Your writing isn’t perfect. It likely has its fair share of typos, grammar mistakes, and incredible backflips of the English language. Sure, you “got it out there,” but what about your credibility as a writer? Do you have a proofreader for your blog?
The answer to this is usually no, but it doesn’t have be. While you may not have a designated proofreader on staff, that shouldn’t stop you from having a well-formatted and proofread post. There are a ton of easy and inexpensive proofreading options for writers to choose from. There is no excuse for publishing a post that hasn’t been proofread.
You Can’t Do It Yourself
No matter how many times I read a new post that I’ve written, I always miss something. When you know the content, it can be hard to spot the errors. My mind tends to fill in the gaps and I skim over things. It isn’t easy to spot the missing “I” or a “your” instead of a “you” in your own post, but these kinds of errors are often glaringly obvious in a post someone else wrote.
What should a blogger do when they don’t have a proofreader on hand?
There are two different approaches: you can use a quick and easy proofreading tool, or employ the customized skills of a writing professional. Here are a few options ranging from free to pay-per-proof.
There are many options out there for automated proofreading services. These tools allow you to submit your text, perform an analysis, and then give you suggestions on making your writing better. They are simple, fast, and can be effective within certain limitations.
The WordPress JetPack plugin, available for any WordPress blog, contains a Spelling And Grammar portion powered by the “After The Deadline” grammar/spelling engine. It uses artificial intelligence to check spelling, style, and grammar in WordPress based on the settings you choose. It makes grammar checking instantaneous, and can be set to remind you if you’ve forgotten to do a quick proofread before publishing the post. You can also use the “After The Deadline” service directly from their website.
PaperRater is a free online service that provides basic grammar and spell-checking capabilities. It is as simple as a quick copy/paste and provides analysis on titles, spelling, grammar, word choice, and style. While it is specifically aimed at the education market, the tools can be applied to any writing.
Ginger is another free grammar and spell-checking tool that runs using a variety of methods, including the Google Chrome Web Store, and a Safari extension. They also have extensions for MS Office and Gmail.
Grammarly is a service that I used for a long time on my own blog before I employed the talents of a professional writer. It is by far the most robust online proofreading service that I have ever found, and definitely worth the price of admission. It not only checks grammar and spelling, but also helps “coach” you in your writing efforts. Pricing at Grammarly starts at $29 per month.
If these automated services don’t fit exactly what you need, consider hiring a professional to look over each post you write. There several ways that you can do this.
Wordy is a promising service that integrates directly into your WordPress blog. With it, you simply submit your writing to their team of editors through their custom plugin. Wordy requires that you purchase packages based on the number of words you will need proofread. Once your packages run out, you simply purchase a new one. Prices range from 2.5 to 3 cents per word. The tool is quite robust, and focuses on real-time human copy editing and proofreading. The best part is that you can be ready to publish within 30 minutes.
Hiring a freelancer to keep on-contract is good way to handle this problem if you are going to need ongoing proofreading. This can usually be accomplished with a simple month-to-month retainer agreement that says freelancer X will provide proofreading services for company Y at up to ___ times per month for $__ per month. Keep it simple, and make sure you outline your expectations well. For example, you will need to determine how much time they have to proofread and return each post.
There are actually a ton of small agencies out there that strictly provide proofreading services with an ongoing or as-needed basis. With these agencies, you simply submit a document through their system and it is assigned to one of their proofreaders. That proofreader will send the corrected document back to you for your approval. They will usually include some additional suggestions on how you could make the post better. One service that I have used in the past is Vappingo. This isn’t the most efficient method available, but it certainly works if your workflow allows for it.
The point is this: there is no excuse for publishing a blog post that doesn’t have at least some effort placed on proofreading.
Finding a proofreader for your blog is easy. I have used most of these services, including an extensive period of time as a paying Grammarly customer. The benefits may not be obvious, but they pay off quickly in high quality blog posts. With an abundance of free tools and expert assistance, your blog post should always make your 8th grade teacher proud.