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Proof Positive

January 3rd, 2012 by Bob Bly

While I don’t use a professional proofreader for my blogging, I do  use one for nearly all other writing, including copy for clients, articles, and books.

When a proofreader is not someone you use, then you lose.

Example: a digest mailing from Preston James promises the reader will learn about a special web site on page 73.

But the digest is only 71 pages long!

Once a large accounting firm had me in to train their managers in writing. “Be sure to emphasize proofreading,” the client told me. Why? The cover of a proposal to a major account referred to the firm as “certified pubic accountants.”


This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012 at 4:04 pm and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

19 responses about “Proof Positive”

  1. Susan Morgan said:

    I could not agree more! I’m always astonished when I find what seem obvious proofing errors online or in printed pieces… even the local newspaper. Mistakes like this sabotage your credibility and open the door — what else did you miss?

    Thanks for calling attention to the value of proofreading.

  2. Stacey said:

    Welcome back Bob. You were missed!
    Anyway, yes, like Sue said, I couldn’t agree with you more. One thing that helps me is to walk away from a piece I’ve written and come back to it in 24-48 hours with a fresh pair of eyes.

  3. Lawyer James said:

    Hi Bob,

    It is very important to put 90% in the approach and 10% in the outcome. Preparation for results will ensure that the client receives quality services. I fully agree with making sure that when dealing with content, all areas are covered.

  4. Nigel the UK Copywriter said:

    Good post. I always think that ‘Retards’ is a typo that works particularly well as an email sign-off to a favorite client.

  5. Lesley Peters said:

    Hi Bob,

    Yes, yes, yes to proofreading is one of the most important items for quality writing. We all miss small and large typos because we are reading our own work. Some people hire proofreaders; some people print out their materials, and read aloud; some people read backwards. Whatever system you use, we need to have one and use it consistently. Thanks for your excellent post.

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  7. Michael Irvin said:

    I, Michael Irvin, also think that proofreading is an essential part of any marketing campaign or internet site.

    In regards to Bob Bly, I believe Bob to be one of the greatest copywriters ever. I studied Bob Bly’s books and articles for years as part of my education process to become an expert marketer, expert in business management,and expert copywriter. I also developed with using the techniques that I learned from this genius.

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    Thanks for finally writing about >Proof Positive – blog – direct marketing blog <Loved it!

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  14. DroidsPC said:

    I used Grammarly for my blog post and so far it is doing a great job.

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