10 Tips to Polish Your Article

Knowing what to write about, and even getting it on paper are only the beginning; before you submit your article make sure it’s a polished version ready for mass consumption with these 10 helpful tips:

Use a Spellchecker

Almost every modern word processing application comes with a spellchecker, so make use of the tools you have available.

Don’t Rely On Said Spellchecker

Even the very best spellchecker can make mistakes, so use one to catch the basics, but always manually check the spelling of words in your article, just to be safe.

Read Your Article Out Loud

Reading your article out loud helps you to hear mistakes that just aren’t so obvious in written form.  You can often hear an awkwardness that you don’t catch from reading quietly.  If something sounds awkward to say, it probably needs changing.

Take a Break in Between Writing and Proofreading

You’ll always want to do the first run at proofreading yourself, and in most cases people do it immediately after writing it.  I find taking a pause or break in between writing and proofreading, and then coming back to the piece makes it far easier to spot the mistakes.

Use Another’s Eyes

The hardest piece of work to proofread is the one you wrote yourself, so let a friend, partner, spouse, or even your children read the work and ask for feedback.

Check For Common Grammatical Errors:

  • Are you bullet point formatted consistently?
  • Is the capitalization correct on your title and headings?
  • Did you remember to double space after each period in the same paragraph?

Make Sure The Article Delivers On The Title

A lesson common practice in proofreading a piece of work is to check the whole picture – did the article deliver on the promise made in the title?

Look At The Article Structure

Does your article include all of the basic components, and are they easy to distinguish?

  • A Title
  • A Summary
  • An Introduction
  • The Body
  • A Conclusion
  • A Resource Box

Check Any Embedded Links

How embarrassing would it be to write an awesome article only to insert a dead link in your resource box?  Check the links work, and check they go where you want them to go.  Sounds silly doesn’t it, but ask me why I include this step someday…

Check The Guidelines

Not all article submission sites or article directories are created equal – they all have their own set of rules for you to adhere too.  Make sure you know the rules and that your article conforms.  The better article sites include tools to help you determine if you meet their guidelines or not to help ensure compliance.

Proofreading your articles might seem like an extra headache at the end of writing the article, but the time it takes is well worth the effort – imagine the results of sending your traffic to a .com address, when your domain is really a .net; would you feel as silly as I did?

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