What to do once a draft is ready
- Run a spell check.
- Read the copy aloud.
- Read copy in reverse order, if it’s a short doc. This helps catch repeated and incorrect words (like “read” for “red,” for example).
- Ideally, let copy sit overnight and then reread it in the cold light of day. (See this for more.)
- Send to stakeholders for approval (if needed).
- Send to designer or digital media manager.
- Once a comp is available, do a “doc to design” review of the copy.
- Have we done everything the brief asked us to do?
- Have we made the reader care?
- Does the page have all the elements it needs? Header. Subhead. Testimonial. Benefits. Features. Video. Promo. CTA.
And finally, have we kept George Orwell’s advice in mind?
- Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
- Never use a long word where a short one will do.
- If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
- Never use the passive where you can use the active.
- Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
- Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.