Proofreading & Editing Tips for Content Writers
Content writing can be a demanding job, and with deadlines to meet and speed often being of the essence, being able to deliver high quality work that is free from errors at a fast pace is essential. Depending on your client, your work may or may not be looked over by an editor after you deliver it, but in either case, keeping your writing as clean as possible by employing good proofreading and editing skills is a good way to ensure your clients keep on ordering from you.
Here are some tips to help you provide great quality writing, without spending more time than is really viable on proofreading and editing:
Double Check Requirements and Style Guides Before You Start Writing
Unless you do all your work for the same client and the requirements are always the same, it is likely there will be differences between the jobs you do. Double check things like whether the content you’re about to write is in UK or US English, any keyword and hyperlink requirements, and any style guides you have been asked to use before you start writing. This quick check can save you a lot of time in fixing things in edits later, if you realise you wrote the piece under one assumption when actually, the client wanted something else. Equally, when you are proofreading the article, keep these requirements in mind and check you’ve stuck to them.
There are plenty of tools that can help you avoid typos or common grammar mistakes. How confident you are with spelling, punctuation and grammar in general will guide whether you should invest in something like Grammarly Premium, but even if you are highly proficient and experienced, things like the basic spelling and grammar checks on your word processing software of choice should always be switched on. This doesn’t take the place of proofreading yourself, but will at least highlight any major typos or mistakes as you write. Make sure you set the spellcheck to the version of English you are writing in before you start, too, and don’t have any autocorrect features enabled that might do things you don’t want, like correct UK spelling to American if you forgot to switch the language settings.
Consider Proofreading and Editing in Chunks as You Write
If you are someone who doesn’t enjoy reading through the whole article at the end and tends to skim through and miss things, then a good habit to get into is simply to proofread each section or paragraph immediately after writing it, before writing the next. This means that when you finish the content, you only have to edit the last section, because the rest is already done. This can actually go a long way to preventing you from getting bored or lax when you’re checking your work.
Hopefully these tips can help you keep your writing quality high while also avoiding spending too much time on proofreading and editing – very important when you’re paid by the word!