Just because you have a blog doesn’t mean you have a full command of the English language. This blog is a prime example of that. And because we all know that in most cases, blog posts are one person cranking out story after story, sharing their experiences and advice with us for free, we give them a pass. Let’s face it; it’s rare that a blogger will hire an editor to make sure their stories are free of spelling and grammar mistakes.
This blog post is not a rant on grammar etiquette. It’s not a rant on the Oxford comma (I prefer not to use one), or when to use there, their and they’re (I always have to think twice before moving on). I have just noticed that it is becoming more and more evident that no one seems to be using an editor (including myself).
Why? I am seeing more and more stories from companies that are large enough to have an editor on staff, pushing out stories with glaring spelling mistakes. Sure, you used ‘their’ instead of ‘there’ in the body copy but the headline? You can’t make a mistake in the headline.
Since you are probably like me and don’t have a staff of writers or editors, here are some things you can use to help you write that next blog post.
In-app editing tools
I use Google Docs to write. If you write in Word, TextEdit or any other writing app, you already have tools built in. Right now I am looking at squiggly red lines showing me that I have misspelled something. Do you see them? Sometimes I think people look right past them. Click on them and often you will get the correct spelling of the word, a dictionary and a thesaurus. Depending on your app, you may have other options built in.
Let’s cut right to the chase. Grammarly has saved my life. It is a free application that makes sure everything you type is clear, effective, and mistake-free. Grammarly loves the Oxford comma, and you can see it in that last sentence I copied from their website. But I digress.
Mostly, Grammarly checks for critical grammar and spelling mistakes. With the premium version, you get advanced checks for punctuation, grammar, context and sentence structure. Vocabulary enhancement suggestions, genre-specific writing style checks and it will check for plagiarism. Unfortunately, it does not work inside Google Docs. I will finish my story in docs and cut and paste the story into Grammarly, check the content and do final edits there. I will then copy the final version into Google Docs for safe keeping. Grammarly is not cheap at $140 a year, but it’s a service that I don’t think I can do without so I don’t complain about the cost. That may be a lie, but I get over it pretty quick.
A real live human editor
Let’s face it; we don’t hire an editor because we are either poor or lazy. You can still have someone take a quick look at your story for obvious mistakes. Maybe in your immediate sphere of friends and family, you have a business partner, a spouse, or a teenager who has better grades than you had in high school. You could even send it to your friend that goes on-and-on about the Oxford comma on Facebook.
There you have it. Three options to help you as you write your next blog post and to keep those typos at bay. And here is one more for the road. When you finish your story, let it sit for a day then come back and proof it. The mistakes you made will be much easier to see.
Thanks for reading and I look forward to reading about the grammar mistakes I made in this story.