6 quick editing checks to professionalise your online business writing

Even in simple writing like tweets or other social media posts, mistakes in your text can make you look unprofessional. For the sake of the few seconds it takes to run these quick checks, it could mean the difference between your looking a bit careless and ignorant, and exemplifying the professional you truly are.

6 quick editing checks to professionalise your online business writing

There’s plenty here on HTWB to show you how to write the best blog posts, emails, social media posts and much more. But once they’re written, use this 6-tip formula to give them that final tweak that makes sure they’re the best they can be…

1.Check your spelling. Not everyone has an in-built spell checker and even if you do, it won’t pick you up if you say “their” when it should be “they’re” or “it’s” when it should be “its.” Unless you’re using a phone or tablet that doesn’t allow it, copy and paste the text into a Word document and see if any little red lines show up.

2.Check your punctuation. And this isn’t being pedantic; incorrect punctuation can change the whole meaning of what you’ve written. Remember this lovely gag? “Let’s eat, Grandma…” as opposed to “Let’s eat Grandma…” If in doubt read your text back to yourself and make sure the pauses are in the right places, and create the right timing (comma, semi-colon, colon, full stop/period.)

3.Check your grammar. Makes sure your subjects, verbs and objects all hang together. Don’t be tripped up by hidden grammar spooks like “I love his way of telling a story and using an example that makes the whole issue come alive … you’ve got two subjects here, “telling a story” and “using an example, so the verb should be plural, i.e. “make.” Don’t confuse past participles with past tenses, e.g. not “here is some text that I’ve wrote” – should be “here is some text that I’ve written.” And make sure every sentence has a verb in it – avoid the current fashion for sentences like “Which comes with all available accessories.”

4.Check your syntax. No, not another way for HMRC or the IRS to extract money from you when you’ve sworn at your neighbour, but simply the logic of putting your thoughts into written words. Even if what you’ve written is grammatically perfect, it may not make much sense. Give it a reality check and make sure it expresses what you want it to.

5.Check you haven’t left any words out. This is a very common problem when you’re writing on a screen, then going back and making changes, cutting and pasting bits here and there. Read it out to yourself carefully so you’ll pick up any whoopsies.

6.And if you’re still not sure it’s truly professionalised, proofread it backwards. This sounds crazy but it works, because you’re looking at each word in isolation. Looking at the same words in context means your brain will tend to anticipate what’s to come, and try to hop over things. Backwards stops that.

Some further reading to help you professionalise your business writing

How To Write Brilliant Business Blogs (USA here)

Business Writing Made Easy (USA here)

Banana Skin Words and how not to slip on them 

Grammarly – not reading, but a free bolt-on tool that’s pretty good at finding and correcting up to 10 times more mistakes than your word processor. Not always perfect, but a lot better than nothing if your grammar, spelling etc. are iffy. Especially useful for people who are dyslexic.

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  1. Really Grate Article. Thanks for Sharing it with us

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