Write Now! Persuasive Writing Prompts:
Powerful Proofing Tips
Practice your copywriting skills with this prompt from The Professional Writers’ Alliance (PWA).
With this Write Now! tip, you’ll be able to proof and polish your copy before sending it off to a client.
In this video tip from Nick Usborne, he’ll share his methods for strengthening his copy by using some simple methods. (Or read the transcript below.)
So I want to talk about proofing. Proofing your copy before you send it off to the client. I don’t care, it can be a sales letter, a letter, whatever you’re doing. So here’s my tips, work for me. First of all, print out your work. Don’t try to proof it on your monitor. Then, print it out, and then go somewhere else in the house. Don’t sit at your desk. Go and sit in the dining room, the kitchen, wherever. I don’t know why that makes a difference, but for me it does.
Then when you’re proofing, read it out loud. When you read your copy out loud, you will, first of all, you’ll spot any typos that might be remaining. You’re far more likely to see them when you’re reading out loud. It just connects to a different part of your brain.
The other thing you’ll notice is that when you’re reading out loud, if you find a sentence that is not as good as it should be, you’ll find yourself, just maybe not in your voice, but in your mind, kind of stumbling a bit. And you think, oh man, now I read it out loud, that doesn’t sound as good as when I read it. So mark that and go back. So this is like a real kind of secret weapon to me, I guess, in terms of improving my copy, is I always read it out loud, even if it’s 20 pages. I read the whole thing out loud, and I’m always listening for that awkwardness.
There’s another final point on this, is that when I’m doing that, the front part of my brain, my mind, is likely – when I come across a sentence or a phrase that isn’t perfect, the front part of my mind will say that’s fine, and there’s this little voice in the back of my head saying, no it’s not, it’s a problem. And sometimes if I, you know, if I’m doing different drafts, I’m proofing, like reading out loud several times over the course of the day or a few days, and it’s then finally I listen to that little voice in the back of my mind.
And I go back, it may be a whole sentence, it may be a phrase in the sentence, it may be a paragraph, and I tell you, the biggest improvements I make to my copy is when I finally listen to that little voice in the back of my head that is identifying little spots of weakness in the copy. So there you go, that’s my tip on proofing.
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I so agree with you on printing it out. I practice reading by printing a hard copy so that when that awkwardness comes in speaking aloud, I can write comments or corrections right on the paper to later edit. Great advice! Thanks
Excellent piece of advice! Thanks a lot for such an interesting article!
Marina BA –