Tuesday 29th March 2016

Proofreading And Editing Tips From The Experts

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Ernest Hemingway once said: ‘Write drunk, edit sober.’ Wise words indeed, as even the most experienced writers rarely get the wording exactly right first time. The secret to clever copywriting is careful editing and meticulous proofreading, transforming rough diamonds into rare gems of work.

But if you’re constantly spotting typos when it’s too late or wondering how to achieve that perfectly polished blog post, here are a few tricks of the trade that will give your content the edge every time…

Take a break

When your head is full of thoughts, it’s easy to second-guess the sentence without reading what’s actually on the screen. That’s why it’s so common to miss a sneaky ‘their’ instead of ‘there’, ‘the’ instead of ‘then’, and so on. Take a break and come back to edit your work later – ideally the next day when you have fresh eyes!

Listen back

We all have our own way of learning. Not everyone is a strong reader, which can make spotting those pesky typos especially difficult. To ensure you don’t miss a letter, enable text to speech on your computer, so that you can play back the copy as you read along. You’ll find it much easier to pick out mistakes when you can hear them.

Cut the waffle

Never say in ten words what you can say in one. There’s nothing wrong with an 800 or even 1000-word blog post – provided it’s rich with fresh information and perspectives. Does your content feel a bit repetitive? Cut down the copy to make it concise and to the point… your readers will thank you for it!

Edit and edit again

Once you’ve edited the copy with a fine-tooth comb, have a final read through to ensure it still makes sense. Sometimes, correcting one sentence can take another out of context, or leave you with clunky repetition of wording. So even if you only proofread the section in question once more, ensure you’re 100% satisfied that it reads well before you move on.

Outsource your editing

Still not feeling confident with cutting, refining and triple-checking your work? Many business owners and marketers feel comfortable writing, but use copywriters for their proofreading and editing to ensure the final version is spot on. An alternative perspective and a second pair of eyes will give you peace of mind that your content is engaging and easy to understand.

You may marvel at the magic of copywriting, but the finished article rarely materialises on the first attempt. With great copy comes great attention to detail, a stage that cannot be skipped if you want your content to shine every time.

Want to partner with a team of self-professed perfectionists? Our content agency offers proofreading and editing services, as well as writing superb copy from scratch. Get in touch to request a quote today.