You have created a killer piece of content, and are expecting strong customer lead generation from it.
But is it that easy? Is content creation and curation the only aspect of a strong content strategy?
What about proofreading?
In other words, isn’t it equally crucial to have a rigorous screening of your content to ensure that it is free of errors and is entirely tailor-made for your target audience?
Don’t worry! Here are a few tips that would help you in conducting a thorough proofreading of your beloved content.
(1) Start reading from the end
Probably, the most popular proofreading tip you would find these days.
It’s arguably the most effective one as well!
Proofreading content in a conventional manner i.e., from start to finish can make you miss out on a lot of irregularities, owing to a set pattern that makes the brain less receptive to errors, or assume these errors to be correct.
A few things you can miss out on include spelling mistakes and words that you have extensively repeated throughout your content.
Plus, content jargon that can be easily removed through backward reading, and also complex sentences or paragraphs that might not be a good fit for your target audience.
An appropriate clarification or simplification of these can make your content relatively more appealing to them.
(2) Homonyms- The silent Killers
Homonyms are words that have similar pronunciations but have significantly different meanings.
For example- “left means to leave and left also means the left side of our body.”
If not taken into consideration, these can easily turn your precious content into a disaster.
Any reader with an average grammatical knowledge can easily spot these callous mistakes, and more importantly “undermine the quality of your overall content, based on this.”
The best way to check for Homonyms is Backwards Proofreading.
As a second option, you can always run your content through some grammar checking tools like Grammarly, as sometimes it becomes really hard to spot these mistakes on your own.
Addressing homonyms should always be a priority for you, as overlooking these can lead to serious loss of reputation for your content.
(3) Company’s style and standards
It’s highly essential that you closely curate your content as per the set requirements of the company for which you are writing.
This generally includes the tone (formal/ informal), choice of vocabulary, the word limit, etc.
These standards are carefully set by your company as a part of their content marketing strategy, in accordance with the specific requirements of their target audience.
It is a common tendency among content writers to drift away from such standards while creating the content.
Sometimes, content writers fail to ascertain the aptest manner in which they can explain a topic to their audience.
Or they might feel that a certain topic requires further simplification, which in reality it does not.
This causes them to increase the word limit unnecessarily, or change the tonality of the content, something that might not sit well with the target audience.
Therefore, in order to ensure your content’s success among your audience, it’s a must to detect these diversions while proofreading.
(4) Verify Crucial Information
It’s a no brainer! Every content has a few pieces of information, which if provided wrongly, would turn out to be a dead-end for your content.
“Adding an extra zero while quoting the population of a country or the turnover of a business, can drastically change the meaning or conclusion your audience would make out of your content.”
Preventing such mishaps is not that hard.
Just make sure that sensitive information like important numbers, dates, names of clients, hyperlinks etc have been checked for a minimum of 2-3 times before posting your content.
In case of hyperlinks always make sure that you have linked the correct landing page of the respective website with the correct anchor text.
(5) Seek a second opinion
It’s not uncommon for content writers to have a strong emotional connection with their creations. Due to this, it’s possible that you can develop a biased perception while proofreading your content.
In this scenario, the best option for you would be to either hire an editor or ask a friend/colleague to proofread for you.
A fresh and unbiased perspective would do nothing but provide the most appropriate screening of your content, before publishing.
So, never shy away from consulting others for your proofreading part.
(6) Never Proofread immediately
If you are planning to proofread your content on your own, then it’s highly advisable to not start the proofreading process, shortly after completion of the content.
Sometimes, it is difficult for an author who is self proofreading his content, to analyze every aspect of it in an objective manner.
This is due to the personal intimacy that he/she shares with the content.
Therefore it is suggested that you take a 12-24 hour break from your content and then jump on the proofreading part.
There you go! 6 basic proofreading techniques to give your content a thorough check-up before publishing it.
Over to you now! Any additional tips that could be used to give your content.
Author Bio- Hi There, I am Shaun Williams, a content writer with Goodfirms, a research platform for Software development and Digital marketing companies, among many others. I enjoy communicating ideas and knowledge creatively and also ensure that the readers never suffer from boredom while reading my posts.