Your readers will think you can't spell when...
  • Proofreading Your Writing is Like Waterproofing Your House.

    October 17, 2015

    Proofreading Your Writing is Like Waterproofing Your House.

    Proofreading seems like a little thing. But not to your readers.

    By the team at Re:word Communications.

    You only notice when it’s not done. And when it’s not done, you’re sunk.

    Because in today’s world, readers don’t just notice your typos. They take pictures or screen shots of them, then tweet them out for everyone in their network to mock with a caption like “check out these idiots” or “someone’s getting fired tomorrow.” Then, because the world is a very small place, an editor at Buzzfeed winds up getting a hold of it and adding it to a “Fail” compilation.

    Now 100 million people around the world are mocking you and associating your brand with a typo, which means they’re associating it with carelessness and sloppiness. And unlike your leaky basement, once you have holes in your credibility, they’re almost impossible to plug.

    Like with waterproofing, you need a pro.

    Like a professional waterproofer, a professional proofreader is trained to spot the cracks, imbalances and weaknesses you won’t see because your work will always sound right to you. Unproven arguments, unsubstantiated claims, unfunny jokes — a professional proofreader will flag them all for you before you publish.

    And as for the typos, if you proofread your own work, there’s a very good chance you will miss at least one because you’re too familiar with it. This leads to skimming (reading something over quickly because you can almost recite it by now). Think of the memes you get served up on Facebook every so often that start with “Th15 m355age 5erv35 t0 prov3 how our m1nd5 c4n do 4m4zing thing5,” and how easy it is to read “Becuase” and “Teh” when you’re skimming — and just as easy to miss. Unless you’re a pro.

    Proofreading seems like a little thing. But not to your readers.

    Because mistakes are like giant geysers in the middle of your piece that break your readers’ concentration. They’re not thinking about what you’re saying anymore: they’re thinking about whether or not the mistake is actually a mistake. “Did Abraham Lincoln really spell his name with a K?” “Is it ‘who’ or ‘whom’ in this case?” “Why do these numbers not add up?”

    They’re not thinking about your ideas anymore. They’re thinking about your mistakes. And if you think it’s easy to get them back, think about how difficult it is to regain your train of thought after being distracted, and how easy it is to simply click away to something else.

    And all that time you put into research and writing will be for nothing.

    Well, not nothing…it’ll be great material for Buzzfeed.

    For more marketing tips for small business, check out these blog posts:

    When To Destroy Marketing Materials
    Guest Blogging Tips: How to Write a Great Blog

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