Historically, content material proofreading is a separate process from enhancing.
And I nonetheless deal with the 2 as totally different actions.
Nevertheless, the artistic advantages of a constant proofreading course of surpass the basic definition of proofreading.
Fashionable writers can benefit from proofreading to keep away from the all-too-common extremes of caring too little or an excessive amount of about your content material.
The difficulty with caring too little about your content material is pretty apparent, however caring an excessive amount of about your content material can be an issue.
It happens when writers:
Proofreading ensures you’ve totally reviewed your work, so that you be ok with releasing it to the world.
Listed here are 10 content material proofreading ideas that can enable you to publish with confidence.
- 1 1. Proofread backwards
- 2 2. Cease at each punctuation mark
- 3 3. Scan the primary phrase of every paragraph
- 4 4. Confirm spellings of individuals’s names
- 5 5. Confirm spellings of firm names
- 6 6. Confirm spellings of product names
- 7 7. Confirm spellings of titles
- 8 8. Confirm days, dates, and instances of occasions
- 9 9. Scrutinize hyperlinked textual content
- 10 10. Spot repeated info
- 11 Bonus: Quickly it received’t be 2020 anymore …
- 12 Need the most effective of Copyblogger for writers delivered on to your inbox?
1. Proofread backwards
Sonia Simone and I used to have a working joke.
Each time I discussed that proofreading your textual content from the final sentence of your content material to the start is my favourite proofreading methodology, she would at all times quip:
“How a few tip that doesn’t take endlessly?”
At which level, I appreciated to clarify why this system is definitely a time-saver. 🙂
We don’t at all times have a day to let our writing sit earlier than we edit and proof it. That’s nice recommendation in idea, however not lifelike in a fast-paced content material publishing setting.
“Proofreading backwards” helps you see your writing with contemporary eyes, with out first placing it apart for twenty-four hours.
Along with recognizing precise errors, you’ll additionally possible discover:
- Phrases you overuse
- Sentences you may make clear
- Paragraphs you may simplify
Give it a strive the subsequent time you could polish a contemporary draft earlier than you publish.
2. Cease at each punctuation mark
Proofreading is all about taking note of little particulars that assist your viewers effortlessly perceive your message.
Pause at each comma, interval, apostrophe, citation mark, and so forth. to be sure to’ve used them accurately.
This tip is particularly useful to search out “it’s/it” and “they’re/their/there” errors.
3. Scan the primary phrase of every paragraph
Various your phrase alternative elevates your content material to a extra subtle degree.
If numerous your paragraphs start with the identical phrase, your writing received’t be as dynamic because it might be.
Use this chance to push your creativity.
4. Confirm spellings of individuals’s names
Google is a proofreader’s finest good friend.
Hold a Google search tab open while you proofread and lookup the correct spelling of each identify in your textual content.
My identify is spelled “Stefanie,” not “Stephanie.”
I’m positive you additionally respect when your identify is spelled accurately.
5. Confirm spellings of firm names
When the identify of a correct noun is spelled accurately, your viewers takes it as a right.
Nevertheless, when a knowledgable reader spots a spelling or letter-case error, it makes an article look sloppy.
It might be “copy blogger” or “CopyBlogger,” as an alternative of the right spelling: “Copyblogger.”
It might be “Bang & Olufson,” as an alternative of “Bang & Olufsen.”
Or it might be “McSweeneys,” as an alternative of “McSweeney’s.”
An incorrect spelling of a reputation isn’t a typo. It’s a mistake.
Performing a last spell-check is a vital a part of proofreading, so I’ve devoted a number of of those tricks to gadgets professionals confirm … in each piece of content material.
6. Confirm spellings of product names
Right here we go once more.
As we speak, a content material marketer’s job additionally usually contains analysis, fact-checking, copy enhancing, and proofreading.
To impress your shoppers and managers, don’t depend on another person to examine your work for accuracy.
7. Confirm spellings of titles
Editors generally see refined errors within the titles of articles or books, akin to lacking or further phrases.
They’re nearly appropriate, however technically improper.
I make it a observe to get these proper in my very own writing by remembering that I might need one other writer to jot down the actual titles of my very own articles, books, and movies.
8. Confirm days, dates, and instances of occasions
This can be a tremendous straightforward one.
For those who’re going to share an announcement a few webinar or occasion, don’t ship it with out first double-checking that the day of the week talked about matches the date.
Then verify the beginning time and time zone.
Ensuring your hyperlinks work is a part of your publishing guidelines, so this step is about fastidiously reviewing the hyperlinked textual content.
A hyperlink will probably be a unique colour than the remainder of your writing, which (for some cause) makes it straightforward to miss.
Don’t fall into that lure. Nice-tooth-comb these phrases too.
10. Spot repeated info
Despite the fact that you’ll tighten up your sentences and paragraphs while you edit your content material, proofreading continues to be a wonderful technique to discover info you’ve already said.
Intention to specific your message as succinctly as potential.
Your reader will respect that you just worth their time.
Bonus: Quickly it received’t be 2020 anymore …
That’s not a celebratory subhead above (but when it makes you wish to have fun, I received’t cease you.)
Each December, it’s my editor-duty to remind
anybody who will hearwriters to remain conscious that, beginning in January, it’s very easy to mistakenly write “2020” in content material.
Though, this 12 months, one thing tells me it’ll be simpler to recollect we’ve moved on. Nonetheless, this error often happens when speaking dates for conferences, webinars, or occasions. It’s associated to Content material Proofreading Tip #8.
I’m prepared to wager that each content material proofreader in All-the-Land has caught at the least one “12 months error” inside the first three months of a brand new 12 months.
Don’t let your proofreader have that satisfaction. In January, make a remark for your self and inform your colleagues to jot down “2021” every time they should reference the present 12 months.
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