Proof reading is more than "Spell check"
When you think of proofreading, you might automatically only consider spelling, grammar, and formatting. But considering just these aspects of editing is unlikely to help you know if you're meeting your objectives.
That said, content should always satisfy a business goal.
Proofreading is a way to help you cross-check your work against your goals. If you don't proofread with this in mind, you may be missing the mark.
What should you look for when proofreading?
- Before you initially began writing you should have identified a goal for your piece, from your content strategy. Who is this piece for and why? (Don't have a content strategy? Uh-oh. Here's some tips to help you write one.) If you missed this step, your piece may not have a clear direction or takeaway.
- Check that your writing includes keywords you have identified as important for your business or industry. Keywords are just one aspect of SEO that will make your content discoverable for your target audience.
- Read your content aloud. This task highlights whether you are steering your readers directly toward the intended purpose, or getting them lost. Hearing your content will also help you recognise if the personal tone of your brand is coming through.
When should you be proofreading?
It’s best to put your content aside for a few days -- at the very least, a few hours. Why? We usually gain perspective on things when we step outside of them.
Who should be proofreading your work?
If you are the only person reviewing your work, you may still miss weaknesses in your writing.
Peer review is an often overlooked (but effective) proofing tool.
The importance of an outside perspective on your work is that it removes personal bias. We know the purpose of our own work, so we are quick to assume we're conveying our point clearly. But the world on the page will read differently to others; this is the true test ….
Once you have examined your content for alignment and allowed a trusted colleague to review, you’ll be two steps ahead! Because ensuring your content is technically sound and fulfilling it purpose, means you’re telling your BizStory well.