Clean copywriting – Proof it!

Perfect grammar in copywriting is like a cigarette after sex.

It isn’t the most important part. Or even the best part.

But it does compliment the whole thing.

For copywriting, there’s extra pressure to ensure perfection. Let’s be honest, how bad does it look when a pro writer includes an error in a post, blog or page? It’s the equivalent of a politician saying their constituency is thriving, when the area’s 125th food bank just opened.

Hang on…

It looks atrocious. Words are a writer’s currency. So to mess up with them, even slightly, immediately ruins any trust that was in the bank. It shouldn’t, of course, but it doesn’t paint the greatest of pictures of dependability.

The most important part of a copywriter is of course, the ability to create something that sways, compels, entrances, fascinates or imprints upon a reader. Doing this while retaining key points of the product or service, as well as keywords, copywriting techniques and above all, keeping the customer in mind at all times.

It’s a cocktail of ingredients that, when correct, is irresistible.

Would a spelling error or a rogue apostrophe undermine this?

Grammar matters, especially to copywriters. But it isn't the most important thing...

It shouldn’t, but most people are discerning. Would you buy a lawnmower from a person with a s$%t garden? Would you take driving lessons from a driving instructor that had more dents in their car than Mr Magoo?

No. Which is why most copywriters are more than adept at proofreading – or should be.

This is another, entirely separate skill. In fact, it’s an entire job.

And it should be treated with a bit of respect.

But proofreading is something that needs to be in a copywriter’s quiver. Just like journalists and shorthand, or Boris Johnson’s PA and the ability to wipe the remnants of lunch from his chin.

Proofreading your own work is quite difficult to do. Because your brain is already familiar with what your eyes are feeding it, it tends to skim through a lot of it. So the chances are, you could miss something.

Take your time, but the best tip? Walk away from the screen. Nip to the loo, make a cup of coffee. Give it five mins, then dive back in. You’ll give yourself the best chance to spot any errors that need weeding out.

Grammar is the post-coital cigarette, but it isn’t the main meal.

However, it’s extremely nice to have.

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