Writing is easy. Editing is hard.
Affect v effect. It’s so easy to get it wrong if you’re not paying attention. One’s a noun, the other a verb. That sounds simple, doesn’t it. Of course, there are exceptions as well and if you’re not paying attention…
Let’s look at how to proofread a business blog and the type of writing mistakes you might want to look out for.
When it comes to business blogging, proofread your blog post, not only from a grammatical point of view, but also from a commercial perspective.
Let’s take a look.
Why we need to edit business blog posts
When you’re finished writing your blog post, you have a few choices.
- Publish it ‘as is’ and hope for the best. Sometimes this works…
- Let it sit for a day, come back and revise it, and then publish or…
- Let it sit, revise it, proofread and then publish.
However, for business blogs, I’d add one more step.
Proofread it as a business document.
Writing for a business blog is different than personal blogging.
- Legal. What you write could, if offensive, be used against your company. You don’t want to get sued or have anything negative creep into the press or social media. So, we need to cover our bases from that angle.
- Branding. Every blog post reflects on your company’s values and your commitment to customers. Your writing must reflect this. Look at the text again. Does it reflect what you stand for? Could some points be misunderstood or taken out of context?
- Confidentiality. Be careful when referring to new product developments, upcoming releases, and joint ventures. You are not authorized to discuss anything that’s not meant to be in the public domain.
- Trust. You want prospective customers to trust you and the organization you write for. Unlike personal blogs, this means you may need to relegate or play down your own feelings, especially on ‘hot’ topics. Be careful about having strong opinions or feeling the need to defend your brand on Social Media sites. Don’t let trolls get to you. As always: when in doubt, leave it out.
- Perception. The success of your blog is based on how others value it and recommend it to others. As ‘value’ is subjective, you don’t want to create any negative perceptions about your business. Keep the tone upbeat, positive and inclusive.
7 proofreading tactics for business blogs
With this in mind, revise your posts and check for any comments, facts, or opinions that could be misinterpreted.
- Facts. Are all facts correct? Have you personally checked them? If not, go back and check again?
- Quotes. Are quotes attributed to the correct person?
- Context. If any of the quotes were read out of context, could they be misinterpreted? If so, revise the text.
- Terms. Have you used any terms that may cause offense? For example, there was the case of the term ‘User Manual’ upsetting someone as they felt ‘Manual’ was sexist. It went to court. She won. The firm had to change it to User Guide.
- Prices. Are the prices correct? You don’t want to be accused of misleading customers. Make sure any prices quoted in the blog post are accurate and will not change before publication date.
- Names. Make sure you’ve spelt people’s names correctly. Don’t embarrass your company by misspelling the name of a VIP or distinguished guest.
- Brands. Similar to above. Is it Mcdonald’s or MacDonalds or McDonald’s?
The mechanics of proofreading a business blog post are the same as for other materials.
The difference is that you need to make one extra pass and look for any glitches that could undermine the businesses’ credibility.
What else would you add? Share with us on Facebook.
How do you proofread business blog posts?