Being a writer in today’s digital world means more opportunities for more people. The average amount of content generated every day is so huge that even when calculated on a ‘per minute’ basis, the numbers are staggering. Consider these statistics from Intel posted a year ago, in 2012:
Every 60 seconds…:
With statistics like this, it is easy to understand why there is more opportunity today for people to have their work published online than ever before. However, it is equally true that the overall quality of content is somewhat ‘less than optimal’ when it comes to the uncontrolled publishing that the internet facilitates. This, in turn, throws up a new set of challenges for real writers who want their work to be recognised online. Let’s take a look at how this sudden flood of content affects the average writer.
An author today needs to reconcile themselves to the fact that the competition to gain a user’s attention even for a few seconds is intense. With so many millions of bits of information bombarding them from every direction, the average user tends to skim content rather than read it patiently. This leads to the inevitable conclusion that if your content is not engaging, it won’t be read. Here are some of the things a writer needs to do in order to maximise the effectiveness of their work on new readers – as well as loyal ones.
Possibly one of the most important things to do after a piece of content has been written is to proofread it from an objective viewpoint. A word processor can definitely help with grammar and spelling, but the flow, logic and forcefulness of the content MUST come from the writer. Naturally, you can have an independent proofreader edit your copy after you’ve written it, but somehow that doesn’t have the same effect as doing it yourself. So, what do you need to know about proofreading so you can do it like a pro? Read on…
In order to understand the process of proofreading, it is important to know what the components are, so you can begin working on one area at a time. As you master each area, you can start implementing it on your content; over time, you will have a firm grasp on what is needed to make a piece of copy stand out in the crowd and be read and recognised. Here’s what to focus on:
These are the core elements of professional proofreading – not making sure that your i’s are dotted and your t’s crossed, although the copy editing part does play an important role in professional content writing. The most important thing to remember is that any content you put out MUST engage the reader from the very first sentence if it is to survive amidst tough competition.
Be concise; be powerful; and, most importantly, “be the reader.”