Proof Read for Profit
Over 100 years ago Mark Twain once said of a piece of bad writing: “I have read it 40 or 50 times, altogether, and with a steadily increasing pleasurable disgust.”
So why is good writing important? Will anyone notice? As long as the design looks good, and the colours, will the words matter so much?
Get Noticed. Be Unnoticeable
People might notice. And after all, isn’t that what we want – to be noticed. It’s why we invested in upgrading our websites. It’s why we spend our hard-earned money on integrated internet marketing: to get the right messages to the right people in the right places when they are online.
On the internet, we want to stand out above our competitors. We want to be the person customers come to.
We want to be noticed for being positively different.
And yet, our writing needs to be unnoticeable. Our readers should be captivated by the message, without noticing the words.
Let sloppy English pollute your writing and people may get the wrong impression. They may think you lack diligence when it comes to looking after your customers.
Can anyone afford that kind of reputation?
Make Your Reader Content
We can’t all be great writers. But everyone can do better. If we write clearly, our messages will be understood. And better still: acted upon.
The Tresil blogs are here to help you become a better writer. Writing has the power to help you grow your business. Here, we look at proof reading.
How to proof read
It’s better if someone other than the writer proof reads the writing. We tend to be blind to our own mistakes. But often, this isn’t practical and you can still do a good job if you remember to:
- Read your copy out loud. Does it sound like someone talking? Writing your content in a conversational style will keep people reading and this one quick trick alone will make a huge difference to your reader.
- When reading your copy, if there’s anything you stumble over, amend it.
- Make sure the language is appropriate to the recipient. Say what you mean in a language that’s clear to all. Keeping to plain English is best.
- Are the main messages obvious?
- Sleep on it. Leave your writing overnight and read it in the morning. You’ll immediately see changes you’ll want to make to get it nearer to perfection.
- Is it clear and concise? Short paragraphs, short sentences, short words and plenty of white space. For more help, see my blog on scoring your writing for ease of reading.
- Are sentences grammatically correct? Are they free from spelling errors?
- Do the links go to all the right places?
- Are your facts accurate?
- How is the tone of voice? Is it right for the audience?
- Are sentences and paragraphs arranged in the right order (syntax)?
The Skill In Writing
A copywriter writes for a living.
Part of being a writing specialist means reading, studying, researching, networking and coaching – she never stops learning.
The more she knows, the better she can write. It takes someone with an insatiable interest in your products and services – and the flair for unearthing every compelling detail – which will persuade a customer to choose you. If you outsource your writing, question the process she follows. Search out her passion.
You needn’t be an experienced copywriter to produce clear and compelling written communications.
One way to immediately improve your writing is to proof read it. Before you press the Send button on your next important email, proof read it first.
Your Proof Reading Tips
Do you have any proof reading tips to share? What common mistakes annoy you most?
No time to write? Want your work proof read for a final quality check? Or want help getting started with your writing? Why not call me for advice.
There’s more on writing simply here.
Call me, Sue, at Tresil on 07711 361532.