How important is proofreading your website content writing? Just ask Google.
Google has downgraded many websites and pages on the internet simply because their website content writing was not relevant and was of poor quality.
The Google Panda update is not just about keyword stuffing and copied content. It is about providing overall relevant high-quality content. The update has changed online article writing for the better. It has changed how article marketers make money writing articles online.
Many of us understand relevance to denote that the content is meaningful, that it is in keeping with what the title implies the article is to be about.
What about poor quality? What does that mean? How does Google define poor quality or good quality when writing web content?
Google and Quality Content
Here is what Google has to say about what to consider while assessing the quality of the content of a page or an article:
“These are the kinds of questions we ask ourselves as we write algorithms that attempt to assess site quality… Was the article edited well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced? Would you expect to see this article in a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book? Are the pages produced with great care and attention to detail vs. less attention to detail?”
Google’s stated goal is to provide their visitors with the highest possible quality content in the search results.
So, doesn’t it mean that proofreading articles has taken on a much more important role in writing articles online?
Does it mean that as an article writer you must ensure that your articles are as free as possible from bad syntax, misspelling, and bad grammar?
Yes, it does mean that, if you are serious about writing articles online for money, then the quality of your content writing must be raised a notch.
I am sure you would agree that you can gain an advantage over your competition by meeting or exceeding Google’s high quality criteria. You want your content writing to be the best. You want your articles to stand on their own, able to withstand the scrutiny of a comparison to printed magazines or books. You want to make money writing online.
What is the solution? Proofreading.
Online article writing allows us the privilege of virtual self publication. Except for a few editorially wise article directories, your article is almost always published by article directories with little to no editorial guidance. If you publish on your own website or blog, there is no third party editorial overview.
Article writers who are writing content to make money must change their editing and proofreading habits. Proofreading articles must become a high priority when you write articles online to build a career out of that.
There are a number of simple ways to proofread your article. Let’s look at them one by one.
When you read your work out loud, it is much easier to catch simple errors like the omission of a word or a change in verb tense. Reading out loud can also help you spot a lack of continuity, skipping from one topic to another. I found that to be one of my weaknesses.
When I write, I get a spontaneous thought and include it in the paragraph I am writing. It makes perfect sense to me at the time. But, after reading it out loud I realize that it has no place in the paragraph, but it might fit well somewhere else, or I might even discard it, if it is not relevant to the topic I am writing about.
Use a Word Processor or an Online Proofreading Assistant
You can use a word processor like MS Word to help in editing and proofreading articles. Word processors are very useful in checking spelling, and they can suggest sentence structure for awkward sentences. They will also catch sentence fragments, sentences lacking a verb. You can decide whether you want to keep the sentence as is or edit it.
A proofreading assistant such as Grammarly is another great choice. Most of them offer a lot more features than a desktop app like MS Word would. However, most of them come at a price while Word is probably already there on your computer.
There is a word of caution you should pay heed to when using word processors. They do not correct homonyms like stationary and stationery or to, too, and two. It is very easy to insert the wrong spelling of a word that is perfectly legitimate and yet the word processor will not catch it even though it is used incorrectly.
Reading aloud sometimes helps to catch homonyms, but even then our brains insert what we want to see and not what is actually written. Writing articles online for money we should treat our content writing as we would any work we would perform for an employer.
Third Party Review
A better way to catch homonym errors is to have another set of eyes review your article. Another set of eyes is more likely to ‘see’ that the written word is not the intended word. Having a friend or relative read your work will also improve the continuity of your article.
No automation in editing and proofreading articles can replace human review.
As I mentioned earlier, it is easy to befuddle your audience with thoughts that have no place in the subject matter that you are discussing. Visitors become confused and may not think that you really know what you are talking about, and you lose credibility and ultimately a sale.
Finally, you can hire someone to proofread your work. If you are operating on a limited budget, it can be expensive. Typically, professional proofreaders and translators charge by the word, by the page, by the hour, or by the project.
Unless you have a thriving business, you may want to stick to editing and proofreading articles yourself and use the options mentioned above.
Sleep On It
One last tip, if you do not have a deadline to meet, sleep on it. Surprisingly, after a good night’s sleep, while editing and proofreading your work, you will often find errors and omissions you hadn’t seen before. I have always felt that proofreading my own article right after I have written it often ends up with me missing a lot of errors. Breaking the flow helps as I start with a clear mind the next time I’m sitting at my table reviewing what I wrote.
I have always felt that proofreading doesn’t get the attention that it deserves. Let’s change that for good.
Did you enjoy reading the article? Which proofreading tip did you like the most? And which one have you been following till now? Let me know in the comments section.