If you’re planning on producing content to boost brand awareness and reach, you’ll need more than just a great topic to write about. Once you’ve researched trending topics and produced something relevant to your target audience, you also need to proofread and edit your text too.
Proofreading and editing are two (separate) activities designed to improve your content’s quality, make your brand seem more professional, and improve your chances of positive results.
While editing is all about checking written material for style, grammar, punctuation, and spelling mistakes, proof-readers review content after it goes through the editing process. When proof-reading, you’re looking for any little mistakes that might have escaped the editor’s notice.
Let’s see how you can effectively do both things.
Top Tips for Better Editing
As an editor, your job is to fully evaluate the content produced, and decide if anything needs to be fixed or changed. To do this, you’ll need to understand the purpose of the content, and what it’s trying to achieve. Content creators might include some basic information on what kind of customer they’re trying to reach to help you here.
Read through the content as normal, with your hands off your keyboard to begin with, this will help you to pinpoint any stylistic errors. Now, go through the content as an editor, making notes on where content might not work as well as it should, or where errors need to be fixed.
- Does the content flow naturally from start to finish?
- Does the opening push the reader to pay attention, and does the end paragraph tie things up?
- Can you see any glaring grammatical or spelling mistakes?
- Does the tone match the voice you’re trying to build for your brand?
- Is there any jargon that needs to be replaced with easier terms?
The majority of your work as an editor will be ensuring the text reads well, and according to your chosen brand voice. Actually, fixing factual errors, and dealing with things like spelling mistakes doesn’t take nearly as long. It often helps to have your company’s tone of voice and content style-guide on hand before you start editing, just to keep yourself on track.
Top Tips for Better Proofreading
Now you’re ready to proofread the text. Some companies prefer to have different people edit and proofread content. A different pair of eyes is more likely to pick up mistakes that the editor previously missed. Proof-readers should also take the time to review the content multiple times. It’s easy to skim over errors on that first read through.
As a proof-reader, you’re responsible for checking the flow and natural readability of the text. Most of the problems here should have been captured via editing, but you need to be ready to pick up on anything missed. Remember to:
- Check each sentence for proper grammar
- Make notes about readability and tone of voice issues
- Check the spelling of each word, and make sure it makes sense in context
- Evaluate the content as it might look in its published form
- Make sure all links work correctly
- Check the accuracy of any facts or statistics quoted
Proof-readers work best when they keep a note of all the mistakes they find, rather than making changes there and then. You can share the mistakes you’ve found with the writer and editor this way, to reduce the risk of problems happening again.
If your team only has enough resources for one person to handle both editing and proof-reading, don’t panic., While it’s nice to have a fresh pair of eyes, you can still improve the proofreading process by following the right schedule. Make sure you give your proof-reader and editor at least a day between tasks so they can come back to the content with a new perspective.
Make the Most of Your Content Strategy
When it comes to creating branded content for marketing and branding purposes, it’s easy to get caught up thinking about things like what you need to write about, or what kind of content to create. However, there are a lot of different steps involved in the writing and publishing process. Each part of the experience needs the right consideration and focus.
This includes investing the right amount of time in both editing and proof-reading. Don’t make the mistake of trying to do both activities at once to rush content out faster. Accuracy and clarity in your content is crucial to the future development of your brand.