I’m sure you have experienced the happy feeling of relief when having finished writing a blog post? All the time spent on research, formulating every sentence, and choosing the right images for the post is behind you and finally, you are done! But wait—a very important step remains before you can publish the post; proofreading!
Here are 7 tips on how to improve your proofreading:
1. Write your text in a text editor with proper spell check
When you start writing your post, do it in a text editor (Microsoft Word for example) with proper spell check for the language you are writing in. In that way, obvious spelling mistakes come to your attention and you can correct them.
2. Install Grammarly
The free plugin Grammarly not only checks your spelling but also the grammar. It can be added to your browser (Chrome and Safari) to help you write better when you are online and can also be installed in, for instance, Microsoft Word.
3. Read your text backwards—one word at the time
Your brain grasps the essence of a sentence without reading every word and therefore it is not always easy to see spelling mistakes. To make sure every word is correctly written, read the sentences backwards slowly, one word at the time.
4. Paste your text into Notepad
When you are done in your text editor, you need to deformat your text before you paste it into the blog tool (HubSpot for example). An easy way of doing this is pasting the text into a simpler editor, such as Notepad.
5. Focus on one type of problem at the time
After you are done with the text and have added it to the blog tool, you should continue with the next potential problem. Check that the links are working, images look good, formatting is nice and all settings in the blog tool (meta description, keywords, etc.) are correct. You can create your own checklist of things to go through in the blog tool before publishing a blog post.
6. Be careful with unchangeable texts
One advantage of online publishing (compared to printed media) is that you can easily update content you have previously published. However, you will not be able to edit some texts and images after having published them. This applies for instance to the meta description that LinkedIn uses when a blog post gets shared. LinkedIn caches text and images for quite some time, which means that even if you edit the meta description in the CMS after the post has been published, it will not be updated in LinkedIn.
7. Let someone else read your post
It will always be hard to proofread your own content—even if you follow the tips mentioned in this post. I’m sure this post has a few mistakes even if I have tried to follow the checklist :-)
So my final tip to you is to let the fresh set of eyes of a colleague proofread your text before publication.
Hope this was of some help and inspiration for you to create your own proofreading checklist!
If you want to learn more about content creation, contact Zooma.