Creating remarkable content is one of the most important processes involved in inbound marketing. Remarkable content isn't just a string of sentences filled with keywords and calls to action, though. It should be well researched, interesting, and educational. A big part of communicating your brand's trustworthiness to readers is making sure there are no spelling, grammar, or informational errors in the content you produce.
If your posts are riddled with errors and inconsistencies, you run the risk of
potential readers clicking away to find more reliable information. Compelling content is designed to provide value to readers, so it is in your best interest to create error-free posts which will captivate their attention right off the bat.
There are a lot of things that go into the copyediting process, but here are a few tips to ensure your methods are as effective as possible:
Sleep On It
If you are not under a strict deadline, let your draft sit for a day and come back to it. Chances are, your brain won’t be as used to what you have written and any errors will be easier to pick out.
Focus on Display Type
Display type includes things like headers, titles, captions, and linked text; any text that isn’t normal-sized, plain copy. These things draw the audience’s attention because they stick out from the normally formatted paragraphs. Readers often skim display type to determine whether they will actually read the content you’ve created, so make sure everything is spelled correctly and describes the most remarkable aspects of the content you’ve created.
Maintain Consistent Style
Establish style standards for the content you produce. You can draw from an existing style guide (AP, APA, Chicago, etc.) or incorporate whichever elements you feel are most important into a style guide specific to your brand. Style and word usage should also be relevant to your industry, so you should set guidelines for the use of industry terminology as well.
These standards will help you stay consistent in spelling and word use so your readers begin to feel comfortable and familiar with the work you produce. If you have a team of copy editors and writers, this will lift a weight of their shoulders as well since they will be spending less time looking for advice on their own usage and more time producing remarkable content.
Read the Piece Out loud
Read the entire piece aloud at both the beginning and the end of the copyediting process. This can help you catch errors you might not otherwise and give you a better sense of how the words and sentences flow. When you think you’re done, read it out loud again. You will be more likely to catch unnecessary, misused words, or even some you forgot to include.
Proofread One last Time After Publishing
Once your piece is published, take a final look at the content you’ve created as it’s displayed on your site. This is just another way to catch errors you may have missed when reading on your word processor. Although the content has already been published, you’ll still be able to fix problems initial readers may not have caught right away.
Copyediting your content should be a given. Content will not attract and maintain viewership if it seems as though it hasn’t even been proofread. There is no such thing as a perfect piece, but focusing on copyediting will drastically improve the quality of your content. It really is worth the extra time and energy.