10 Proofreading Tips To Keep Your Sanity

10 Proofreading Tips To Keep Your Sanity

Is your client cringing due to you missing an error you were meant to proofread? Does your revision sound much worse than the original writing, giving you the feeling you should just bow down and cry into a pile of tears? Face it, proofreading may be a tough grind at times, yet it is always an interesting challenge at hand. Here are a few things to keep in mind – and by “things,” I mean ten things. Five just seems, amateurish.

Number One: Excessiveness in Wordplay

So you’re there, reading over the paper you were assigned to edit, and you notice some word being used over and over again. As an editor myself, this could really tick me off, let alone you, as well. For this, mark each repeated word with a number, so that by the end of reading the article, you have tallied up the times it has been used. If it is three or less, it shouldn’t be too big a deal. If it appears to be four or more – dear goodness and donuts! Either omit the repeated words and revise some of the writing, or use rather a synonym for a replacement.

Number Two: Didn’t I Read This Somewhere Before?

Oh plagiarism, nasty plagiarism. Some writers, or maybe a ton, can’t find the ability to scribble original work, so they turn to copying someone’s work and claiming it as their own. Cowards! There are quite a few websites out there that are apt to determine whether or not the work is a copycat or a fresh, new piece of writing. Plus, even if it does sound similar, pay close attention to the writer’s style – which leads us to the next point.

Number Three: Stylizing Differences

Yes, everyone has their own unique style, yay. But is the author using consistency in his/her writing? It could be the focus on character concentration, specific word choices within sentences, or biased decisions on unfair topics, such as debating that a banana is juicier than an apple (see what I did there?). Always make sure that the author is utilizing his or her own vision and trying not to seem inspired by another author. If the unfortunate occurs, the criticism will not only be directed to the writer, but you as well. In fact, criticism is everywhere.

Number Four: Stick With the Topic

If the magazine, website or book is centered on a particular theme, then it is important that the author is being consistent with the said theme. For example, you’re the editor of a music-based magazine, in which the focus is on uprising music artists; the author then writes a whole section dedicated to the art of the The Wachowskis (they’re awesome, anyway). The section is nowhere close to a music topic. Irritated? Omit! Instead, have the writer change the section to music that is featured in The Wachowskis films that made artists famous.

Number Five: If there’s A Quote

A quote in an article or a piece of writing (in general, of course) is always a nice aspect, but always make certain that the quote is accurate and on point in the topic of the piece. And for goodness sake, always check that the person actually said the quote that is being provided rather than a dull “It was a terrible game” line.

Number Six: Those Dam Homonyms

Horrendous errors come when words are being misused awfully. Like that, were you paying attention, or were you watching the newest episode of your awful television program? Watch out for homonyms, for the results could be one ride of a wild maize. And if you did catch the errors in this numbered tip, give yourself a pat on the back.

Number Seven: And One More Time!

After you’ve read the piece, read it one more time! Maybe you missed something along the road and BOOM! another error, this time you made the mistake. How dare you?! It’s always important to peruse a piece twice, or even three times. You want this to be perfect, right? And, if you so please, take the second reading for a later time. It doesn’t have to be right away. Put some fresh eyes onto it within a few hours. You’ll be just fine, don’t cry.

Number Eight: Love Your Voice

This one is classic advice for proofreading: reading aloud. Face it, you did it at least once back in junior high when you were forced to read your annoying classmate’s paper on sci-fi flicks. Whether you read in a whisper or saying it out loud, it’s always groovy to use your voice to your advantage to keep an eye out for those terrifying errors.

Number Nine: Stray Away From Distractions

Please, oh please, leave that tweet for later and concentrate on the piece of writing. With distractions, your proofreading abilities will diminish. That being said, put away your smart-phone, turn off your flat-screen television and whatever else normally eases your boredom. Okay, some music, such as classical or soft jazz, is acceptable, but put a rain check on that hip-hop you just purchased from the local record store. Aren’t lyrics of the essence in hip-hop? That’s what I thought.

Number Ten: Did Spelling Even Come to Mind?

Lastly, be attentive to spelling errors within the author’s writing. Keep a dictionary, or even the web, nearby to double-check for mistakes. Like, shouldn’t this be one of the top three in the list? Yes, it is that important. Spelling, grammar, punctuation, it is writing!

How Small Business Can Compete with Big Companies?

How Small Business Can Compete with Big Companies?

If you are just starting your new business, one of your major concerns right now could be how to professionally present yourself in the field you want to excel and compete effectively among larger business offering the same product or service like yours.

In today’s fast paced environment, every objective can be attained now with the help of the latest technology and of course the much needed revolving fund to keep your business abreast with the current trend and what your competitors are willing to offer to all your target clients.

Here are some techniques that any small or start-up business could try in order to have a competitive edge and perform closely with their rivals—the bigger companies:

1. Invest more in your advertising campaign

If you have adequate capital resources to spend, then invest in a reliable and certified marketing agency that can help you come up with a more realizable marketing plan. The best way to fully utilize your budget is scout for a good deal on all the marketing firms offering their services that promise to have your sales pitch soar high or get the needed traffic back to your site.

2. Avail the latest technology or equipment if needed

Even you are just new in the market, you can also provide what the bigger firms are offering the public. For example, if your business is concentrated into shirt printing, then, investing is a high-tech shirt design maker or equipment will give you more chances to compete with your rivals and provide also the same service that they are giving. The good thing about a start-up business is that you can still lower your prevailing rates, unlike with bigger companies they need to charge higher or maintain their existing rates in order to sustain all their expenditures.

3. Add a personal touch

Whether it is a small rented space for your showroom of your products or an online website featuring your newest product lines being sold, don’t forget to add a personal touch to your start-up business. Making your place well-presented, inviting to your walk-in clients and personally greeting them would make a big difference already as compared to bigger stalls which sometimes look snobbish when no one would even greet the clients, making them feel awkward or put-off to even enter their premises or stalls. Same applies with your websites, be sure you have an online customer service team who will be ready to attend to all your clients concerns and needs.

4. Improve your product or service from time to time

Being a newbie in this business, one aspect that you should never overlook is the continuous improvement of your product or service in order to cope up with the growing demands of your clients and the high rate of competency among your competitors. Strive to be the best in whatever industry you want to focus.

Running your own business really requires hard work, creativity and a lot of discipline. If you think all your best efforts are not enough for your motives to excel, then, the next best thing to do is follow the route of what big companies are doing to succeed. If they are using promotional gimmicks, then, it’s about time you do the same tactic in your own little way to get your consumers full attention. Never give up. Live within your dreams for self-fulfillment.

3 Elements in Managing Web Projects

3 Elements in Managing Web Projects

Managing a website project, whether it is big or small, both require good handling skills to the person assigned. Some individuals perceive that bigger projects are the only ones that need strict planning, enough capital and time, but contrary to this belief, even small projects do require the same amount of planning and management in order to gain success in the long run.

Expert project managers or team leaders usually apply these techniques when handling projects, whether big or small. Here they are for your information:

1. Proper communication

One of the most vital actions that could lead to the entire success of any project is proper communication from the top management down to the bottom line of its members, the employees or staff. A good project manager must be approachable and always ready to communicate effectively with his members no matter how difficult it may be, so that any misunderstanding or concerns could be opened out during the discussions. Making sure that barriers or conflicts are resolved promptly will surely help everyone to work wholeheartedly and harmoniously until the end of the project.

2. Clear visibility of the entire operation

An efficient project manager or team leader has the capacity to manage the entire operation of the project. He must know how to properly allocate all the resources needed in the good flow of work like adequate manpower to finish the entire project, sufficient capital or investment to make each task or target realizable and manageable and lastly enough time to finish the whole project successfully on the set date or deadline without any delays.

3. Good analytical skills

A reliable and efficient project manager or team leader must possess good analytical skills all throughout the project. He must have already a forecasted ROI (return on investment) once all the project requirements are met accordingly to the agreed plan. An expert project manager must have the ability to weigh all the possible outcome of the project on the basis of their guidelines. He must know exactly the proper course of actions or remedies to apply in case something goes wrong along in any of the stages of the project.

Managing a project, whether small or big, both have the same levels of challenges to the view of the person in charge like the project manager. Careful planning and detailed handling of all target plans and course of actions must be observed for the project to succeed in the end.

Remember the true success of a project or assignment is weighed on how both parties the manager and members have managed to work together and contributed effectively in the entire operation, leading to a positive outcome.

4 Challenges for Full Time Freelancers

4 Challenges for Full Time Freelancers

Maybe some of you would jump off their feet when they hear somebody claim that he/she works in the comforts of their homes as freelancers. Well, let’s face it, with the continuing instability of our present economy, anyone would be truly convinced to work at home if given the chance and get paid for their skills.

But, do you know that there are also disadvantages if one chooses to work at home? Here are some of them for your enlightenment:

1. No fixed income

Freelancing work is mostly per project basis so your source of income is not fixed, compared to someone working permanently in a company. Working at home doesn’t promise a steady flow of income. You may accept a workload depending on your employer’s budget at the moment and when the project finishes, then you are back to zero again in looking for another work assignment. The best advice here is accepting projects when they keep pouring on your plate, grab all these opportunities and try to keep a balance to meet all your deadlines. This will also help you save for the rainy days when freelance work is limited.

2. No benefits

Working at home as a freelancer has no benefits at all. Unlike if you work in an office as a regular employee, getting benefits like sick leave, annual vacation leave with pay or other health benefits. In case you have to be confined in a hospital, you have to shoulder all the expenses if you work as a freelancer, unless you have medical insurance plan, which might cover some of the cost.

3. Working alone

One of the freelancer’s pitfalls is to face the reality of working alone or on your own if you choose to do it at home because no employer will be directly supervising your every move as you start your work. Since, no one will be reminding you about what task needs to get done right away, you tend to become too relaxed with your environment, forgetting your deadlines and spending most of your time lounging, lying on your bed or binge watching on Netflix. Proper discipline and strong will power are the tow best traits to posses to keep you ahead of your freelancing career.

4. Additional skills required

Since you will be working mostly on your own at home as a freelancer, there is a need for additional skills in areas like doing your own financial assessments of your actual earnings and filing your own taxes. If you are just starting this online career, you need to have some background in accounting to help you balance all your finances.

The above lists of disadvantages are some of the actual experiences of some freelancers. You may have your own concerns about the freelancing career and the best move is weigh all the positive and negative points and from there come up with better working strategies, if you decide to pursue a freelance career.

5 Important Elements for E-Commerce Sites to Attract New Customers

5 Important Elements for E-Commerce Sites to Attract New Customers

Recently, MDG Advertising Agency produced an infographic presenting 5 elements that will attract new customers to increase engagement and sales.


Customers want intuitive, responsive and fast-loading web pages. 47% of Internet users say that usability and responsiveness are the most important criteria of an e-commerce website.

In a fast-paced world, customers are becoming less and less patient: 75% of buyers will leave your site if the loading time is slow.

E-commerce site must be optimized for mobile use. 77% of users between 18 to 29 years old make their purchases online on smartphone or tablet.


Providing in-depth information on the products is essential. 68% of customers actually read the description of the product. If the information provided is too general, chances are they are not encouraged to make the purchase. 77% of buyers say that the product descriptions influence their decision in making the purchase.

Suggesting a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) helps reassure customers. 40% of them wish to be able to ask questions or find answers to their questions.

Product information must be accurate. More than 42% of those surveyed said they had already returned an item because the information on the site did not match to the product delivered – resulting to 86% of non-returning customers.


It is important to look after good product photos and other visuals. 26% of users admit to abandoned an online transaction due to lack of, or poor quality product photos. Keep in mind that, since customers won’t be able to touch the physical products, they will only rely on the high-resolution product images in making the decision to buy.

And talking about high-resolution product images, 67% of buyers zoom on the images in the product page to see the details.


Before making a purchase, 73% customers like to find out about other customers’ (verified) reviews about the products, quality of service, etc. Customers also are expecting items to be rated.

The ratings and reviews allow consumers to trust the company and guarantee the quality of the products. However, 48% of users are skeptical on the reviews given by others, since this can easily be manipulated.


The on-site search engine in an e-commerce site is crucial: it allows users to search & filter products. 70% use it regularly to save time.

For an optimal user experience, companies need to highlight the search bar, build in autocomplete feature, include images and ratings into the results, and include navigation elements such as breadcrumbs.

Based on these 5 elements, visitors will enjoy browsing your site and will be more easily influenced for a purchase.

Want to optimize your e-commerce site? Tell me about your project and we’ll take it from there.