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Fine Tuning Your Ad Copy!

By Charles Hopkins Published 04/20/2006 | Advertising
If you spend any time online, you have probably seen something like this: "ARE YOU SURCHING FOR A GAURANTEED BUSSINESS OPPERTUNITY? DOWNLAOD HERE" That may be extreme. Unfortunately it's not at all unusual.

One of the first lessons we're taught is to "wash behind your ears".

We also "don't air our dirty laundry in public".

Who hasn't heard the axiom: "You never get a SECOND CHANCE to make a GOOD FIRST IMPRESSION"?

Why then do so many Internet Marketers insist on ignoring these simple guidelines?

Instead of an attention grabbing introduction, that offensive headline simply sets off all the bells, whistles and sirens which proclaim: "dirty ears, dirty laundry and a lousy first impression---probably a lousy product". Nearly all serious prospects will instantly surf away from such flagrant carelessness.

Proofreading isn't all that difficult. If you're not comfortable doing it yourself, find a friend.....or HIRE someone. Writing good copy is a challenge. Creating an effective website can take weeks or months.

Can you afford to throw away all that work over a few "typos", misspellings and missed punctuation marks?

Spell checkers are not the final answer either. Although they would have corrected the offending headline, they don't differentiate among "their", "they're" or "there". "Too", "two" and "to" are treated equally; so are "your" and "you're".

There is no substitute for intense and accurate proofreading. You also must realize that your own "proofing" becomes less effective with each read through. Your brain and eyes are already conditioned to see what you meant, and not always what you actually created. It is much more effective to have someone who is not familiar with your copy do additional proofreading for you.

Don't hesitate to call on friends and family. My ten year old granddaughter is one of my regulars. She loves to help in any way that she can; and I suspect that she gets a certain thrill out of catching "Poppy" in yet another "goof". Once she is finished proofing the copy, there is the bonus that I can then ask her to explain what she has just read. All too often, what seems so clear to me when I write it turns out to be not nearly so understandable to the reader.

I then ask "the light of my life" to read the copy aloud. Actually hearing what I have written turns out to be one of the most effective ways of finding the need for additional editing.

Nearly everything I publish these days goes out with the disclaimer: "Dear Reader, I spent eight years in a Catholic grade school. I am accustomed to having my knuckles smacked with a 12 inch wooden ruler for making spelling, punctuation and grammar errors. When you find the errors that my proofreading crew and I have missed, please bring them to our attention. A gentle reminder from you won't hurt a bit, and it beats the hell out of bloody knuckles."

So much for my methods. There are professional proofreading services available. Just consider them a necessary part of doing business. A quick "Google" for "proofreaders" just returned 304,000 possibilities. (Make that 304,001 if you want to include my granddaughter.)

A quick recap: PROOFREAD, PROOFREAD, PROOFREAD. Then PROOFREAD AGAIN........

.....and don't forget to wash behind your ears. function SubmitRating(btn) { ratingchecked = false; if (btn.form.aRating0.checked) ratingchecked = true; if (btn.form.aRating1.checked) ratingchecked = true; if (btn.form.aRating2.checked) ratingchecked = true; if (btn.form.aRating3.checked) ratingchecked = true; if (btn.form.aRating4.checked) ratingchecked = true; if (ratingchecked) { btn.form.btnRating.value=btn.value; btn.form.submit(); } else { alert("Be sure a rating value has been selected to continue."); } }