The following is a guest post by Lorraine Reguly, a writer, blogger and editor I met via the Bloggers Helping Bloggers Group on LinkedIn.
Over to you Lorraine!
Getting your message across to your readers is one thing; getting readers to your message is another.
This post will focus on the former; you can read this post to help you with the latter.
Writing a blog post is easy if you’re a writer. Writers are trained to write. They know how to form proper sentences and can often edit their own blog posts. However, not every blogger has these skills, and so their blog posts may contain grammatical errors and typos, which makes their posts difficult to read. The language that they use may not be appropriate, either, especially if terminology is used that only specialists can understand!
To avoid being one of those bloggers, you can learn to edit your posts so that they are readable. This post will tell you both why you should and how you can edit your blog posts in order to make them understood by everyone. It will also indicate the benefits you will reap as a result!
Your posts should be comprised of short, common words rather than convoluted ones. If your readers have trouble deciphering your message, you may not get a return visit from them. Translation: Use short, simple words that are common! Your readers will “get” your message, love you for it, and come back for more!
Here’s a case in point – which of the following sentences is easier to understand?
A. “I often get carried away with the exuberance of my own verbosity in my expositions.”
B. “I tend to get excited and wordy when explaining things.”
If you answered “B”, you’re right!
Editing your blog posts shows that you care about your readers. After all, you’re writing to be read – not ignored. You want to impress your readers. You want your readers to re-visit your site. You may even want your readers to admire you. If your blog post contains a lot of typos and doesn’t follow basic sentence structure, you run the risk of losing not just one of your readers, but all of them! No blogger wants that!
What should you do to solve this problem? The answer is easy: edit your blog posts!
Let them sit for a day or two – Give your brain a break from thinking about what you’ve written, then go back to your post and look at it with “fresh eyes”. Often, you will notice something that needs correcting or changing. You might even have an additional idea to add to your post.
Get a family member or friend to proofread them for you – I have had my mother proof several of my posts. Since she didn’t know what I was writing about, she offered valuable feedback and pointed out a few things that either needed correcting or further elaboration. As a result, my posts were more informative and free of errors!
Find a blogging buddy and proofread each other’s posts (You probably read and comment on their posts anyway, so help each other out beforehand! The quality of both of your blogs will skyrocket!)
Use SpellCheckPlus – This is a FREE combination spell-checker and grammar-checking tool – and the best one I have found for double-checking. Simply paste your text into the box and click “spell check” or “grammar check”, and if it finds errors, hover your cursor over the highlighted portions to see their suggestions.
Remember to use commas! For example, “Let’s eat grandma!” is not the same as “Let’s eat, grandma!” (See the difference?)
Look at a preview of your post before hitting the “publish” or “schedule” button. Reading it in the same format as your readers (in your browser) will show you where you need to tweak your post, even if it means only adding a blank line or two to increase the white space of your text.
Subscribe to a site that will give you Daily Writing Tips.
Depending on your level of writing, you might want to check out Lousy Writer and grab a few FREE resources from them – even if you’re not a lousy writer, there’s always room for improving yourself!
Writing should not be a difficult task for bloggers, and reading a blog post should be easy too. Presenting your ideas and information to readers using the editing tips and strategies in this post is sure to make your next blog post a hit!
Of course, if you are still having trouble, or don’t have the time to make these improvements on your own, you can always hire an editor to help you! 😉
Header Photo credit: S1ON / Foter.com / CC BY-NC
Girl in Field Photo Credit: JohnONolan via Compfight cc
Kindle Photo Credit: tripu via Compfight cc
Lorraine Reguly is a writer, editor and blogger who is honest and compassionate. She also offers a free sample of her services. Subscribe to her blog, Lorraine Reguly’s Life for weekly posts, on True Tales Tuesdays and Featured Fridays....and don't forget to visit her to ENTER A BOOK GIVEAWAY! (Enter between now and November 22, 2013!)