Society & Culture & Entertainment Writing

What to Watch Out For When Freelance Copywriting

Whew! This is going to be a biggie - there are so many common spelling and usage mistakes made in freelance copywriting.
And the only way to catch all of them is by doing a 'manual proofread', which is done by printing out the written piece and going over it several times, making corrections and reprinting and checking again until you really cannot find any more mistakes.
And if you can get another professional to proofread it once before finally submitting it then that's even better! However, simply using a spell check service (whether on MS Word, Open Office or an online one) won't cut it by a long shot.
Here are some common spelling and usage confusions made by even the most experienced professionals.
So whether you are a copywriter or someone employing a copywriter, make sure you know the following in order to ensure perfect copy every time.
The difference between...
1.
Affect and effect.
Effect refers to the result or consequence of some change or action while affect means to bring about that change or action.
"K can feel the 'effects' of the change that L 'affected'".
2.
Its and it's.
Almost all possessives use apostrophes between the word and the's' (J's letter, sister's dog) but not its.
It's is always just a short form of 'it is' - while a possessive 'its' is without apostrophe.
(It's his shirt but all of its buttons are missing.
) 3.
Whose and who's.
Again, who's is a short form of 'who is' and that is it.
'Whose' is the possessive form, as in 'Whose shirt is this?' And 'who is' is pretty basic.
4.
Who and whom.
This is a little tricky, but there is a simple rule that will work in all the cases you're likely to come across.
'Whom did she slap?' and 'Who did she slap?' are both correct, but when saying 'To whom it may concern', only the 'whom' is correctly used.
Whenever you use the words 'for, to, with' before who/whom, then 'whom' is the correct option.
5.
To and too.
Again, pretty basic but often overlooked as a simple typo mistake that a spell check won't catch.
'To' usually indicates direction while 'too' is an adverb meaning an excess of something.
6.
Whether and weather.
'Weather' refers to the climate or atmosphere, or to survive something ('weathering the storm') while 'whether' is an expression of choice ('whether the weather will get better or not').
7.
Have and of.
This is simply bad English.
You 'have' something in the sense of possessing it, or having done it.
'I couldn't of known' is just wrong, wrong, wrong.
It started out as slang mispronunciations in spoken English but should be avoided in formal written English at all costs, especially in freelance copywriting.
8.
Weary and wary.
'Wary' means to be watchful or alert for something, and 'weary' means to be tired.
(Be wary of your English or you will grow weary proofreading.
) Again, spell check will most likely not pick up on incorrect usage of these words so you will have to manually proofread your work to make sure.
Which brings us to...
'Internet' is a proper noun and deserves its capital 'I', as is 'Web' or 'World Wide Web' though you can use "'net" as a short form of Internet.
Make sure you put the apostrophe in front of it.
And finally, freelance copywriting is done for mainly UK or US audiences and hence all spellings (color/colour, neighbor/neighbour) must be consistent with each other keeping the audience country in mind.

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