The humble ruler
It’s hard to spot errors in your own work. Your brain is already familiar with the content so it naturally skims, not reading words properly and therefore not noticing typing errors and—gasp—misplaced apostrophes.
I picked up this little tool from a training session with Professional Public Relations (PPR). (The good thing about working for Australia’s biggest PR agency is they are very committed to training and development.)
Yonks ago, the clever Amanda Little delivered a website copywriting class and she gave me this ruler which I still use today.
The trick is to print out all your copywriting work (sorry environment) and read it over with the ruler. You see, it forces you to read every single line and makes it much easier to spot errors.
The best thing is to have someone else read your copywriting, but that’s not always possible. The ruler is a very useful substitute.
I particularly like this ruler because it is made from recycled cartridges so I feel better about all the printing. I also like that it’s nice and grubby which adds a bit of cred. (Who cleans a ruler?)