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7 Editing and Proofreading Tips

Blogs of today have become a preferred platform for people to share their views and business expertise to the world. The instant reach and wide following that blogs seem to enjoy is only because how well the content is presented. While readers are quick to share their comments and appreciation, they record their admonitions and criticisms with equal ease, be it a typo or a factual error. With so many enthusiastic bloggers flooding the Internet with content based on personal or business interests, blogs can no longer be a verbose emotional vent, rife with spelling and punctuation errors, if they are intended to get noticed. Blogs will have to reach out to the reader in a natural way with absolutely minimum, if not zero, glitches in the content and its presentation.

Making Sure What’s Written Makes Sense and Reads Well

Content is king and paying careful attention to what gets presented on the blog improves readership.

Clear and Concise Text

Internet users do not have the time or patience to battle it out with content that is either too long or superfluous or both. Flowery language, fillers, irrelevant references and examples, frequent context switching all tend to make the content verbose, with the reader quickly losing interest or continuity. Short and clear content is both readable and easy to follow.

Context-specific Content

Be it a personal or a business blog, the content should reflect the purpose of the blog. Context-specific text presented on the page, supported by relevant quotes, examples and other pieces of interesting details make sure that the reader is presented with what the blog site or topic promises to deliver.

Over emphasis, exaggerations, satires, jokes and leg-pulls are all allowed, provided the topic or context warrants it.

Language

Language again should be context-sensitive, in tune with the sensibilities of the intended audience. Keeping the language simple ensures maximum reach, allowing almost any reader to understand and appreciate what is presented. Business or technical blogs, of course, will do well to liberally use appropriate jargons for exhibiting expertise in a given industry or technology.

Needless to say that inappropriate language is best avoided. Checkout the 10 language learning apps for andorid and iphone to master any language.

Continuity

It is also important that the written piece reflects a continuous flow of thought and language, making it easier for readers to understand the content better. An occasional relief from monotony is allowed, if it does not completely distract the reader from the context. Avoiding repetitions (unless of course emphasis or a reminder is intended) tends to make the text more interesting.

Dealing with Facts

Blogs that focus on personal experiences and opinions may feature fictitious accounts of reality. However, when it comes to presenting facts, they better be accurate and verifiable. Readers are quick to react to incorrect facts and figures. Falsifying or over exaggerating facts may mar the reputation of the blog.

Spell Checking, Grammar and Punctuation

Although casual bloggers may get away with occasional language errors, the quality and readability of the content will suffer if adequate care is not taken to address grammatical or punctuation errors and misspelled words. Most blog editor apps do have their own inbuilt tools or plug-ins to check for language errors. It is just a matter of habit to quickly check for language errors before publishing the content online.

Methods for Editing and Proofreading

Before looking for methods to edit and proofread content, let’s quickly differentiate between these two somewhat overlapping tasks. Editing is serious business that looks into the content to see if it makes sense to the reader, in terms of presentation, flow, language, readability, etc. and may also call for or make the necessary changes.

Proofreading, on the other hand, is a second-check on spelling, grammar, punctuation, format and style. It is more in terms of aesthetics and not really on the content.

  • Opting for the services of a professional editor or proofreader is the easiest way to ensure that the blog content is presentable online.
  • Bloggers may also edit or proofread their content, once they have completed the write-up.
  • Printing out the blog post and going through the hard copy is one way to edit content. Errors that often go unnoticed online are easily spotted in the print version.
  • Objectively reading through the content multiple times, looking for break in flow, confusing content or information gaps, and redundant messages worded differently will help refine the blog post.
  • Looking beyond the content into the actual presentation serves to improve the readability of the content. Selection of fonts, font size, background and font colours, headings, formats – all make the post aesthetically appealing. Organising content in different paragraphs, using bullet points to break the running text, and other such format changes ensure that the message is conveyed in the right manner.
  • Getting the blog post informally reviewed by a peer or a friend often proves equally effective – a friendly contest to challenge the quality of the content!
  • Allocating 10 or 15 minutes for a thorough objective read once the blog post is written is the best way to fine tune the piece of writing. The read, when done regularly, will also help bloggers identify inherent presentation problems if any and correct them.

Conclusion

Blogs have long since evolved from being just a platform to voice personal opinions to more of a promotional medium used by business establishments, entrepreneurs and professionals looking to market their products and services. With loads of well-presented content being available on the Internet, readers are quick to switch loyalties, in case the content presented on their favourite blogs do not scale up to their expectations, in terms of both relevance and readability. Bloggers will have to take just that extra effort to tune their often well-researched content to the sensibilities of their visitors, in order to gain an increased following and reap the benefits of a well-maintained blog.

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