit time consuming.Â All together though, they take about ten minutes. Unfortunately, editing and proofreading do seem to be something that many bloggers try to do without.Â Don’t turn away potential readers by eliminating this vital step.Â Edith and keeep reeders coming bak four more!
Help other writers out:Â What steps do you take to make sure that your writing is error-proof?
Jael StrongÂ writes for TheWriteBloggers, a professional blogging service which builds clientsâ authority status and net visibility.Â She has written both fiction and non-fiction pieces for print and online publications.Â She regularly blogs at Freelance Writing Mamas .
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Gary Smith says
So true. My spelling and grammar are usually okay, but I have a serious problem with the semi-colon. My posts are often peppered with things like don;t instead of don’t. One of my goals may end up being to have a custom keyboard made with the quote and semi-colon keys reversed :).
I do proof read all of my posts though and I usually find other typos. Other times I scrap whole posts, not because of typos but just because the post doesn’t really flow. Instead of ending up with a carefully crafted opinion I get 3 or 4 disjointed paragraphs.
I guess that flow comes with experience though and the best experience is writing blog posts!
Andy @ FirstFound says
The key thing is time. Don’t finish writing, then start editing. Give it some time, then start the process. Otherwise you don’t spot the errors you’ve just written.
Jael Strong says
I agree, Andy. Time is definitely the key. We are so busy that we often rush to complete our posts. I find that my best writing is a result of mental rumination.
George Wahn says
O nice overview of blogging,i want to add a little bit
I know a lot of people and myself too who after a week of posting get sniffed of and want to have an easy way of posting plus to seo your blog is another tuff job to do,for all those beginners out there i want to advise them to use an auto blog posting software by using which they can post content to their blogs and can post their blogs to blog directories easily,the most versatile and easy to use which i am using is a free blog poster available at http://www.massblogposter.com