Publish Insights 10 October 2021
By Kevin RR Williams
Write Believable Stories
You seem like a nice person. And you must be pretty knowledgeable to write about the subjects on your blog. But ever since the term “fake news” was coined, readers have become more skeptical. Unlike satirical news on late-night television or The Onion, fake news websites deliberately seek the perception of legitimacy.
If you have sources for your material, are they credible? Many organizations have established “official” pages for information. Where does that leave you?
The first level of fact checking originates with you, as the writer. To back up your claims and gain reader confidence, your articles may require a secondary review process. This is becoming a popular feature on websites. Your review should accomplish a few things:
1. Proofread text. Not only look for misspellings and grammatical errors, the proofing process should make certain the message is clear.
2. Check references. This includes visiting the links you provide and searching the topic online for other references from reputable sites that support your conclusions.
3. Validate article. Make it obvious to the user that the article has been verified. Name the fact checker and/or display a recognizable symbol.
New fact checkers may under- or over-shoot your goals. You might get someone who reads your text and says, “Done, pay me.” Maybe your work is that perfect. But a question or suggestion or two lets you know they gave consideration to the article. In an effort to impress you with his writing ability, another fact checker may spend hours rewriting your articles. Clearly outline what you expect up front.
Whoever you use should have a good grasp of the language and writing style of the blog. Use fact checkers whose background aligns with the subject matter. Having someone review your work means you cannot be easily offended by criticism. Embrace editing suggestions to what you feel is perfect text. Either accept edits outright or take notes to edit your own writing.
Where can you find fact checkers? A large company can use a different staff copywriter. If you are submitting the post to another website, the editor may proof the text or hire someone else to do so. On your own, you might need to pay somebody. Sites like Fiverr or Kolabtree have resources. This raises the cost of doing business but it also elevates the value of your writing.
Main image licensed from Pixabay.