Do you write for your own website or someone else's?
If so, these three simple practices that journalists often use can help you catch problems before they end up online:
1) Read your writing out loud.
When you sense you have a good draft, stop typing, and read your work out loud. You will often catch phrases that sound awkward. This is essential to do if you don't have an editor checking your work.
2) Print out your writing to review it.
For many of us, it's much easier to find errors on a printed page than on a screen. When I worked at Bloomberg News, I was encouraged to print out my articles in order to check them carefully before submitting them to one of my editors.
3) Ask a friend or colleague to look it over.
An extra set of fresh eyes will see things you can't. For example, if you are a blogger, find someone who can review your blog posts in exchange for reviewing their posts or other writing. Ask for exactly what you want. If you simply want help finding typos, say that. If you are open to getting feedback on clarity or audience relevance, say that as well. You can spend less than 10 minutes helping each other...but these few minutes can make a big difference!
Using these practices will improve the quality of your writing. Typos undermine credibility. Confusing your readers isn't going to help anyone. And if you want to learn more about writing for the web, read Letting Go of the Words by Ginny Redish.
Please share any other practices you use to better your writing before it ends up on the web.