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Blogging 101 – Always Proof Read

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Just because you are writing a blog, or posting on Twitter, or even on some of the social sites such as FaceBook, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t view or treat your writing with any less respect than if you, were say, writing an article for a newspaper column or for a magazine.

I am sure that I would be absolutely on the money if I were to assume that articles of this nature would be checked, several times to ensure that the spelling was correct or, that the links actually worked, or that the language that you used was grammatically correct.

I know and understand that common sense is in really short supply these days (if not altogether a rare commodity) but logic should tell you that, at the very least, the article or post should be read over again, at least once.

For me, often the thoughts and ideas come at me in bits and pieces and usually over a period of time. Additionally ideas ‘pop-up’ while I am busy writing and rather than lose the momentum, I jot them down either on the page (if I am writing by hand) or on the screen page (if I am writing directly onto the computer). This, of course, means that the piece will not flow. The sentences will not be in the right order and arguments, discussions, or even points to ponder, will seem stilted, all over the place, and not always make any kind of sense (except to me of course).

Obviously, I have to go back and put everything where it should be or change things around so that the story unfolds correctly.

There are times too when perhaps an explanation needs to be expanded to make the point clearer or additional material needs to be added to make the piece complete.

Often it is only by the fourth or fifth reading that I am satisfied with the ‘unfolding’ of the story and then, although I usually correct spelling mistakes as I go along, I read it again to check for any more spelling mistakes or grammatical errors.

After this comes what I call the ‘audience test’. Here’s the thing – reading something quietly in your mind is not the same as reading it out loud, to a captive audience, where you pause at the required moment to add emphasis to what you are saying and put all the correct inflections on the words as you say them.

Forget for a moment that my ‘captive audience’ is usually my cats, who may or may not be fast asleep on the couch in my office – there are usually a few more changes to be made at this point. Changes made, the cat gets to hear it all over again and once the words roll off my tongue, without pause to correct or add something else, and the meaning is clear, then and only then, is the piece complete and ready for posting.

Think about it for a moment – you want people to take the time to read and understand what it is that you have written – not so? Then it stands to reason that you should take the time and trouble to make that reading experience an enjoyable one.