Proofreading is a pretty important part of the copywriting process.Proofreading is an important, yet often forgotten part of the copywriting process. Click To Tweet
Have you ever sent an email only to realise you have made a spelling error? Or worse, spent thousands on marketing material only to realise there is a glaring error AFTER it has been printed?
If you have, you’re not alone.
Proofreading may seem like a simple task, but it’s probably one of the most important. After all, misspelled words can make you look ignorant — particularly if they are common words.
Why proofreading is important
Proofreading is the final stage of the writing process. It’s the part that comes AFTER you have finished writing, editing and re-structuring your work. And it should only be done after you have finished ALL of your editing revisions.Proofreading is the FINAL stage of the writing process. It comes after all the revisions and changes. Click To Tweet
Contrary to popular belief, proofreading isn’t just about picking up spelling and grammatical errors, although this is an important aspect. Proofreading ensures:
your message is clear, concise and easy to read
your message is consistent with your brand
your message is consistent with your style guide
you have included key phrases or terms
your message is unlikely to offend anyone
what you are saying is accurate and true
you look professional.
Tips for proofreading
Most people only spend a few minutes on proofreading, hoping to catch glaring errors. However, after spending so much time crafting your message, you don’t want it all ruined by a careless, slap-dash approach to checking your work.
Here are some tips for proofreading:
1. Don’t rely on spell-checkers
While they are useful, spell-checkers are far from foolproof. Some of them won’t recognise particular words and they won’t catch the wrong use of words (e.g. ‘your’ VS ‘you’re’).
2. Don’t rely on grammar-checkers
These too can be useful, but grammar-checkers can also be problematic as they work with a limited number of rules.
3. Proofread for one type of error at a time
Check for punctuation errors in one reading, and spelling errors in another. Trying to check for too many variables increases the risk of something being missed.
4. Read your work slowly and carefully
It can be tempting to rush proofreading when you are very familiar with your content, but look at every word.
5. Read your work out loud
This will help you identify content that sounds clunky and awkward.
6. Read sentences separately
Focus on one sentence at a time, instead of rushing to the next one.
7. Read your work backwards
When you should hire a proofreader
Proofreading becomes easier over time. The more you do it, the better you become. However, there are some instances when you really should hire someone to do it for you. Consider hiring a proofreader if:
You struggle with correct grammar, punctuation and spelling
You don’t have time to thoroughly proofread your work
Your professionalism rides on the accuracy of your written content, and you simply can’t afford any mistakes
You are too attached to the writing and need a ‘fresh pair of eyes’ to look at it.
It’s far better to pay someone to check for mistakes before you publish, than realise you’ve made them when it’s too late!It’s far better to pay someone to check for mistakes before you publish, than realise you’ve made them when it’s too late! Click To Tweet