Should You Hire Someone to Proofread Your Blog Posts?

I usually get one or two emails a day from readers who have caught typos in my blog posts. Most go out of their way to apologize for bringing the subject up. Regardless, I am always appreciative. I fix the error, thank the reader, and move on.

Proofread Blog Post

However, on occasion, I get an email from a self-appointed member of the Grammar Police. They feel compelled, not only to point out my errors, but to chide me.

Someone wrote last week,

You should be ashamed. How can you be a book publisher and allow such embarrassing errors on your blog? I am disappointed by your lack of commitment to excellence. It makes me think less of your company. Please: do us all a favor and hire a proofreader!”

I am just grateful I am not this poor woman’s husband!

Should you hire someone to proofread your blog posts? In my opinion, “no.” Here’s why:

  1. It will delay “shipping.” You can fiddle with your writing until it is perfect (an illusion, by the way), or you can publish and move on to the next thing. Perfectionism is the mother of procrastination.
  2. Blogs are not books. If you have an error in a book, it is permanent—at least until the next edition. Not so with blogs. You can make corrections on the fly and re-publish the post immediately.
  3. Even proofreaders don’t catch every typo. We use multiple proofers on every book at Thomas Nelson. Still, those pesky little errors hide in the shadows and only show up once the book is printed. (I swear!) How much proofing is enough? Most of us can’t afford perfection.

I think the better approach is to stay focused on your writing and your output. Churn out the posts. The more you write, the better you will get.

Obviously, you will want to read your post several times personally before you upload it. I go through the following process:

  • Read through it twice after I have written it.
  • Read it once out loud.
  • Publish as a draft and read through it on the blog itself.

Some errors will still slip through the cracks. But at some point, it’s time to hit the “Publish” button and be done with it.

From there, I “crowd-source” my proofreading. My regular readers are happy to do it. I would rather spend my time writing content that adds value than obsessing over every typo, misspelling, and grammatical error.

Question: Do you agree with me? Why or why not? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • Valerie Norris

    I agree. Although I’m an excellent proofreader, I still miss things once in awhile. They’re usually not typos: I misspelled a certain type of wrench once, simply because I had never seen it spelled and assumed I knew what I was doing. A friend caught the error and emailed me. Fixed!

    As for the chiding error-finder, hey, lighten up! Life is much too short to waste a minute fussing over an error in a blog post. It amazes me how little it takes to upset some people’s day.

    Keep posting!

    • Michael Hyatt

      Thankfully, I don’t get too many of these chiding emails, but they always make me shake my head in disbelief.

  • Kerry Palmer

    My wife makes a great proofreader, but she isn’t always available. I agree with you completely. Mistakes are fixed easily enough on a blog.

  • Leah Adams

    I totally agree….about blog posts and about books. I try my best to edit out the mistakes from each post and I use the techniques you suggested. It also helps me, if I have time, to print out the post (I write mine in a Word document and then cut and paste into my post) and read it on the printed page. I seem to catch more errors that way than reading it on the screen.

    I think there are editing demons out there, lurking in the shadows of every book that is printed. In addition to professional editing, I proofed and proofed my Bible study and also had others do the same. Still, I have found a couple of small things that were missed. FRUSTRATING TO A TYPE A CONTROL FREAK. However, there is a small amount of comfort in knowing it happens to most every published book.

    Blog posts: write and go!!

    • Michael Hyatt

      Yes! That’s exactly how we refer to them at our publishing house: the demons of typos.

      The really frustrating thing is when it happens in a Bible. We are particularly meticulous there, knowing that it is a big investment for the person and a very high expectation. Our goal is 0% errors, but they still creep in. Maddening.

    • Olive Llohrengel

      I was interested in your comment that you proof and proof your Bible study. Whenever it comes to spelling, grammar, and the best way to say what I mean, I do my own proofing, but I have recently started writing posts on a blog for our church and, since I want to stay on the “right” side, I do turn to someone whose Bible knowledge is better than mine to be sure I don’t goof big time.

      I also write my post on a Word program, but I never trust the spelling checker. And, like you, I seem to proof read better on the printed page.

  • KellySinging

    Agree. ‘Nuf said.

    • Brandon


  • Darren Poke

    I’m with you Michael.

    We all make little errors that we don’t notice immediately and they’re easy to change when blogging.

    I get annoyed with myself when I make mistakes, but it’s not the end of the world. Thankfully my wife picks up most of my typos.

    • Michael Hyatt

      I have a few faithful readers, including my brother-in-law, who have eagle eyes. They catch nearly everything, and it is a huge help. I welcome it!

  • Heatherly Lane Sylvia

    I agree with you. In many cases, my blog writing is material I plan to use elsewhere, and it serves as my “crowd editing” spot. Other times I simply write and allow the words to flow.

    I am an English teacher, so I get the same scrutiny, on a smaller scale, but I refuse to be paralyzed by punctuation when I’ve been called to share grace and hope on my blog.

    After following the steps you mentioned, a sneaky spelling error or a misused modifier will often mysteriously appear in a post. I have a friend that lovingly edits as she reads, I fix it, and we both move on.

    Have you read the book Grammar Snobs are Great Big Meanies? It’s written by a grammar columnist about all the hate mail she receives. Educational and hilarious.

    • Michael Hyatt

      I’ll have to look that book up. I love grammar book. My new favorite one is Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English.

      Sometimes, people assume you don’t know any better. I usually always know the correct answer. I had advanced grammar in college and lived out of the Chicago Manual of Style when I was an editor. It’s just difficult to catch your own errors.

      • Brandon

        That sounds like an interesting book. I have had my share of grammar classes! haha

      • Steven Cribbs

        I always wanted grammar explained in ‘plain english’. I will have to check out the books. Thanks for mentioning them.

        • allanwhite

          It may have been mentioned, but I do adore Lynn Truss’, “Eats, Shoots, and Leaves”. Lucid, useful, and hilarious.

          And sometimes the style guides are just wrong. Break the friggin’ rules if the idea demands it.

          • Michael Hyatt

            I loved that book, too. One of the reasons I read style books (love E.B. White, for example) is so I know the rules and can bring them on purpose.

          • danny

            I think you mean “break” them on purpose.

          • Michael Hyatt

            Yep. The fingers are faster than the brain!

          • Steven Cribbs

            Thanks Allan! I’ll take a look at that one too.

          • Olive Llohrengel

            Me too. That is the greatest little book I’ve ever owned.

    • Joe Lalonde

      Thanks for the book suggestion. I’ll have to check it out.

    • Dot

      June Cassagrande’s other book, Mortal Syntax, is just as good.

  • Ed Chinn

    I agree. You know, I wonder why people don’t obsess about mistakes in movies. All movies — even big production ones from major studios — contain absolutely embarrassing mistakes. A shirt changes during a scene. We see a boom mike shadow. Clouds go away and then return. The gun goes from his left to his right hand. Yet, some of those movies are enduring classics.

    • Daniel J. Mount

      Ed – have you ever visited I’ve seen people there obsessing over movie goofs! :)

    • Joe Lalonde

      There’s quite a few people who obsess over movie mistakes. Just type in a search for “movie mistakes” in google. Sometimes it is quite hilarious to read the complaints.

    • Steven Cribbs

      It can be fun sometimes to look for the mistakes in movies. Even when I find one, it does not diminish my enjoyment of the movie.

      • Ed Chinn

        Yes, Steven, I think that is my real point. I am a publisher and I’m always amazed when authors hyperventilate over a mistake. All books, even Bibles, have mistakes. Just clean it up in the 2nd edition, or for the electronic version, and go on. The mistake is much larger to the author than it is to the reader.

        • Michael Hyatt

          This is absolutely right. If you insist on perfection, you won’t accomplish much in like. This is the value of Seth Godin’s recent books: just ship. You can correct as you go.

  • Andrew Acker

    Michael Hyatt, dropping another knowledge nugget.

  • Doug Hibbard

    I agree with you about not over-stressing. Typos happen, mistakes happen. Now, when there’s a blog post that has so much misspelled that it’s distracting, that’s another story—don’t just click “ignore” on every word the machine says is wrong!

    Content is the king. The grammar, spelling, proper typing and formatting, those are all the princes and officials of the court that let the king rule–they help and can hurt when absent, but it’s all about the king.

  • Melissa Sapien Aulds

    I totally agree. I always try to fix things as I see them and I do give them a once over before hitting the “publish” button; but if I waited until every piece was perfect I would never post anything at all.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Me, too. Stephen Pressfield calls this “The Resistance.” It’s just one more tactic of the enemy, who conspires to keep you from publishing.

  • Cyberquill

    I agree. Why hire a proofreader for blog posts when the self-appointed Grammar Police shows up unbidden and free of charge anyway?

    In fact, one effective strategy to get proofreaders at no cost is to inform other writers of their mistakes and to do so in as condescending and holier-than-thou a manner as possible, because then some of them will get mad and start scouring one’s own posts in hopes of finding errors so they can launch a “look who’s talking”-type counter-attack.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Ha! I hadn’t thought of that.

    • Brandon


    • Joe Lalonde

      That’s a good theory!

    • Steven Cribbs

      What a great idea ;-0

      Oh wait, did that gesture just go against all grammar rules??

  • Doug Hibbard

    My wife and I watched Spartacus last weekend and noted a lot of those—in the final battle, one army is in a sunny field. The other one is in an overcast field. The battle itself happens under partly cloudy skies!!

    There’s actually a section on IMDB where goofs get recorded. It’s usually fun to read through and then watch for the moments—the wristwatches in the Roman Empire, the airplanes flying over, and so on.

    • Joe Lalonde

      Maybe that was done on purpose? The sunny field army brought it over to the overcast field army and made partly sunny skies! Possibly a metaphor?

  • ReflectionsByPj

    I absolutely agree! I was having someone proof read my post before posting them and it was always delayed, which drove me bonkers[!], so I gave up the editor. I actually already follow your exact steps, with the exception of, I read through it only once silently and the remainder read through are all out loud [that could be a mental issue for me – ha]. Of course, it is also my opinion that a blog is different than a book and while one might desire the standards to be the same, one perhaps might have some unrealistic expectations *delusional*, that being said, my Fiction Professor might have something to say about me using the word bonkers in my writing. :)

    • Michael Hyatt

      Maybe it is just that some people are OCD and can’t let it go.

      • ReflectionsByPj

        So TRUE!

      • ReflectionsByPj

        So TRUE!

  • Prem

    haha….i love your post man…typo or no typo….you send the message across that is what matters in the end.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Amen! In a different context, Jesus criticized the Pharisees because they strained at a gnat and swallowed the camel. In other words, they majored on the minors and minored on the majors.

  • Perry Coghlan

    Perfectionism is an “infection” that rears its ugly head everywhere. Prudence is what’s called for, not perfectionism.

  • Dianne Guthmuller

    Absolutely! I post everyday and if let the perfection disease creep into my mind I would have never written the first post.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Agreed. I wonder how productive the Grammar Police are?

      • Cheri Gregory

        Those who can, do. Those who can’t…

        • Michael Hyatt


        • Olive Llohrengel

          Hmmmm. Now where have I heard that before? Or was it “when” have I heard that before? Thanks, Cheri. That took me back many years.

    • Joe Lalonde

      Dianne, you made a mistake in this post!!! Better fix it (-;

      Anyways, great job on posting everyday! It’s a hard feat for sure!

  • Shelia

    I do find it difficult to be my own proofreader. I know what I intended to say, so I auto correct in my head if it is wrong on the page. But I agree that it is more important to give wings to the content than to obsess over making it perfect.

    I have different expectations of a blog post than a book. I assume it was written quickly; an attempt to capture a train of thought while it is fresh. In a sense, the typos add to the “hot of the presses” drama. (Though it should be said, I’ve never done this on purpose.) :)

    “To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.” ~Joseph Chilton Pearce

    • Michael Hyatt

      Wonderful quote from Pearce. I am going to add that to my quote file.

    • Steven Cribbs

      Love the quote! And it’s true – sometimes the imperfections draw a bigger crowd, get people to pay more attention and even spark a greater conversation.

    • Robert Ewoldt

      Thanks for the quote, Shelia.

  • Kathleendickleslie

    As a grammar policewoman in recovery, I think the need to chide people about their errors in writing is not only a big pride flaw but also a huge insecurity about oneself. Because we live in fear of making a mistake that makes us seem less than perfectly intelligent (gasp!) and are clearly worried about our own image, we direct that insecurity outward onto others as well. And, of course, the way you correct others is 95% of the problem. How would I like someone to let me know of an error I have in my blog? Well, that’s the way I should advise them of an error in theirs, IF at all. It always comes back to Christ-like behavior.

  • Tracy Hoexter

    I don’t give a damn for a man that can only spell a word one way.
    -Mark Twain

    More Twain support at

    • Michael Hyatt

      You gotta love Twain.

      Not to disparage proofers, because we need them, but proofers cost about $10.00 per hour. Copy editors, $15–20 an hour. Substantive editors $35–50 per hour. Writers, $100–? an hour. What is more valuable? Writing is the scare thing, and, as a result, is more valuable in the publishing ecosystem.

      • Katy McKenna

        I think you meant to write “Writing is the scarce thing,” but man, I hate to let my OCD out of the bag! :)

        • Michael Hyatt

          Ha! Good catch.

      • Brandon

        Wow! I couldn’t afford $1 an hr!

    • Steven Cribbs

      Thanks for the Twain quote – I am still chuckling :-)

  • Jay

    I usually get 1 or 2 misspellings (Ever misspell “misspelling”? I have.) every post. Not a huge deal. My blog isn’t big enough to enjoy crowd-sourcing but the errors are always minor.

    • Steven Cribbs

      Such an easy word to mess up. Then add to that misspelling your name…

  • Spence Smith

    You know… i love this post. thanks for validating my lack of grammar and spelling!!! I think if i hired a proof reader they would quit after the first tweet! oh wait… proof read my blog??? i would never wish that job on anyone:)

    Seriously though… thanks for this post. good advice for me…

  • Andrew

    Agreed. There have been a couple instances when I have sought a second pair of eyes for my blog posts, but these have been specific exceptions. In general I do the best I can before I hit publish, then deal with errors as I become aware of them. I’ve never had anyone call me out so fiercely as you have. Hopefully you can laugh at the overzealous and not let them get you down.

    • Michael Hyatt

      I often bring in a second set of eyes on content—especially if I think it is going to be controversial.

  • Karl Mealor

    Absolootly. I agrees.

    • Joe Lalonde

      Sew does I!

      • Steven Cribbs

        Mees two

  • Matthew

    I think its crazy to even expect someone in your space to be perfect. I agree and honestly think it’s a waste of money. There are tools out there for WordPress such as the Jet Pack which includes a proofreader of sorts.

    Check it out.

  • DJLane

    Ouch! Sufficiently spanked as a self-acknowledged grammar nazi. I believe that I once wrote you and Meg one time too to make a correction before the masses had a chance to read it, but it was never with malice. For me, I believe it comes from my background of being an administrative assistant for a while, where my job was to make my boss look the best he could. I take the same approach with a few writers I care about. I want them to look the best they can. It’s not insecurity, because I write too, but it’s one thing that I can do well. I recently copyedited two novels for NYT best-selling authors. I suppose it takes all kinds. Some “writers” need it more than others, (not as in the simple typos as you referred), but perhaps I’ve learned a valuable lesson from this post and will let the work speak for itself.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Please don’t misunderstand: I ALWAYS appreciate readers catching errors and letting me know. That is extremely helpful. It is the chiding part that is unwarranted. (I don’t remember you having that kind of attitude.) If you catch anything, please let me know!

    • Steven Cribbs

      I always appreciate those who lovingly help me. And, we all need a little help. It seems as though you come with a humble respect – and that makes all the difference.

  • Henrik Wist

    Michael, thanks for bringing this up … I couldn’t agree more. While it is indeed annoying to read blogs that are stuffed with errors, your’s isn’t among those. I think you are doing more than just your due diligence to catch errors.

    I am also happy to point out typos to fellow bloggers, and then move on. I don’t envy you for getting comments like that.

  • Michaelkilpatrick21

    totally agree- we want good content not perfect grammar!!!!!!!!!!

  • Doug N.

    agree completely, some just are anal or others get a kick outta correcting ,Maybe she’s a teacher lol

  • Todd

    Agreed! I don’t write a blog but I know you can get caught in the Analysis – Paralysis trap with a lot of other writing or decisions that need to be made. I laugh when I read comments that criticize spelling or grammar on someone else’s blog because the majority of them are done anonymously. My thought is always that the person has low self esteem and needs to feel better by pointing out other faults.

    And to be honest, I read blogs because I like the tone and “flavor” that comes across. I don’t want the author to be so meticulous about spelling or grammar that it changes that.

  • Julie Armstrong

    I just gotta know … were you tempted to put an “intentional typo” in this blog post … just to make your point? I would have!!! :-)

    Thanks for this great reminder … I tend to proofread (and proofread … and proofread) even some of my emails! Can definitely slow me down – I’ll keep this in mind! Thank you!


    • Michael Hyatt

      Actually, I was tempted!

    • Dylan Dodson

      That would have been quite funny!

  • Jim Whitaker

    As I am reading your post I am reminded of the quote “To err is human. To forgive divine.” We all can take note of these words from Alexander Pope. I agree with your first point. You can strive for perfection and never get there or you can do your best, be happy with it and move on to the next thing. I have never thought less of you because of a typo. You pour your heart, time and effort into trying to provide quality content for your readers 5 days a week (not counting the guest post). We should be happy with your gift to us. And like you said it is not a book. Once a typo is sent to you, you edit it and change it. I have never had a book with a typo in it that I loved and thought wow it would have been that much better if only that typo was not there. You don’t have to worry about me poking fun at you or calling you out on typos, God knows I have mine, but you can count on me reading and enjoying your post each and every day it is posted. On a side note, I found it interesting that I got an e-mail from Amazon telling me that they were going to replace a copy of a book that I have on my Kindle with a new copy since there were typos in the first copy.

    • Great7mother

      I too have a Kindle and one of the books I have purchased was loaded with typos, not one, not two, not three, but loaded, I declined the book because I couldn’t concentrate on the content for the errors.

      • Michael Hyatt

        I have seen that on Kindle, too. It usually results from using the wrong text encoding. In other words, the conversion process went wonky. I think publishers are getting better at it. It’s just too bad there isn’t one e-book format. We have six major ones to worry about!

  • Ben Tune

    One of the reasons I don’t publish much more often than I do is because I want things to be perfect. I don’t know about you, but I try to find a certain cadence, or rhythm in my words. I end up spending too much time rewriting just a few words or lines when I should just go on with it. So, I’m saying I agree with you – even though I don’t practice it yet myself.

    I have seen the occasional error on your blog, but have always overlooked them. I like the crowd-sourcing idea, too.

    Do you ever go back and re-write and republish an entire blog post?

    • Michael Hyatt

      No, I don’t. I may edit to bring it up-to-date, but I don’t publish as a new post. Google hates duplicate posts and will penalize you.

      • Jan Cox

        Will Google penalize me for changing the post from April 6, 2006 to April 6, 2011? It will be a duplicate but I put in the wrong date? It was a slip of my finger.

        • Michael Hyatt

          I honestly don’t know, Jan, but I doubt it. I would do it regardless.

  • John Richardson

    Amen, Mike! The typo gremlin lurks in the shadows, ready to change our spelling at a moments notice. You can read your blog post a hundred times and you will see nothing, but let someone important take a look and the word is suddenly and magically changed. This little guy is insidious!

    The typo gremlin is related to the small parts gremlin, who hides that little part you need to complete the big project you are working on. You can spend hours scouring the house for that screw, bolt, or fastener only to have it show up in the middle of your workbench after a half hour of searching. This little guy puts it back where you first looked for it after you are completely frustrated! Maddening!

    On a side note, now that I use my iPad 2 to write blog posts, the auto correct feature catches a lot of typos on the fly. The problem with this is it may replace the word you want with a different word, that is spelled right. This can result in hilarious typos. (there is a whole web site devoted to these… just Google DYAC )

  • Danny Maldonado

    Really liked this Michael! My wife helps me out proofreading everything on my blog. I think and write in English, and the translate it into Spanish. (I live in PR), but she is much better than I am with grammar and spelling.

    Content is everything. I get sometimes anxious because I want to publish everything at once, but I still find errors on my old posts, (which she did not review!) which I fix and done! People are just wanting a fresh perspective and a word that will better their lives. Spelling and typos are not that of a big deal. to have someone that points them out is great, it means that they really care and appreciate you.

    • Brandon

      Is it harder to type in Spanish?

      • Dannymaldonado

        In order to convey the same message that I wrote in English, in many occasions I would need to type many more words. So in that sense it is. On the grammar side, I personally are not that good in Spanish, so I rely on my wife heavily for that. Not that I am a genius in English!, but it is easier for me. We have seen that the translators out there (google, etc) are not that good, and it depends on where you live that some words came mean something different.

        • Brandon

          Ok. Gotcha! I have seen that as well. Google translate is not the most accurate tool.

  • Chad Billington

    I’d have to agree (I tweeted your statement about perfectionism being the mother of procrastination). I think sometimes I err on wanting to have everything right, and in so doing stop the flow of things getting done.

    Good article with implications well beyond writing…

  • Bethdeesb

    Unless the error changes the message, it’s not worth mentioning! I have a pastor friend that in responding to an email meant to write, “I am not pushing you away.” Instead the email went out as “I am pushing you away.” One simple three letter word made not only a big difference to the message, but also in the response to that message.

    I have never believed I was a good writer. I’m a numbers person. Give me problems dealing with stats and numbers all day long and I love it. Math was my best subject in school. English….not so much. The interesting part of life is that God truly has a sense of humor. I am a writer/reporter for a local newspaper. I love chasing a story and doing the research, but I agonize between the time I actually sit down to write, and the day after the paper comes out, knowing that the phone could ring at any moment, and it be someone that is upset with me about a story.

    I know God has a sense of humor, but I also know that he has given me this job for a reason. I know for me, to write and write well, I HAVE to depend on God totally! Seems God is putting so many things in my path this past year that I have to rely totally on him.

    Funny thing is our paper came out yesterday. In one of my articles I misspelled Elvis Presley’s name. How on earth do you misspell Presley????? I was humiliated, but now after reading your blog, I just laugh. You see I know you are a great writer, so it makes it easier knowing that even the greatest of writers can make mistakes! Thank you!

    • Michael Hyatt

      The great thing about Twitter, blog, and even newspapers, is that they quickly slip into the ether. Books, on the other hand, are a little more permanent and demand more care.

      Last night, two people pointed out a misspelled word on one of my Twitter posts. I thought to myself, What do you expect me to do about that now. You can’t correct a Twitter post! I think some people love to catch publishers making a mistake. It’s probably like me wishing I could write-up a policeman who speeds past me without his siren or lights on. ;-)

      • Bethdeesb

        Absolutely, plus in the case of a tweet, you only have so many characters to work with to get your point across. Sometimes a misspelled word is intentional to fit the message in. Besides, it is common knowledge that not every letter has to be seen for us to know what the word is meant to be!

        Thanks always for your blogs and insights! Praying for Libby and that soon the doctors and your family will have the answers needed to allow this precious little girl to live a normal life without the struggles she endures!

  • Eliza Huie

    Many many months ago I saw a typo on your blog. I hesitated to point it out but in a single act of boldness I decided to let you know. I was so pleasantly surprised by your humble and grateful response.

    What motivated my boldness was not the thrill of catching the CEO of the top book publisher with a typo though I’m ashamed to say such a proud thought blipped on the radar of my mind but instead it was what I have come to know about you through your blog. You are a real person. With this fact in mind I decided to let you know. Your response only confirmed your genuine character and I felt I got to know you even more.

    • Ben Tune

      One of the things I like about Michael is his genuineness.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for sharing that, Eliza. I do genuinely appreciate it when people catch my errors.

  • Blake Schwendimann

    Mistakes are part of what makes a blog great. If you were 5 steps removed from your blog posts, I’d be a little disappointed.

    I’m glad you’re human like the rest of us.

  • Dominic Rajesh

    Agree with you, Michael! I read a lot of blogs and don’t mind typos or grammar mistakes as long as the writer shares valuable thoughts! Please keep sharing your valuable thoughts!

  • Steve Barkley

    I have not never noticed eny typoz or gramer ishues in yor riting..

    • Michael Hyatt


  • Lorenz Lo Szabo

    Absolutely on spot. I also use Word to check with my posts – but hey I am not even a native speaker. I have a “grammer police officer” with a friend who goes nuts over my style, etc. Not fun to work with!

  • Nicole Amsler

    As a professional copywriter and hired blog proofreader, I disagree–to an extent. My services are certainly not for everyone. I agree most bloggers should do their best and publish regularly without proofreading.

    But the handful of my proofreading clients are poor writers (and they know it). Some are professional speakers who speak beautifully but write poorly. They trust me to capture their voice in writing, while catching errors. Another regular client is dyslexic and requires someone to look over everything–emails, blog posts, Facebook updates, etc. To maintain her professional branding, she relies on me to watch her words.

    Outsourced proofing is necessary for those who know they need it. But obviously most do not.

    • Michael Hyatt

      I’m sure there are exceptions to everything. You cite two good ones. Thanks.

  • Fivecannons

    I’m so thankful for this post!

  • Susan Wilkinson

    Love it. And wow to the chiding! That’s just… well, kinda scary. Whoops. I said, kinda. And I began two sentences with and. Gasp.

    • Michael Hyatt

      I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to write you up for that! ;-)

      • Susan Wilkinson

        I’m sorry, boss. But you know, some people just need a margarita. Or one of Randy’s French Martini’s (yum!). I know… next time you get an email like that, just respond with a link to Randy’s post from today. ha! (No? Leaders don’t get to be petty, you say? Bummer.)

  • Fritz

    Yes! I hate mistakes and typos, but they are certainly part of my life as a blogger. I’m encouraged to know I’m not alone in this.

  • Anonymous

    I completely agree with you. That’s what friends are for. They not only read my blog because they’re interested, but they read because they want to support me. They further that support by telling me I’ve made an error, which is quickly fixed.

    Keep doing what you’re doing. Your blogs are very inspiring, with or without errors.

  • Mark McIntyre

    Agree completely. I read for the content. Grammar should not get in the way of enjoying the content. Other than that, if you get your point across, don’t worry about the grammar.

    There is a book entitled something like “Grammar Snobs are Big Meanies” or something like that. I haven’t read it but I agree with the title.

    • Michael Hyatt

      You are the second person to mention that book. I must buy it. (Believe it or not, I am a bot of a grammar geek.)

  • Great7mother

    Yes, Michael I agree with you wholeheartedly. I recently did a ppr for a college student and we together made 3 revisions to the original draft, I said enough and we printed it. Yes, we had two little typos that were completely missed. I like you, feel that we will not be perfect, not in this life, so we must do the best we can and move on, typos and all. Love your work brother and appreciate what you do for not only your industry, but all of us little guys out here trying to get there.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for your kind words!

  • Colin

    My opinion, a blog is like an open diary. I write devotionals for my church and I know I don’t have perfect sentence structure,etc. I don’t think any blog should have a proofreader. It takes away from the authenticity!

    This lady needs to remember TN didn’t hire you to be a proofreader, but a leader. Where we are weak, we bring others in to fix those areas. God Bless!

  • Carmen Bernal

    Amen and amen and amen! There are many other things we will need to spend our time and effort. Only Jesus was perfect and I am sooo thankful for that!

    I love your blog. Keep the good work.

    Greetings from Norway

  • Jennifer Hudson Taylor

    I hope this woman whoever she is, is properly chastised for being so judgmental and arrogant. I don’t mind good editors and proofreaders. In fact, I’m grateful! But I do mind arrogance–and I suspect–so does God. Arrogance and confidence are two different things.

    BTW, I agree. It would be ridiculous to hire an editor for a blog. Great post!

    • Michael Hyatt

      I didn’t think it would be productive to chastise her. I simply thanked her and ignored the rest of her editorializing.

  • Debbie

    Oh my, someone who is so agitated over your errors (or anyone elses) really needs our prayers (I am not kidding!). And by the way, I love your company — just look at our christmas pictures on facebook — behind me you will see evidence of that – 16 feet x 10 feet high book shelves filled with books. Many of them have the Thomas Nelson stamp on them. I thank you, sir!

    And now, about your post….one word…”AMEN”

    • Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for being a faithful customer!

  • Matt Ware

    I’d like to add another reason to not proofread a blog post, especially blogs from a high profile/high impact leader: it lets the reader know that a PERSON is writing the blog, that it’s not just the product of an organizational machine! While of course I’m all for excellence and typos drive me crazy, I have found it refreshing when reading your (or others’) blogs and I catch a mistake. It brings an element of normal humanity to it. I find it that much easier to connect with the content because I know that there’s a real person behind the post.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Great point. I didn’t think of that.

    • Dylan Dodson

      I had the same idea, it’s nice to know be reminded that everyone is human and makes mistakes.

  • Cheryl Pickett

    I whole-heartedly agree with your last statement especially, that you’d rather spend time writing great, helpful content than worrying about perfect periods and grammar. Having a lot of errors in a piece is one thing, but just as most of us do not speak with perfect fluidity, we do not write that way either. As someone else already said, for blogs, hearing the writer’s voice is so important so to fine tune too much for some would not sound authentic.

    You can always go the route of another blogger/mentor I admire-Jeff Herring says the typos are there to make sure you are paying attention, so if you see them, they’re doing their job :-).

    • Michael Hyatt

      We once had a divisional manager, who buried this sentence in his strategic plan. “If you read this sentence and tell me, I will give you twenty dollars.” No one commented because no one read it! I thought it was hilarious when he shared it.

  • Philipp Knoll

    I was totally in the mood to writing a post that I had in my mind for days today. Actually I’ve been looking forward to it as I reserved this day to solely work on my own stuff instead of clients work (a strategy that I can recommend as it helps me a lot).

    Then something really unpleasant occurred that stalled my energy. I then sat in front of my beloved Mac for almost two hours now without getting anything done.

    …You published your posts just at the right time. Magically it turned the switch and made me feel like writing again. THANKS.

    And now I don’t even have to worry about my typos anymore. I can always send the “police” over to your blog letting them know that this might be a way worse place to hang out on. ;) Guess that is why people return.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Send ’em on! I’ll point them to this post. ;-)

      • Philipp Knoll

        We could probably automate that… I’m sending friends your way anyway. It is like with good wine – you don’t invite just anybody to a premium bottle, right.

  • Gerald Duran

    I agree. These pesky mistakes only show their ugly faces after you print. Thank God we can change the blog. I am always in horror when I see these mistakes on my own blog which is also on an email newsletter that I sent out. I wish I could change those as easily.

  • Brian Hedges

    Agree. Excellent post, as usual.

  • Jonathon Burns

    Great article! I see the same issue pop up on a lot of discussion forums that I visit as well. While I don’t appreciate lazy types (or worse, texting-shorthand) I don’t mind the occasional typo, provided it doesn’t distract from the content.

    Though my favorite times are when the grammar police strike, but in their attempt to point out typos they end up have their own poor grammar or have a typo.

    • Michael Hyatt

      I know. It can sometimes be comical.

  • Jontahan Vanhorn

    I agree with you and knowing that I don’t have to catch every error is freeing as a blogger. It allows me to write what’s on my mind and focus more on the content. Thanks for the post!

  • Alex Humphrey

    Wow, that is great advice, Michael.

    I don’t have a proof reader for my blog. I basically do what you do: read it a few times in Word, read it outloud to myself, and then read it a few times in “preview” to catch any final errors. From time to time my fiancee will also look it over, she is much better at grammer than me.

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  • Anonymous

    I am a newbie to the blogging world and a horrible proofreader. I have had numerous errors pointed out to me by friends and family and every error they find is so obvious (palm hits forehead moments) that I don’t know how I could have missed it. I like the “read it out loud” tip. This should help me cut down on errors tremendously!

    I enjoy reading your blog and rest assured that you are doing an outstanding job!

    • Ben Tune

      You will get better with practice. The fact that people catch errors on your blog means people are actually reading your blog. That sounds like good news to me.

  • Sarah M.

    I completely agree. I have much higher expectations of books and other officially “published” material than blog posts. Blog posts are meant to be more dynamic and relational. Meaning, blog authors typically expect that their readers will interact not only with their posted material, but also with the author and other readers. To have a “perfect” product removes a bit of humanity from the author, which would make me less likely to engage.

  • Scott Arrieta

    Absolutely agree. Blogs are all about speed to market. Take too long obsessing over every typo, and you’re bound to bogged down. For me, there’s also the psychological component of building momentum. If I can knock out a quality post fairly quickly, that typically builds my confidence, and I’ll usually start working on ideas for my next post. If I spend too long reading into things with a fine-toothed comb, I most often feel discouraged and lose significant traction.

    • Michael Hyatt

      I find that keeping my sentences short helps. The more complex I get, the more likely it is that I will make a mistake.

  • JD Eddins

    I completely agree, unless you are writing the Daily Writing Tips blog. When I am reading some one else blog I am typically scanning- I try to read a lot of blogs and I simply can’t read every word. I know this weakens my proofreading filter, but I am not reading your blog in order to observe your grammar.

  • Brandon

    Wow! I guess you will always get those kind of critiques on your blog… I know I have been told by an athiest to get off the web. It will always be out there.

    As far as proofreaders, I would agree with you. You don’t need one for a blog. I would just hope that my readers would point it out so I could fix it.

  • Lindsey Nobles

    Totally agree with you. Although I get embarrassed when they pop-up on my own blog, I appreciate what typos represent — that our posts, our ideas, our lives are always a work in progress.

  • Uma Maheswaran S

    Agreed Mike! Heavens are not going to fall on a misspelling or a grammatical error. Since rectification of this mistake is not costing much, one can comfortable say no to a proofreader.

  • Brettvaden

    What’s that proverb?…”An abundance of words produces much sin.” I’m a current PhD student, and so I read a lot and write some, too. Typos are going to slip by, unless we’re willing to become obsessive-compulsive about them. Of course, that doesn’t give us license to skip proof-reading. I think Mr. Hyatt’s proofing plan for blog-posts is reasonable and even exemplary among bloggers.

  • Ken Shaddox

    I agree. You are solid and helpful through your post. Keep up the excellent content. I look forward every day to reading your blog and I’ve always carried away a nugget of truth. Keep blogging and have the very best of days.

  • Sean

    Most people understand that blogging is a fly by the seat of your pants business, much like texting and emails which are usually full of mistakes. The trick is to edit well without spending much time on it. I would imagine that only an older demographic, who are still talking about how far they had to walk through the snow to get to school everyday, would ever bother to actually complain about an error. As with texts and emails, most people can figure out what the author meant and keep moving forward, rather than stumbling all over the mistake in a world of utter confusion and constantly looking back.

    Regardless, I’m pretty sure that was my mom who complained about your glitch and I do apologize. She still thinks blogging is a spanking.

  • Lis

    I definitely agree with you. In every instance of my life from blog posts to even homework with my son, I cannot catch every little mistake–and I speak as an English major and former English teacher!

    Said commenter is not going to be happy with your remark. :)

  • Michael Butler

    My comment is directly addressed at grammar it is more geared to the comment a reader said about excellence. As a publisher in a very visible position would you comment or post on how you rate excellence or better yet define excellence. I ask because I hear excellence thrown around so much that it almost makes me think every defines it as perfection. Your commentary or post would be nice. By the way I really enjoy your refreshing take on life.

  • Bwheelon

    I totally agree. Life is just to short to stress out over perfection that is all to elusive anyway. Keep the great content coming. Thanks!!!

  • Josh Hood

    Spell checker four my pea sea is supposed to plane lee mark four my revue the miss steaks aye did knot see. To rite with care is quite a feet, witch every won should strive for. And wee mussed dew the best wee can, sew flaws are knot aloud.

  • Joe Lalonde

    Some good advice there Mike. Another thing is to type your blog post in a word processor such as Word before copying and publishing it in your blog. They tend to catch quite a few spelling mistakes and some will even catch grammar mistakes.

  • Mark Mathia

    So true. I have found that for so long many really good writers sit on the bench simply because they fear not being perfect at grammar. As a business owner, inactivity cost me a fortune. I think it is the same with blogging. I try to get others to proof it but it takes way too long and most tire quickly. I have gone to using It has helped me to be more confident even though I am far from perfect. Thanks for bringing this up…great topic!

  • Cecilia Marie Pulliam

    I agree. When I am reading a novel, an article or a blog and there is one typo, I ignore it and read on. The content is more important than an occasional error in text. When I see others make mistakes, I think, “Whew. I’m not the only one.” And you are right, again, about a Blog post. It isn’t a book! And even if it was, oh well. If we expect absolute perfection we will be sorely dissapointed. We can always strive to do our best, then leave it. As you have so aptly stated, it is time to move onto other projects. Bravo! Thank you for stating your opinion on this subject.

  • Don Hallworth

    Michael I totally agree…..keep “shipping” I love the content!! I can overlook a couple typos, I want EXCELLENCE in content not grammar.

  • Melinda

    I agree. Mostly… because if we don’t “hit publish” in our blogs when we need to, then that can correlate with our lives… Sometimes, we sit on things and wait for them to be thought perfect before we release them… only we never get around to releasing them.

    It’s better to live a life with occasional errors, than to live a life we don’t live because we’re trying to make it perfect.

  • Anonymous

    I completely agree! If there is a full blown editorial process, blogs would not be as fun and popular as they are.

    What doesn’t always get caught are using the wrong word or leaving a world out. Everything is spelled correctly. I hate when I do that.

  • Michael

    The best proofreading tip I’ve ever received, and have passed on to others more than once, is to read the item backwards, one word at a time. While this won’t really catch grammatical mistakes, it’s great for spelling mistakes. Our brains are wired such that they read what they expect to see. Reading backwards breaks that expectation, and forces the brain to consider the word on its own.

    • Shirley A Burns

      I learned this tip from one of my high-school teachers (yup, back in the stone age when we were still chipping our essays into stone tablets) and it works great for me…

      I suspect the ability to disassociate the writing mechanics from the content might be why others can catch our errors so quickly & easily.

  • Kathy Nicholls

    I agree here as it does delay shipping! I write on my primary blog for a group of medical transcriptionists, who edit and proofread for accuracy for a living. When they find that occasional mistake, I generally say “hooray for you! Your proofreading skills are working just fine.” Fortunately none of my audience has been like the email you got. Even in published books, no matter how many times they go through an edit and proofread cycle, an error can occasionally slip by. It happens and I’d rather have the product shipped than delay a blog post with too much proofing.

  • Jeff Goins

    Agreed! Not to mention “publish” is a pretty loose term. You can always go back and fix stuff. I always do this with posts a day or so after writing them. I reread them, chide myself for some silly mistake, fix it and move on. I love Don Miller’s implicit caveat on his blog about it being a place where ideas appear first BEFORE going to print. It’s supposed to be a little messy.

  • Katherine Hyde

    For people who have a good grasp of grammar, spelling, punctuation, usage, etc., but just make the occasional typo, I agree with you (and obviously, you’re in that group). But for people who have serious deficits in any of those areas, hiring a proofreader/copy editor could make sense. If I read a blog with several errors that are clearly not typos, I’m unlikely to revisit.

    Of course, one could argue that such a person’s money would be better invested in a good basic English class or some good language reference books. It would be nice if proficiency in the language were seen as a requirement for blogging (or any other kind of writing), but sadly it isn’t (at least by the non-proficient writers themselves).

  • Jaymie Dieterle

    I agree – I think blogs are a different level of writing than books. I believe the author should do his or her due diligence in proofing the post and move on. I find typos on blogs and, though I notice them, I rarely tell the author. That feels too picky. I am not the English teacher – just a reader. I can focus on the content and not worry about the typo. I think I would only say something if the typo changed the message or inadvertently spelled an inappropriate word for the context.

  • Jeremy@confessionsofalegalist

    If you are focused on finding all the potential small errors then you will burn up time and energy that can be spent being creative. Plus some of the grammar “mistakes” are there on purpose as artistic expression.

  • David Steunenberg

    Totally agree. If we waited for perfection we would never see any progress. Imagine computer companies holding back on the release of a program because it was not perfect – some wish they had. Or automobile manufacturers. Plus the human and real element is refreshing to see.

    Enjoy your blogs, Thank you.

  • Ashley Pichea

    I think that blogs should have a sense of having been proof-read (i.e. read it through before you hit publish), but I would agree that hiring a proof-reader isn’t necessary. I’m a “perfectionist” when it comes to the written word, but when it comes to blogs, I “leave it alone.” You’ll never get an email from me about a typo (though I will definitely see it). It’s not worth anyone’s time to get in a fuss about it… blogs move too fast and are “too temporary” for it to be an issue.

  • Jessica

    Because it’s a large part of my role to edit blogs for our team, I’m afraid it would be a bad career move to agree with you 100%! :-) I do think it depends on the natural talent of the writer. I edit for some very bright and busy people whose talents lie more in the realm of ideas than writing skills. I don’t just check for typos – I edit for content and flow.

    I have worked closely with most of these people for over 9 years, so they trust me to understand what they are trying to convey.

    Of course, I do occasionally miss something. One of my teammates has taken on the personal challenge of spotting my errors, and it has become something of a “Where’s Waldo” game. It’s so true that it is an easy fix.

    I self-proof my own personal blog, and that works great for me! But I believe it works because writing is one of my strengths.

    PS – The title of this blog is a question, but it is missing the question mark. “You should be ashamed!” Unless you did it on purpose to prove a point, in which case….touché. :-)

  • Anonymous

    Perfect, grammar error free writing only comes from Anne Lamott so the rest of us are excused. :)

  • SeanM

    My wife is a writing teacher and used to have her proof my content before publishing, but I stopped doing that a while ago. The reason is the points you made. It takes more time and I found myself second guessing the content and spendting too much time getting 500 words out the door. She did provide value, but to your point, I’m not writing a book….its just a blog! Nice work, by the way, I do enjoy your posts…with or without grammatical errors.

  • ET @ Titus2:3-5

    I agree 100%. Blogging is different, more personal, than authoring a book. While we should all strive for excellence in everything we do, letting the odd flaw peek through makes a person more real. Human. I prefer to engage with humans than flawless automatons.

  • Jessica Traffas

    A strategic amount of typos provide a valuable service to the reader. Catching your mistakes gives them that smug, satisfying feeling of superiority…and who doesn’t enjoy that? The reader thinks, “Hey, this book publishing guy thinks he’s so fancy, but I just spotted this typo that he missed. Who’s the smart one now, Mr. Hyatt?”

    Perhaps you should start intentionally adding at least one typo to every blog entry.

  • Steven Cribbs

    I follow a similar approach. I write. I read it through a couple of times. Reading out loud always shows me something to adjust. Then I publish. I know that I am not the most grammatical of people; but, hey, this is about communicating with people – conversations are not perfect.

    As well, I will often ask my wife to read my posts before publishing. This does two things for me – it gives another set of eyes to my writing; and, it gives us another common connection in the things that we do.

  • Crystal Collins

    Completely agree! I proof my posts several times before publishing and still miss errors. I’d like to see some of these self-appointed grammar police actually write blog posts on a regular basis and see how they do.

  • Garrett Moon

    Michael, I agree with all of your points on why not to go overboard with proofreading. Particularly with blogging, publishing regularly and quickly is huge. My company recently purchased a subscription to an online proofreading service though. While it is far from perfect, it has been a quick way to do a solid proofread, fast!

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  • Arains

    I agree with you. Great Post!!!!!!!! I hate the Grammar Police! All they do is jump from one blog to the other looking for mistakes. Sad.

  • Peter P


    I was sure this post was going to be about me! :-)

    I hope I’ve never been part of the Grammar Police.

  • Staci Perry

    I absolutely agree with you. Write. Proofread. Ship. Deliver your product to your audience and move on to the next amazing post. Go back and fix errors when you are alerted to them. I agree that perfectionism is the mother of procrastination. And the people who complain the most are spending too much time critiquing your work instead of cranking out great work of their own. Too bad for them.

  • Pauline Magnusson

    Not sure if this is an urban legend, but about 5 years ago while I was working for someone who was using a marketing coach, he was told that advertising copy with a few selective typos in it actually sticks in peoples’ minds more than without. Reading said copy drove me nuts, but I had to admit that I engaged with it and remembered it much more than had it been 100% correct.

    That said, I think it takes a certain amount of hubris to point out errors on someone’s personal blog that has such quality and quantity of valuable material. Said critic might have scored well with the grammar police; not so sure about with Miss Manners.

    If it’s that troubling to read said material, simply skip; my goodness!

    Trying to write the perfect post delays many of my posts from changing status from “draft” to “published.” Agreed that the best way to improve is to practice, in addition to reading well written material more regularly; maybe it’s time to click that magic publish button!

    Thanks for not letting the grammar police hold you back – your content is amazingly rich. I regularly find information that is of value to me in multiple facets of my life. Most notably, my husband and I are working on our life plans at the moment; once he’s back from his current deployment, we look forward to scheduling time to go over them and plan together!

  • Donna Lowe

    Wow! Thank you, Michael.

    I needed that truth, today. Typically, I spend hours proof-reading, only to find mistakes in my blogs, for days later.

    I’ve had comments, just like you, chastising me for my mistakes. But more important to me are the comments that remind me that something I’ve written has made an impact, for the good, in someone’s life.

    Bless you.


  • Serebeth

    Totally agree. And boy was I grateful to see your answer to “should you” was “no”.

  • Paul

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! Now I know I’m not the only person to write “have” instead of “had.” Your imperfection makes the rest of us seem normal.

    Keep up the good work!

  • Susan

    As a blogger that has had two typos in the past week pointed out to me, I agree. I appreciate the ‘catches’ but blogging is much more informal than a book. Blogs are meant to be a ‘quick take’. Quick take and hiring proofreaders don’t really go hand in hand.

  • Kim Wilson

    I really needed to read this today, especially “Perfectionism is the mother of procrastination.” Thanks for this great post – I feel like it lets me off the perfectionism hook.

  • Powell Pendergraft

    Very good, yes I agree. We have been publishing blogs for about 1 1/2 years and your suggestions, I think, are spot-on. I often leave the draft up with the preview and make corrections as I read the draft.

  • Jennifer

    Yikes! I think that comment was a bit harsh. I would certainly not go as far as to say you have a “lack of commitment to excellence”.

    Just keep posting valuable content and don’t sweat the small stuff. Life is too short! :)

  • Jacob Musselman

    While I generally find typos annoying, I figure other writers find them equally annoying and didn’t actually do it on purpose. And, for the most part, typos don’t keep me from understanding what the writer is trying to communicate (which is the point in the first place).

    “Perfectionism is the mother of procrastination.” Good quote, and especially true of a perfectionist like me. I think it fits along with a lot of what Seth Godin has been blogging. Let’s produce. And if you’re not producing or helping someone else produce, then get out of the way.

  • Felicity

    I’m so glad you said this! I share your opinion, but I was afraid if I clicked through the Twitter link with your title I would find the opposite advice! : ) Thanks for backing me up, Mr. Hyatt!

  • K.C. Pro

    You know what’s funny? For the first time ever I almost emailed a professional blogger (like yourself) about some GLARING grammar and word errors. I’m not a perfectionist, but the number of mistakes was distracting from the awesome message of the post. However, I read this post first and was humbled to keep my mouth shut.

    Thank you. :)

    • Michael Hyatt

      I think almost all bloggers appreciate their readers finding mistakes and emailing them. I certainly do. It’s all about the spirit in which it is given.

  • Brian Glass

    I still lament the invention of standardized spelling. It caused the death of phonetic writing.

  • Smallchurchtechie

    That’s helpful, but the comment… “I am just grateful I am not this poor woman’s husband!” probably wasn’t the best choice of words to use. Humorous. Yes. Gracious. Probably not.

    I’d recommend deleting that sentence.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for your advice. I hear you, but I think I’ll leave it. I MEANT it! Thank God, I have a spouse who love me, warts an all.

  • David Foster

    Right on! I couldn’t agree more!

  • Sharen

    A proofreader for blog posts? You know, Michael, I think one thing that draws me to read blogs is their authenticity – human mistakes, typos, and all. As a relatively new blogger myself, I hope my followers connect with the message I’m conveying rather than offering to be my editor.

  • 1701ca

    Love it! Fabulous article, especially your quote: “Perfectionism is the mother of procrastination.” That challenges and says it all for me in so many areas of my life.

  • Deb

    Thank you so much for affirming my exact method of proofreading. I know that my punctuation is rarely perfect and the occasional typo slips through as well. Loved your comment about them hiding in the shadows until publication. I am also a perfect example of how perfection inspires procrastination. Blessings, Deb

  • Patrick

    I agree on principle with your position that the snideness that comes with some reader responses is entirely unnecessary. I also agree that there comes a point at which you feel you have done the best you can and you post, hoping there’s nothing that you missed. I’d never get anything posted if I waited for perfection.

    But with respect, I think there are certain blogs that bring with them an expectation from the general audience. We expect a blog powered by a big-name media company to have checked its facts. We would think a blog written by a pastor might be free of judgment of others or off-color jokes. Likewise, we might expect a blog written by the head of a publishing house to be more free than not of spelling and proofreading errors. Particularly more so than the bloggers who can’t type a sentence without abbreviations like LOL.

    Maybe that kind of expectation isn’t fair, but I assure you that it’s real. Your blog doesn’t strike me as being “full of errors” at all, so I don’t know what that commenter was talking about. But sometimes on message boards I belong to, I encounter posts that make it clear that the writer has made zero effort: that’s beyond annoying to me as a reader.

    To one other point you make, it would never dawn on me to even consider the concept of “crowd-sourcing” my proofreading. I am grateful enough to anyone who drops by my blog that I wouldn’t dare expect them to spend their time catching my mistakes for me as opposed to (hopefully) enjoying my content. Perhaps this is a matter of semantics, and I’m sure that’s not what you meant, but it read that way to me the first time through. I do the best I can to avoid any mistake that might distract someone from what I have to say. For me to even expect, in the back of my mind, for my readers to do any part of the proofing for me, as far as I am concerned, would mean that I have become too big for my blogging britches. But maybe that’s just me.

    When readers have pointed out little blunders I’ve made, they almost always have done it via email or privately on Facebook, rather than leaving a comment for all to see. The few that have left a comment almost always add that I shouldn’t feel obligated to post that comment, but that they just wanted to let me know. And they’re rarely anything other than polite. They will often then post a second comment that is meant for publication that deals with the issue about which I posted.

    The snarky ones get deleted without even a thanks; I don’t feel they deserve even that.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Yep, most of my readers correct me privately via email. It rarely happens in the comments. Regardless, 90% are polite and genuinely trying to be helpful.

  • Philip Rothschild

    Totally agree Mike. In fact arocdnicg to rsceearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer are in the rghit pcale. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit pobelrm. Tihs is buseace the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

    • Joseph Sanchez

      Very cool.

    • Michael Hyatt

      You proved your point elegantly. I read your entire comment without a problem!

  • Dave Sullivan


    Thank you for this blog post. This has been an item I have been concerned about. I am a co-founder of a new, independent publishing company. Currently we have only one author and one book out with the second in the works. I have been preparing to start a new blog for several months now. Carefully creating the best web address name, template design and preparing the postings. I have had 5 written postings out to an editor for over a month and have not received them back yet. I haven’t officially started the blog yet so I haven’t been to concerned about the timing. Just this morning I was reviewing and proofing the work myself and contemplating if I should move forward with this blog without a proofreader, as there could be other moments of delay due to the proofreader. Your posting came just in time to help give me the confidence to move forward with myself as the proofreader.

    By the way, I love your blog. It inspires and guides me in to what I feel will become a strong future.

    Thank you,

    Dave Sullivan

  • michaelhughesua

    So an editor dies and goes to the pearly gates. He knocks loudly and a voice says, “Who’s there?” He answers “It is I.” The voice on the other side says, “Go to hell, we don’t need any editors here.”

    Errors are inherent in communication. Claude Shannon, the father of information theory, determined that communication decays according the 2nd law of thermodynamics. I have long ago gotten over my errors; they are like that one crooked tooth I have–it defines me as much and as elegantly as any of my other attributes.

    Besides, good communication comes from iterative dialog. So waiting until the copy is perfect only delays the start of the conversation.

    Write it, post it, start the conversation.

  • Karla Akins

    I 100% agree with you.

  • Anonymous

    AGREED!!! After I published my first book, something changed in my reading. Before that, I had read through numerous books and never caught a mistake. All of a sudden, every book I read has 1 or 2 or 25.

    I don’t get upset. I just say, “Oh, I’m so happy that I’m not the only one.”

    I don’t normally pump my own posts on other people’s blogs. But as for the error-finder you are dealing with, what I learned from my Bible reading today at helps me deal with these kinds of nitpickers.

    Keep bringing the content. And if you don’t mind, leave a few typos and grammar errors in there to make the rest of us feel better about ourselves.

  • Anonymous

    Sir, that is my wife! Just kidding, kind of. I am writing a book now and my wife has very graciously accepted the role of editor. Risky right? She is actually very good. Usually, she catches typos on my blog and tells me about them. Most of the time I fix them, though occasionally I leave them out of sheer pig-headedness. Thank you for affirming my need to post regardless of the not so sparkling qualities of proofreading.

  • Jamie Chavez

    Agree! Anyone who edits for a living (as I do) knows that typos slip through even with the very best of intentions. Do your best and move on. When readers correct my blog, I thank them cheerfully and don’t waste one second of my precious life worrying about it. :)

    • Michael Hyatt

      Amen. I do the same.

  • Elizabeth Kilpatrick

    I totally agree. I know many a time I will miss something in a post, but someone usually will catch it and let me know. Many times if a family member or friend is around, I will have them proofread it for me – it is amazing what they catch!!

  • Stuart Clark

    Agree with all your points. I find reading aloud is one of the best ways to catch most of those errors that will sneak in. Other people I know still prefer to print out and proof read away from their work area. I’ve done that on nice days taking the work out to a back deck. Sometimes the change of location will make errors more obvious or show a better way to compose a paragraph.

    I think some people forget that spelling and grammar is important, and still needs to be done, it’s the message your trying to convey that must come through in the end.

  • Dana

    I agree. A difference exists between negligence and oversight. The former doesn’t care to generate writing without errors, yet the latter works assiduously to produce writing that helps others read but may have missed a “pesky” typo, etc. Grace extends to writing and editing too. Thanks for this post!

  • Brandon

    Mr. Hyatt,

    I have been thinking about switching my blog to a self-hosted WordPress, but my only reason for not doing it is that I don’t want to have to re-do my blog. I want to still have all my previous posts and such… Is there a way to completely transfer my blog to WordPress?

    • Gina Burgess

      Brandon, FYI…
      A while ago Michael referred us to his friend John Saddington of You can rummage around his blog and learn some fascinating things such as how to transfer your current blog to WordPress.

      • Brandon

        Thanks. I already follow that blog so I will look around some more. Thank you!

    • Michael Hyatt

      It all depends on what platform your blog is on now. What are you using? If, no sweat.

      • Brandon

        Right now, I am using I’m sure you probably don’t know much about them. They have a great service and everything is easy to use, but the blogging commenting system is what I am not satisfied with. Any advice?

        • Michael Hyatt

          I really am not family with that one. Sorry.

          • Brandon

            That’s fine. Do you know of anyone who might be experienced with this kind of stuff?

          • Michael Hyatt

            You might check with John Saddington at He is the one who converted my TypePad site to WordPress.

          • Brandon

            Thanks! I will definitely do that!

  • Cmnancymom

    I wholeheartedly agree, eventhough I am an excellent proofreader and mistakes in printed books drive me crazy. My son and I used to joke that we were probably the only two people in the world who instant messaged in correct grammar and capitalization. That is not to say one should be lazy about their writing, but your comment about perfectionism being the mother of procrastination is SO true in all aspects of life, and I think has to drive how a blogger functions. Page after page of errors in today’s printed fiction are a huge distraction. And in my industry (the not for profit world) I believe typos and grammatical errors do lead to a lower level of confidence in the organizations’ ability to live out its mission. But I think we should cut good bloggers a little slack since they publish a lot of helpful info in a very short time frame.

  • Rclark

    You have encouraged me to continue to blog. I read and re-read, etc., . . . to the point of exhaustion. I will remember–“this is not a book!” Thanks.

  • Geoff Webb

    My wife is my editor—she’s amazing. She always has great advice.

  • steve reid

    Agree with not hiring a proofreader; we know you’re not perfect.

    Do you hire someone though to monitor/approve the comments? The time it would take for someone with this many posts to do so would be huge?

    • Michael Hyatt

      Nope. All the comments go live when they are written. No approval. I read them all and delete if something is inappropriate. Honestly, it is very rare. Probably no more than one a month.

  • Candace Prokopets

    Oh, this is so good to hear! My husband and I were just recently talking about this. Thank you for the reassurance to let it go and keep shipping! Valuable insight from a worthy source.

  • Patricia

    Agree. If you read my blog, you’ll catch the illusive error and know it’s true. Ditto on writing comments. All of us, writers especially, should pay extra attention wherever we write, but sometimes my brain and fingers don’t move in sync and mistakes slip through. Unfortunately, comments can’t be edited, only deleted.

    I heard Louie Giglio once share that while visiting a Christian bookstore he was embarrassed to find a Six Step Records product on display that was labeled “Chris Tomin”. He couldn’t imagine how something could have passed through multiple layers of editing and proof-reading and still end up on the store shelf with such a glaring error. It happens.

  • Ed

    I agree. While we need to be careful with what we write – or say – if we wait until everything’s perfect, we will wait forever. There are always going to be things we overlook or that spell check doesn’t catch even if we go over something 50 times. Your guidelines make sense to me. At some point you just need to put it out there.

  • Shellie R. Tomlinson

    I’m glad you chose to disregard that advice. Otherwise you wouldn’t get half as much done, which means I would not have learned so many of the valuable lessons about our industry that I get from your blog. Oh, and for the record, I took valuable minutes from a deadline to get my Hyatt fix blog and it’s back to the word work for me. Translation: I haven’t proofed this :)

  • TNeal

    Sharing your process helps. When I write something, I read it twice, as you suggest, but rarely read it out loud unless it involves dialogue. I’ll add the read-out-loud step and see how it works for me.

    I notice errors in your articles and in your comments. Does that lessen my estimation of you? Maybe at first, a long time ago. Not at all now.

    Instead your imperfections invite a certain amount of freedom to respond. I’m not afraid to screw up. Why? If Michael Hyatt, CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishing, makes a few mistakes, well then…

    Thanks for releasing us from perfectionism.

    • Michael Hyatt

      I discovered the read-aloud technique by accident. I noticed that when I read my posts aloud to Gail, I caught all kinds of errors. Our Bible proofers have been doing this for years.

  • Scoti Springfield Domeij

    Even though I proof and reproof my work, once I click “publish” the new formatting helps me see more editing changes. The Grammar Police’s reprimand? Laugh out loud funny. Couldn’t resist critiquing her like I critique my writing partners:

    1. You should be ashamed. (Don’t “should” on me. Never use the word “should.”)
    2. How can you be a book publisher and allow such embarrassing errors on your blog. (Where’s the question mark?)
    3. I am disappointed by your lack of commitment to excellence. (Passive “to be” verb. Use active voice. Your lack of commitment to excellence disappoints me.)
    4. It makes me think less of your company. (What is “it”? “It” is an empty, ambiguous word. Replace the word “it” with a noun. The verb “make” is one of the top 25 most frequently used verbs, according to the billion-word Oxford English Corpus. Replace with a stronger, active verb.)
    5. Ditto. Take your own advice: Please: do us all a favor and hire a proofreader!” (Delete !, insert period. “Cut out all these exclamation points. An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke,” F. Scott Fitzgerald.)

    • Michael Hyatt

      This made me laugh out loud! I did correct her mistake and added a question mark.

  • Mike Rowell

    Agree with you completely. Some people don’t understand that aspect of the nature of the web/social media, or they need to get a life, or both.

  • Anonymous

    Behind you all the way on this one. To strive for perfection completely delays “shipping”. English is my second language and if I waited to get someone to proof my post every time, there would be NO posts. When someone points out an mistake, I view it as an opportunity to get better.

    I for one will continue to enjoy your post and will not worry if there is a grammatical error now and then.

    Be well!

  • Gina Burgess

    WOW, everyone feels passionate about this!

    I agree with you, Michael. It is grueling enough to proof and edit a book, but using that fine toothed comb on blog posts and/or comments is too time consuming. I have to trust my grasp of English well enough to give me proper nudges when my grammar isn’t perfect or when I’ve used farther instead of further.

    Perhaps, if I was making $100,000 a year on just my blog, I’d have a secretary to proof it. But, now it isn’t, so I don’t.

  • Marty Sacks

    Not speaking from the experience of a blogger but from that as a reader. I’m much more interested in hearing your thoughts and ideas – than worrying about minor grammar gaffes. Keep doing what you’re doing!

  • Jim

    i agreee complately.

    Seriously, I love the thought; “Perfectionism is the mother of procrastination ” and its companion “perfect is the enemy of the good” I think those who subscribe to your blog do so for the content and the thoughts it provokes, not for the dearth of grammatical imprecisions, or at least I do. Thanks

    • Michael Hyatt

      I agree. Publishing’s dirty little secret: no book has ever been published without typos. (Don’t ask me to prove this; I can’t.)

      • Jeffrey Holton

        I have a blank composition book that doesn’t have any typos.

        • Michael Hyatt

          That remind me of an old saying (slightly modified): “I prefer my frequent blog posts with typos to your infrequent blog posts without them.”

          • TNeal

            Just got back from the 1st day of a coaches’ convention and had the privilege of meeting former Texas Tech football coach Spike Dykes. He said, “Losing isn’t the worst thing. Not trying is.” Fear of failure causes a lot of people to not even try. Or, in this case, to not write.

  • a boy and his God

    definitely agreed on blogging.

    but what about Public Speaking? should we strive to eliminate every single hiccup or mistake? striving for perfection?

    or work on saying something powerful, rather than saying something powerfully?

    • Michael Hyatt

      Only to the extent that it distracts form the message.

  • Michael John Cusick

    First, excellence is not perfection. Perfection leads to paralysis, where excellence leads to freedom. Second, your content is so substantive and frequent that a whole bunch of typos would not bother me. I actually think more highly of you because you are willing to allow the “cracks” to be a part of who you are. Type away–sans proofreader!

  • Scott Brooke

    I hope this is not too presumptive, but it seems that for “THE CHIDING CORRECTOR” the issue is rarely about perfect language skills, but rather their own need to appear “right”. Chiding, Sarcasm, and almost all verbal theatrics, are usually self serving. I am a repentant sarcastic myself.

    • Michael Hyatt

      I think your comment is spot-on. Something else is going on here.

  • Bea Baldridge

    Agree. I thought the same thing as a medical transcriptionist, then I thought, “Hey! It’s a blog!” Thanks, Michael, for taking the time to do this!

  • Anonymous

    Michael – on the money!

    Michel Thomas, a great language teacher, always said that the first objective of someone learning to play tennis should be to get the ball over the net – and ‘getting the ball over the net’ in language learning terms is simply communicating your message, regardless of grammar or synthax.

    A post with a useful message will have its impact regardless of the finer grammatical points.

    I think I’m a decent proofer myself – and I haven’t seen much to crticize in your posts – quite the contrary.

  • Alicha

    LOL! ~ Literally!
    I have, on occasion, seen a typo or such on your blog and I LOVE it! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not reveling in it, just giving a huge sigh of relief. If Michael Hyatt can make a little mistake like that, I’m off the hook! ;) BTW~ I got interested in Martha Stewart after she went to jail. Somehow typos and jail terms make “celebrities” more approachable to me.~ hee, hee. Fun post!

    • Michael Hyatt

      Good point. It’s kind of like with your kids. Admitting your mistakes bonds them to you.

  • David Stone

    Thanks for the tip to just keep writing. My dashboard is full of half-written posts because I didn’t want to take the time to “make them perfect.”

    Those typos also show up all of the time in church bulletins and communication pieces that absolutely drive me crazy! I have a habit of taking the pieces to everyone in the office to see if they find any…most of the time they find a few. (They are many…and they have friends and family too!)

    I don’t often comment on other people’s blogs for of the same reason. I have seen people absolutely get blasted for typos in the comment section of blogs…no mercy in the blogosphere!

    I must admit, I hope that I don’t have any typos or grammar mistakes in this comment! Be nice people! I have proofread it several times!

  • Kimberly Parker

    I actually appreciate it when I see the occasional typo in a blog that I follow. I like knowing that others have an “oops” slip through too. However, blogs that are consistently filled with misused punctuation, incorrect words and just poor writing style are too distracting to follow. I recommend that people who are weak in self-edit skills have someone proof their work.

  • Prudence

    This is good to know. What are your thoughts on emailing your draft to a friend or your spouse to read, as more of a “can I bounce this off of you?” sort of thing. As my husband has pointed out, and I have as well, my brain works differently than others. I think of things in different ways that others just may not get. Is it worth waiting an an hour to get a confidant’s perspective?

    • Michael Hyatt

      I think we are talking about two things. If you want someone else’s perspective on the content or the argument, yes. That is fine. I occasionally do that myself. But for simple proofreading, I don’t think it is necessary.

  • Anonymous

    I completly agree! I hired someone to proof read my blog for a while but the turn around took too long. I would rather get the idea or thought out there and correct on the fly!

    • Michael Hyatt

      That is exactly my perspective.

  • C. McNair Wilson

    “Hire proofreader for my blog”? Humbug. I re-read each post at least three times BEFORE I click “publish.” I reread it after publishing and frequently catch needed corrections. I even rewrite to improve a post AFTER publishing. My regular readers and friends catch stuff and send gentle suggestions. I expect imperfection (= human).

    In one of my published books the word “Christian” is spelled wrong. And that from the smartest editor I know and a crowd of friends and proofreaders who read the galley. On another of my books the TITLE is misspelled on the spine: Raised in Captivitity (see it?) I still get emails begging me for a copy of the “misspelled version.”

    Blogs should be conversational in tone, as though just you and I are discussing the topic of the day. It’s not a lecture or a doctoral thesis. Hence the title of my blog, “Tea with McNair.” In daily conversation we ALL have poor syntax, grammar and probably even bad spellink.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Amen and amen!

  • Burl Walker

    I agree with you 100% on the blogging issue. I can’t count the number of times I have hit “publish” only to go back and correct an error a minute later. Also, since most people don’t make much, if any money for their blog, hiring a proofreader would put what is normally a free expression of thoughts and ideas into a deficit. Your point about the difference between the blog and the book is even becoming blurred as printing no longer has to be done in such mass quantities, therefore “new editions” can be made between printings with no/very low new setup cost. (I admit that I am not sure how that works with your publishing company as I have only done self publishing for the very reason that it allows for that flexibility.)

  • Joseph Sanchez

    Kudos on handling the criticism so well. That must be tough getting comments like that. But if it’s any consolation, I enjoy reading this blog despite the bad grammar…lol.

    Keep up the great work!

    • Michael Hyatt

      Thanks. My skin has gotten thicker over time.

  • Gregg Fraley

    So agree with you. And rest assured your quality is very high, and in every way. Yours is one of the few blogs I rarely fail to read.

    Perfectionism is over-rated, and in my view, can be debilitating, disempowering, and a drag on your creativity, and the creativity of those around you. Grammar is important and we should all do the best we can, and, we shouldn’t be prisoners of those rules. Writing is about self-expression and sometimes that force takes you beyond grammar. Ain’t that so?

    • Michael Hyatt

      It is indeed. I agree with you Gregg.

  • Tina Levorse

    Hi Michael,

    I agree with your proofing process and with the thought that a professional proofreader would delay “shipping”. Plus, seeing a typo in your blog helps me remember that if even YOU, one of my favorite bloggers and a CEO to boot, can make a mistake, then I guess I don’t have to beat myself up when I make one. Most of us couldn’t afford a professional proofreader anyway…I’m a volunteer.

  • George Price

    Great post. I appreciate your blog. In fact, an error now and then (though I have yet to find one. But I wasn’t looking for one) encourages me.
    It reminds me that you are indeed human like the rest of us. This makes your blog more readable.

  • Krissi Wyss

    Oh, thank you! I am the editor-type and notice others errors and am appalled at my own errors when I see them. Thank you for helping me to see the pridefulness in that (I know, that was not the point of the post, but it is what I personally got out if it). I agree with your method. I will stop reading and rereading umpteen times before posting (or sending in the case of group emails). I will do my best & move on. In humility. At least, I’ll try…

    • Michael Hyatt

      I hope you can do it. I’ll bet it will be good for your productivity.

  • Reba J. Hoffman

    I could not agree with you more Michael. In fact, many times as we’re reading, we don’t even see the error. We’re concentrating on the message, not the spelling. Our brains automatically fill in the blanks, corrects spelling errors and other mishaps. That’s the precise reason all errors aren’t caught by even the most talented proofers.

    Give us content and your wisdom, mispelld wordes an awl.

  • Marcia Ramsland

    As a Thomas Nelson author of 4 books (Simplify Your Life, Simplify Your Time, Simplify Your Space, Simplify Your Holidays), I simply must agree – proofreading of their books is a high priority and worth it! I’m proud of my book because of it for the professional expertise surrounding each one.
    I love your comment that blogs are different and we do the best we can to get them out weekly. Thanks for your focus to move ahead and create content for all of us!

    • Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for your testimony, Marcia.

  • Anne Lang Bundy

    As ususal, you’re spot on with your advice, Mike. I’ve read book manuscripts aloud, it never occurred to me to do so with blog posts. I’ll start applying that amazingly effective technique right away. Thanks!

  • Cornelius

    O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth, despair, lust of power, and idle talk.

    But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to Thy servant.

    Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own transgressions, and not to judge my brother, for blessed art Thou, unto ages of ages. Amen.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Beautiful prayer. I always enjoy praying the Prayer of St. Ephraim during Great Lent. It refocuses me on my own spiritual growth.

  • allanwhite

    While that lady is over the top, typos really bug me (which is weird, because my co-workers know I’m not a control freak!). I think part of the issue is that you’re a [insert here: writer, publisher, expert]. Typos are just so distracting! =)

    Your points about proofreading slowing down your output are valid. What if you had a person proofread after publishing, who could log into wordpress and correct minor errors? That lets you fire ‘em off, but another editor still edit.

    Of course, not all of us have human resources or money (or understanding, grammarian spouses). But, I think it could work.

    • Michael Hyatt

      I’m sure it would work, but, honestly, I get this now for free. It’s just easier to do the best I can, publish, and crowd-source the proofreading.

  • allanwhite

    I found a typo in “Blue Like Jazz” the other day. I secretly exulted: “Don Miller isn’t PERFECT! MUAHAHAHA!”.

    Then I felt shame: how wrong is that? Better check the logs in my own eye first…

  • Nancy Wallace

    I agree with you and I love the quote that “Perfectionism is the mother of procrastination”.

    • Michael Hyatt

      I’m sure someone else must have said it first!

      • Coni

        But you know how things work: you are blind to smth. (sorry, something) unless you need it. :)

  • Coni

    I am a desperate translator, trying to translate from English into plain English before putting it into my mother tongue, and yes, you are so right: Perfectionism is the mother of procrastination. I think I’m going to print that out and pin it on my desk before starting working tomorrow. Thank you! :)

  • Holylandphotos

    “The Courage of Imperfection”

    The great, well-published Ancient Near Eastern Scholar, recently deceased and missed, Anson Rainey said that we need to have “the courage of imperfection!”

    May he rest in peace.


    • Michael Hyatt

      Love that quote. Excellent!

  • JS

    So, sent the link from a friend after *gasp* a typo–actually two, on two different blogs, on the same day. Which was really quite a good day. Yep, loved this post, thanks!

  • BJ Robinson

    I agree with you. I proof my own and tend to catch most mistakes, but there are times one slips past me. Also, I’ve read many a good book that told an awesome story, and I’ve found mistakes in them. It’s hard to get one perfect. After all, no one is perfect. Most books have few if any, but there have been times, I’ve read a book I dearly loved and found it marred by a mistake. However, I overlook it and keep on reading to find out what happens, and I would rather have had the excellent story and enjoyed it than to have missed it because the author never finished it, or a publisher never published it.
    BJ Robinson

    • Michael Hyatt

      Amen. Like Jesus said, “Don’t strain at a gnat and swallow a camel.” I don’t think He was talking about grammar, but the principle still applies.

  • Sunflower05

    I agree, because I’ve ready many great books by great authors that had mistakes, but I kept reading and enjoyed the story.
    BJ Robinson

  • Richella @ Imparting Grace

    I agree with you completely. And I feel well-qualified to agree, actually. My training is in English grammar education, if you can imagine–someone who LIKES to teach English grammar?? I write a weekly post called “English teacher” to help educate people about common grammatical errors. But I am not a member of the Grammar Police–because I try very hard not to be. Perfectionism is to be avoided in all things, I believe, although I do appreciate the fact that publishers attempt to have near-perfect copy before committing a book to print. But for a blog post? No way!

    I used to make my students memorize this dictum, which summarizes my philosophy: “Language is a gift from God, given only to humans, for the purpose of communication.” Grammatical excellence is not the point; communication is the point. Good grammar is a means to an end.

    Thank you for committing your valuable time to producing meaningful content!

    • Michael Hyatt

      That is a very helpful perspective on grammar. Excellent!

  • Jan Cox

    Thank you. Thank you for this post.

    I am a perfectionist and I have held off with so many things because it wasn’t exactly right. But today I learned that no matter what, things can go wrong. I put a post up for April 6 and somehow I typed 2006 – and voila the post went up today …. oh well. I am learning that no matter how hard I try I make mistakes.

    This month I finally decided a book was ready to be shown – a children’s book with my watercolour pictures. I made a dummy copy through Shutterfly and ordered 3 copies. Of course, I found errors – even after going over and over it and having other eyes look at it. But I did it and I am ready to show it at our writers’ conference in June.

    But blogging yes, I reread and check but little errors do slip through. I think the message is more important than worrying and fretting about being perfect.

    • Michael Hyatt

      I almost see books now like software releases. My new e-book, Creating Your Personal Life Plan, is already at version 1.3. Each new edition was to correct errors or add a few features. Thanks.

      • Jan Cox

        Yes, I like your ebook – great idea.

  • Mighty

    you’ve got perfectionist readers Michael! LOL. But blogging is really different from book publishing.

  • Christa Allan

    Well, the Grammar Nazi should have placed a question mark as the end punctuation for the second sentence.

    Good grief.

    I follow Marian Schembari, and she wrote a post yesterday about the same issue (

    Perhaps the “super moon” lured the grammarians from their style manuals.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Good point. I completely missed that. I have corrected it but won’t hold me breath waiting for a thank you note! ;-)

  • Tom Iverson

    I unequivocally agree. You are an invaluable resource to me and I appreciate your perspective and approach on many issues. Your analysis regarding proofreading is right on. And frankly for someone to throw you under the bus for a few errors has to be missing the significance of the blog.

    • Michael Hyatt

      You gotta believe that it is more reflective of the critics emotional state than anything else.

  • Pat Alexander

    My husband believes I should have my blogs proof read before I post too. I can easily have him do that if I am at home when it is written, however, that is not always the case. So I have appointed him as the official proof reader once the blog is posted. I can then go back and correct.
    For many years I have written technical documents. I can’t tell you how many times these have been proof read by more than one person and used by many other in which I find a mistake when I go back to update or look up information.
    You are correct, no matter how many people proof read a document, errors will still get through.
    Good Post, Mike.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Pat. That’s why at some point, you just have to ship it.

  • Ann

    In all that is happening in the world today, to have a blog that we can read and enjoy, I have to say that typo’s or grammar errors are the least of my concerns of the day. Please keep writing…Ann

  • Phillip Kelley

    I wonder if Chuck Norris needs an editor? Sorry, I couldn’t resist! Michael, I’m a huge fan and I’m finding myself an @michaelhyatt evangelist lately! Keep ‘em coming!

    • Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Philip, I appreciate that.

  • Mark Cundiff

    Great post! Very helpful, thanks for posting.


  • Dylan Dodson

    Couldn’t agree more. Having someone proofread your posts definitely “delays shipping.” It’s a blog, not a book, it doesn’t need to be perfect.

  • Jo Ann

    I agree. I seem to always catch a typo or a misspelled word, but in a blog unless it’s beyond comprehension, it’s too much time spent on something that will be forgotten.

  • Chuck Meadors

    Bravo! Your blogs add a lot of value to me and I can handle a few errors. It would be a loss to not the information because it became to costly or laborious to reach perfection. There is a cost for quality and this is not surgery or life threatening. Keep the valuable blogs coming.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Exactly. I daughter sometimes reminds me, “Dad, you aren’t performing heart surgery. You are just publishing books (or blogs). This is always a good dose of reality.

  • Becky St. John

    I can easily forgive any typos in your blog posts because they have been so incredibly helpful and inspiring to me over the last several months. Most recently, I especially liked the one about handling adversity. Thank you very much for sharing your wisdom and experience.

  • Chris Martin

    Completely agree. You’re righting a blog not a submission for the Nobel Prize in Literature. With the advancement of technology, the rules are changing. I admit, I’m not always excited about the changes – but they are changing. As a college administartor – I can assure you the next generation is about content, the speed of delivery and not nearly as interested in presentation as the rest of us. Have any doubt? Read a txt msg. k?

    • Chris Martin

      Oh my…. you’re writing a blog not a submission for the Nobel Prize. See. It happens to us all!

    • Michael Hyatt

      Great point! You always have to consider the audience and their needs.

  • Betty Owens

    I absolutely agree with you. Perfect content is very nice and shows an attention to detail, but sometimes it makes me feel more comfortable when a writer has the occasional typo.

  • Kym

    Great post! I’m sharing it with my business partners.

    We have this debate from time to time.

    As a professional, lifelong procrastinator, I couldn’t agree more that “Perfectionism is the mother of procrastination”!

    Just wrote my first 6 blogs and found that perfectionism is what kept me from starting 6 months ago. Now that I’m rolling without the expectation of perfectionism, it is really fun and so much easier.

    Just changing my attitude and being forgiving with myself has made a world of difference!

    Thanks for your info and encouragement!

    • Michael Hyatt

      Good for you. I have made the right decision.

  • Thomas

    I don’t agree at all. This is terrible advice. Quality is important whether in a book, or on a blog. If you’re not committed to quality with the content of your blog, then there’s no reason one should believe you’ll be committed to excellence with the publication of a book. If you’re in the industry, professionalism doesn’t come from a fancy imprint or name, but a strenuous holding to perfection in every avenue of publication, digital or print. Every aspect of quality matters, all the way down to comma usage.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Let us know how that works out for you. Do you have a blog? Books? What is your creative expression?

  • Duong Sheahan

    I used to be a Proofreader for an AD agency years ago and once had a tiny mistake that cost the company thousands of dollars. I was mortified and thought I was going to lose my job. Hence, when I first started blogging, I did have an editor but decided shortly after that I just needed to proof my own blog, make changes even if I post it and found an error (which I have even thought I’ve proofed it 10 times).

    And like the one commenter, why pay for a proofreader when you have a grammar police.
    So grateful for gracious people.

  • Jeffrey Holton

    Just as annoying are the smug, spiritual superior folks who feel it’s their duty to point out a blogger’s more or less irrelevant biblical infractions.

    Speaking of which, do not swear, but let your yes be yes and your no be no.

    (And hypocrites. I hate hypocrites, too.) :)

  • Janet Flora Corso

    I agree that blogs and social networking are more lax and “spur-of-the-moment” so grammar is, and should be, more relaxed. It bugs me when someone feels the need to point out minor errors on a Facebook comment. Chill out, y’all! It is a conversation and we do not need to censor or correct every word we speak. I am one of those people who find those typos hiding in published books, though, and admit it drives me nutty when a bestseller, in third printing still has errors. C’mon, really? I can’t be the only one who saw that!
    There is a difference between casual blogging and professional blunders, though. I was checking out a writer’s website earlier, which offered writing services and even writing (and grammar) advice. I saw so many errors and read so many awkward statements, my eyes were sore. I liked what she had to say though, and thought most of the site looked professional. I wanted to volunteer to edit it for her without sounding like a Grammar Cop and/or snob. I find it easier to overlook errors on blogs, which are generally a personal web-log, but a website that serves as PR and marketing should be as clean as possible, especially from one who wants to get paid to write. Right?

  • Kristie Jackson

    I find it oddly reassuring when I see a typo on a good writer’s blog. I wrote a chapter in my new book, Sharp Sticks, about perfectionism being a joy-robbing scheme of the devil. This is a serious problem, especially in female relationships. So many women project perfectionism domestically, relationally, and professionally, and it often results in bitterness and shallow friendships. Similarly in writing, it would not behoove anyone to project an “I’ve mastered blogging” air. The typos would mean something far greater then. I also find comfort in the fact that my writing hero, C.S. Lewis, worried about writing something stupid. Like in anything else in life, there’s a balance. We need to scrutinize our writing, but not be debilitated by fear of mistakes. We should be able to joyfully hit the “publish” button after giving it our best.

  • Patricia Zell

    When I edited my posts into my book, I found a number of mistakes, which of course I corrected. I’ve just sent back a second set of corrections to the company I’m self-publishing with–there were still quite a few mistakes. I have been critical of mistakes I’ve found in books, but not any more.

  • Laurie

    Mr. Hyatt,
    I’ll stick my neck out here and unapologetically disagree with you on this one. I am a small business owner of 2 home-based businesses; one is a distance education company, and the other one, Details, is an editing company. I can see why some folks think that proofreaders feel the need to “chide” others when errors are found. I just happen to be pretty good at it, enjoy editing, and wanted to incorporate that into my business. I think it’s great when someone contacts me to edit whatever they are doing, even blog posts. There are so many blogs out there, so much information we see every day. It might as well look as good as possible, if for no other reason than that of giving a gift to your readers. We all have strengths and weaknesses. Proofreaders make mistakes, too. But if you have something to say, take the time (or pay someone else for her time) to make it look good.
    Laurie Jensen

    • Michael Hyatt

      Do you know that you have three grammatical errors in your comment? Where does it end? Should we hire proofreaders to review our comments?

  • Roger H

    wow, can’t believe the number of comments about proofreading. Knowing the effort you shared about how you try to catch errors, then yes, I would agree with you. But what I see is that so often there was obviously little or no effort put into proofreading. One of the reasons I quit teaching adult undergraduate college courses was the hours it took to grade papers full of spelling and grammar errors. But that is a topic for another discussion. Whatever we are doing to teach writing in our public schools, it isn’t working. Try reading some papers written by freshmen and sophomore college students.

  • Anonymous

    I’m astonished that someone would comment like that! I agree that content is the main focus here, and that being a blog we can give it some leeway. It takes about 5 seconds and $0 to correct a mistake once it is discovered, unlike a book that is published in thousands of permanent units. And as long as it wasn’t a major statistical error that caused half of San Francisco to mistakenly move to the East Coast, I think it can be forgiven.
    I think crowd-sourcing is a great idea when you have a few trusted readers that will help catch boo-boos. Obviously we still take pride in our work, but at some point even those with the sharpest eye for detail and superb grammar skills are going to let something slip by.

  • Cindie

    I totally agree…We all miss things once in awhile, but I don’t feel the need to have someone proofread my blog posts. I think people somtimes get too caught up with perfection…

  • Dan

    Most of the time I read it a couple times through then have my wife edit it. I feel their is no need to hire some one to edit your blogs.

  • A Reader

    Agreed… a blog isn’t a book or a magazine article! Although I strive for perfection and cringe when I miss, a blog is a blog.

  • A Reader

    Agreed… a blog isn’t a book or a magazine article! Although I strive for perfection and cringe when I miss, a blog is a blog.

  • Josh

    Glad to hear someone I agree with!


  • Patrick Eades

    Awl this truble over nuffin.

  • Matthew Vanover

    Blog posts create a bit more intimate relationship between writer and reader; at least, more than some genres. I wonder if, perhaps, an occasional flaw might not help make the writer seem more “real” to the reader. I wouldn’t want to read a blog post that was rampant with error but I can overlook an occasional mistake.

    Michael, you do a great job of creating “voice” in your writing. As I read, I can image you speaking the words. Often, technically correct grammar can impede this type of voice; your blog would loose something very special if this were the case.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Thank you. I do sometimes break the rules, knowing that it is necessary for the sake my maintaining my voice. For example, I sometimes split an infinitive or use an incomplete sentence, knowing full-well that I am doing so. That’s why I think it is important to know grammar rules, so that you can break them when it serves a higher purpose.

    • Jeff Randleman

      I agree 100%! The “atmosphere” of your blog is very comfortable.

  • Susan

    Dear Michael,
    I agree. It’s okay to be human.

  • Belinda Pollard

    With a blog as schmick as yours, the odd typo here and there is actually a plus; it makes it real. “Here I am, a human being like you, and I wrote this myself.”

    It also makes you more approachable.

    Communication is so much more than getting the letters in the right order.

  • Paul Angone

    I not problem, with, grammar! SO I not wor.r.y about this?

  • Daniel Decker

    I fully agree. Amazing how some can get so hung up on grammar. It’s important but not life or death as some would make it appear. In my work with authors I see examples of what you described above all the time. Emails from readers who flip their lid over something trivial.

  • Lola J. Lee Beno

    I’m the proofreader in the family. If anything, I’ve been really lax in my proofreading duties; I’m a couple months late on going through my husband’s employee handbook that he is putting together for his dream business (which only exists on paper at the moment). I need to stop procrastinating.

    • Jeff Randleman

      My wife is the proofreader in ours. It’s so valuable to me for her to help in this way…

  • Kat

    I agree!

    You many already know this tip…I’m an old timer and one of the tricks they use to teach to proofread your own material was read it sentence by sentence backwards.

    We get so use to what we are trying to say when we write we automatically see what we wanted to say when we proof read. If you read it backwards our mind isn’t substituting what we think we said but actually reading what is written.

    Bloggers should have some latitude because the write on the fly. I have seen some people really slaughter the English language repeatedly and do think people should be more aware and careful. It sounds like you are doing your best to be careful.

    On a side note you give me more confidence to write because I grew up in a home with LOTS of English experts! ; ) I always make mistakes and didn’t write much for that reason. Now I can relax and write away knowing even polished writers have an occasional mistake! ; )

    • Michael Hyatt

      Our Bible proofreaders use the backwards tip. They also read aloud to each other, two working on one project at a time. One reads, the other follows along and checks. This kind of effort is necessary with the Bible, because readers do expect perfection. Not so much with blogs.

    • Jeff Randleman

      I’ve never heard the backwards tip. I’m going to try this. Thanks!

  • Brian Forwood

    Does it count if you produce a hard copy for the other half to read sight unseen?

    • Michael Hyatt

      I’d say, use whatever works for you. Just don’t obsess over it and keep you from posting.

  • Sandra

    I think the expectation is that you should not make mistakes. This is mainly because Michael Hyatt is such an accomplished person. But, I myself teach writing and write myself and still find it hard not to make mistakes. Yes, should we have a trusted person that holds our best interest call out these things from time to time yes. But, I agree with you Michael focus on the point you are trying to get across. Blogs shouldn’t be too edgy anyway.

    • Sandra

      Comma before yes in 3rd to last sentence and last sentence should be “to” not “too.” I was in a hurry this moring .

      • Michael Hyatt

        Actually, you have the correct form of too in the last sentence. (See how tricky this stuff is?!)

  • Terri Thompson

    THANK YOU for your answer. The title scared me. I almost didn’t want to read this post. I don’t have that kind of time to put into blogging. I’m trying to be diligent with my novels and it takes a long time. It’s been years and I still haven’t sent in a ms. That may be another subject, but if I had to perfect my blogs, I’d never hit “Publish.”

  • Jbeddo

    I agree!

  • Deanna

    I’ve recently started a blog as I would like to become a better writer. As Manager of Communications in my day job, I feel that I can always improve my writing and grammar skills. As such, I have hired one of my editing staff to edit my blog posts after I’ve written them. I may go back and make the changes, but I may not. I am fine with the posts going out “as is”. The learning is purely for my benefit later.

  • mommie911

    I learned long ago- I have much to share ( but punctuation was never my strength- it always slowed me down). While I do try and improve my writing on my blogs- I agree I would rather write when I have the time or feel drawn to share with my readers. Waiting to publish until it has been proof read usually results in the post being forgotten or the timeliness gone.

    It is nice to hear you (a successful, established leader) agree that the occasional grammatical error may occur and most of us will understand.

  • Cjharrisone

    I wholeheartedly agree! I write for a few other blogs/sites as well. I even had someone say that I “made God look bad’ when I allow my postings not to be perfect…Hmph!

    • Michael Hyatt

      I really hate it when people play “the God card.” It’s really manipulative.

      • Jeff Randleman

        Agreed! It really is!

  • Vicki Small

    I agree with you. As a former secretary-by-various-labels and a former teacher of freshman composition, I know the truth of what you said: perfect writing is an illusion. In my graduate program in English, I submitted a 24-page paper in one of my final classes. As far as I knew, it was perfect in grammar, usage, mechanics, typing…everything but, perhaps, content. Two years later, I pulled out that paper (an “A,” by the way) and read it again. There it was: “I would of . . .” instead of “I would have….” Aarrrrggggghhhhh!

    My eyes don’t miss much, when I’m reading someone else’s copy, but I know what I meant to say, so that’s what I’m likely to see.

  • Vicki Small

    Oh, that’s funny! Well, you might as well laugh, yes?

  • Margie Thessin

    I would bet that woman who criticized you has never written nor published anything. I’ve learned, as a self-published author, that it’s a lot harder on the inside than the outside. I had a couple things slip through on my first printing, and I still laugh about it. All but one word of a sentence was deleted, and the word that was left was so appropriate: it was “severed.”

  • Matt Raithel

    I agree completely! I’m an artist by trade, and occasionally blog about it. I write posts in the same way I sketch figures: For me, it is a looser form of expression, less formal, with a goal to communicate a larger idea quickly.

  • Mztrsinbad

    I dont undrestand what woold posses someune to be fill they could send yuo a commnet like thta one in yuor psto. Michael Hyatt you da man IMHO! Keep the wisdom comin’!

  • Bobstogner

    AGREE I am “dis-lex-it” yet I write a great deal and even help proof read others writings. I appreciate the help others have given me but I also want to increase my writing/proofing skills and develop self confidence – not arrogant pride. So, strive to be a better ‘self-proofer,” and focus on delivering the goods – writing what you are meant to write!

  • Chad Jones

    On my blog, I publish and move on. If I catch an error after a post has gone up, I’ll rectify it. This is actually a discipline that I’ve had to develop, because I used to be the world’s worst self-editor. I would continuously correct as I wrote–no wonder things didn’t get done. Now I have people telling me they enjoy my writing voice. So I’m very much in agreement with the statement that “perfectionism is the mother of procrastination.”

  • Michael E. Nichols

    Agree. Agree. Agree. I have been consulting in marketing and communications for years. Yet I regularly miss typos – even with all the helps available today.

    Another point we might should consider – Blogs are generally more conversational than “printed” matter. Thus, appropriate jargon (gramatically incorrect) may be acceptable to a blog reader although not acceptable for some book readers.

    It appears we’ll struggle to critique blogs definitively until the blog style guide is published.

    Keep writing!

  • Jeff Randleman

    I have a couple of people who read my stuff with a critical eye and let me know if I’ve made any mistakes. I never asked them to do this, they’ve just taken it upon themselves.

    Best part… they do it for free!

  • RobertDickieIII

    I agree with you!

  • Carolyn

    As a self-confessed member of the grammar- police ( I am an English Teacher after all..) I find your comments liberating… The hours and weeks and months and years I have spent in procrastination, because I am afraid of writing anything less than perfect, haunt me. To have someone point out that perfection is not neccessarily the goal brings a whole new perspective.. Whether this will enable me to change my approach is another thing all together. :)

  • Sunshinedreams2u

    I appreciate this post. As someone relatively new to the blog process and a perfectionist, I struggle with how many times do I review this or let someone else review it. Succinct tips. Thank you.

    Also, do you ever accept links to other’s blogs to “review”? I would love to get your feedback on mine.

    Thank you so much.

    Heather Nelson

    • Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I do get this request often. Unfortunately, I just don’t have the time right now. Thanks.

  • Anonymous

    Great post. I think reason #1 is the most crucial. It doesn’t only apply to spelling and grammar, but content as well. One of the lessons I am trying to learn is when it is enough said. Blog posts are better when they are concise and punchy. I wrestle with wanting to go into detail that would at least triple the length of the post.

    • Michael Hyatt

      I struggle with this, too. I usually write a longer post, then go back and edit. I try to pull out everything I can, so that it is tighter and punchier.

      I like this quote from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: “A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” It applies to writing as well.

  • Anonymous

    Your corrector also reminded me of a pastor friend of mine. He pastors in rural community. The church puts out a little newsletter through the mail to the area. They have seen some good things come of it, but one woman in the community marks up the newsletter in red ink and returns it to him.

    Maybe he should send her an advance copy and better employ her proofreading skills.

  • Dan Ryan

    I tend to agree with you thought about Blog posts. None of us is perfect and the sooner we realize this the better off we will be.

    I think a blog is more genuine when it does have an occasional error or blemish. This will allow the writer to be transparent and it will also allow more dialog between the writer and the audience.

    Keep up the good work.

  • Paul Wilkinson

    After scanning the hundreds of comments, I don’t see any reference to proofing the text with respect to political correctness.

    For example, nobody picked up on the fact that, in the second paragraph, you referred to the Grammar Police but not the Grampar Police.

    Surely gender neutrality compels you to mention both.

  • Sandra Pate

    When one is two or three years old, he or she can pass through the psycho-social development stage where one finds out that it is okay to make a mistake. Thanks for writing your helpful blog and not worrying that you might have to feel shame about making a spelling error.

  • Larry Hehn

    While I agree that in most cases the extra step of having someone proofread for spelling and grammar is excessive and unnecessary, I have also had some potentially great blogs spoiled in my eyes by consistent appearances of incomplete sentences, multiple spelling mistakes and poor grammar.

    The odd mistake is going to happen, and for me that’s not worth getting upset about. But if a blogger consistently puts out content with multiple errors, he/she is likely going to lose me as a reader. Regular errors give me the impression that the author doesn’t care enough about their content or their readers. I think a proofreader would be a good idea for rare cases like that.

    • Michael Hyatt


  • Anonymous

    After almost a decade of writing and publishing experience, I agree wholeheartedly. Whenever someone tells me their work doesn’t really need editing, I shake my head. As headmaster of a small school, I have daily opportunities to communicate our school’s mission and vision–to teachers, parents, and our community. Whenever I have to write, I always read it through after as long a break as I can afford.

    Give yourself some distance from your writing–even the time it takes to get a cup of coffee–and read your work through. Nearly everything you write will be better for it.

    On the subject of close readers, I’m thankful for Winston Churchill’s example. Responding to criticism about a dangling preposition, Churchill said roughly, “No one says, ‘This is a situation up with which we will not put.'”

  • Karenkouf

    Bravo! As a long-time marketing and publishing professional, I care about the quality of my writing. I do my best to get it right and have to stop myself from tweaking things forever. The beauty of the web is that you can fix it later (or choose not to), the most important thing is to be authentic and speak from the heart. Those that only applaud perfection clearly haven’t juggled a million things each day.

    Love your posts, errors and all.

  • Anonymous

    As a new blogger, I can tell you one of the biggest fears about starting was that my grammar wouldn’t be perfect and someone would embarrass me for it. It’s hard to take the first steps towards creating something and many people are fearful. I found this encouraging and hopefully it will encourage others to get past their fears and start writing.

  • Scott Kantner

    I agree. I have spent way too much time fussing over proofreading and “typesetting.” By typesetting, I mean specifically taking what I learned to do in typing class and fixing it to look better on-screen. The most glaring example of this (my arch-nemisis) is the number of spaces after a period. Two is what we were taught on paper. One looks better on-screen. It is in a word, maddening.

    But in all candor, it’s so easy to go back and change things that think it’s better to error on the side of “shipping” in order to stay productive.

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  • Anonymous

    I totally agree! It’s a blog. It’s supposed to be somewhat personal and informal. Really it’s about the message you are writing and if folks get that hung up by the typos etc on a blog, they might want to stop reading it. I do get caught by typos on sites but blogs don’t bother me because I know I make mistakes on mine too! Books however, I always want to get a yellow highlighter out when I find mistakes :) We need to remember we’re all human and as Christians, should we be nit-picking each other like that? I don’t think so.

    Please feel free to stop by: Trailing After God

  • Jeanette

    I tend to get in to “perfection paralysis” and realize that doing so isn’t helping me move forward in business (or life for that matter) so when I catch myself going down that road I refer back to a very appropriate quote: “Imperfect action is better than perfect inaction.” ~Harry Truman ~

  • Shared Calendar

    If you have the funds to and want to employ others than I think it is a good idea to pay someone to proof read your blog. I do not think you are going to get too many complaints for a few errors here and there.

  • Shyla

    Everyone makes mistakes. I remember in 7th grade, I thought teachers were perfect. However one of my teacher’s made a spelling error on the board. I drew attention to this error and her response was “thank you for pointing that out, we are all human, no one is perfect”. Your blog posts are error free 99% of the time. The 1% here and there isn’t a big deal to the majority of readers. We like your content.

  • Michele Valencia

    I agree! I like to privately tell my friends of typos or grammar errors, because I would like for them to do the same for me. I know that personally I would like to have my writing be as correct as possible, but I am not above correction, because I will never reach perfection. And every little bit of crowd-source participation helps. If I was waiting for everything I do to be perfect, I might as well not ever start anything.

    Thanks for a great post Michael.


  • Faith Herrgesell

    I completely agree. While working full time in an unrelated field and having a newborn, I would never hit the “publish” button if I got everything perfect before I posted. And I definitely don’t have the money to hire a proofreader. I usually read through my posts a couple of times before I publish them. Then my husband usually lets me know what errors I have missed.

  • Cendrine Marrouat

    Dear Michael:

    Thank you for this article!

    It was recommended by a friend of mine after I went through a similar experience as the one you describe. It makes me feel much better. English is not my mother tongue and I spend my time reading my articles over and over to ensure that I eliminate as many misspellings, typos and grammar errors. But sometimes, they are sneaky.

    This guy told me that I should spell check my writing, as it was FULL of errors. As I am a perfectionist and grammar-correctness obsessed , I had a couple of proofreaders go over my last articles and they were shocked that someone would dare chide me that way. I know that my English is not that bad, after all.

    All this to say that I completely agree with your article. A blog is not a book. Articles can be spell checked many times. Typos will always evade us. We are not perfect.

    • Michael Hyatt

      If this comment is representative, you have nothing to fear. Your English is as good as any native speaker’s.

      • Cendrine Marrouat

        Hopefully, it is. It is the way I usually write. ;-) Thank you for your kind word.

        I really like the design of your blog, by the way!

  • HMGullett

    I agree with you. I am not a native English speaker and English in my third language, work from home as a translator for some mission agencies and organizations in South East Asia and for this matter I need proofreader.

    I usualy did some mistype when I wrote our family newsletter and blogs even though I have read it twice before I posted them. Sometimes I do need other people to find it for me, like my husband and his grandma (who was a teacher and love grammar). After they read my posts and told me the errors, I corrected them and re-post again.

    I am new with blogs, but I am a leaner and would like to improve this skill for future ministry in the field. So your posts are great blessings to me. Thank you.

  • Gyi Tsakalakis

    Bill, I agree. These are the same people that correct us during face to face discussions. We should commit to “writing-well”, but let’s face it, blogging falls somewhere in between publishing a book and stream of consciousness.

    I have the same policy that you do. If I am alerted to an error, I simply make the change. If my writing is atrocious enough, I suppose people will stop reading. Let the market decide.

  • Robert Ewoldt

    I absolutely agree with you about this; the more you write, the better you will get with your editing. And having an editor read over your posts before you publish them is just silly.

  • Yami62

    I do agree with you. It is impossible to get everything right. Good and accurate article.

  • John Hawken

    I agree with you Michael – I think it’s a matter of horses for courses. As a business & technical writer, I tend to notice typo’s & other grammatical gaffes, but I agree that a blog is not a book, and different standards apply. I wonder if Ms Chider texts people? How would she cope with such destruction of English in that case?

  • N Jones

    I once published an entry on my proofreading blog and somebody wrote a very sarcastic response about it. I could tell by their tone that they were mightily proud of themselves for spotting it. Are people in other professions expected to be 100% perfect all of the time,  or is it just us proofreaders and editors?

  • Andy Coticchio

    This is spot on. Blogging isn’t building an aircraft, you do not need Six Sigma tolerance. I think over producing ruins the personal feel that most try for in a blog. I miss things all the time and consider myself a better than average proofreader.

    We should not try to scrub all the spontaneity out of the medium.

  • Verdell Wright

    I agree. Blogs are supposed to have a quick turnover rate. As long as the typos don’t ruin readability then it’s fine.
    With that being said, I do freelance editing. If anyone needs something proofread, I have very competitive rates. Feel free to make an inquiry at

  • Joe Kennedy

    Definitely agree with you Michael.  You definitely “get” blogging and social media.  It appears that some of your readers have other ideas.

    Blogging is all about being real and authentic – warts, misspellings , grammar errors and all.  Keep on being you!

    • Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Joe.

  • Cpickerel

    I think people can be totally rude in the name of perfection!  I absolutely love the content!  That is what I’m after.  Keep em coming!  (Is em grammatically correct?)  LOL

  • Jason

    I wholeheartedly agree with your post.

    However, I do think some bloggers/writers/tweeters should learn basic grammar. I mean, is it THAT hard to figure out the difference between Your and You’re, or There, Their, and They’re? I mean, come on! :)

    I love your blog, Michael! 

  • Paula

    I definitely agree.  Blog strength comes from speed and consistency, when those stop, it loses and so do readers.  Plus, I believe new grammar is coming into play with cell phones and itouches and whatever we use when we print.  It’s a bold new world, enter or get left behind. 

  • Scott Neth

    I agree, I catch typos in a large percentage of what i read, both hard copy and publications such as blogs, my own blogs included, catching every typo is near impossible. Once a book is published it is there for the masses until a second or third edition. Blogs are easily fixed and I too am grateful for the careful reader who catches an error in my writings.  

    • Scott Neth

      PERFECT example, I failed to capitalize “I” in my first comment… I meant to do that.

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  • Mark

    Exactly. People know what you meant to say anyway, it doesn’t matter if you forget to dot your
    i or whatever. Content is king. =^)

  • tonychung

    I found this old post and wanted to jump in with something I heard recently: “The higher up the food chain you go, you learn to ignore the occasional tpyo, and instead choose to focus on critical errors in thought.”

    While your post leaned more toward explaining how perfectionism can delay shipping, I thought that the managerial observation provides an additional dimension. While slipped keystrokes or cut-and-paste mishaps may be inconvenient, poor judgment and factual inaccuracy should be inexcusable.

    Thankfully, this blog demonstrates professional leadership and moral integrity, and provides excellent suggestions for improving one’s thinking, and tools to think with. Keep it up.

  • Online Essay Editing Service

    As a proofreader, I agree with the gist of what you’re saying here. As long as you’re not an editor and proofreader and each word, phrase, punctuation mark and random thought don’t reflect the quality of your services, focusing on content as a blogger is the way to go.

  • Edit Me F.A.S.T.

    I agree with the crowd-sourcing approach, although if you develop a relationship with a good proofreader, you can get a great discount rate for bulk work. This way your inbox won’t be as full, haha. Great posting.

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  • Terry Morgan

    As a perfectionist, I totally agree, and the perspective will help me to keep writing!

  • Brandon Weldy

    This was a great read. I started blogging just a couple months ago and since then have had one person send me an email about mistakes. He told me a couple times he knew that I was striving for excellence and just thought I should read through my stuff more carefully. He is a great friend and I know he was just trying to help. It made me very cautious about posting for about a week. As I thought about it I realized there was no way I was going to catch everything, and as you point out here, the mistakes can still be corrected, unlike once a book is published. Thanks for the link to this post, it was very encouraging!

  • Nick Jones

    People are always so quick to point out typos, but typos don’t bother me as much as poor grammar and punctuation. Typos are usually just an oversight by the writer, but incorrect use of commas, for example, can spoil the flow of a sentence and may even affect the reader’s understanding of it. Anyone who takes the time to point out a blogger’s typos really needs to get out more.

  • Sara@YrThrivinFamily

    Totally agree!  I am grateful when someone nicely points it out.  I cannot imagine getting an email like that – how did you respond?

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  • Bill

    you shood always work to right goodlier otherwise persons will tink less of you. (this post isn’t snarky but could be considered smarmy)

  • Kelly Combs

    Thank you for this post! I nearly always have a typo slip through, but I have found that the OUT LOUD reading has helped tremendously with that problem.

  • Kirsten Holmberg

    While quality and offering God my best are goals I strive for, I recognize that I am only made perfect in Christ: why perpetuate the illusion that I am? 

  • Ed Delapp

    For the most part, I agree with you. However, if I consistently find glaring grammar/spelling errors in a writer’s blogs, I reach one of two conclusions. They may be a careless writer, therefore a careless thinker. Or they may be waiting too close to deadline to write. In either case I will eventually stop reading their work. Skip the proof reading step at your own peril.

  • Melanie Fyock

    I agree completely! “Perfectionism is the mother of procrastination” is the most quotable statement I’ve read today. I shall tweet it immediately, giving you credit of course. 

  • Karen S. Elliott

    Great post. I’m going to send it to the guy who just hired me to proofread and edit his blog posts. No seriously, I’m going to send it. Although I do think that some people need a little spiffing up if they are representing a company, if they want to appear professional, if they want to improve their writing, whether it be a blog post of a novel. Some blogging people are new and need help. Others could use a refresher. Some just want to know what they could improve upon or get a second opinion. While I gave up my grammar police badge some time ago, I do see boo-boos and think, hmmm… I’m sure some of my own blog posts have mistakes in them. And I’m quite sure this comment might have mistakes.

  • Kwithem

    No. Don’t pay a proofreader for a blog. Let the grammar police hire a therapist to get over it.

  • Dean Dorman

    Absolutely, you are soooo right.
    And I agree with the comment about being happy your not that woman’s husband. She has too much time on her hands. Its just a message you want to share with the world. I, for one really appreciate them, by the way.

  • Amanda Phifer

    Yes, and you should hire me, because I’m a freelance editor always looking for work. :) Seriously, I agree with you, Michael – proofread yourself, even multiple times, and then hit “publish.” Truly bad and frequent typos do harm credibility, but excellent content is what counts. Thanks for the poste…I mean, post. ;)

  • Richard Hartian

    I agree…that said, when I first started reading your blog, I was one of those guys that politely tried to help you (one of your links in the article did not work); since then, I now have my own blog and know from experience that there is something called overproofreading.  Posts take 4-5 hours.  I stress about being perfect; I know I need to move beyond that…

    Thanks Michael…

  • Beijing Ren

     I agree that everybody makes mistakes and it is not always a big deal to have them. If an average reader looks through your blogpost, he’ll never notice them, however if a proofreader or editor will take a look, they can’t help seeing all the typos and errors. If you are interested in the blogs written by ebglish editors please take a look at this one: I like their posts and the language that they use!

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  • Barnez

    I think that you have the right approach in taking reasonable steps to ensure that errors are removed from your blogs prior to posting, but bearing on mind that they are not a book to be published or a university submission that will be graded. Blogs are about inspiring debate, disseminating ideas and sharing information, and delays while waiting for professional proofreading are unhelpful in this case.  That said, when you are a proofreader like myself, the blogs do need to receive an extra polishing to remove visible and hidden errors.

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  • Beaucrosetto

    Absolutely agree!! I have had a few of those. Women/grandmas write me. Wow! I feel bad for them that that is what gets them riled up in life!

  • David J Winter

    This is a great post.  It reminds me of the constant tension between creativity and perfection.  Rules and freedom.  Sometimes there is not enough time for perfection and we rely on the grace from our readers.    David Winter  

  • Patricia Wooldridge

    I agree with you, Michael. As for my blog writing—WHEN I do that, which I haven’t for a while, but will again, soon—I go over it with an eagle eye. This usually takes care of any typos and awkward sentences. When in doubt as to the grammar, Elements Of Style will have to do me for a while longer. (Woe Is I will be a great library addition though!)  Once all of that is done, I read it over once more to see if anything jumps out and interrupts the smoothness, then on it goes. I’m done. Anyone finding errors after that, will be sincerely thanked. Blog writers/ANY writers are only human. It’s best to move on to the next project.

  • Kenneth Vogt

    The updatability of the web definitely alters the “rules” as you note. It doesn’t allow for laziness or sloppiness but perfection is still an illusion. It’s even worse than that: perfectionism is a low standard. See more of that here:

  • felicia wiggins

    HOW DARE YOU TELL PEOPLE NOT TO HIRE A PROOF READER!! hahaha…j/k Im glad I came across this article because perfectionism has always been my vice. One that, in my opinion, has slowed me down from getting further ahead in life. Thx for the post!

  • felicia wiggins

    HOW DARE YOU TELL PEOPLE NOT TO HIRE A PROOF READER!! hahaha…j/k Im glad I came across this article because perfectionism has always been my vice. One that, in my opinion, has slowed me down from getting further ahead in life. Thx for the post!

  • Graham64clayton


    I agree with you. There is a big difference between having a mistake in a “disposable” blog post and multiple mistakes in a book that has a much longer “life”. 

  • Mik0725

    I think grammar, punctuation and spelling are important. I usually have a team member proof my posts, but I don’t think it’s necessary to hire someone. Readers should cut you some slack. No doubt they have made the same mistakes. The harshest critics are just negative people who lift themselves up by trying to bring you down.

  • Rabbi R. Karpov, Ph.D.

    Self-appointed Grammar Police disclosed something unintended, by not capitalizing the first letter of the first word following the comma (the currently most common choice).

    Appreciate your excellent points; thank you for the guidance as I inch towards beginning the blogging I’ve been urged to do.

  • Mary beth

    Yes, I agree! So refreshing to hear someone with your expertise make those statements. I love how easy it is to go back and tweak my blog. As a school principal, I love the ability to publish whenever I feel I have something to share. Blogging freed me from the pressure I use to be under to save up a bunch of things to churning out parent newsletters. Now the info is more timely- I can post three things in a day or wait three weeks between posts.

  • bakerjd99

    This is good to hear. I often find typos and other errors when browsing through my old blog posts and it always irritates me. Who was the idiot that wrote this drivel? Oops – it was me! I try to catch as many errors as I can and I am always grateful to readers that take the time to point them out.

  • Erica

    I worked as a proofreader for an advertising agency. I see errors on almost every blog I read. I never mention this to the blogger since it’s rude to offer help unless I am asked. Blogging has created many job opportunities and that’s great. But on the other hand, real writers and proofreaders are not always appreciated. I realize that many bloggers are not professional writers, but I wouldn’t mind being hired to catch these mistakes. It’s not the end of the world, but it just looks more professional not to have typos. :)

  • Alex Watson

    I’m with you. I publish and correct typo’s in my posts all the time. To me it’s no big deal. Some people get hung up on this type of thing. I say. They don’t really have enough to worry about.

  • Joel Heffner

    I used to get a newsletter that included …,,,???:::;;;””””’!!! at the end. The author would say, “If I missed something, please feel free to add whatever is necessary.”

  • Mark Hoaglin

    I agree Michael. I just corrected a post before reading your post. I believe most readers are forgiving and will read on and still get the message.

  • Dan Pedersen

    I agree, there’s more room for error on a blog post, because it can be easily corrected later. Also, I think blog posts are better when they are more conversational, who doesn’t trip over their words now and then when they are talking to someone? It’s more human when it’s not perfect. I wonder if I should I get someone to proofread this comment before I

  • Nester

    You’s right man. Ain’t nothing wrong with a couple spelling and grammatical errors every now and again. Sometimes the only way to truly express how ya feel is to write like ya talk. Ya dig?

  • Jeffrey Pennypacker

    Thanks for your post Michael! Grammar seems to be a big issue with others. I don’t think it’s that huge of a deal as long as it doesn’t hinder the message, but that’s also because I am terrible at it. I usually send some of my content off to a few friends for feedback. Lately I have had to start specifying what type of feedback I’m looking for. Usually the first thing I receive from them is a full on grammatical review, when all I really wanted was feedback on the content. Now I ask for grammar help or content feedback specifically.

  • Marlee

    One word: AMEN! LOL

  • Chris Oswald

    Funny thing is I was just looking for a proofreading service for my blog before I read this. You know, I think I’ll take your approach and let it fly. As long as you read it and it makes sense who cares if the english professor gives you a C-. Thanks for changing my mind on this subject, you just saves me some time and money :)

  • Dr Mari

    I got off the perfectionism boat a while ago (thank God!). This is a great post for those of us who are recovering perfectionists. Realistic, practical, and freeing. Thanks!

  • Sigi Brent

    Yep. I also found a good service to proofread my short texts, which is done by humans.
    It’s called

  • Kristie

    I agree. It’s an acquired talent, even if you’re a born writer. My current grammar peeve is the widespread misuse of the pronoun “myself.” Obviously, chiding is unhelpful. It’s much more effective to simply point out the mistake and offer the correct solution.
    Thank you for sharing your wisdom- I’ve been reading & listening to your material for a few months – inspiring!

  • Tony Chung

    Even proofreaders make mistakes. As my old boss once said, “The higher up the food chain you go, you’re less concerned with the occasional typos, and more concerned about critical errors in thought.”

    Just keep on thinking, and keep on helping, Michael. Let the grammar police while away their hours on the inconsequential while you build up an army that creates lasting value.

  • Rachel

    I agree with you for many of the reasons you gave. My husband happens to be a perfectionist and procrastinator. :) I value his opinion and advice , but then I do what I need to do to post.

  • Patrick Green

    Absolutely agree. Thankful for my wife who catches most of my errors!

  • Caren Wolfe

    I agree! And I’m grateful you wrote this post because, thanks to you and your awesome post about setting up a blog in 20 minutes or less, I am now a brand new blogger! A brand new blogger that has been totally stressing out about letting typos slip through, I’ve been proof reading my posts so many times I can practically recite them aloud from memory before I hit the publish button! Thanks for putting it in perspective! I’ll be proof reading less and writing a lot more!

    • Michael Hyatt

      Good for you, Caren. Thanks—and congratulations on your new blog.

  • James Alexander

    Its really a wonder discussion with good topic.
    english proofreading.

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