How to Create Content that does not Spook Your Audience
Creating useful content is about more than SEO. Your copy needs to be accurate and readable to provide value to your readers. If you have ever read a blog post that left you confused, the problem could have been a breakdown in the editing and proofreading processes. In order to wow your audience with value-driven material, you simply cannot afford to neglect the basics.
Checking your writing for grammar, syntax, and miscellaneous errors is not something you leave behind in school. In fact, you cannot devise truly valuable content without proofreading and editing. Read on to find out why these final steps are so crucial for content creators.
The Importance of Proofing and Editing
No matter how talented and meticulous a writer might be, the final proofing and editing steps should never be skipped. Have you ever landed on a web page that was filled with errors? How did you feel about the business behind the website? Whether or not they register it consciously, when people read sloppy web content, it contributes to their overall impression of a company. If you publish material that is riddled with errors, why would potential customers believe that your products or services will be any different?
These are some fundamental truths you should now about editing and proofing:
- Two Separate Tasks: Proofreading and editing are not the same task. They are separate and cannot be effectively performed at the same time.
- Editing: Editing is typically done after you have completed the first draft of your piece. You will also edit the subsequent drafts. When you edit material, you check for major errors. You should also check for proper syntax. Does the writing flow in a seemingly effortless way that makes it enjoyable (or at least, edifying) to the reader? This is the goal. On the other hand, stilted writing or overly long sentences will force readers to struggle through to the end – if they make it that far. They will not get the full value of your message, so this kind of material should be reworked. This is also the phase when you double-check facts and figures for accuracy.
- Proofreading: Proofing is generally performed as one of the final steps of content creation. This is the stage when you check for typos and look for spelling and grammatical errors. You should ensure that the language of the document has been set for the intended audience, such as U.K. English instead of U.S. English. You should also visually scan the document for any other errors that may have been missed.
- Another Set of Eyes: Do not underestimate the value of a second set of eyes for proofing and editing. Ideally, your team will do this as a matter of course. A fresh pair of eyes can often locate basic errors that the writer simply did not catch. Additionally, having another person edit the copy may improve the overall syntax and consistency of a piece.
Professional copywriters know that effective copywriting is a systematic process, and it involves a variety of important elements. Editing and proofreading are two invaluable aspects of content writing. If you want to ensure that your copy is useful instead of scary, do not skip these steps when you publish content.
Remember, too, that you do not need to produce copy without help. Your content marketing efforts may be better served when you hire a team of professional content writers to assist.