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  • Writer's pictureKat Buttigieg

5 things to check when self editing

Updated: Jun 26, 2019

It's not easy when you have to wear all the hats in your business, including copywriter and editor. Here are five things to check before you hit publish or send something off to print.

1. Spelling

For some of us, checking our own spelling is a quick and simple task. If you are tired, rushing or know spelling is not your forte,however, it might be wise to write your copy and then come back to it ten minutes later with fresh eyes. If you still seem to have mistakes, consider pasting it into a Word Document for a spell check, download an app that can assist you or get someone else to check it.

2. Apostrophe use

Incorrect apostrophe use is something I see all the time. 'Your' and 'you're', 'their', 'there' and 'they're, 'its' and 'it's', 'Mondays' and 'Monday's' seem to befuddle many or are the first mistake people make when they are stressed. Check back to ensure you have used the right word or apostrophe. Even google the meaning if you need. A mistake here or there is okay but if you really struggle with these regularly, it's never too late to educate yourself.

3. Long sentences

I am guilty of using too many long sentences myself. Many people put too much in one line and there should really be a semicolon, dash or a full stop. When in doubt, shorten the sentence. Long sentences may be grammatically correct but even then they are not very readable. Read your writing aloud and where you pause will give you a good indication of where to put a comma or a full stop. There are also apps to check your grammar if you really need help with this.

4. Autocorrect

Autocorrect has it's place but when we are rushing to post something from our phone, completely wrong words can slip into sentences without us noticing. As with spelling - leave your writing for five minutes and come back to check. It will save you time editing or deleting and reposting later.

5. Layout

We want to make our posts and content easy to read so don't be afraid to use the Enter key to space out longer posts. Make it easy for your reader. Headings, dot points, numbers and paragraphs will help people to scan and get the information they need quickly.

Even if you do make mistakes in your writing, everything is able to be deleted or edited. If you are really keen to pass off this task, contact us for a quote and we can edit your posts and content for you. Otherwise, write these five words on a post it note for yourself to remind you to check before you hit publish. It's a great habit for us all to develop, no matter what our business is.

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