Did you know the average typist makes eight typos for every hundred words? Even professional writers make typos or grammatical errors, particularly if they write for eight hours a day. This is where outsourcing your proofreading comes in handy. Today, we outline some important terms and cover the benefits of outsourcing proofing for copywriting projects.
Here we go.
What is Outsourcing?
Outsourcing is the term for sending tasks to independent professionals so they can complete them on your behalf. Large businesses often outsource elements of their work - like content writing - to professionals - like freelance copywriters. It’s a helpful method of getting a job done if you lack the time or resources to do it yourself. For some copywriters, outsourcing their proofreading to a professional is essential.
What is Proofreading?
Proofreading is the act of combing through a text to uncover and correct errors. They could be spelling mistakes, typos, grammatical errors, or syntactical faults. Proofreading is a fundamental aspect of copywriting, and we overlook it all too often. Although you might think proofreading is synonymous with editing, you’re not quite right. The two disciplines share some core similarities but are ultimately very different practices.
Proofreading vs Editing
The focal point where proofreading and editing differ from one another is their depth. Editing usually comes first; its purpose is to examine the text and its themes for consistency and style. Editors receive the written piece from the writer and assess whether it’s fulfilling its purpose. They inspect the broader content and make suggestions to improve it where possible.
When editors and writers finish with a piece of writing, it’s the proofreader’s turn to shine. They get the text up to publishing standards, reviewing each word to ensure it’s the correct choice. Many proofreaders are trained experts with an in-depth knowledge of the language, its evolutions, and its existing rules. Proofreading is essential for effective copywriting, so why not outsource it to a professional?
What are the Benefits of Outsourcing Proofreading?
Let’s discuss some of the most significant advantages of outsourcing your proofreading as a copywriter.
Catching mistakes in someone else’s work is much easier than in your own. Sending your writing to a proofreader brings fresh eyes to the piece, spotting typos effortlessly. Proofreaders have exquisitely trained eyes. They know when your syntax needs amending, and they know if you lose tense or drift from the first to the second person in your writing. Proofreaders pick up on all those little things you might miss in your own writing.
When an expert proofreader provides feedback about common errors you make or niche localisation terms you’ve forgotten to include in your blog for a specific audience, your own writing gets a boost. Accepting feedback is a cornerstone of excellent content creation, and proofreaders may have some of the most insightful feedback to offer. Outsourcing your work to proofreaders also means they have no attachment to you as an individual that might keep them from telling hard truths.
Google prefers high-quality writing with excellent content time and time again. Using a professional proofreader will get the highest quality writing. Creating content that Google likes makes you more likely to rank highly on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP). You also get a boost by having time to be more consistent with your clients, improving their overall SEO in less time.
Sending your writing to a proofreader to work on saves you time since you don’t have to do it yourself. It’s harder to proofread your own writing accurately. Instead, using the additional time to continue to write is a more effective strategy. Perhaps you can set up an arrangement for a project where you send several documents to your proofreader one week, and then for the next week, you work on new pieces while they fine-tune your work.
A Final Line of Defense
Sending finished work to clients only to have them point out an obvious grammatical error is embarrassing. For freelance copywriters, your reputation is crucial to your growth and development, and making mistakes like these will only set you back. Outsourcing to proofreaders creates a wall between you and your client, where only the best work can reach them. Proofreaders can help you bolster your reputation and expand by providing that much-needed process to your work before a client’s eyes ever see it.
The Human Advantage
If you think AI can do a proofreader’s job, you’re mistaken. Sure, AI-backed tools like Grammarly can provide some editing and proofreading, but they don’t compare to the human advantage you get from outsourcing. If you’ve ever used Grammarly, you know that sometimes its suggestions are nonsensical in context, and your writing would actually be worse off if you followed its guidance. Instead, a human proofreader can determine when a word needs to change and when it works the way it is.
Proofreaders and copywriters share a symbiotic relationship; they’re each better together. The next time you’re looking down the barrel of a big copywriting project, think about reaching out to some professional proofreaders and see if you can’t save yourself some time - and maybe even money. If you want to grow your copywriting career, join us at The Author’s Pad, where writers live and work.
Let’s take a look at some common questions about outsourcing to proofreaders.
Who Needs Proofreading Services?
Anyone can make use of a proofreader’s skills. Primarily, businesses and independent workers use them to refine their writing and ensure it’s in perfect presentation condition. It could be a copywriter that hires a proofreader, but it might also be an academic wanting to submit a paper for publishing. Sometimes, new authors commission proofreaders to examine their book manuscripts before they head to a publishing house.
Can I Make a Living as a Proofreader?
Plenty of independent workers make a full-time living as a professional proofreader. You can work towards specific qualifications as a proofreader to give you an edge over others in the field. For the most part, proofreaders build their careers on their skill and reputation. An excellent proofreader’s work can come entirely from word-of-mouth if they’re proficient enough at their craft.
Is Proofreading Legal?
Proofreading is legal, but there are some contexts where it must be clearly defined and restricted. For example, university students submitting essays for a grade can use a proofreader. Still, the proofreader may only identify and correct language errors and cannot rewrite any of the paper itself.