These days, more attorneys are appreciating the value and benefits of publishing a legal blog. Blogging helps lawyers share their industry knowledge, analysis and commentary. It also grants them recognition as a contributor to the greater legal blogging community. As a result, new blogs pop up nearly everyday in Google search results.
On the plus side, the emergence of new, well-written and interesting legal posts has enriched the discussion for bloggers and readers alike. However, the rush by some bloggers to jump on the bandwagon means that blog posts authored in haste may be replete with spelling errors and other oversights. (Refer to Ilana Sabes’ post, How to Write Effective Legal Blog Post Titles).
So what’s the big deal? Well, for starters, remember that your blog is in essence an extension of you and your practice. With that in mind, you should always write as though your colleagues, clients and prospective clients may read your blog posts.
Typos are distracting. The misuse of a word or a typo may be completely innocent and even the most experienced blogger may make a mistake from time to time. That said, a professional, scholarly, or case law related post with a glaring typo could be embarrassing. Once I see a spelling error in a journal or newspaper article, I wonder what else was missed. Did the writer also overlook their facts?
To make the spell checking process more seamless, you may want to check out the following tips:
- Take breaks when writing: Staring at a computer screen for a long stretch is bound to play tricks on your eyes. Jot down your blogging story ideas and outline, save your draft, and then come back later to read your work. You may be surprised by how many typos you are able to catch this way.
- Have others read your draft: We may think that we are genius wordsmiths in our heads, but the truth will come out once an honest colleague or family member looks at your work.
- Draft your posts using a word processor: We are creatures of habit. If you are already comfortable using a word processor program such as MS Word, use that when drafting your work. That way, you may check and fix spelling errors. Once you are ready to publish your post, simply copy and paste your text to the blogging platform.
- Use Google to check for spellings: If you are not sure about the spelling of a word, try searching for that term in Google.
Let’s be honest, even though a blog is often seen as less formal and more editorial than a traditional website, it is just not the place for typos. Have fun writing and posting to your blog, but don’t forget to spell check!
Kristen E. Small, “The Importance of Spell-Checking Your Brief”, On The Docket, July 22, 2011