Sarah Klongerbo holding a book about editing tips for marketers

6 Editing Tips to Stop Making Mistakes in Your Marketing Copy

Find yourself making frequent mistakes in your copywriting?

Many business owners do. Whether you consider yourself a great writer or a writing dunce, none of us is immune to occasional typos, errors, and poor grammar.

Fortunately, there are several easy ways to prevent these copywriting mistakes!

Here are six editing tips to practice any time you’re writing marketing copy for your business.

1. Write First, Edit Later

Create mode โ‰  edit mode!

When you’re writing a first draft, turn off your editing brain. Allow yourself to freely write whatever ideas come to mind.

Not only will you write faster, you’ll also likely come up with more creative copy than you would if you were constantly pressing “delete.”

Once you’ve written your first draft, take a break from it. I’m not talking about a quick trip to the bathroom, either โ€” preferably, you’ll sleep on it, and return to the draft at least a day later.

That way, you won’t have the phrases you’ve written still ringing in your ears. You’ll be more objective as you read your words with fresh(er) eyes.

2. Put the Copy in a New Context

Another way to see your words in a new light is to change the way you experience them.

Here are my two favorite ways to put my copy in a different context:

  1. Read your copywriting out loud. (Or better yet, have someone read it to you.) You’ll be able to actually hear any grammatical errors in the copy; plus, you’ll find ways to make your writing sound more conversational, which is often the goal with digital marketing.
  2. Paste the copy into a different text editor. Preferably, you’ll put the copy into its actual context โ€” for example, if you wrote an Instagram caption in Google Docs, you’ll copy and paste it into the actual Instagram app to see how it looks “live.” I like using the Facebook Ads Mockup Generator, for Facebook ad copy, too. By moving the copy around, you’ll be able to visually see the formatting differences and edit the copy to fit the platform.

3. Get a Second Set of Eyes on It

Never publish an important piece of copy without enlisting an editor.

Hiring a professional copywriter would be awesome, especially for website copy or other significant marketing materials โ€” but it’s not always necessary.

A trusted colleague, a smart friend, or even your spouse can help you identify sneaky errors or better ways of phrasing. I frequently send previews of my marketing emails to my husband, who sometimes catches an unintended nuance (“did you mean this to come across this way?”).

Unless you really struggle with grammar, there’s probably no need to have someone review every single social media caption you write… but that certainly couldn’t hurt.

4. Use Grammarly, ChatGPT, or Other Online Writing Tools

…Or not…

Online tools can help you check your spelling and grammar, but they aren’t always accurate. A real, human editor can catch errors machines can’t.

As someone who already constantly self-edits while writing, I personally find grammar-checking tools distracting. And as a copywriter who values creativity, I’m skeptical of artificial intelligence (AI) writing tools. I would not recommend using them to generate much, if any, of your marketing copy.

However, online writing tools can be helpful for many business owners. Here are a few you might want to try:

  • Grammarly: The most popular app for checking your grammar and spelling, with free and paid options
  • ChatGPT: An AI-powered chatbot that can correct errors, check facts, and even generate copy
  • Writer: A more powerful (and expensive) Grammarly alternative
  • Hemingway: A free app that helps you condense and strengthen your writing
  • Google Docs: The OG text editor, with built-in grammar and spelling checkers

5. Do Regular Copy Audits

Don’t assume that everything you’ve published is (still) accurate. You might have made a mistake, or something has changed since you first posted it.

Review your website copy, blog posts, and other evergreen marketing content for errors at least once a year. While you’re at it, check for any broken links.

Fix typos and outdated info as soon as you can, but there’s no need to acknowledge your errors unless they’re truly egregious (such as sending an email with the wrong discount code).

Simply learn from your mistakes, and move on!

6. Brush Up on Your Writing Skills

The best way to prevent copy mistakes is to improve your copy skills in the first place.

While I don’t expect you to run to Barnes & Noble to stock up on grammar books, they can help you improve your copywriting immensely if you give them a chance.

Here are a few favorite writing reference books:

  • Eats, Shoots & Leaves: A funny “Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation” by former editor Lynne Truss
  • The Elements of Style: The only style manual to ever appear on a bestseller list (this one is illustrated!)
  • Everybody Writes: The newly revised “Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content,” written by marketer and author Ann Handley
  • The Copywriter’s Handbook: A copywriting classic by Robert W. Bly, now in its fourth edition
  • Bird by Bird: Definitely not about grammar, but a great, accessible book by Anne Lamott that helps you practice tip #1 above

I’m sure there are many great online courses you could take to improve your writing and grammar, too. Go ahead and research those if that’s your thing.

If you ask me? The easiest way to become a better writer is to sign up for my copywriting newsletter, The Weekly Wink. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Every Wednesday, I send a simple, sassy tip to improve your grammar and writing skills. Sign up here!

The Weekly Wink, a copywriting newsletter by Quotable Copy

6 Editing Tips to Stop Making Mistakes in Your Marketing Copy


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