Easy Steps to Proofread Content Articles and Speed Up Writing
March 31, 2019
March 31, 2019
Writing for content sites, article directories, blogs, or even your own websites, means churning out a lot of writing quickly. Proofing and editing that content is often the most time-consuming part of the process!
When a content writer spends more time proofreading content than writing, it's time to speed up the process. Since most online content has the same process – research, write, edit, submit / upload / publish – this article will help to speed up the entire process, paying particular attention to the proofreading / editing phase of the process, in easy to remember and implement steps.
Learn to Write Better
Taking a few minutes every day to read about writing, learn a new grammar rule, or read something about writing in a style guide will always speed up your writing. The few minutes spent to learn something new about writing can cause you to write better, find fewer things to correct after writing, and make proofing articles much faster!
Wait a Day, or Two
After writing an article, wait a day or two before submitting for publication or submission. Monday, write, and write and write, and save the articles on the computer desktop. Ignore them until Tuesday. On Tuesday, open the first article from the day before and proof it, correct errors, and then resave the file and move on to the next article.
More will be done on the second day then immediately after writing. Plus, proofreading and editing are different mind skills than writing. When the brain switches between the two, the process of both things is slowed. The brain works best and fastest when it can 'repeat' patterns.
Try 'processing' articles in 'batches' – 'write-write,' proof-proof ',' submit submit '- and it's likely more articles will be processed over the same amount of time then' write-proof-submit ', lather, rinse, repeat.
Print it out and read it.
Print the article on paper and read with something covering everything except one line at a time. If you feed your brain only one line at a time, it is more likely to find the errors and missing words.
If you can not afford to print it out or do not have a printer, move the text on the word processor down (enter enter enter) until you can only see the first line, then scroll up one line at a time while reading.
Read out loud.
We read different when we must speak what we're reading than when we speak it inside our heads. When we speak it out loud, we have to read each word.
Sounds silly, but what I mean is to read it one sentence at a time, starting at the bottom and working up. This way, you're not getting 'context' but just sentence structure. It helps to keep you from filling in what your brain knows you mean, but your reader can not fill in since the one thing the internet still can not do is read minds.
Have someone else proofread content.
If you can afford it, hire a professional proofer who will proof the content, or even hire a virtual / personal assistant who can proof the work, upload or submit it, and handle that aspect of it.
If you can not afford this, if there are teens in the home, a spouse, a friend or colleague, let them read your work. If you have a business, check with high school and college internships and get free help from students who need proofing and editing experience or volunteer experience for a resume to read your content and check for errors and upload / submit it for you on your accounts.
Use spelling and grammar check programs.
Most word processors come with some sort of spell check and grammar check software. While writers should not rely on this to be infallible, a quick spelling and grammar software check can alert to obvious errors or suggest potential errors so you can verify. If you do not have your grammar check turned on in MS Word, do so, and set it to the professional / business 'style', and check both grammar and style.
Let go of the need for perfection.
People on the internet can be brutal, but fortunately, they have short attention spans and even shorter memories when it comes to forgiving typos and little mistakes. Make your copy the best it can be, of course, but let go of the expectation of perfection.
Internet readers are usually looking for information, the answer to a specific question, or guidance on where to go to find what they need. It does not require perfect copy to provide these things. As long as the copy is authoritative and gives the information the reader needs, the copy delivers on the promise the title of the article made, the reader will forgive an occasional misspelled word or typo. Chance are, the average internet user will not even know if you misplaced or forgot a comma.