You might think that I’d recommend a thorough editing and proofreading 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 want to provide tools that will help you evaluate your own publication.
I’m a loyal follower of the Socratic method, so we’re going to explore the colossal question, “Does your blog need editing and proofreading?” by asking more questions.
Answer the three questions below to gain insights that enable you to 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 to not read 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 double-checking 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.
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 …
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.
What to do next
In Why Content Marketers Need 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 how to think like an editor to 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 …
Your content regularly has multiple glaring errors that make your blog look sloppy. It’s not more complicated than 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 the content we publish on Copyblogger in 3 Proofreading Pointers, So Your Writing Isn’t Shared for the Wrong Reason.
Evaluate your publishing process
Take 30 minutes (or less) to evaluate where your own publication is today. Spending as little as 10 minutes on those questions could help you uncover new priorities that guide your editorial schedule.
Share the process that works for your blog (or what you might like to improve) in the comments below.
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