The importance of proofreading your blog post
Proofreading your blog post before it goes live is extremely important. You don’t want all the hard work you have put into the researching, writing and editing to be let down by a stray apostrophe or accidental typo. There are a number of reasons why you should do a thorough proofread of any copy before you publish it.
Errors can change the meaning
Incorrect punctuation or spelling can completely change the meaning of your copy, as in these examples:
Woman: without her, man is nothing
Woman, without her man, is nothing
The doctor had no patients
The doctor had no patience
Errors can put readers off
Your readers may forgive the odd mistake here and there but if your copy is littered with spelling mistakes, grammatical errors and bad use of punctuation then it will put readers off. Your copy will be too hard to follow and if you can’t put the effort into checking it, why should readers put the effort into trying to decipher it?
Errors can detract from the content
Unfortunately, many people tend to focus on the negative. You could write the most engaging, informative, interesting blog post ever written but if it is full of errors that’s what readers will pick up on. Make sure your content is remembered for the right reasons.
There are some common mistakes people make and these can be easily picked up on. Watch out for these when you’re proofreading your blog post.
Whether you’re inexperienced at typing or type at speed, it’s all too easy to hit the wrong key or hit them in the wrong order. Don’t rely on a spell check tool to pick up on typos. Typing ‘form’ instead of ‘from’, ‘fiend’ instead of ‘friend’ or ‘manger‘ instead of ‘manager’ can easily slip through unnoticed.
Lots of people find apostrophes confusing. there are two main uses for an apostrophe:
- When there is a letter or letters missing, usually when two words have been merged together. The apostrophe replaces the missing letter. For example; don’t (do + not), you’re (you + are) he’s (he + is)
- When you’re indicating that something belongs to a thing or person. For example, “it was his sister’s car” (the car belongs to his sister), “it was her friend’s birthday” (the birthday belongs to her friend) or “he could hear the car’s engine” (the engine belongs to the car).
When you’re adding the letter ‘s’ to a word to turn it into a plural, you do not need an apostrophe. For example, “he had three sisters”, “many of her friends would be there”, “the showroom was full of classic cars”.
Homophones are words that sound the same when spoken but are spelt differently and have different meanings. They catch a lot of people out. Some commonly confused ones are:
- Your and you’re
- There, their and they’re
- To, too and two
- Whether and weather
- Bear and bare
- Complement and compliment
- Stationery and stationary
- Affect and effect
Capital letters should be used for the first letter of a sentence or subheading. They should also be used for proper nouns (names of people, countries and cities, for example). Abbreviations are also capitalised (for example; search engine optimisation= SEO).
Top tips for proofreading your blog post
Leave your copy overnight
We recommend three stages to your blog writing process. The first stage is to write your post, the second is to edit and the third is to proofread. You should leave at least one day between each stage as then you are going back to it with fresh eyes and are more likely to spot mistakes.
Read out loud
Reading your post out loud will help you identify mistakes more easily. You will notice any awkward sentence structure, grammatical errors and missing words.
Get a fresh pair of eyes
Get a friend or colleague to give your blog post a final check before you publish it. They will be more likely to spot mistakes as it will be the first time they have read the post. Alternatively, hire a proofreader who will check your work thoroughly.
Software like Grammarly is very useful for picking up errors in your work. It shouldn’t be used as a substitute for manual proofreading but provides an extra check.