I often hear people say that they proofread their own writing, fantastic! I love that! That is exactly what you should be doing BUT how often have you written an email and hit send only to realise that you have spelt the recipient’s name wrong or missed a crucial piece of information? We all do it, it’s human nature. Even professional proofreaders get someone else to proofread their writing because it is extremely difficult to spot the mistakes you make. When you re-read something you have written, you know what it is meant to say so that is the way your brain makes you read it.
So why should I hire someone else to do it?
To put it simply, MONEY. You are likely to lose customers if when they visit your website, they see spelling or grammar mistakes. If there are mistakes then it may make your website look dishonest or a like it’s a scam and that will set alarm bells ringing for people. YOU are the authority on your business, that’s why you run it after all! If you went on to the website of a bank and there were spelling or grammar mistakes then you would think that there was some kind of scam going on and therefore avoid them. The same is true of small businesses, if your writing is not correct then you lose some of your authority.
A proofreader can help you reword your writing
Another reason to ensure that your writing is accurate is that people may misunderstand what you are trying to say. For instance, I recently proofread a photographer’s website and she had written ‘this is my way of doing this just a little bit, for myself and for other familes’. It wasn’t clear what she was trying to say so I suggested she reword it. She did and it then became: ‘Photography is my way of recording all these precious stages in our lives, just a little bit – for myself, my children, and for other families.’ The end result is much clearer to read and prompts an emotional response which in turn will encourage people to invest. If people don’t know what you are saying then how will they know what you are offering them? You know that your business is amazing so why wouldn’t you want to show it off at it’s best? A proofreader can help you to do this.
But paying someone else to do it is so expensive!
No, not really. Not when you really think about what is involved. Another common misconception is that proofreading is just reading. We all read, how hard can it be! It really isn’t as simple as that, in fact it’s so much more than that. A professional proofreader will not just read a sentence, they will:
- Analyse it; every letter, every word, every space, every punctuation mark.
- Read each sentence multiple time before moving onto the next.
- Read it in different ways, with different intonations to make sure it is perfect.
- Spend time going through the writing multiple times to make sure it is spot on.
Prior to starting on your piece, they will have spent time, energy and their own money learning the skills that they need to proofread. They will continue to spend time and money studying to hone their skills as their career progresses to ensure that they can offer their clients the best. When you break it down like that, a professional proofreader is not expensive at all.
About the author
Thanks to Pippa for inviting me to be guest blogger, I really enjoyed stepping out of my comfort zone and becoming the writer for a change.
I’m Nikki Knight, freelance copy editor and proofreader and a mum of two. I am a former teacher with a Level 5 Diploma in Editing, I am also a member of The Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading.
If you would like to find out more you can find me on Instagram @nikkiknightcopyediting or Facebook @nikkiknightcopyeditingandproofreading. I offer a range of set price services to help you with your proofing and editing needs or for something more bespoke, please contact me for a quote.
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