When I was a young teen, I was obsessed with Avril Lavigne. Yes, I know just about every wannabe badass who went to high school in the early 2000s was, but let me make that annoying, “I was a fan first,” statement. I randomly found and bought her album at KMart one day because I thought it looked cool.
When she blew up, I was that person, “I’ve been listening to her music for months!” During one interview she did back when MTV still played music videos, she said, “I never wanted to learn the correct way to play guitar, I didn’t want to be limited by the rules.”
I took the same tactic with writing… unintentionally. I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember and I can tell you when a story or a blog post comes rushing out, the last thing I care about is an Oxford comma. (If you just got my Vampire Weekend reference, we may have just become best friends.)
It has probably been one of the biggest obstacles I’ve faced when I decided to start my blog. I had those grammar bully “friends” who took great joy in publicly making fun of any errors. I thought, “Great I’m going to start a blog and open myself not only to be ridiculed by my Facebook friends but the entire internet!”
There have been a few things I’ve done to make my blog posts web ready.Blogger who isn't great with grammar? Check out these tips. Click To Tweet
Grammarly isn’t just a spell checker it’s a grammar checker. After I finish a draft in Google Docs, I copy and paste it into Grammarly.
Side Note: Currently Grammarly doesn’t support Google Docs, but it does work in WordPress. You can either edit it there or copy and paste it as I do. No BD!
I pop the post into Grammarly and discover all the things my passionate writer mind neglected. The word “you” instead of “your.” The incorrect use of “effect” when it should have been “affect.” Those pesky commas I tend to forget I need and use when I don’t.
If you have a preferred writing style, Grammarly has got you covered. They have different settings so you can decide if you want general edits, academic, technical, medical, creative or casual.
I’ve even got my office using it. We don’t even think of sending an article to a coworker or client to review before we do a quick Grammarly check.
Let My Computer Do The Talking
One of my favorite things to do when editing my work is to let my computer read it to me. I can read something in my mind five times but hearing it out loud in a different voice is the quickest way to notice an error or funny sounding sentence.
This is an excellent solution for finding things that don’t flow well but might be grammatically correct.
Side Note: If you have a Mac computer you can have it read to you directly in Grammarly. The benefits keep rolling in!
Print It Out
I’m sorry to all my friends who avoid printing to save the Earth. I recycle! Sometimes for longer pieces, it helps to go pen to paper and just mark it up. Scientific studies have shown the way minds read content on paper is different than on screen.
This is also just another way to look at your words with a fresh set of eyes. I always notice new things on paper that I missed on my computer.
Just like your computer has an auto correct so does your brain. When you construct a sentence in your mind and then reread it your brain will be actually auto correct any errors making it harder to notice your mistakes. A good practice is after you’ve finished editing the post in Grammarly and listening to it, is to step away. Do something else for a while and come back and reread it. Your brain is more likely to pick up on things instead of auto correcting them to your earlier intention.
Phone A Friend
It’s not just the Beatles who get by with the help of their buddies. Having a friend read the post before or even after you publish it is a great way to edit work. While you may not be ready to hire a full-time copy editor having a friend read a post once you’re burnt out on it is a good idea. Maybe offer them a cup of coffee or trade if it’s another blogger friend.
Side Note: Remember any confusion or edits they make aren’t some passive-aggressive way of calling you stupid or a bad writer. They are trying to help and you asked for it.
Remember I’m Human
Even with all these things in place mistakes are still bound to happen from time to time. Just fix it and move on. Don’t spend time wallowing or beating yourself up about it.
How do you edit your blog posts? Have you tried Grammarly? It’s not just a great tool for bloggers, but students, businesses and job applicants all enjoy the benefits of Grammarly. Sign up for Grammarly: The World’s Best Automated Proofreader