My years in the translation industry have taught me that you become blind to your own texts. This is why it is so very important you have a proofreading system to correct the texts you are writing. Such a system leads to systematically proofreading and correcting your own texts. Would you like to know how?
Why worry about texts errors?
Those text errors must be corrected. Period! No discussion about this. Why is that the case? The necessity to correct your own texts has everything to do with your awareness that there is always a difference between what you wish to convey and what the readers receive. You want that gap to be as narrow as possible. You want to help your readers by sharing your unique combination of knowledge, experience and expertise. You also want to make it as easy as possible for your readers. And that’s what it is all about. Everything and anything that is short of crystal clear, will be a burden to your readers.
Each wavering, each hesitation during reading, by ambiguity, spelling errors, illogical formulations, may mean that your readers are interrupted in their reading. That may well give rise to clicking away. Oops… The readers have now disappeared, they have made themselves scarce. Away from your blog, away from your knowledge… quite the opposite of what you had in mind, is it not?
What are the consequences for you?
What’s bad enough, is that your readers are interrupted in their reading, and is left with questions unanswered, or at best won’t be able to take in your useful information. The subsequent consequences for you are no small thing…
Your message isn’t coming through clearly, you see. You may feel insecure about your text and your language, and you may feel this is undermining your knowledge. Perhaps, you’re even scared that there will be people who consider you being non-respectable about language. While language and texts are only means to get across your important message. Means you can take advantage of, if only you know how. Please, do realise that I wish to help you with that. Let’s read on!
How can you easily correct your own texts?
I am totally convinced that it is incredibly important for you as an entrepreneur that you write your own texts. In your words, that reflect your way of speaking. In your way, in your style, which reflects your values, your vision, and your very essence. This is precisely why correcting your own texts is a conscious decision, to stick with your personal writing style and to always stay in connection with your readers.
You might be wondering how this is going to work for you. Well, that is quite simple, luckily. Do it in small steps. Go through your own text a few times, and focus on only one of the following corrections:
- Use your spell checker and use it with a critical eye. If you’re in doubt, check a good online dictionary. I like the Cambridge Dictionary but do pick your own and stick to it 😉
- Check for logic: read your text with your logical eyes. What’s not reading logically, isn’t logical to your readers. In that case, change it.
- Check if everything has succinctly been worded: short and sweet is important in blog posts, so edit woolly phrases and make them short and sweet.
- See if the text is easily readable. When you notice you have to read back parts, than more clarity is in order. Your readers will also re-read parts and you want to prevent that, because tracing back to re-read something is the perfect moment to click away, and then you’ve lost your readers. Adjust your text and make it really readable: clear, simple, and easy.
- Check your numbers: amounts, weights, dates.
- Check all proper names of people, websites, brands, companies, products and methods.
- Eliminate all obvious language errors yourself.
The next choice you could make is to have your self-corrected text being proofread by someone else, as well. I will write a blog post about how to get the most out of proofreaders soon. Because that is something you can organise simply and stress-free, too.
So… how about it… I’d love to know how this will be working for you. I love reading your thoughts, experiences and questions. Leave a comment with what appeals to you the most from this post! I’d love to help you further and I am fully aware that your comment does inspire others, too!
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