So, you’re writing and proofreading your own blog posts, huh?
Don’t worry – it’s easier than you think.
In this post, I’ll show you the best blog post proofreading tips that will help you create polished articles.
Let’s dive right in.
11 Easy Blog Post Proofreading Tips:
1. Use a proofreading tool
After writing a blog post, the next thing I do is fire up my go-to automated proofreading tool.
That would be nothing else butGrammarly.
Grammarly is a proofreading tool that automatically detects spelling and grammatical errors on your piece. Furthermore, it detects writing issues that can affect the readability of your article.
There are five ways to use Grammarly: via browser, desktop app, mobile app, Chrome extension, and the Microsoft Word add-on.
I’ve experienced using all three.
Most bloggers will have a great time with the Chrome extension. It allows them to proofread their work anywhere, be it on social media or directly on WordPress.
But I have to say that the most convenient way to use Grammarly is through the Microsoft Word extension.
One click and you’ll have a compact version of Grammarly running as a sidebar.
For those who write using Google Docs, give the Chrome extension a shot. That accomplishes what the Microsoft Word add-on does for me.
Another thing I love about Grammarly is the custom “Goals” feature. This allows you to configure the app to match your desired writing style.
After running Grammarly, switch between the tabs to detect different types of issues in your draft.
I personally only focus on the correctness of my post since I’d like to preserve my personal writing style.
Just remember that you still have to manually approve all suggestions offered by Grammarly.
Click on the highlighted text to apply a suggestion. Otherwise, click the trash icon to keep the original text.
How much does Grammarly cost?
Grammarly costs$29.95for a Premium account. Alternatively, you can keep using Grammarly’s free version for as long as you need with some limitations.
Important:You can get a 25% discount on your Grammarly Premium purchase using this link.
Is Grammarly enough?
A proofreading tool does most of the heavy lifting involved in the process.
However, it’s almost never enough to create top-notch blog posts.
That said, let’s discuss the things that a tool like Grammarly can’t help you with.
2. Look for sentences you can split
One of the things I teach my blog followers is to write short sentences – preferably 20 words or less each.
Doing so not only improves the readability of your blog posts. It also increases reader retention and reduces bounce rate.
Both of which help improve search engine rankings.
Here’s what you can do right now.
Whenever you feel like a sentence has gotten too long, think of how you can split it into two sentences.
For example, if you wrote:
“The work of a professional blogger involves keyword research, on-page SEO, and various marketing tasks including social media marketing, email marketing, and influencer marketing.”
You can write:
“The work of a professional blogger involves keyword research, on-page SEO, and various marketing tasks. That includes social media marketing, email marketing, and influencer marketing.”
With a minor adjustment, the thought is conveyed in a much more readable and digestible manner.
Keep this in mind as you write articles until it becomes second nature.
It took me a long time to turn this into a habit. But when I finally did, it made my blogging life a thousand times easier.
3. Add white space
Apart from writing short sentences, I also make it a point to write short paragraphs.
I never write paragraphs that are over two sentences long.
Of course, this is completely optional.
But if a conversational, easy-going writing style is what you’re after, I suggest you do this:
After finishing your initial draft, read through it, and look specifically for thick walls of text, like this:
Next, look for a spot where you can split the paragraph to create blocks of 1-2 sentences.
Looking at the example above, notice that I split the paragraph in three points, namely after the words:
When doing this, don’t be afraid to create consecutive one-sentence paragraphs.
I assure you; it will still look good once you publish your post.
Don’t believe me?
In case you didn’t notice, I wrote this section entirely out of one-sentence paragraphs.
Looks good, doesn’t it?
4. Add transition words and phrases
When proofreading, I make sure to pay attention to the flow of my article.
If one section reads awkwardly or spontaneously jumps from point to point, I know it lacks transition words or phrases.
I’m talking about these:
- For example
- As a result
- In turn
- In addition
Injecting these phrases and words into the right places can make your blog post significantly better. They act as a glue that connects thoughts and ideas within your article.
For example, let’s say you originally came up with this paragraph:
“I like to proofread my work only after I’m done with the draft. I write faster and experience less stress.”
Adding a transition phrase transforms it to:
“I like to proofread my work only after I’m done with the draft. As a result, I write faster and experience less stress.
5. Read your draft out loud
Perhaps the most helpful proofreading tip I learned through the years is to read my draft out loud.
This is a surefire way to detect grammar mistakes and readability issues. It can tell you if you wrote too many words in a sentence, overused hard-to-pronounce words, and so on.
If one sentence sounds off, that would be your chance to rephrase or reword it.
The only drawback is, this only works if you’re a fluent English speaker yourself.
If not, you can use tools that can read your text aloud for you.
Microsoft Word has that tool baked into the application. Just head to the‘Review’tab, click‘Read Aloud,’and sit back while the tool works its magic.
For those who don’t use Microsoft Word, here are some alternatives:
6. Rest for at least 60 minutes and read the whole thing again
For me, proofreading is best done with a fresh pair of eyes.
Proofreading your article immediately after writing may cause you to miss mistakes and issues.
This is especially true if you work for hours on end without breaks.
That’s why I recommend taking a 60-minute break before giving your draft a final polish.
Go ahead – put your computer on sleep mode and take a walk or grab a snack. I promise you that proofreading will be a breeze once you return.
7. Look for fluff
There is a fine line between sentences that instill personality and fluff.
In simple terms, fluff is absolutely useless.
They do nothing to the reading experience in terms of value and enjoyment.
Here’s a tip: if something can be removed without affecting the readers’ experience, it’s fluff.
A common example would be sentences that are totally unrelated to the post’s topic.
I like dogs – they’re so cute.
What isn’t fluff, however, is writing things that can help retain the reader’s engagement.
For example, you’re about to learn four more proofreading tips if you keep reading.
That isn’t fluff.
Because I gave you – the reader – something to look forward to.
In return, you’re more likely to stick around until you’re done reading the entire article.
Now, there are probably some content marketers who will disagree with me on that.
For example, let me ask you something.
What is a ghost’s favorite snack?
The answer is: “ice scream.”
I know it’s a lame joke. But whether or not it made you laugh, you’re still here reading the post anyway.
And since it added value in terms of reader retention, then it isn’t fluff in my book.
8. Double-check commonly erroneous words and phrases
Just like any language, English evolves over time.
English speakers tend to embrace different spellings and uses for words. And if you’re blogging using colloquial language, you can have a tough time proofreading your work using traditional spell checkers.
A good example would be “octopi,” which is technically a wrong word.
However, Grammarly and built-in spell checkers won’t detect it as a mistake.
It’s on you to decide if you should use the wrong spelling or the proper one. Either way, your readers should understand your point.
But to avoid people criticizing you for misspellings, I suggest using the correct spelling every time.
Take note that you can face a similar issue with certain colloquial phrases.
For example, “real quick” is grammatically improper, but it’s generally accepted among English speakers.
The only difference is, some word processing apps may detect it as a mistake.
If you’re using something like Microsoft Word’s built-in spell checker, you’ll get that hideous blue line under “real quick.”
Again, it’s up to you whether or not to keep the colloquial phrase or replace it.
But for improper phrases, I lean towards keeping them since most people are okay with them, unlike misspellings. In addition, they add personality to your writing.
9. Look for commonly misused words and phrases
Apart from commonly misspelled words, there are also commonly misused words and phrases that proofreading tools won’t detect.
Prepositions are a typical culprit.
For example, both “on a highway” and “in a highway” are widely used all over the web. But only “on a highway” is actually grammatically correct.
If you’re not sure which phrase to use, I suggest running a quick Google search.
Let’s say you’re unsure whether to use “on your article” or “in your article.”
Just type in the first phrase enclosed in quotations like this:
Once the results are in, look at the number of pages indexed for that query.
In the screenshot above, we can see that there are over 25 million results for the phrase “on your article.”
Let’s now see how many Google search results we can get with “in your article.”
Since the phrase “in your article” has more results, it means more people accept it as correct. As such, it should be the variation you should use.
Remember, you can use this trick whenever you’re unsure of a phrase or word in your draft.
Just enter the phrase or word on Google with quotations and check how many results it gets.
10. Get yourself a proofreading buddy
I used to work with an editor who did most of my proofreading work for me.
We don’t work anymore, but we’re still good buddies. And from time to time, he’s more than willing to offer help whenever I’m unsure about my post.
I don’t expect him to check the whole draft for me.
Instead, I just send him some of the paragraphs I’m struggling with and ask for suggestions.
I’m not telling you to hire a professional editor or proofreader. Having an online buddy who is preferably a native English speaker should be enough.
Ask things like:
- Does this sound good to a native English speaker?
- What’s a better way to say this?
- What’s another word for this?
- Is there a way to make this paragraph shorter?
Just establish boundaries and avoid treating them like they’re getting paid.
Unless, of course, if they ask for payment and you’re willing to provide it.
11. Work on your writing skills so you can proofread less
Finally, you need to work on your writing skills so you can create more and proofread less.
At some point, you’ll learn how to write and proofread sentences before you even type them. But it took me years of practice and patience to get there.
For now, you should take one step at a time and try implementing every tip I mentioned above.
I also have tons of guides in my blog that can help you with this goal. You can visit them through the links I embedded at the bottom of this post.
If you want the easiest and fastest way to write like a seasoned pro, check outThe Content Rulebook. It contains all the content writing strategies I amassed for over a decade of blogging.
I hope you learned a lot from this short guide.
I never revealed my personal proofreading tricks to anyone before.
But since I want my readers to succeed in blogging, I’m giving away everything for you guys and gals.
What topic should I discuss next? Do you have any questions or feedback for me?
Leave a comment below and let’s talk about it.
Waiting for your response!
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Items that a proofreader should review include proper spelling, capitalization, spacing between words, punctuation, and formatting.What are four proofreading tips? ›
- Read your paper aloud. Sometimes writing sounds different in your head than it sounds on paper.
- Make a list of errors that you commonly make and keep an eye out for them.
- Read the text backwards. ...
- Proofread for only one type of error at a time.
- Double check everything: ...
- Read slowly and carefully.
- Proofread backwards. ...
- Place a ruler under each line as you read it. ...
- Know your own typical mistakes. ...
- Proofread for one type of error at a time. ...
- Try to make a break between writing and proofreading. ...
- Proofread at the time of day when you are most alert to spotting errors.
- Do not rely on spelling and grammar checkers. ...
- Proofread for one error at a time. ...
- Read each word slowly. ...
- Divide the text into manageable chunks. ...
- Circle punctuation marks. ...
- Read the writing backwards. ...
- Note the errors you make on a frequent basis.
- Number 1. Homophones. Homophones (from the Greek words homos, meaning same, and phone, meaning sound) are words that have the same sound but different meanings. ...
- Number 2. Inconsistency. ...
- Number 3. Apostrophe problems. ...
- Number 4. Poor syntax.
- Edit a hard copy. If you're looking at your computer screen or reading off a cell phone for too long, chances are you'll miss common errors. ...
- Double-check for homonyms. Words that sound alike but have different meanings are homonyms. ...
- Watch for punctuation errors. ...
- Read aloud. ...
- Take a break.
Items that a proofreader should review include proper spelling, capitalization, spacing between words, punctuation, and formatting.How do you proofread for beginners? ›
- Cultivate a love of reading and learning. ...
- Understand the proofreading role. ...
- Identify your target proofreading jobs. ...
- Practice proofreading. ...
- Market yourself and get connected. ...
- Be ready to manage your own freelance business. ...
- Continue to develop your resume. ...
- Be confident.
Here are the main things to look out for when proofreading. Check typos. Fix spelling errors (Use our Free Spell Checker) Paragraphs are indented correctly. Industry-standard stylistic guidelines have been followed (citations, line spacing, page numbering, title pages, etc.)Are proofreaders in demand? ›
Yes, proofreaders are in high demand because all industries produce written documents that require professionalism and accuracy.
He proofread the essay carefully.Do you proofread or edit first? ›
Proofreading is the final stage of the editing process, focusing on surface errors such as misspellings and mistakes in grammar and punctuation. You should proofread only after you have finished all of your other editing revisions.Why is it hard to proofread? ›
You'll be reading and checking a lot of documents for errors, and that requires concentration. If you're someone who gets distracted easily, proofreading may be difficult for you. At the very least, you'll need to train yourself to concentrate. Distractions around you will be counterproductive to this kind of work.What does a professional proofreader do? ›
Proofreaders check text before it's printed or published to make sure it's correct and complete.What does not come under proofreading? ›
You might know that proofreading does not involve in-depth changes or fact checking and that proofreading is not the same as editing.What is the main action a writer takes when proofreading? ›
The main action a writer takes when proofreading is to check for spelling, grammar, punctuation, and individual sentence structure errors. These are things that may have been missed or overlooked earlier in the process and that a fresh pair of eyes can more easily catch.What are the 3 importance of proofreading? ›
The main purpose of proofreading is to improve the quality of the paper, ensuring there are no lingering mistakes, and correcting generalized discourse errors or writing inconsistencies. Essentially, you want to make sure you have a well-defined communication goal.What are 3 reasons for proofreading? ›
1) It lets people focus on our message, not our mistakes. 2) It enhances our authority and protects our reputation. 3) Proofreading ensures we say what we mean to say.What are the proofreading skills? ›
- Writing and editing. ...
- Computer efficiency. ...
- Fact-checking. ...
- Teamwork skills. ...
- Communication skills. ...
- Comprehension and resourcefulness. ...
- Attention to details. ...
- Choose one skill at a time.
- Research what a proofreader does and brush up on your core skills.
- Learn how to use common editing tools in Microsoft Word.
- Get to know some of the major style guides that proofreaders use.
- Volunteer your services to build some experience.
- Take our Becoming A Proofreader course to hone your skills.
- Scribendi. Founded in 1997, Scribendi is an online editing company that connects clients with document revision services. ...
- Scribbr. ...
- Kibin. ...
- Reedsy. ...
- Scribe Media. ...
- Proofed. ...
- Cambridge Proofreading. ...
To become a Proofreader, you'll need: sound knowledge of spelling, grammar and punctuation. a sharp eye for detail and the ability to concentrate for long periods of time.What do proofreaders get paid? ›
The average hourly rate for proofreaders in the US is $11 to $35, depending on full-time or freelance, experience, niche, location, and the type of clients. No matter where you set up your laptop or iPad, proofreading with a niche specialty typically yields a higher pay per hour than general proofreading jobs.How much does a beginner proofreader make? ›
So, as a beginner proofreader, you can expect to make around $12-$15 per hour. But, as you gain more experience, your hourly salary will grow; not only can you charge more from your clients, but your proofreading will also get a lot faster and more efficient with time.How long does it take to become a good proofreader? ›
Proofreading Skills & Qualifications
Some proofreading roles require a degree or equivalent experience in a relevant field, which can take 3 to 5 years. However, it's definitely still possible to become a proofreader without a degree, as long as you build the necessary skills through other means.
|V1 Base Form (Infinitive):||To Proofread|
|V2 Past Simple:||Proofread|
|V3 Past Participle:||Proofread|
|V4 3rd Person Singular:||Proofreads|
|V5 Present Participle/Gerund:||Proofreading|
What is proofreading? Proofreading refers to the process of reading written work for "surface errors." These are errors involving spelling, punctuation, grammar and word choice.What is proofreading in simple words? ›
Proofreading is the final stage of the writing process when the paper is evaluated for mechanical correctness, such as grammar, punctuation, spelling, omitted words, repeated words, spacing and format, and typographical errors.What are the 5 stages of writing process? ›
The general steps are: discovery\investigation, prewriting, drafting, revising, and editing.What comes after proofreading? ›
Successful writers use a writing process. This process consists of revising, editing, and proofreading to create writing that is clear, organized, and effective.
Copy editing is one step up in terms of comprehensiveness, and copy editing rates for your manuscript usually cost between $. 02 and $. 04 per word. Some copy editors charge by manuscript page, in the range of $2.50 to $5 per page.Do proofreaders make mistakes? ›
Although proofreaders are responsible for eliminating errors, they are still prone to making mistakes. According to science, our brains aren't wired to place a lot of attention on details. Furthermore, a lack of time, training, or experience are all reasons why a proofreader may overlook a blunder.What qualities does a person need to be a good proofreader? ›
- Great attention to detail. ...
- Excellent grasp of spelling, grammar, and punctuation. ...
- Willingness to learn. ...
- Flexibility. ...
- Desire to be excellent. ...
- Persistence. ...
- Willingness to step outside your comfort zone. ...
- 25 Best Motivational Books for 2023.
For this reason, most proofreaders and editors spend, on average, around five hours of their working day on projects, so even if your document is short, there may be a turnaround of a few days.What is the enemy of proofreading? ›
What is the enemy of proofreading? A messy original text. The more errors in the source text the higher the risk of mistakes appearing in the correction process and leaving those hidden in the thicket of proofreading symbols. For this reason it is key to use legible proofreader's marks.What are proofreading symbols? ›
Put simply, proofreading marks are the shorthand symbols used by proofreaders to identify errors in a text. They are also used to give suggestions or point out formatting issues. Proofreading marks are usually left in the margins or within the text itself.What is blind proofreading? ›
Sometimes proofreading compares the designed content against an error-free master copy which is the most up-to-date version of the approved text. If there is no master copy to work from, the process is called 'blind proofreading'.What two things can proofreading do? ›
It focuses on correcting minor errors and inconsistencies (for example, in punctuation and capitalization). Proofreaders often also check for formatting issues, especially in print publishing.What is the difference between editing and proofreading? ›
Editing strategies focus on making your text more readable by assessing clarity, style, and citations, while proofreading strategies focus on eliminating errors and mistakes in grammar, punctuation, spelling, and formatting.What are 4 types of grammatical or punctuation errors to look for when proofreading? ›
Fragments, Run-on Sentences, Comma Splices
As you proofread, check to make sure your sentences have subjects and verbs and express a complete thought. Also, review your sentences to ensure that they are punctuated properly and that you haven't created a run-on sentence or a comma splice.
Proofreading refers to the process of reading written work for "surface errors." These are errors involving spelling, punctuation, grammar and word choice.What is the step of proofreading? ›
Proofreading is the final stage of the writing process when the paper is evaluated for mechanical correctness, such as grammar, punctuation, spelling, omitted words, repeated words, spacing and format, and typographical errors.What are two types of proofreading? ›
- Academic Proofreading. Let's begin by looking at the different types of academic proofreading. ...
- Translation and Bilingual Proofreading.
- Print Media Proofreading.
- What Does Proofreading Require?
Basically, there are two levels of work going on – the macro and the micro.What is first pass of proofreading? ›
First-pass page proofs are your initial look at how your book will appear in its printed form prior to publication. Traditionally, the author and a professional proofreader read the pages word for word and mark the page proofs with corrections.What comes first proofreading or editing? ›
Proofreading is the final stage of the editing process, focusing on surface errors such as misspellings and mistakes in grammar and punctuation. You should proofread only after you have finished all of your other editing revisions.Is proofreading a hard skill? ›
The most common hard skill for a proofreader is proofreading. 35.3% proofreaders have this skill on their resume. The second most common hard skill for a proofreader is english language appearing on 8.6% of resumes.What are some symbols used in proofreading? ›
|Pilcrow (Unicode U+00B6)||¶ no||Remove paragraph break|
|Caret (Unicode U+2038, 2041, 2380)||‸ ⁁ ⎀||Insert|
|Close up (Unicode U+2050)||⁐||Tie words together, eliminating a space|