Over the years, I’ve noticed something unexpected… Sloppy writing can be found everywhere you look.

I’m often asked to review blogs, business presentations, college essays and e-books (to name but a few), and I’m constantly amazed at just how many mistakes I find. These mistakes range from formatting errors to grammatical errors. However, I’ve noticed a common denominator behind all the mistakes: lack of attention to detail.

Simple errors in your writing can lead readers to regard your work as amateurish and weak.

Here’s how YOU can prevent this.

The Proof Is in the Reading

Is proofreading an alien word to you? I sincerely hope not.

If you want your writing to be professional and error-free, then you MUST implement a proofreading strategy.

Now, in an ideal world, we’d all hire qualified proofreaders to edit our writing (how nice would that be?!). Unfortunately, here in the ‘real world’ most of us need to do our own proofreading.

So, what exactly is proofreading? And what does it involve? Put simply, it’s the finishing touches that your writing deserves.

The five steps below cover the basics…

1. Pay attention to your word processor’s inbuilt grammar and spell checker. It can find most of the obvious mistakes.

2. Make sure you’ve formatted your text properly. This can be as simple as ensuring that all paragraphs are correctly left-aligned.

3. Look for hidden spaces between words and at the start of sentences. Unwanted spaces are hard to spot, but look again, and you’ll find them.

4. If you’re a regular writer (or aiming to go pro), I recommend paying for premium proofreading software such as Grammarly or WhiteSmoke.

5. Finally, read your writing aloud before hitting the publish button. You’ll be amazed at just how many mistakes this simple technique picks out.

Polished, Professional Writing Is Within Your Grasp

Is writing a struggle for you?

Do you worry how it reads – and whether people will understand and enjoy it?

If writing is stressful for you, then I bet you always aim to get it over with as quickly as possible. STOP! Please don’t do this.

In my opinion, rushing is the root cause of mediocre writing. You know what I mean… writing that appears hurried, unstructured and difficult to read. Nobody cares about it. Nobody wants it.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Trust me.

Firstly, step away from stress…  learn to enjoy writing and the entire creative process. Then make sure your writing follows a plan, so that it flows and has structure. Once you have the words, then (and only then) it’s time to proofread.

If you’ve never consciously proofread your writing, then you’ll be astounded by how many mistakes you’ll find in your work. Correct the mistakes, and you’ll be further astounded at just how much better your writing has become. It’s like moving from a minor league to a major!

Average writers spend little or no time proofreading their work. You can easily surpass these writers by dedicating time to checking, editing and improving your work. Make it a habit. It’s one that your readers will definitely appreciate.

“What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure.” ~ Samuel Johnson