When writing a professional blog post, I have a system before I publish. My process is quite simply as follows:
Paste everything into its proper blog space
As indicated above, this technically gives me three rounds of editing when writing a professional blog post. Or writing any other kind of professional piece, for that matter. My brain doesn’t work well with self-generated outlines, and so I edit as I go along.
Those three rounds of editing typically spare me from making embarrassing typos and inept leaps of logic.
The occasional errors do still slip by, I’ll admit. That’s inevitable from time to time. Though if it happens more than “from time to time,” something’s off about a person’s editorial process.
Now, I did end up making an idiotic typo on Monday’s video, but that wasn’t my editorial process’ fault. It was the fact that I didn’t do any editing at all for one particular part of my presentation.
I took editing for granted.
This was in Photoshop as I entered in a new title to my old format to generate this week’s video image. It was only three words, and so I figured I didn’t have to edit myself.
I mean, how could I mess it up?
That was the wrong question though. It would have been much more sensible to ask “How can I mess it up?” Because, clearly, I could.
As of Monday evening, I had published a YouTube video cover image that read, “Naming About Your Novel.”
Which makes no grammatical sense.
Considering that I’m a professional editor writing a professional blog post (or video script) in order to market myself as a professional editor… that’s really bad PR. And it’s all because I felt too rushed to read through what should have been a three-word title.
Don’t let this happen to you.
Believe it or not, I’m not trying to be melodramatic here. This blog post is not meant to scare you into thinking that one typo will derail your entire career. Statistically speaking, you’re probably just as likely to be eaten by a shark.
Moreover, depending on where the typo is and how often you publish such errors, readers might not even notice. Innovative Editing published a whole article last year flat-out mocking editors who say otherwise.
With very good reason.
Typos in and of themselves are just not the end of the entire world. They never have been, and I somehow doubt they ever will.
But, again depending on where the typo is and how often you publish such errors, editorial mistakes can lose you respect, readership and/or clients. Particularly when the typo is in your title or cover image.
You might genuinely be the most engaging, knowledgeable and reliable professional ever. Yet if potential clients don’t know you personally, they’re not going to know that unless you present yourself well.
When it comes to your online presence or printed publications, a very big chunk of presentation comes down to the words you choose and how much effort you put into arranging them just so. This is true regardless of whether you’re a professional editor or not.
There’s no way around the fact that when most people see a typo in a title, they associate it with sloppiness. It’s a logical and understandable conclusion regardless of whether it’s correct or not.
So never take editing for granted when writing a professional blog post... or a professional blog post title. While it’s probably not going to be the end of the world, you might still suffer some for the error.