Welcome back for Part 5 of the Blogging Basic Series! If you haven’t been following along, I’ve opted to devote the month of April to helping out my fellow bloggers by sharing all the information I’ve acquired about blogging since I began. It’s all part of the A to Z and Ultimate Blog Challenges, but rather than post a month of silly, meaningless stuff, I decided to make my former failures into lessons to help others find success (hopefully).
My blog learning process has been painful and full of blunders, and if my tidbits help even one other blogger make a good decision in their blogging practices, this entire 30 part series will be worth the work. If you haven’t subscribed to my blog to keep up with this series, I recommend you do. Above my smiling face to the right are ways to connect with me, and if you click on the home tab and look in the left sidebar, you’ll see where you can subscribe via email.
Now to the topic of the day. Huzzah!
Regardless of how flawless your writing may be, even if you are the most obnoxious stickler for grammar rules, you will need to edit your blog posts. Every single one of them, every time you write a new post. I even make a habit of checking through old posts when I have time,and guess what I always find? Yep. Small, annoying errors I probably would have caught before publishing, had I slowed down and edited the way I’ve found to be effective. Here is my simple editing method in case you need inspiration:
1. Write the post with zeal and enthusiasm, paying little attention to spelling and grammar and more on the passion of production. This is the time to focus solely on the creative part.
2. After finishing the post, go over the text and fix any glaring errors are immediately apparent. Repeat twice. Even if everything looks amazing at this point, DO NOT publish yet.
3. Go eat dinner, play with your kid, walk your dog, take a nap, or do whatever activity that will distract you from your completed post for at least an hour.
4. After one hour, preferably longer revisit your blog post. You’ll probably notice minor errors that your tired brain and eyes previously would not have detected. By walking away for a little while, you get to revisit your blog with a fresher perspective.
For those of you who aren’t grammar champions,there are plenty of tools to help guide you and refine your skills. Here are a few ways to help get into your grammar groove:
1. If you’re on WordPress, you can install the Proofread Bot plugin to point out errors, or the After the Deadline plugin, which uses artificial intelligence to check spelling, style, and grammar (pretty cool, right? Yes, I’m easily fascinated, and AI is one of those things that make me say wow!)
2. Check out the wealth of information at The Purdue Online Writing Lab. I refer to them even now when I have questions about writing style, passive voice, and other fun stuff.
3. Grammar Girl at Quick and Dirty Tips isn’t half bad either, and finally,
4. Dr. Grammar, a resource for writers everywhere.
The blogging arena is far more casual than the scholarly writing arena, and bending the popular rules is normal practice, but simple edits still need to be part of the plan. If you try out some of my suggestions, you’re sure to be a more successful blogger.
See you tomorrow with the next part of this incredibly intense series. How about you? What grammar tools or tips would you add to this list? Tell me in the comments!
Feature image courtesy of Creative Commons.