If you’ve not done it before, the thought of getting someone to read through something you’ve written can make you cringe, especially if you’re not a natural writer, or you’re not 100% sure about spelling and grammar. It’s even worse when that someone will be reading your work whilst you’re in the same room and giving you live feedback on it.

Posted on Sun 30th Sep, 2018 in: BloggingCopywritingEditingProofreading

But, if you can get past the feeling of awkwardness, getting someone else (if not two people) to read through your blogs, leaflets and other marketing materials before you publish them is a good idea.

Here’s why:

  • A different perspective

The beauty of being human is that we’re all different and we all have different perspectives on the world. When you’re writing about something you’re passionate about, it’s easy to get so into the topic that you go off on tangents. Asking somebody else to read your work can be helpful as they’ll tell you if something seems irrelevant, or if it’s too lengthy and could be made simpler.

  • Jargon busting

When you’re an expert on a subject, you’ll naturally use words and abbreviations that mean nothing to those outside your industry. If you’re not careful, jargon can slip into your writing and confuse or alienate your readers, particularly if you’re aiming at those who are new to the topic.

Ask someone who isn’t in your line of work to take a look at your writing. They’ll tell you if you’ve used any references that only those in your industry will understand. You can then find a clearer, more universal, way of making your point.

  • Fresh ideas

Sometimes a word or a sentence you’ve written doesn’t sit well, and you can’t quite work out why you don’t like it. Getting a fresh pair of eyes on your work can help in this situation. Often, as soon as someone else reads it, they’ll find the problem immediately and suggest a different way of wording it.

  • Your brain’s too clever for its own good

When proofreading your own work, you know what’s coming next, so you often read what you know the text is meant to say … not what it actually says. Asking someone who doesn’t know the point you’ll be making next to proofread for you is handy, as they’ll read the words that are actually on the page. This is a great way to pick up on any spelling errors or missing words in your copy.

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Hopefully I’ve managed to convince you that pushing through the initial cringe factor of someone reading your work is worth it for the outcome of a jargon-free, error-free, reader-friendly piece of content.

A word of warning, however. There comes a point when too many cooks spoil the broth. Ask too many people to read your work and you could be making changes to it for months on end. Make sure you only get one or two relevant people to read it as this helps you make only the essential changes needed to make your work ... well, work.

 

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