Yes, You Need a Proofreader

I don’t have a formal writing background.

I was a Finance major who ended up in a sales job right out of college.

When I realized that my employer couldn’t (or wouldn’t) provide me with the marketing and sales materials I needed, I started writing my own stuff.

My writing was OK. And I got better over time. But when I launched my freelance business and started writing for clients, I quickly realized how difficult it is to proofread your own work.

Unfortunately, I learned this the hard way: by having my writing clients point out the errors to me (yikes!).

Seems like no matter how many times you go through a draft, there are still little issues here and there that are easy to miss.

In fact, the closer you are to your draft, the more challenging it becomes to catch typos and grammatical and punctuation errors.

Sound familiar?

Anyway, after one particularly embarrassing miss, I contacted a colleague of mine to cry on her shoulder. She understood my dilemma exactly. In fact, she had recently experienced some of the same challenges.

Her suggestion: hire a proofreader!

My first thought was, “I can’t afford to hire a proofreader. I’m not yet charging professional-level rates for my work!”

But when I took a closer look at the proofreader she suggested, I realized that

  • Yes, I could definitely afford this, and
  • It wasn’t an option; I needed help.

I needed help because I recognized that in order to grow my freelance writing business and my rates, I had to start delivering a higher-quality, error-free product.

And I couldn’t guarantee the quality of my work if I didn’t have a quality assurance team behind me.

I started using that same week. And I’ve been a happy client of theirs since 2006.

At $11 per 500-word page, this service is a no-brainer!

They can turn your document around in as little as 30 minutes, although most of the time I opt for the more cost-effective 24-hour turnaround.

Plus, they have two proofreaders go through your document, which helps ensure that all errors are caught.

These days I use for almost every client project I work on. My clients consistently comment on the quality of my drafts. And I’ve become a better writer as I’ve learned the mistakes I make repeatedly.

There are many other talented proofreaders out there. I’m not suggesting is the only option.

My point is that if you’re serious about commanding top fees for your work, don’t try to proofread your own work — even if you’re an excellent and accomplished writer.

Edit as best you can. Then, invest in a good proofreading service.

You’ll be glad you did.