Have you ever hit publish on an article and promoted it all over social media, only to find a typo?
Do you proofread all of your work carefully, but still find grammatical errors later?
The idea of having your very own proofreader is a nice idea, isn’t it?
It would be great to have someone who is always available to you, checks through all your facts and brings your favorite latte while he or she is proofreading your work. When this amazing proofreader is done – a foot rub is offered to you as the two of you discuss your brilliance in your latest article.
The reality is that’s just not reality.
I spent some time gathering up tips on how to proofread your own work because proofreading is essential to every blog article. Typos, misspelled words, and simple grammatical errors have the power to make or break a reader’s and potential buyer’s trust in you.
While making sure those little mistakes don’t end up getting published is vital, let me throw another reality at you – we all make mistakes.
You could publish 10 articles without any errors, but when you make an error on the 11th, that’s when everyone will notice.
How do we become better at proofreading our own work?
10 Tips on How to Proofread Your Own Work – Making Your Articles Fool-Proof
- Editing vs. Proofreading: There is a difference between editing and proofreading. Editing is when you are making revisions. Proofreading is at the end when all the changes have been made. When proofreading, you are looking for actual grammatical mistakes.
- Walk Away: This one is obvious but helpful. After you have finished your article and have hit save, close your computer and walk away. Get some distance. Then come back with a fresh pair of eyes.
- Read Out loud: Reading out loud helps you to read each individual word. This, of course, should increase your chances of finding those little typos.
- Look Up Those Grammar Questions: Whether it is the right spelling of the word or making sure you have the right homophone, if in doubt look it up.
- Check the Homophones: Homophones are words that sound alike, but have different spellings. Here are some examples, be/bee, bear/bare, and pear/pair.
- Print Your Work Out: Hubpages offers a unique approach to proofreading your own work. They recommend printing it out. Having a printed document will require more of your attention and concentration. This is exactly what you need for proofreading.
- Check for Homonyms: Homonyms are words that share the same pronunciation but have different meanings. For example, accept/except and complement/compliment.
- Reading Backwards: This amazing tip comes from Grammar Girl. Our brains are wonderful. However, when it comes to proofreading, our brains can actually work against us. Sometimes when reading our own work our brains will go on autopilot and correct wrong words within our sentences. That is why this tip is so amazing. Start with the last sentence of your article and read each sentence backward.
- Proofread Slowly: I know when I write an article, I tend to type quickly because I like to get all of my ideas out on paper before I forget. However, proofreading is the time to stop and take things slowly.
- Set Up An Editorial Calendar: Do yourself a huge favor and set up an editorial calendar. This gives you a plan and can help you to carve out time for proofreading. Work to get weeks ahead on your blog articles, so that you have the time to walk away.
Discover how to set up your very own editorial calendar by reading this post: Why We Shouldn’t Give Up on Article Editorial Calendars.
Bringing It Home
It’s always helpful to get a second pair of eyes when proofreading, but sometimes that just isn’t an option. Use these tips to fool-proof your proofreading skills.
Do you have a favorite tip to add or one from this list that you would like to try?