Proofreading and updating your materials

Proofreading

Proofreading

You just bought a book from your favorite writer. You make yourself comfortable, coffee on the table, feet up and you start to read. Page 5, spelling error; page 9, grammar error; page 16 punctuation mistake and from there it goes on and on. What do you do? Do you read on and ignore it? Or do you put the book down, disappointed in your favorite writer?

Does it really matter whether you proofread and update your PROFESSIONAL materials?

As a Virtual Assistant, I have seen many websites, blogs, articles and blogs with spelling mistakes, grammar and punctuation mistakes. Mxit language does NOT go with professional materials – even if it is easier to write… Contact details need to be updated at all times. You are losing prospective and current clients when your contact details are incorrect. Not everyone will do the effort to Google you to find out what your new contact details are. And then, as I mentioned, spelling, grammar and punctuation. A mistake on your documents, website, blog, articles and materials are a red mark on your company, your brand and yourself. It is a reflection on your services. Unfortunately they immediately score you less, based only on your mistakes. You can offer them the best services, prices, products, etc., what they will remember are the mistakes.

Here are some tips that might help:

Firstly: When you publish material, you want the reader to READ that material. With Mxit and Whatsapp these days, unfortunately people do not spell as correctly as a few years back. But that does not mean you can apply that spelling to your professional material as well.

  1. Make sure your language settings are correct – UK English vs. US English makes a use difference, e.g. standardise vs. standardize – the s and the z in these two languages will always differ;
  2. Grammar – is / are / am – make sure ONE person IS always singular and more people ARE plural. I AM always except in the past tense. I ARE NOT!
  3. Punctuation:
  • Bullet lists gets a semi colon (;) behind every sentence except the last sentence gets a full stop;
  • If you work with numbered lists, make sure of your indents – as you can see in this post – the main list(s) are either indented in the left margin (0) or at the very left;

(i) If you have multilevel lists, you indent them further – that way your reader will see that you have multilevel lists.

Secondly: UPDATE your material. If you have information that change – either products, prices, contact details, etc.; make sure you UPDATE your website. Nothing chases a client away faster than incorrect, outdated information on a website.

The same goes for your materials. If you read a brochure and they talk about 2010’s statistics, are you going to take them seriously? Or you know that the CEO of the company resigned 5 years’ ago, but they sing his / her praises, what will think of them?

If you want to make sure your website, blog, material, articles, etc. are up to standard why not get a Virtual Assistant to proofread your stuff? We have an eye for detail, we are that third-eye that can pick up mistakes (the writer reads that they think they wrote) and we do not charge as much as a professional proof-reader! A Virtual Assistant can also help you in so many other ways, you will be astounded!

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