Survivial Skills for Freelancers

8 top proofreading tips for your social media updates

Social media has blurred the lines between formal and informal communication, but that doesn’t mean you can forget about spelling and grammar in your tweets and blog posts.

Here are a few tips to avoid the nasty – and common – mistakes that can trip you up and damage the reputation of your business.

1) Spellcheck

I’m no fan of the computer spellchecker, but it will pick up spelling mistakes such as embarased and accomodate, as well as switched letter spellings, such as perosnal, diffciult, and whihc.

2) Print it out

Never proofread on screen. We read differently on the computer and it’s far easier to spot mistakes, and to ensure consistency, when you check a printout.

3) Know your homophones

No, I’m not being rude. Homophones are words that sound the same but are spelled differently. Affect and effect, where and wear, proceed and precede.

Believe me, you don’t want to be taking a brake from a bored meeting.

4) Look for missing words

When you’re checking something you’ve written yourself, your brain will, rather unhelpfully, show you what you think you’ve written, rather than what you’ve actually written.

This even works when didn’t write the copy yourself. (Did you automatically read the missing word?)

5) Beware one-i blindness

A common mistake is to drop the second i in words such as communities, utilities, facilities and difficulties. Does your hotel really offer ‘great conference facilites’? And are you sure you sell ‘affordable home insurance polices’?

6) Don’t write YOU when you mean YOUR

How often have you seen mistakes like this?

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  • Does you website get you noticed?
  • Convince you customers

Easy to miss, easy to rectify.

7) Check confusable words

Just one letter difference between two words can create a whole new meaning. Bought and brought, though and through, manager and manger, assess and asses, public and… you get the picture.

8) Properly punctuate

Know your punctuation, and use it well. Did you know, for example, that an ellipsis is always three dots – no more, no less? Are you confident with the rules for using apostrophes?

Of course, this is all well and good when you have time to proofread your own work, but these tips… they’re just the tip of the iceberg. No pun intended.

The only way to guarantee that your web content or social media marketing is accurate and effective is to use a professional proofreader.

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