So you’ve followed our lead, done your research, made notes on our tips and tricks, and written a well-crafted article for your newsletter. DON’T HIT SEND JUST YET. There’s one more critical step. Neglecting this step is a surefire way to lose readers — and your reputation.
Proofread. Then proofread again. Then ask someone else to proofread. And maybe someone else, just to be on the safe side.
- Read over the article for obvious typos, missing punctuation, and formatting inconsistencies (e.g., spacing). Spell check, by the way, only checks for incorrectly spelled words; it does not catch correctly spelled words that are used incorrectly, like “steak” when you meant “stake.”
- Look for mistakes in grammar. Some of the more common include incorrect or inconsistent verb tense usage; words that are commonly confused or misused (“their” vs, “they’re”; “your” vs. “you’re”; “its” vs. “it’s”); and confusing the possessive form of nouns or pronouns with the plural form. Not a grammar guru? Take a look at this article and this article for some common grammar red flags.
If grammar really isn’t your bag and there’s no grammar genius at your company, consider using grammar checking software or apps.
- Read your article backwards. It sounds weird, but it’s a good way to catch mistakes because it forces you to slow down your reading and pay closer attention.
Finally, read your article aloud to see how it sounds. If you use too many short sentences, for example, your article will sound stilted and choppy. To fix that, combine sentences here and there for variety in flow.