Are you really checking?
We can read text that is in the incorrect order. You might be familiar with this example, which has been circulating the internet for years:
“Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are … Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.”
We don't wish to take you back to primary school, but we do wish to provide a few points on how to avoid spelling mistakes and other common content errors.
- Check your spell check.
Most word processors have spell check functions but you will need to customise them to get the best results.
Remember to set your default language to UK English, as opposed to US English. Commonly misspelled words in New Zealand are often due to this mistake. You need to remind your computer to recognise (UK spelling), not recognize (US spelling) errors! Here is a list of frequently misspelled words.
If there is an industry or business related word that your computer does not recognise, add it to your spell checker’s dictionary, (Google Docs, Microsoft Office, Pages for Mac) so you don't have to correct these terms every time. If I didn't do this, I would have had to remind Google Docs several times a month that 'BizStory'(our product) is a word!
You cannot rely on spell check alone.
To “love the smell of one's cologne” becomes quite a different story if you mistakenly write ‘colon’ (a common misspelling!). However, spell check would deem both words correct, because they are – in their spelling. The same goes for grammar mistakes, like the classic ‘your’ vs ‘you’re’. Your content always needs a pair of human eyes to check for correct usage.
When proofing, try reading the content from the end of the document to the top, change the font or even alter the text colour. All of these techniques work to make the text seem more foreign to you. Our desire to communicate ideas often overrides our ability to notice errors when editing. The above techniques help us focus less on flow, so that we can identify mistakes.
Read out loud. Rushing through proofing is another main reason for error. If you are speaking each word individually, you have no choice but to slow down
- Extra for experts.
For the meticulous among you, who pride yourself on communication and articulation:
We adore the online tool, Hemingway App, which focuses on the readability of your content. It draws attention to complex sentences, allowing you to see where readers might get lost. It forces you to reconsider your writing and make edits if you wish to simplify.
The business story you are telling is important. And a strong story with no distractions (errors) has a greater impact for your audience. We encourage you to make use of these techniques and tools, and we hope they can help you avoid content marketing mistakes.
After all, you need to tell your BizStory well. Or let one of our content marketing writers help you out – they know the English language is complicated, and they are happiest when they are perfecting the oredr of the ltteers in yuor wrods.