Why bother editing a blog post? After all, it’s ONLY a blog!

Aspiring authors make lots of assumptions about the book publishing industry.

My book is so great that I’ll get offered a contract bigger than J.K Rowling’s.

My book will surely become an instant best-seller. I’ll win truckloads of awards and will retire in style in [fill in the name of your favorite tropical location].

Rachel Kent’s article on the Books & Such Literary Management blog addresses these assumptions. One of Rachel’s items struck a chord with me:

My book is so good I don’t need to follow the rules.

Rachel responds:

“Refusing to follow submission guidelines because you think your book is so amazing is a quick way to get rejected. Your book might be that good, but working with someone who can’t follow the rules isn’t appealing to agents. How can we promote you to publishing houses knowing that you might be difficult for them to work with?”

This same principle applies to bloggers who hope to connect with readers who will (eventually) buy their book, product, or service.

Case in point:

An aspiring author (who struggles to write a coherent sentence) was affronted when I suggested that it might be a good idea to seek a little editing help.

“Why do I need to edit my blog posts? It’s JUST a blog.”

Ahem. (Excuse me for a second while I leap atop my soapbox.)
Why it's important to edit your blog posts | BloggingBistro.com

While some people view blogs as the lowliest of publications – mentally ranking blogs below books, magazines, newspapers, and even Facebook – blogs are a valid type of publication.

Most agents and editors I know won’t even look at an unpublished writer unless the writer can show evidence of a strong, loyal following. There are myriad ways to develop a following: public speaking, forming strategic partnerships, podcasting, having an “America’s funniest home video” go viral. And blogging.

Strategic blogging, on a theme your readers are interested in.

Helpful blogging, in which you give generously of yourself, without expecting anything in return.

Professional blogging. I’m not talking about getting paid to write blog posts, but rather, crafting articles to the best of your ability and representing yourself professionally on your blog.

Whether you’re an author, a real estate agent, or a hair stylist, the first place you’ll “meet” many of your future customers will be on your blog.

Don’t downplay the importance of that virtual bloggy handshake. When you fail to edit your blog posts, you send a message that you don’t care about the quality of your work. And if you don’t care, why should anyone care to buy what you’re selling?

Why it's important to edit your blog posts | BloggingBistro.com
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Click this image to download your free checklist that includes EVERYTHING you need to do prior to publishing a blog post! Or simply text PREPUB to 44222!

  • Good stuff, Laura! I know I immediately think less of a post with spelling errors. OK, I’m a grammar snob, ha! But, you make a valid point 🙂

  • Randy Rebecca Krusee

    Eh, having someone edit my blog didn’t occur to me. Thanks for the tip! http://www.rebeccakrusee.com

  • A few spelling, punctuation, and capitalization errors are bound to slip through on a blog; it’s the nature of the beast. I can live with that. But it’s blog posts that are consistently riddled with errors or incoherent thinking that bother me. Sloppy editing — or a lack of editing — shows me that the blogger doesn’t care.

  • When I was writing the post, I was thinking more of self-editing. But you’re right; getting outside editing help can certainly benefit a blog. We provide that service for several of our clients.

  • Very true, Laura. I now I had some of those misconceptions when I first wrote my book. I’ve since learned that getting a book published the traditional way is like getting a job in a market where the unemployment rate is 99%! Little things count.
    And in any event when you’re writing you should be putting out your best for audience–not just those in the industry who might notice you.

  • Marlene Anderson

    Thanks for the important reminder. I approach blogging as though I were writing an article – I write it, I let it sit, I review it and sometimes totally rewrite before posting. I have become a better writer because of blogging. And it is thanks to people like you who keep reminding us how important each post ought to be.

  • Love this little tidbit, Dennis: getting a book published the traditional way is like getting a job in a market where the unemployment rate is 99%. It really does feel like that!

    And I agree that you need to write for YOUR readers — not just in hopes of getting noticed by someone “important” or “famous.”

  • I appreciate your diligence in improving your writing through blogging, Marlene. I especially love what you said about “letting it sit” and then editing it or rewriting. So critical to blogging!

    I drafted a post Saturday but it’s nowhere near being ready for public consumption. It’s in the “letting it sit” stage right now.

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  • Deena Elliott

    Great points, Laura. If there’s more than a few spelling errors on blog post, after blog post, I’m usually done. I’m less likely to police bad grammar, but I do know a few rules. I know a lot of people think it’s no big deal to have typos, spelling, and grammar errors, but in 5 years from now when some goes to use the Wayback Machine (http://archive.org/web/web.php) to check out a blogs’ beginnings and there’s tons of errors… Well… good-bye potential publisher or maybe even a TV gig. Yes, as if that’s how it’ll happen… lol… But maybe it could. Anyhow, my point is I agree with you. It’s important to be professional no matter what form of communication we’re using. I love dot dot dot as if it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread… mostly because I want the reader to take time to think between what I’m saying as they’re reading and sometimes… for effect. Of course, there could be people wanting to police my Facebook posts since I ramble on and on.

  • Laughing about you saying how you ramble. Maybe that should be my next soapbox harangue.

    I believe that lengthy blog posts are fine, as long as they stay on topic and deliver the goods.