You might think that I’d recommend a thorough proofreading and editing process for every blog.
But that’s not the case.
Since I don’t know enough about your blog to answer the question I pose in the headline of this article, I’m going to provide editing tips for writers that will help you evaluate your own publication.
To start, it’s useful to ask yourself: Is your blogging successful with your current level of editing and proofreading, or could you possibly benefit from more substantial revisions?
When you’re done reading this post, you’ll have clear next steps to take if your blog would benefit from more editing and proofreading.
What is the difference between editing and proofreading?
It’s common for beginner writers to wonder if there’s a difference between editing and proofreading.
While they’re both part of the revision process after you write a draft, they are indeed distinct activities. And more importantly, you should treat them as distinct activities if you’re looking to better connect with your readers.
In short, content editing will refine your writing into the best presentation for your audience. Content proofreading will ensure that there are no mistakes or goofs that could disrupt your reader’s experience or damage your credibility as a content creator.
See how they’re both important?
Editing and proofreading are also both part of the artistic process when you’re aiming to craft content that serves your audience as well as your business.
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Ask these proofreading and editing questions about your blog
Since I’m a loyal follower of the Socratic method, we’re going to explore the colossal question, “Does your blog need proofreading and editing?” by asking more questions. 😉
After answering the three questions below, you’ll uncover how you can reach your content goals faster.
1. Why do you publish content?
If you’ve never written down an answer to this question, your response will provide a lot more direction for your content than just how to proceed with editing and proofreading.
Your reason for publishing is almost a prerequisite before you set the content marketing strategy for your blog. It helps guide the topics you write about, as well as your publishing schedule.
For instance, if you’re a writer and you want to create a portfolio so that clients become interested in hiring you, your content should be examples of your refined and sophisticated work.
You’d also want to publish on a regular basis to show your commitment to your blog. Those who show up regularly for their own audiences demonstrate reliability to clients.
But if your blog is an outlet for your raw, unfiltered creativity, your audience may be inspired by your rough drafts and prefer your less polished writing.
Speaking of your audience …
2. Who’s in your audience?
Your ideal audience members guide the type of writing you publish just as much as your motivations for publishing.
If the people you aim to serve will be turned off by consistent grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes, spending time carefully proofreading and editing your work is a good idea.
I know you wouldn’t expect me to advocate quantity over quality, but the people you aim to serve might not get flustered over improper grammar. They could simply love the information you share with them and prefer that you publish as often as possible.
Each writer’s actions when proofreading will be different. Consider your audience’s needs to assess your methods for producing, reviewing, and publishing content.
3. Does your writing resonate with your readers?
Don’t think I’ve gone soft on you. This is the question where I let my Editor Flag fly.
- What special insights do you share?
- Does your writing magnetically hold attention?
- Are readers compelled to share your content?
If you’re having trouble retaining visitors and getting subscribers, I recommend creating a more robust experience for your readers with a diligent editing and proofreading process. (More on that below.)
You might need to edit more if you’re not …
You might need to edit more if you’re not focused on specific content marketing goals that support your business.
The mistakes you correct and the winning details you uncover during a thorough proofreading and editing process often help you connect with your target audience and nurture prospects who are interested in doing business with you.
When you treat your blog like a professional publication, you’re more likely to produce better content that is tailored to your audience’s preferences.
Your readers are looking for information on a topic from someone they like and trust, so you have an opportunity to become the resource they’re looking for.
What to do next
In Why Marketers Need Content Editors, you’ll learn eight steps to becoming your own content marketing editor.
These tips aren’t grammar, spelling, and punctuation lessons. They teach you the proofreading and editing techniques that elevate the quality of your content.
Next, discover The Traffic Light Revision Technique for Meticulously Editing Your Own Writing.
Once you know how to think like an editor for your big-picture blog strategy, the traffic light revision technique will help you critically review the individual pieces of content you create.
You might need to proofread more if …
You might need to proofread more if … your content regularly has multiple glaring errors that make your blog look sloppy.
It’s as simple as that.
Demonstrate that you value your readers’ time. If you want their attention, it makes sense to focus your attention on details.
What to do next
Proofreading is different from reading. You’ll continually overlook certain mistakes — even if you read your text several times — if you don’t read like a proofreader.
Pick up the proofreading techniques I use on Copyblogger’s articles in 3 Proofreading Pointers, So Your Writing Isn’t Shared for the Wrong Reason.
Evaluate your proofreading and editing process
Take 30 minutes (or less) to evaluate where your own proofreading and editing is today.
Spending as little as 10 minutes on those questions could help you set new publication priorities.
Have a process that works for your blog? Anything you might like to improve? Share in the comments below!
Reader Comments (14)
Srinivasa Chaitanya says
I always use Grammarly Chrome extension for Spelling, Grammar, and other Grammatical errors. I write lengthy posts that need a lot of editing. I do all the editing work myself and also add fresh content to the post every month. This process also improved my ranking in search.
Vishwajeet Kumar says
Thanks for this informative and detailed post. Proofreading is really a big concern for me few months ago. But I started practicing regularly and write articles on daily basis. I also use tools like Grammarly for proofreading my articles.
My editor works wonders for my content. He makes sure we keep a “unified voice” through all our brand and transforms my ramblings into something effective.
If you can afford it, an editor is a wonderful weapon to have at your disposal 🙂
Liam Freeman says
Excellent article! I’d also recommend using tools like Hotjar to see how your readers interact with the content. Sometimes they even spot mistakes or linger on some badly worded expressions which you’ll know you have to correct.
Todd Witham says
I also use grammarly chrome extension for spelling, grammar etc and it’s been working pretty well. Recently, I have been focused on lengthy content, which then requires more editing time and I am forcing myself not to rush to publish but take the time to edit and get it right the first time.
Gary F. Dailey says
Good article, I use Grammarly too. But I also like to get my work in front of someone elses eyes. Their perspective can help you see things in your writing that are easily missed.
Nick Raineri says
Good tips for the editing and proofreading part of publishing blog content. Thanks for sharing Stefanie!
Jesse Collier says
Awesome post Stefanie! I really like how you stress that proofreading is different for every blog. Depending on your audience, you might want to include some minor mistakes in your writing.
Personally, I use Grammarly but I also like to get my articles in front of people I know who are good at proofreading (having a sister who’s an English major helps A LOT) so they can notice any mistakes I have made 🙂
Jeremy Booze says
While I prefer content to be well articulated, clear, concise and error-free, I am human and understand that errors do happen. So no discredit given unless the material is utterly published without consideration. All credibility flies out the window at that point.
The one thing I don’t like about another person proofreading is that content can often be rearranged which may disrupt the big picture or flow of the article, especially if that person isn’t completely in tune with the tone you’re going for.
Focusing in to close on an article and doing micro editing on a paragraph basis I find can in indirectly cause for a choppy or repetitive read. Got to keep an eye on the big picture and watch paragraph transitions as well as previously stated topics! No one likes a broken record.
Reference to Grammarly, I have fallen in love with the quickness and convenience. Highly recommended!
I also use my double click feature on my MacBook, which will pop up a quick definition. Or pop over to a Google search and get some alternative verbiage from the definition I find there. Repeating words to many time in a single piece is a pet-peeve.
Jane Rucker says
This is solid useful information! I have edited books for many years before starting my blog recently. These same rules apply to both online and offline content. Defining both purpose and audience are so very useful!
Thanks for sharing!
James Doherty says
This is a great article. Initially, I had all of my posts read by an editor. I am putting out 2-3 posts per week so it became expensive. As I grow, I will look into hiring someone full time.
Keith Paul says
We’re a husband/wife blogging team so we always read each other’s posts. Works well. We also let a post stand for a few days and give it one last read. It can sound different not having it fresh in your mind. We are also big advocates of Grammarly.
Tim Moss says
I always make sure to read my website posts through before publishing. I’ve made the error of not doing it before and been caught out.
Probably a good idea though to get a friend/colleague to proof read.
I love this concept. I normally do recommend at least a cursory reread before publishing for every blog, but I love your point that it doesn’t make sense to invest resources into editing if your blog is already getting results for you.
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