*This could be seen as an extension of my previous blogging post so I’m treating it as a part 2. And just to let you know, I am not an expert.*
Self editing is a big bone of contention for me. As a writer, whether said writer is professional or amateur, we are more used to the actual act of putting our thoughts and fancies on the page and not double or triple checking our output. It seems that when we edit our own work, we tend to miss the more obvious mistakes while looking for the more eclectic ones.
For example: recently I uploaded a post that I had taken ages to edit. *”Ages” to me means more than three passes over the article, it doesn’t really equate to a real time.* Once I was satisfied that every thing looked okay, I posted it. Only to cringe with embarrassment when I first read the posted product. My first sentence had a word missing!
Face Palm moment.
Of course one of the great things about WordPress is that we can always go back and re-edit our stuff after we’ve posted it. But that really isn’t what we should be doing. We should do a decent edit before we send our baby out to be read by strangers (and friends) who will most likely not be impressed by the fact that we cannot spell or write an intelligent sentence.
I don’t read other blogs nearly as much as I should. I am, by my very nature, lazy. I only have so much energy and attention span available to me and I have to share it with everything from doing the housework to taping a video for YouTube. So in my mind three passes is the longest that I can take to edit my own written material.
But when I do read other blogs, I cringe when I see a barrage of misspellings and sentences that have great holes in them where a word should be. Now I will admit that I have an almost phobic distaste for writers who cannot get the difference between to, two and too. I also have real problems with those who cannot differentiate between their, there and they’re.
*My most cringeworthy moment came when I’d incorrectly used their instead of they’re. I was mortified.*
With the use of spell checker software that is available, not just on WordPress, but on every word processing software in the world, I find it inconceivable that these common mistakes still appear on people’s blogs and (I’m sad to say) their books. I know that I have not followed a blog that has been full of spelling mistakes and despite the content being fantastic, I couldn’t in all honesty follow someone who did not care enough about what they wrote to edit it properly.
Granted we are writers and not editors, the two things are not mutually inclusive. Being good at one does not automatically mean you are good at the other. But, and this is a big but, we have to make that effort. If we don’t take ourselves seriously enough to send out a polished product when we upload, how can we expect anyone else to. (and that is to not too or two)
And we do want to be taken seriously, don’t we? The blogging world is full of people who can write just as well as we can and a lot more folks who can write better. A lot of successful bloggers don’t just add pictures and videos and GIF‘S (that’s for you Tyson) they add a professional touch that includes ruthless editing.
1) Try reading the blogpost in reverse order. It’s a lot easier to spot boo-boo’s that way.
2) Have a trusted person read the post. My daughter used to do this for me and me for her. It works.
3) Try reading the post out loud. A lot of times this will save you from making sentencing mistakes.
4) Leave your post alone for a bit. Go do something that is not writing related and then come back, the mistakes will sometimes leap off that page at you.
5) Take your time. There is no rush. No-one is breathing over your shoulder screaming hurry up.
6) Last one I promise. Try reading it in preview mode (WordPress). I find mistakes show more clearly on preview.
Now following these tips is no guarantee that your future blog posts will be mistake free. But they will go a long way toward making it read more smoothly and improving the look of it.
I do feel that standards are slipping. I’ve read no less than three Freshly Pressed articles that were “shot-gunned” through with misspellings. Great stories all, but to read? I kept stumbling over misspelt words and it took the enjoyment out of the article. Just as it takes the enjoyment out of posting my own articles and discovering that I’d either turned word-check off, or I hadn’t bothered to really edit properly.
Just things like using the wrong “tense” or the wrong adverb or adjective can throw the reader out of the moment or cause them to miss your point. This can lose you views, followers and the confidence you need to continue writing.
We owe it to the good people who take the time to read, like, or comment on our babies. More importantly we owe it to ourselves. Because we are writers, damn it and we are proud of that fact.
Do you have any editing tips that work for you? If so, please feel more than free to share them. We’d love to hear them, I know I can use all the help I can get.
- What you need to know about blogs and blogging (kathrynmarketingpro.wordpress.com)
- Tips for Becoming a Freelance Writer (howtolivethefreelancelife.wordpress.com)
- 15 Useful, Little-Known WordPress Plugins to Add to Your Collection | RYP Marketing (rypmarketing.com)
- Blogging Part 2: The Creative Side (InsuranceFiles.com)
- On Blogging (shesamaineiac.com)
- On Editing (portablemagicblog.com)
- The Terror of the Blank Page (writingishardwork.com)
20 thoughts on “Blogging Part 2: Editing Your Own Blog Post”
I’ve never been much of one for editing not until I joined a writer’s group a year and a half ago and learned more about it. What I do for my posts is write it, tag it, put it in preview mode and look over it twice at the most. I haven’t had any complaints about content or grammar or spelling or anything so I figure I’m pretty okay but I could definitely be better at the process. I have a few blogs I’ve read in the past that are so frustrating to read because the sentences are run on and repetitive and I would hate stopping by these sites.
Great post, Mike, I’m enjoying this series. 🙂
Thanks!! I’ve also found that putting it into preview mode makes it ten times easier tho edit. I know what you mean about some sites. There are a few who do not use paragraphs and your left facing this great unbroken wall of words and punctuation. I don’t visit those type of sites much either! I’m glad you’re enjoying the series!!
An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a co-worker who was doing a little
homework on this. And he actually bought me breakfast because I stumbled upon it for him.
.. lol. So let me reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!
! But yeah, thanks for spending time to discuss this matter here on your site.
I’m a right stickler for spelling, punctuation and grammar and so I try and proof read as I go along. If I’ve made a mistake after I’ve published I’ll have to change it; there’s something inside that just won’t let me leave it! I’m not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing!
I don’t even read mine until its published, never have anytime 😦
I am sure the spelling is awful haha 😀
It is a universal problem. They really have completely eliminated quality control in the publishing industry. And they’ve done the same thing in software. That’s why we buy expensive software and it’s full of bugs. They won’t pay anyone to beta test. They won’t pay anyone to proofread, whether it’s computer code or a manuscript for publication. That I miss my own typos is a problem that’s i’ll probably never completely solve. That major publishers are putting out books full of typos really is a disgrace.
I’m always missing misspelling and boo-boo’s in my posts and I always edit on the fly. I’ve also noticed that “properly” published material to be full of typos and mistakes. It seems like the literature industry is trying very hard to “dumb” us down. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Stephanie Meyer…I rest my case. 😉
I also hate and loathe the misuse of their, there and they’re. This doubles my shocked incredulity when I’m running through a final edit on my own stuff, and I find I’ve done the same thing.
Agreed! Every time I see that in my post’s I cringe!!! Thanks for sharing mate!! 😀
AND: Spell-checkers will find words that are misspelled and occasionally a few words used incorrectly. However, spell-checkers will pretty much never find words that are spelled correctly but should not be there (cut and paste errors), and can “decide” what you wrote should be something else — like exasperated instead of exacerbated. Spell-checkers only catch obvious errors and not necessarily all of those. They won’t catch a missing word, a wrong word, an extra word. If you let them, they will change your text to mean something entirely different. And don’t forget the pleasures of auto-correct. That’s a total hoot.
I hate and loathe auto-correct! *grrrrrrr*
As authors, we see what we meant to say (and expect to see), not necessarily what’s there. It has nothing to do with sloppiness or not caring.
Writing and proofreading are entirely different skill sets. Hemingway didn’t have to do his own proofreading. Neither did Thomas Wolfe. If they’d had to proof and edit their own stuff without the excellent support of Scribner and Maxwell Perkins, they would never have published. Nor would the majority of our best authors.
In the past few decades, editors and proofreaders have been eliminated as redundant and too costly. The result has been visibly lower quality of manuscripts. The official position is nobody cares anyhow (but they do). It’s part of cross-industry cost-cutting and bottom-lining. Keep eliminating support services until you run out of services to cut … and then be thunderstruck that your product is mediocre or worse.
I spend HOURS going over my posts and I still miss stuff. It’s infuriating and embarrassing … but no one has time or inclination to read everything I write. It’s my blog and my responsibility. Not everyone has someone to backstop blog posts.
My choice has been to write shorter — and fewer — posts. Fewer words, fewer mistakes. It wasn’t my first choice, but I spend significantly more time proofing than writing. Ten minutes to write the post, 3 hours to proof it? There aren’t enough hours in the day and sometimes, I want to do something else.
If this means people won’t read my stuff because I’m a crappy proofreader, then I throw my hands into the air and say fine, whatever. I agree punctuation and spelling count, but so does content. If punctuation and spelling are the ONLY things that count, something is wrong with the reader, not just the writer.
Well said. It is my bone of contention that standards are slipping, too many years of having proper spelling and punctuation hammered into my head! Excellent point about the publishing world, too bad we can’t have our own personal editors… Who else can we blame apart from our selves for these little nit-noy mistakes! 😀
So yourr’e sayying me using GIFs’ makesme less ov a professional tooo you?? 🙂 (No spelling or grammar mistakes there…..) You could use the Jennifer one you know!? 🙂
LOL – yeah I take forever going over a post in the edit only to realise as soon as I’ve posted that I missed something. I’m dyslexic which doesn’t help, as I quite often miss words until my wife tells me I used the wrong ‘too’ for example. Nice post buddy 🙂
Thanks mat!!!1 😀
I actually am an editor! By the way,
“With the use of spell checker software that is available, not just on WordPress, but on every word processing software in the world, I find it inconceivable that these common mistakes still appear on peoples blogs and (I’m sad to say) their books. I know that I have not followed a blog that has been full of spelling mistakes and despite the content being fantastic, I couldn’t in all honesty follow someone who did not care enough about what they wrote to edit it properly.”
You forgot the apostrophe in “people’s.” 🙂
Facepalm!!!!! *speedily reaches for the edit button to fix problem* On a serious note, you see what I mean??? LOL
And amazingly enough, that was NOT caught by the spell check function! That is why we have to edit… Problem solved. Cheers mate!!! 😀