The importance of proofreading to great copy

by Stratton Craig

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All copywriters value feedback to help them develop, but avoidable errors rarely provide opportunities to learn – aside from the lesson that greater attention is needed! With thorough proofreading, you can limit the occurrence of errors and guarantee faultless copy more often.
Aside from highlighting mistakes, proofreading is important to ensure brand messages and tone of voice are consistent with all other communications to maximise their impact. In the online environment, customers are impatient and less tolerant of bland content as they can quickly navigate elsewhere. Flawless copy is therefore of even greater importance, as it could mean the difference between making a sale or switching a customer off.
Read on for proofreading tips to ensure an immaculate and on-message final draft.
Take a time out
Between writing and proofreading, take some time to clear your mind and relax before going back to the copy. You’ll find that your mind is more alert to errors as you’re no longer in writing mode.
Enlist the help of others
By asking a colleague or peer to proofread copy, you’ll gain the benefit of a fresh pair of eyes and a second opinion. It is of course important that the person you ask has strong written skills, and you may find they provide a perspective you hadn’t considered.
Slow down
Proofread below a normal reading pace, and maintain a steady speed so you can consider each word as it passes. You’re more likely to spot small errors, so make sure you allocate enough time at the end of a job for a relaxed proofread.
Read out loud
When you read copy out loud, you get the added benefit of hearing the words as well as seeing them. This is particularly advantageous when checking tone of voice and brand language.
Proof a hard copy
Even if the copy produced is intended for the web, print a hard copy to proofread. You’ll most likely find that it feels like a more natural way to proofread and is therefore more effective.
Proofreading is just one part of the written communications process, discover the rest by contacting us today.

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