Improve your proofreading skills

Proofreading is an important exercise for business owners who develop content for their marketing communications, whether it’s content for a website, a blog or a brochure. However, to be a good proofreader you need to go further than just reading your content through a few times. This article by Steve Shaw contains some excellent tips on how to ensure the content you publish will strengthen your brand, rather than weaken it.

Marketing with articles is one of the most user-friendly, cost-effective and reliable ways to boost targeted traffĂ­c to a website. Every day thousands of small business owners write and submit articles and have them published all over the internet, effectively building links to their site, bringing attention to their business, and dramatically increasing their search engine ranking over the long term.

Marketing with articles is very doable, but that is not to say that it doesn’t require work. Each article that you submit should be high quality and free of spelling and grammar issues.

The reason for this is that publishers have guidelines and, if you violate their guidelines, then your article that you worked so hard on can be declined. For this reason, you must learn to proofread your articles to be sure that you are submitting high quality content that publishers will love and that you will be proud of.

Proofreading is simply searching your article for grammar, spelling and punctuation errors and making corrections.

Need some help proofreading your articles? Follow these professional proofreading techniques to create high quality content that publishers will welcome:

Give Your Article a Cool Off Period

After you’ve finished writing your article, step away from it for a day or so before reading back over it. When you have been looking at your article for an extended period of time, reading it over and over, it becomes more difficult to see glaring errors. Your mind starts to automatically fill in what it expects to see, not what is actually on the page.

By giving your eyes and your mind a rest period of at least 24 hours, you can look at your article objectively. Your mind will be less likely to gloss over errors, and you will be able to correctly perceive your mistakes and fix them.

Read Your Article Backwards

Have you ever read your article so many times that you could almost recite it without looking at the screen? The more familiar you are with your writing, the harder it is to proofread. Here’s a way to get around this:

Read the last sentence of your article, then the second to last sentence, then the third to last sentence, and so on. Reading your article out of sequence takes away that familiarity and helps you see any grammar or spelling errors.

Print Your Article, Stand Up, and Read Your Article Out Loud

Hearing your article spoken can be extremely effective at highlighting grammar errors and awkward phrasing. Your ears are sometimes more perceptive than your eyes!

Here’s something to try: Combine tips 2 and 3. Stand up and read your article aloud backwards!

For a Writer, a Friend with Excellent Editing Skills is a Lifesaver!

If you happen to have someone in your life who is great with grammar and spelling, then see if you can enlist his or her help in looking over your article.

Try Using the Grammar and Spell Checker on Your Word Processing Program

The spell checker on my computer has pointed out many errors that I would have missed otherwise. The grammar checker is perhaps less useful, but it doesn’t hurt to try it. Automated grammar and spelling checkers can help pick up a few errors, but they do not take the place of proofreading the article yourself or asking a friend to proofread for you. You might turn the grammar/spell checker on as a first line of proofreading, but then also employ the other proofreading techniques in this article.

Proofreading is important! It pays to take the extra time on the front end before submitting your article to ensure that your article is accepted by publishers.

And remember, your name will be attached to each one of your articles, so you want your articles to appear professional!

About The Author

Steve Shaw is an article marketing expert and founder of the popular article distribution service used by thousands of business owners.

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