Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Chandra K. Clarke, the founder of Scribendi.com, a sponsor of Social Media Explorer.
Blogs are one of the most popular forms of media, and many marketers would argue that they are one of the best online avenues for profit generation. Starting a blog is easy and once you do, you have the potential to reach millions of people. Unfortunately, the fast-paced nature of blogs and blogging often breeds a careless mindset for writers constructing blog posts. Bloggers are often too caught up in the thrill of their story, opinion, or tip to properly edit or proofread their piece. Follow these tips and your messages, thoughts, arguments, or ponderings are sure to be well received.
1. Edit for context
As a blogger, you need to know your audience. Your tone should be aligned with that of your readers. Your blog post says a lot about your personality, so be mindful of your tone. What’s more, when you’re publishing things online, anyone can find your entry and read it. Take your personal context into account in the editing process; remove any language or thoughts that you wouldn’t want your boss or co-workers to read.
You also need to be sure to pay attention to the structure of your blog post. Do your headlines properly identify what you will discuss in that section? Does your post look cluttered, or can a reader easily scan it? These are the types of questions you need to ask yourself when looking at the structure of your post.
2. Check your facts
Your blog must be factual. The Internet may not require citations and references, but presenting false statistics or flat-out lies as facts will reduce your readership. It is important to check your facts in relation to the context of your blog; a humor blog is more likely to exaggerate events in order to get a laugh, but if your genre doesn’t call for outrageous antics, edit them out. Your competition is a tough crowd, and if you’re constantly spouting lies and false truths, your credibility will forever be in question.
3. Don’t rely on spell checkers
There are numerous ways to spell check your work (in your browser, through built-in spell checking programs like the one used in Microsoft Word, etc). If you are going to use these tools, proceed with caution.
Be careful about relying on word processor spell checkers to help you find and correct problematic grammatical instances, homophonic problem words, and improperly constructed sentences. Not only does a spell checker not always catch the problems, but also when it does, it sometimes suggests an incorrect alternative!
You should never rely entirely on automated software. If you take the time to do the editing on your own, you will catch errors that spell checkers miss.
4. Be concise
Do not let your blog post get tagged as TLDNR, which stands for “too long, did not read.” If your blog post is too long to quickly and efficiently attract potential readers, then your ideas won’t be heard. Who wants to read a 10-page blog post when the same reader could potentially get the same information on Twitter in 140 characters? Cut out any redundancies and get straight to the point. Your readers will thank you.
5. Cut out the rambling
In the blogosphere, a coffee-induced stream-of-conscious rambling tends to draw negative comments or even result in a loss of readership. So stick to the important parts of a blog and cut out the rambling! Edit the language of your posts to remove redundancies and unnecessarily descriptive words such as definitely, of course, obviously, etc. Your readers won’t frequent your blog for long if they can barely understand what you’re talking about.
If you want people to read (or continue to read) your blog, you must ensure that what you are writing is not only worth reading, but also plainly readable. Try applying these five steps to your next post and keep an eye on the comments section; chances are your feedback will be more about the content of your post than any grammar or stylistic errors. If, as a blogger, you want to spend more of your time writing and less time editing, that’s OK! Submit your entry to our blog editing services – or, for those bloggers who use WordPress, try our WordPress plugin. A second set of eyes is always helpful when it comes to catching errors.
Chandra K. Clarke has a BA in English and an MSc in space exploration studies. Her life-long devotion to the written word started when she joined The Chatham Daily News as a regional stringer. She then worked as a reporter/photographer for a large chain of weeklies before becoming the managing editor of an independent paper, a post she held for two years before striking out on her own. She has authored two books, dozens of short stories, and numerous newspaper and magazine articles. She is an enthusiastic supporter of space exploration and scientific research. The founder of Scribendi.com, Clarke oversees day-to-day operations, and provides strategic management.