Typos are like that horribly annoying pimple. You can be the most beautiful woman in the world, but just one pimple on your face and that’s ALL anyone can see.
It’s the same with your marketing materials. You can have a beautifully designed website, with the photos in it all nicely shot. But wait, there are typos in your copy! Unfortunately, that’s all your reader will see and that’s what they’ll remember when they think of your brand.
One simple typo can hurt your brand image and waste all the money you’ve invested in the design of your lovely marketing collaterals. Not only that, it can lead to lost revenue. After all, typos in your marketing are a telltale sign of a slipshod company and nobody likes buying from a slipshod company. Well, you may not be able to completely prevent pimples, but you certainly can prevent typos. Just follow our 7 steps guide to forever banish typos!
READ IT OUT LOUD
Reading your sentences out loud is a great way to catch any typos. Did you get caught out by the text above? A spellcheck tool on your word processor isn’t going to help you spot such a problem. All the words are technically correct. But reading it out loud will tell you that there’s a problem.
You will usually “hear” your errors easier than with just reading the text. This technique is especially useful for catching grammatical errors and double words.
The other benefit of doing this is that it’ll also improve your writing. Reading it out loud helps you to spot problems like having sentences that are too long.
READ IT BACKWARDS
Reading your copy backwards helps you focus on every word. Our brain can fool ourselves in assuming sentences are correct when we are running through them. Reading it backwards disrupts the natural flow of things and forces us to see each word on its own.
USE A RULER
This is in my view, one of the most useful proofreading techniques. Time and again, it’s proven to be very effective. Here’s how. Just hold your ruler below the line of text that you are reading. Then move the ruler down line by line as you read through the text.
This technique helps to really focus your brain. Because your view of the sentence is limited to just that one single line of text, it narrows your view and this helps prevent you from running through the sentences too fast.
USE FRESH EYES
It’s a good practice to have one dedicated person whose job is to look at the copy ONLY at the very last moment before it gets published. This person won’t be fatigued by the many rounds of edits and so will be better able to spot any errors.
READ IT THE NEXT DAY
Proofreading can very tiring. That’s a fact. So, it’s a good practice to give yourself another chance to look at the text again the next day. Attack it first thing in the morning when your mind is at its freshest.
BE TASK ORIENTED
There are many aspects to proofreading, so much to check. Other than spelling and grammar, you’ll also need to check dates, names, titles, page numbers, font consistencies, spacing, punctuation etc. Instead of trying to check EVERYTHING in one pass. Break up the entire proofreading process into specific tasks and only tackle that one task at each pass.
USE ONLINE TOOLS
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