10 Content Proofreading Tips for Modern Content Marketers

Last updated: 12-18-2020

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10 Content Proofreading Tips for Modern Content Marketers

And I still treat the two as different activities.

However, the creative benefits of a consistent proofreading process surpass the classic definition of proofreading.

Modern writers can take advantage of proofreading to avoid the all-too-common extremes of caring too little or too much about your content.

The trouble with caring too little about your content is fairly obvious, but caring too much about your content is also a problem.

Proofreading ensures you’ve thoroughly reviewed your work, so you feel good about releasing it to the world.

Here are 10 content proofreading tips that will help you publish with confidence.

Sonia Simone and I used to have a running joke.

Whenever I mentioned that proofreading your text from the last sentence of your content to the beginning is my favorite proofreading method, she would always quip:

At which point, I liked to explain why this technique is actually a time-saver. ????

We don’t always have a day to let our writing sit before we edit and proof it. That’s great advice in theory, but not realistic in a fast-paced content publishing environment.

“Proofreading backwards” helps you see your writing with fresh eyes, without first putting it aside for 24 hours.

In addition to spotting actual errors, you’ll also likely find:

Give it a try the next time you need to polish a fresh draft before you publish.

Proofreading is all about paying attention to little details that help your audience effortlessly understand your message.

Pause at every comma, period, apostrophe, quotation mark, etc. to make sure you’ve used them correctly.

This tip is especially helpful to find “it’s/it” and “they’re/their/there” mistakes.

Varying your word choice elevates your content to a more sophisticated level.

If a number of your paragraphs begin with the same word, your writing won’t be as dynamic as it could be.

Use this opportunity to push your creativity.

Keep a Google search tab open when you proofread and look up the proper spelling of every name in your text.

My name is spelled “Stefanie,” not “Stephanie.”

I’m sure you also appreciate when your name is spelled correctly.

When the name of a proper noun is spelled correctly, your audience takes it for granted.

However, when a knowledgable reader spots a spelling or letter-case error, it makes an article look sloppy.

It could be “copy blogger” or “CopyBlogger,” instead of the correct spelling: “Copyblogger.”

It could be “Bang & Olufson,” instead of “Bang & Olufsen.”

Or it could be “McSweeneys,” instead of “McSweeney’s.”

Performing a final spell-check is an important part of proofreading, so I’ve dedicated several of these tips to items professionals verify … in every piece of content.

Here we go again.

Today, a content marketer’s job also often includes research, fact-checking, copy editing, and proofreading.

To impress your clients and bosses, don’t rely on someone else to inspect your work for accuracy.

Editors commonly see subtle mistakes in the titles of articles or books, such as missing or additional words.

They are almost correct, but technically wrong.

I make it a practice to get these right in my own writing by remembering that I would want another author to write the exact titles of my own articles, books, and videos.

This is a super easy one.

If you’re going to share an announcement about a webinar or event, don’t send it without first double-checking that the day of the week mentioned matches the date.

Then confirm the start time and time zone.

Making sure your hyperlinks work is part of your publishing checklist, so this step is about carefully reviewing the hyperlinked text.

A hyperlink will be a different color than the rest of your writing, which (for some reason) makes it easy to overlook.

Don’t fall into that trap. Fine-tooth-comb those words too.

Even though you’ll tighten up your sentences and paragraphs when you edit your content, proofreading is still an excellent way to find information you’ve already stated.

Your reader will appreciate that you value their time.

That’s not a celebratory subhead above (but if it makes you want to celebrate, I won’t stop you.)

Although, this year, something tells me it’ll be easier to remember we’ve moved on. Nonetheless, this error usually occurs when communicating dates for meetings, webinars, or events. It’s related to Content Proofreading Tip #8.

I’m willing to bet that every content proofreader in All-the-Land has caught at least one “year error” within the first three months of a new year.

Don’t let your proofreader have that satisfaction. In January, make a note for yourself and tell your colleagues to write “2021” whenever they need to reference the current year.

Since this is the last blog post of 2020, thank you for joining us this year.

If you’re looking to get a head start on 2021 and strengthen your writing skills over the holidays, let us guide you to the best resources on Copyblogger.

Because when you get the exact right information, you can immediately begin to up your game as a content writer. And that’s what’s going to get you the results you want.

The written word drives the web. It always has, and it always will.

Even if you’re working with audio or video, the right words are still what make the difference.

And if you want to master the art of using words to drive business results, you’ve come to the perfect place — 2021 marks Copyblogger’s 15th anniversary of helping accelerate the careers of writers just like you.


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