First, a confession – I don’t get my blog posts professionally proofread. But that doesn’t mean I don’t make any mistakes. I can almost certainly guarantee that if I return to something I have written a few hours or days later I will find some mistakes to correct or words to edit. Sometimes I even find mistakes in a post after I have published it, or worse still one of my kind proofreading colleagues sends me an email to alert me to a glaring mistake. Fortunately, it’s easy to edit most blog posts after publication.
I follow the proofreading tips I discussed in a recent blog post, especially the advice to leave some time between writing and proofreading. I always write a post first in Word, sometimes even on paper, which is how this post originated. Then, I try to leave a week or more before uploading to the site. It always helps to have a few posts waiting in the wings just in case a glut of work uses up the available time, or the muse disappears. I’m less particular about the regularity of my personal blog – Little Orange Notebook – as it’s really just an online diary of my vegetarian cooking hobby, so I tend to post randomly.
In 2015, two million blog posts were published every day. Recently, I was wondering how many people had their blogs proofread before publication. I know that the Society for Editors and Proofreaders do, but they can’t afford to show any mistakes. I do some blog post proofreading for a couple of regular clients who aren’t native English speakers. That’s one area where proofreading and copy-editing can really help. I know for sure that if I were blogging in French (now there’s a thought) I’d have to get my writing checked by a native speaker.
Some unscientific research I carried out revealed that most of the blog posts and website pages I looked at had errors ranging from minor style inconsistencies to critical errors, such as confusion of your and you’re and weather, whether. Not long ago I witnessed a virtual argument break out on a FB group which began over a minor spelling error on a status update. The whole thing escalated into accusations of bullying and the injured party stormed off in a virtual huff. I never judge other people’s writing in this way. Perhaps they have posted something quickly on the spur of the moment, been caught out by autocorrect on a phone, or perhaps they have some genuine difficulties or disabilities that you are unaware of, like dyslexia.
Proofreading blog posts?
So, back to my original question – should you have your blog posts proofread? Of course, you’d expect me to say yes as I’m a proofreader by trade, but I think it all depends on context. I also appreciate that cost can be a factor, especially if you’re blogging a couple of times a week. If you’re running a high-profile monetised blog or it’s the main source or basis of your professional or business marketing, then I’d say yes, a second pair of eyes checking your text will provide reassurance that there are no typos or grammar gaffes before you hit publish. However, if you’re writing for fun, for your own enjoyment, or to entertain your friends then provided you check your text carefully a couple of times it’s probably not necessary. What do you think?
I’m always happy to proofread and copy-edit any text, so if you’d like a quote for regular blog post proofreading please get in touch.