Make sure your words don’t fail you. Follow our five proofreading tips to help your business create accurate copy.
Does this sound familiar?
Nowadays, it’s easy for businesses to publish as much copy as they like. Blogs, tweets, posts, emails — they can all be written, edited, and sent from something as small as a smartphone (if you don’t mind taking ages about it).
But, as always, there’s a catch. Your copy is representative of your business — and, as harsh as it sounds, people will judge you by it. So if your written content is full of mistakes, you’ll give a bad impression to potential customers.
The consequences of poor copy.
Knowing this, you’d think people would be careful with what they put out there.
You’d be wrong. The internet’s crammed full of examples of cringeworthy copy mistakes. If you’re going to have a billboard about education, for example, you’ll want to familiarise yourself with the difference between their, they’re and there.
To be fair, when you produce a lot of written content, proofreading everything carefully and effectively is no walk in the park. If it were, then professional proofreaders would be out of a job. It takes time, concentration and commitment.
Thankfully though, there are things you can do to make it easier for you to stop those frequent copy faux pas.
Proofread like a boss (or a professional proofreader).
Based on our experience, here are five steps you can take to help you seek out those errors.
- Change the font to make it easier to spot mistakes.
The more obnoxious the font, the better. It should make you feel like someone else wrote the text — and that you don’t like them at all. Basically, if it doesn’t read easily — that’s what you’re looking for. We suggest this proofreading font.
- Read it once to check that the story works.
The first time you read your work, don’t worry about mistakes — just make sure that it makes sense as a story.
- Read it aloud.
Sure, reading a document out loud in the middle of your office might make you look a bit odd. But look on the bright side — you’ll hear the mistakes and dodgy phrases that your eye would normally skip over.
- Read it again to check for accuracy.
Make sure you have those rowdy full stops in the right places (especially when it comes to bullet points). And remember to check for contractions and apostrophes as well.
- Now read it backwards to check individual words.
This sounds kind of mad, but it’s much easier to spot spelling mistakes and typos when you look at each word without the context of the sentence around it.
Have a little patience.
Remember: cutting the errors from your copy takes time, patience and a lot of hard work, so don’t expect instant results. But stick with our five-step process and you’ll get there in the end.
And if you do want any extra help, we’re here for you. We can write you copy that’s proofed and ready to go — stuff that your business can be proud of.