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Why Proofreading is Cuter Than a Kitten

Keep clam and proofreadThe Internet is a war zone. You are competing for the ultimate prize of your audience’s attention.

If your blog post is riddled with proofreading errors… oh look, there’s a video of a kitten playing with string!

Proofreading errors distract from your message. In the online world of a million other things to read, watch and listen to, don’t give your readers any excuse to go watch that kitten video!

 

 

 

Proofreading Will Save Your Grandma’s Life

Proofreading, otherwise known as line editing, will save your grandmother’s life. Don’t believe me? Here goes:

Let’s eat, Grandma!

Let’s eat Grandma!

If you love your grandmother, you will proofread your writing before publishing it on the web.

In all seriousness, proofreading errors can completely change the meaning of your words – and they can also make you look seriously unprofessional.

Your Reputation is on the Line (Errors)

I’m not perfect. Mistakes slip into my writing here and there. But I still go over every blog post, every newsletter and every piece of web copy two or three times to try to catch those little proofreading buggers because I know the quality of my writing directly reflects on how people view me as a professional.

Sure, it’s especially important for a copywriter to be accurate when they write, but it’s actually important for every business. The quality of your writing affects your credibility.

The argument I hear most often is, “I sell a great product/service, so people will judge me on that and not on my writing.” I beg to differ.

>> A typographical error leads to a 1,000-point stock market crash

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Your words matter. Your punctuation matters. They affect your credibility.

Your credibility can make or break your business.

So yes, good writing can make you money – or cost you money.

Don’t give your readers — your potential customers — any excuse to click away from your content!

Here are some tips to help you combat those kitten videos online:

1. Read your work out loud

2. Get a second set of eyes on it. Have a friend or colleague read your writing before you publish it

3. Never, ever rely 100% on spell check!

4. Change the font. Oddly enough, this one little trick will make the writing look new to your brain and it will be easier to spot those typos

5. Hire an editor. If you can’t afford to have one on staff, you can hire a contractor

If you are looking for a good laugh (with no kittens), check out this collection of hilarious typos.

– Jessica Mehring

 

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Leave a Comment

  • Patrick K. August 5, 2014, 8:09 am

    Interesting: “Sure, it’s especially important for a copywriter to be accurate when they write, but it’s actually important for every business. The quality of your writing affects your credibility.” I believe that accurate grammar is as important as proofreading. It does save Grandma. What I’ve quoted above shows the egregious pronoun/antecedent agreement error so many make. “A copywriter” is singular, yet its antecedent “they” is plural. A good (and accurate) revision is, “It’s especially important for a copywriter to be accurate when writing…” Most readers would not have caught this error, but those who value grammar will. It’s important hen righting about grammar to check more than kittens, fowl, and spelling–write? (puns intended)

    Reply
    • Jessica August 7, 2014, 10:20 am

      You have a valid point, Patrick, but this is actually a matter of debate. Using the pronoun “they” in place of he/she is a common way of avoiding sexist language and eliminating the awkward “he/she” in a sentence. I do appreciate hearing from another grammar nut, though, so thanks for the comment!

      Reply
      • Patrick Keenan August 7, 2014, 3:37 pm

        Exactly. That’s why my suggested correction did not include the awkward he/she. I work with my students on this all the time. Keep calm, and grammar on, internet friend! Ooh–I just made grammar a verb. Shame.

        Reply

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