Copy This Copy – The Importance of Clean Content

July 12th, 2012 by Jennifer Stout

Having clean, edited online copy is vitally important. Whether we’re talking about content for a website or a blog, it can make a big impact — for better or for worse. As Mitt Romney’s campaign recently found out, even text written for mobile apps should be given a close look before going live.

romney

While most people assume that they have a good enough grasp on the English language to get by, the facts are simple — typos are easy to make, and a second pair of eyes can be your saving grace. As a former reporter for a daily newspaper, I know the importance of having an editor work their magic before copy is printed. But in today’s Internet-minded world, writers can be too eager to hit the publish button, sending unedited content to the masses in an instant.

Not only can errors be embarrassing, but also they can completely change the original intention of the content.

blog

People could visit your website, your blog, or your mobile app for a variety of reasons. Whether they’re looking for news, general information, or something as simple as a laugh, you don’t want them to be turned off by copy that was poorly edited (or worse, entirely untouched).

Your content can say a lot about you, your company, and your purpose. If it’s well-written, clear, and concise, it says that you took the time to get it right. It says that you are concerned about the details, and more importantly, it says that you care about your reader.

If, on the other hand, your copy is riddled with spelling mistakes or grammatical errors, it can convey a negative view of your organization. It communicates to your reader that quality isn’t your top priority. And if you’re in the business of trying to market a service or a product, it can be a tough sell.

Instead of just leaving the job to spell check, consider working with an editor or a proofreader before publishing your content online to ensure that your text is error-free. If time constraints or your budget won’t allow, at the very least, have a co-worker take a look at your copy before it goes live. As the adage goes, you never get a second chance to make a first impression, and having a pair of eyes to catch the occasional stray comma or poorly-placed participle can be a lifesaver.