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How Perfect Must a Writer's Blog Be?

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A lot of freelance writers have their own blogs. Do those blogs have to be "perfect," though? I've seen comments on both sides of this issue, and I'd like to know what you think?

Personally, I think there are a few considerations:

Blog Purpose

Is the blog just a personal blog? If so, I'd not worry so much about the occasional typo or poorly-constructed sentence.

Is the blog directly trying to sell a writer's services? If that's the case, I'd expect near perfection.

Blog Audience

If a significant portion of the blogger's audience is made up of prospective clients, then excessive errors are obviously a bad thing. At the same time, minor errors shouldn't be taken too seriously, as long as there's a professional portfolio available to compare.

If the primary audience is colleagues, it's a good idea to be more cautious as well (these are folks that send referrals your way). Then again, they all make mistakes periodically as well, so I doubt many other writers would hold a typo against you for long as long as you don't make the same mistakes repeatedly or make mistakes excessively.

Blogger's Post Style

Sometimes a blogger doesn't follow grammatical convention for good reason - it's a personality-driven blog focused more on style than format.

There's also the issue of when posts are written. If I know a blogger writes each post a week before it goes live, or more, then I would expect them to take a look at it again before posting with "fresh eyes." If the blog is more news-oriented, and posts are written on the fly, the blogger can't look at it with fresh eyes on publication - time simply hasn't elapsed yet. In those cases, I'm far more forgiving.

What do you think?

5 thoughts on “How Perfect Must a Writer's Blog Be?”

  1. Good assessment. Since most of the blogs I read are pro bloggers or pro writers of some sort, I expect them to be grammatically correct. However, if I spot an occasional typo, I don’t automatically assume they’re hacks. They’re probably like me – busy. Sometimes a quick proof is all we have time for.

    On the other hand, if I cruise someone’s blog for the first time, and it’s rife with misspellings, grammar errors, wrong word usage, etc., I do draw an opinion as to their educational background and their ability to successfully express themselves verbally. Chances are I won’t return to that site. Reading copy like that is a chore.

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  2. Jennifer, I’ve got to agree with you on most of your points. One thing that bothers me, and that’s only because I’m weird, is when bloggers use shorthand words like they’re sending a text message. But again, it depends on whether it’s a professional blog or a personal one.

    Like Joan I overlook a small amount of typos, and sometimes I take into account their profession. I recently saw a new blog with quite a few misspellings, but the guy was a pipe fitter who most liking didn’t write much.

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  3. I’m struggling with this one myself – having recently started freelance writing I am in a frenzy of “polishing” my existing blogs and articles so that I can use them with potential clients!

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  4. Yeah… most of the time blog writers had no time to check what they post and when they browse again that’s the time they will realize the mistakes and then correct. Really there is a need of proofreading before the article published.

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  5. I feel it ought to be as free from grammatical errors as possible. While I will forgive a typo or two (in my blog and those of others) I don’t think I will be too happy with more than one/two typos per post.

    Not having errors means you take pride in your job and are willing to invest the time needed to make it perfect…also that you respect your audience. Having typos and other errors means just the opposite.

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