Tag Archives: editing

Please hire a proofreader

I just made this comment on a Mashable article  (sure, it was clickbait, but Mashable is a more reputable source than some, and I expect more from them):

Please hire a proofreader.

I find myself saying this in my head a lot lately. I don’t usually post any comments about it (posting comments online is perhaps one of the biggest wastes of time and energy one could indulge in), but this morning I had a weak moment. But Mashable isn’t alone. Companies and organizations that present themselves as professional no longer seem to have editorial oversight or any sort of quality assurance.

Here are a couple of local examples: Boston.com and Bostonology. Boston.com has turned into an editor’s nightmare. The writing is poor and the site is rife with typos. (The layout and overall user experience are not a picnic either.) I used to read the site regularly, but now I cringe whenever I look at it. I had recently subscribed to Bostonology‘s emails and eventually unsubscribed because every single email I read had multiple typos and the content was often poorly written and structured. As a Bostonian, I love the concept of this email subscription, but I was so distracted by the lack of quality that I couldn’t read it anymore.

The Mashable article I read today had at least two typos in the introduction (one in the first sentence) and a duplicate screenshot in the body copy. People will say I am a stickler (and I am), but there are three main reasons (other than having pride in your work product) why typos, missing words, and poorly structured content matter:

  1. They are distracting. Readers who notice these issues (and there are many of us) are thrown off from the point of the article and may stop reading and go elsewhere. So you might get our click-throughs, but you won’t get return visits and you won’t get conversions (“likes” or subscriptions, etc.) We certainly won’t continue clicking around your website to read more content.
  2. They make you look unprofessional. Clients, customers, readers, and would-be partners could decide not to do business with you or buy your product because it looks like you do not care about quality.
  3. They make you look untrustworthy. If your content is sloppy, readers won’t trust you. They’ll assume you did not do your research since you didn’t bother to review the information you’ve presented.

Please hire a proofreader. Readers and customers everywhere will thank you.

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Disaster Planning for Editors Part II

Web Editors

In last month’s post, I reviewed some of the ways editors can prepare for natural (or national) disasters. This month, let’s take a look at disasters of a very different kind.

Public relations disasters
Public relations disasters are, of course, on a far smaller scale than acts of war or mother nature. PR disasters don’t cause loss of life, but they do cause loss of business, reputation, and possibly revenue. A PR disaster might be a precipitous drop in your company’s stock price, the resignation of a CEO, or a scathing customer review that goes viral. Here are some ways you can prepare ahead of time so when disaster strikes, you’ll be able to react quickly:

  • Think through scenarios. List some scenarios that are likely to happen to your company. Some examples might be: Your company stock sinks; your CEO, owner, or president resigns; stockholders complain about…

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Disaster Planning for Editors, Part I

This is my latest post over on the Web Editors Blog. More to come in August!

Web Editors

When you think about disasters, you probably think of hurricanes, earthquakes, or acts of terrorism. You probably don’t think of editing! But those of us who edit websites, applications, and social media should have a strategy for when disaster strikes.

If you live in an area that’s prone to weather events or earthquakes, you probably already know what you’re supposed to do to protect yourself. You should have a first aid kit and potable water, food for your family and pets, etc. If disaster hits when you’re at work, you likely know where you are supposed to go if your building is evacuated. But what if the disaster takes down your servers or makes your website incredibly slow? Your IT department probably has a plan for data recovery and server backup, but do you have a plan for communicating with your customers?

Here are some ways you can help your…

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