You might think that I’d recommend a thorough proofreading and editing process for every blog.
But that’s not the case.
Since I don’t know enough about your blog to answer the question I pose in the headline of this article for you, I’m going to provide editing tips for writers that will help you evaluate your own publication.
To start, it’s useful to ask yourself: Is your blogging successful with your current level of editing and proofreading, or would you benefit from more substantial revisions?
When you’re done reading this post, you’ll have clear next steps to take if your blog would benefit from more editing and proofreading.
What is the difference between editing and proofreading?
It’s common for beginner writers to wonder if there’s a difference between editing and proofreading.
While they’re both part of the revision process after you write a draft, they are indeed distinct activities. And more importantly, you should treat them as distinct activities if you’re looking to better connect with your readers.
In short, content editing will refine your writing into the best presentation for your audience. Content proofreading will ensure that there are no mistakes or goofs that could disrupt your reader’s experience or damage your credibility as a content creator.
See how they’re both important?
Editing and proofreading are also both part of the artistic process when you’re aiming to craft content that serves your audience as well as your business.
Digital Commerce Partners is the agency division of Copyblogger, and we specialize in delivering targeted organic traffic for growing digital businesses.
Ask these proofreading and editing questions about your blog
Since I’m a loyal follower of the Socratic method, we’re going to explore the colossal question, “Does your blog need proofreading and editing?” by asking more questions. 😉
After answering the three questions below, you’ll uncover how you can reach your content goals faster.
1. Why do you publish content?
If you’ve never written down an answer to this question, your response will provide a lot more direction for your content than just how to proceed with editing and proofreading.
Your reason for publishing is almost a prerequisite before you set the content marketing strategy for your blog. It helps guide the topics you write about, as well as your publishing schedule.
For instance, if you’re a writer and you want to create a portfolio so that clients become interested in hiring you, your content should be examples of your refined and sophisticated work.
You’d also want to publish on a regular basis to show your commitment to your blog. Those who show up regularly for their own audiences demonstrate reliability to clients.
But if your blog is an outlet for your raw, unfiltered creativity, your audience may be inspired by your rough drafts and prefer your less polished writing.
Speaking of your audience …
2. Who’s in your audience?
Your ideal audience members guide the type of writing you publish just as much as your motivations for publishing.
If the people you aim to serve will be turned off by consistent grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes, spending time carefully proofreading and editing your work is a good idea.
I know you wouldn’t expect me to advocate quantity over quality, but the people you aim to serve might not get flustered over improper grammar. They could simply love the information you share with them and prefer that you publish as often as possible.
Consider your audience’s needs to assess your methods for producing, reviewing, and publishing content.
3. Does your writing resonate with your readers?
Don’t think I’ve gone soft on you. This is the question where I let my Editor Flag fly.
- What special insights do you share?
- Does your writing magnetically hold attention?
- Are readers compelled to share your content?
If you’re having trouble retaining visitors and getting subscribers, I recommend creating a more robust experience for your readers with a diligent editing and proofreading process. (More on that below.)
You might need to edit more if you’re not …
You might need to edit more if you’re not focused on specific content marketing goals that support your business.
The mistakes you correct and the winning details you uncover during a thorough proofreading and editing process often help you connect with your target audience and nurture prospects who are interested in doing business with you.
When you treat your blog like a professional publication, you’re more likely to produce better content that is tailored to your audience’s preferences.
Your readers are looking for information on a topic from someone they like and trust, so you have an opportunity to become the resource they’re looking for.
What to do next
In Why Marketers Need Content Editors, you’ll learn eight steps to becoming your own content marketing editor.
These tips aren’t grammar, spelling, and punctuation lessons. They teach you the proofreading and editing techniques that elevate the quality of your content.
Once you know how to think like an editor for your big-picture blog strategy, the traffic light revision technique will help you critically review the individual pieces of content you create.
You might need to proofread more if …
You might need to proofread more if … your content regularly has multiple glaring errors that make your blog look sloppy.
It’s as simple as that.
Demonstrate that you value your readers’ time. If you want their attention, it makes sense to focus your attention on details.
What to do next
Proofreading is different from reading. You’ll continually overlook certain mistakes — even if you read your text several times — if you don’t read like a proofreader.
Pick up the proofreading techniques I use on Copyblogger’s articles in 3 Proofreading Pointers, So Your Writing Isn’t Shared for the Wrong Reason.
Evaluate your proofreading and editing process
Take 30 minutes (or less) to evaluate where your own proofreading and editing is today.
Spending as little as 10 minutes on those questions could help you set new publication priorities.
Have a process that works for your blog? Anything you might like to improve? Share in the comments below!