Proofreading is more often than not a neglected responsibility by many copywriters. If you value, however, the opinion of your readers then proofreading is but a small price to pay for the success you enjoy because of them.
Knowing What to Look for
Before anything else, proofreading can only be made possible if you know what to look for. This means having a considerable grasp of all the intricacies of proper grammar and punctuation as well as solid knowledge on spelling. If you fail in any of these counts, you need to work on them because they can make a huge difference with the quality of your copies as well.
Proofreading is a job that requires great concentration, so find an environment suitable for the job. Get rid of all possible sources of distraction as well.
It’s easier to overlook errors when you are proofreading with your computer so do print your copy on paper whenever possible. It might be more costly this way, but don’t you think the sales you can generate for a well-written copy can easily offset the expense?
The Right Mindset
The best way to proofread your copy is to have clear expectations of finding errors. If you think of your work as flawless, you’re more liable to overlook errors. Remember: a positive outlook – even if it means finding errors in this case – always helps in getting a positive outcome.
Resist the temptation to read in the pace that you’re used to. Instead, read your copy slowly and read it out loud if possible. Reading will help you find errors in the style and cohesion of your writing.
When you’re done reading from start to finish, try reading it backwards. The brain tries to automatically correct any spotted error in the content, making you read what you think you see instead of what you’re actually seeing. By reading backwards, you prevent your brain from correcting on auto-mode and view your work for what it really is.
Proofread includes correcting the look of your copy. Pay attention to wrong spacing and margins, irregular font styling, and improperly capitalized words. Indeed, pay greater attention to words in uppercase as it’s more difficult to see errors in that format.
Proofreading includes making sure that everything about your copy is consistent. Uniformity, after all, makes a web copy more attractive. If you use a certain name for reference, be sure to use that name at all times rather than confuse your readers with various synonyms sprinkled across your text.
Grammar and Spell Check
The options for these mechanisms provided by your processor are not always right. And no, this doesn’t mean that you’re smarter but they’re probably not configured correctly. In any case, don’t rely on them to do your work for you.
Over and Over
Proofreading is not a one-time process. You need to do it over and over and at properly spaced intervals to make sure your copy is entirely error-free.
Another Point of the View
Last but not the least, have someone else – preferably one with the necessary knowledge and experience – proofread your work. You don’t have to pay a professional to do it. If you know other copywriters, you can strike a deal and proofread each other’s work.
A fresh pair of eyes, not to mention unbiased as well, can help find the last few errors in your copy.
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