Whether you’re a freelancer or blogger, among the most difficult things is to proofread your own writing. And without taking time to verify your content, it could lead to losing clients and/or fans of your blog. Today, let me go over a few methods to help you.
But keep in mind, there are times where even I will find a mistake when looking back at a recent post. No one is perfect…not even paid editors.
And since not everyone has the money to pay for an actual editor, it often falls on the writer’s shoulders to make sure everything is as close to perfect as possible.
These are methods I use that greatly reduce the chances of sending something either embarrassing or downright confusing.
So, let’s dive into how to proofread your writing as best you can.
7 Ways to Proofread Your Writing Projects
1. Read it Aloud as if You’re Filming
Perhaps one of the best methods for proofreading comes in the form of reading the text out loud. Although I’ve done this a bit in the past anyway, creating the recent YouTube videos for my latest short story has opened a whole new experience.
Don’t just read it out loud, though. Imagine yourself creating a script for a YouTube video, complete with emotional inflections.
Not only does this help isolate spelling mistakes and grammar issues, but it can also highlight areas that may be confusing. Perhaps there is a section of text that just doesn’t sound right when spoken aloud.
Because a well-written piece of content relies on more than just good spelling and grammar. People have to understand what you’re trying to convey as well.
For me, this is one of the best ways to proofread writing.
2. Come Back to it Tomorrow
If at all possible, come back to the piece of content the next day. When it’s no longer fresh in your mind, it’s easier to find all kinds of spelling mistakes and grammar issues while proofreading your writing.
Though, this method may not be all that useful if you’re writing for content mills. You need to be quick if you want to make money on those platforms.
But for all other projects that are not on time constraints, coming back to it later helps you identify a myriad of issues.
3. Don’t Speed Read, Analyze Each Sentence
One issue I see from a lot of writers is trying to speed read through the work just so they can submit the piece and move on. In reality, it’s extremely easy to gloss over the simplest mistakes when speed reading.
In fact, I have a writer right now how constantly submits pieces that don’t have proper capitalization to start a sentence.
Slow down and analyze the work, don’t just skim through it to see if you can find obvious spelling errors. If a client has to spend too much time fixing your work, he or she will find your replacement.
4. Use Grammarly or Other Proofreading App
Grammarly and other proofreading apps can help trim a lot of the issues from your writing. In fact, I use the Grammarly Chrome extension and the web app for various projects.
This is probably one of the better tools to proofread writing for those who want to write for content mills like Textbroker. Especially if you create content as I do in WordPress.
In the end, apps like Grammarly can vastly improve the readability and flow of any piece of content you create. In just that last sentence, Grammarly pointed out that I needed a word and fixed the spelling of another…in real-time.
5. Plan for Future Revamps
Revamps and rewrites are exceptionally helpful for a variety of reasons. But if possible, you might want to consider coming back to recently published works a few days later just to make sure it reads well.
There are times when I’ll catch an embarrassing or confusing piece of text in something I published in the past few days. As it only takes a second to fix them most of the time, it’s worthwhile to give the piece a read.
I’m not just talking about fixing blog posts that you’ve had up since 2014. It probably wouldn’t hurt to read every piece of content you create later to find spelling errors, grammatical mistakes, or even just to give you ideas on how to improve the article.
Maybe there’s a better way to explain your topic, or perhaps you forgot to mention a key point?
6. Have a Friend Give it a Once-Over
Not everyone has a friend who is an avid reader. And what’s to say that you’re friend won’t make the same mistakes when giving the piece a quick glance.
However, he or she could point out elements you may have missed. Perhaps your friend is confused by a certain portion of text that needs to be rewritten.
My point here is how a fresh set of eyes can be exceptionally helpful. Especially if you’re friend is part of your target audience for the piece. He or she could come up with all kinds of helpful things you might consider adding.
7. Feed it Through WordPress with Tools Installed
And finally, and perhaps the one I use most often, is writing all of my works in WordPress. Well, with the exception of the creative works I publish on Wattpad.
Client work, whether it’s for Textbroker or private clients, is all written in WordPress using various plugins. For example, I have Yoast SEO monitoring readability and SEO scores while the Grammarly Chrome extension keeps spelling and grammar in check.
Together, it just makes for one hell of a content-producing platform.
But what if you don’t have your own self-hosted website? You can easily install WordPress on your computer for free and gain the exact same benefits.
How Vital is Proofreading Writing Projects?
I wish everyone spent more time proofreading their work. Especially when it comes to people sending me texts and questions about writing in general.
Making sure you’re proofreading text is crucial for:
- Keeping clients: If a client has to constantly fix your structure, they’ll start looking elsewhere for a writer.
- Keeping an audience on your blog: Spelling mistakes and confusing sentences can cause visitors to move on.
- Making more money online: Along with keeping clients happy, no one wants to pay for poorly written content.
- Getting a novel published: Obviously, no publishing house wants to be associated with work that reads poorly.
- Credibility and authority: Because it’s harder to take someone seriously if the text doesn’t read well.
As I said before, no one is perfect. There will be mistakes here and there in everything you write. However, the more common those mistakes, the more difficult you’ll find being a well-paid writer.
The best you can do is to make sure some of the most obvious issues are taken care of before submitting your piece.
Keep in mind, there is a reason why editors make so much money.
Why is it Difficult to Proofread Your Own Writing?
Proofreading your own writing has more to do with how the human brain works. Since we already assume the piece is correct, it’s much easier to gloss over obvious mistakes.
The brain is already on the side of being right and often doesn’t pinpoint various issues.
But, if you can come back to it later so it’s no longer a fresh piece, you’ll begin to pick out a lot of small problems you may have missed before.
So, why does reading the content like a video script work so well? Because you’re no longer purely reading the text. Now, your brain has to process the information while you speak.
And since there is an added process of speaking, your brain is more likely to scrutinize the content.
Always Proofread Your Writing
It’s always best to err on the side of caution. Just because you think you’re an amazing writer doesn’t mean you’re not prone to mistakes.
I know I am…and I’ve completed more than 10,000 pieces of content since 2012.
Do what you can to limit problematic writing. Whether you turn the text into a faux script or use platforms to proofread writing online, making sure the text is clean and comprehensible is a key to success.
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