Ditch those content errors once and for all

by on March 16, 2015

Ditch those content errors once and for allAs a copywriter, I do a lot of content work. One thing that I have found in my experience is just how easy it is for typos to find their way into content. It never ceases to amaze how little errors can sneak their way in and sometimes go unnoticed.

Your brain can do some interesting things when working with words. It can memorize content, especially when you’ve been working with it for a while, and it may only see what should be there, not what actually is.

To mitigate this effect, I’ve come up with some strategies to ensure that content is correct.

My top tips for ensuring correct copy

  • Use spell check, but don’t rely on it. Spell check programs can be very useful. However, it’s important not to rely on them completely. They can make mistakes too or suggest changes that aren’t appropriate, such as when my Canadian spelling gets marked as an error. So I use spell check once I’m done a piece of content, and then I will do a final review.
  • Take a break from it, and then reread. Giving yourself some time to step away from the content means you will be looking at it with fresher eyes when you come back to it.
  • Read it out loud. I find this super helpful for catching any awkward wording or errors. I find it helps to circumvent the memorization effect I mentioned above.
  • Get others to read. This is one of the best ways to get an objective review from someone who is not invested in the copy. My assistant when reviewing this post for me caught an error that was not a typo, so spell check was not any help. But she sure was!

But I hired a writer, so this doesn’t matter

We’re all only human. And we all make mistakes. If you’re working with a copywriter, as the client, it’s still your responsibility to check and proofread. You act as that extra set of eyes.

Next step – check it live

Having everything perfect in your Word doc is not enough. When shifting from a document to a live website, a blog post, an email newsletter, a printed brochure, a poster etc., things can happen in the implementation. Whether you have an assistant doing it, a web designer, a graphic designer, a print technician or yourself, new typos can emerge in the implementation. Or things can get missed if it’s something being updated.

Seeing things live is also a fresh way of digesting the content and you may notice errors that you didn’t see before. So again, proof it live and get someone else to review as well.

Do I really need to do this for everything?

It can be time consuming to be so diligent in reviewing your content. You might not be able to focus on each and every blog post in this way, for example. But for things like website content, it’s very important that things are correct. And of course, anything that you send to print should be quadruple checked. There’s nothing worse than spending the money printing something only to notice an error after the fact.

Good karma move: Notice an error, say on a website or sales page or something equally important? Take a second to let the business know.

On to you. Do you write your own content? How to you make sure it’s error free? Meet you in the comments.

Know that you need a great content, but hate writing? Or are you struggling to put it all into words? I can help! Writing content is one of my favourite things. Let’s work together to create copy that really gets your ideal customer revved and ready to go. Get in touch with me to find out more.

Image source: digitalart/freedigitalphotos.net


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