Villing & Company

Everyday Writing Advice Applied to Web Publishing

The web is bubbling over with blogs. Many readers of this blog have likely written some themselves. It’s a huge part of content marketing in today’s digital marketing world, and whether or not blogs will ever replace traditional niche publishing, the increasing outlay of marketing dollars is proving more and more how useful they are perceived to be at getting to an audience.

Typically even many of the million-follower, mega-success blogging sites are driven by one writer working in solitude. In addition, it’s usually necessary for bloggers to produce relevant content quickly, often daily, with a high standard of quality. This grinds against the reality of human fallibility. We all make mistakes. Thus, too many blogs are rife with typos and grammatical errors.

So what are some ways to avoid this?

  1. Don't publish (right away). Unless, of course, the content is time-sensitive—and most content isn’t, or unless you’re in the news media business—I believe it’s best to ignore your article for a day or two and then revisit it. All the stuff that doesn’t work will be easier to see with a little distance.
  2. Reread. After too many times of accidentally sending an email too soon, I started leaving the recipient field blank. This forces me to reread prior to adding those names and hitting send. While useful in composing an email, this idea is equally appropriate to good web publishing. Don’t just click “publish” when you’ve typed the last word. The conscientiousness we were taught in school to double check test questions can pay off big time in the world of communication.
  3. Find another pair of eyes. In the agency world, maybe we overdo this, but getting at least one other person to proof for grammar/spelling, clarity and style is necessary. Web writers working alone may have a spouse or family member give it a good read prior to posting. This can save unneeded embarrassment and post-pub editing.
  4. Consider pen and paper. Writing with pen on paper can free up the mind because the writer isn’t hung up on editing and perfecting the whole time; they’re just getting ideas out. Then, when typing up what was written out, the perfectionist side can take over. Getting the flow of thoughts down is important and can make for easy reading rather than getting bogged down by trying to be too clever.
  5. Reread old posts. From time to time, revisit old material. The beauty of the Internet is that published items can still be edited. Use this to your advantage and always be on to the lookout to make work, even posted work, shine more brightly.

Good content rises to the top. That’s why most of the successful bloggers stay true to these basics. Even if printed publications die away, sloppiness will never be acceptable.

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