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Proofreading Issues? It's ok to ask for help!

Updated: Sep 22, 2021

When you’re running your own business and watching every penny, you might feel reluctant to outsource jobs and tasks to others. Sometimes we feel like we’re taking on the world, and we should be doing everything... it is your business, after all.

Not me, my love!

I’m a big believer in outsourcing. There are tasks which you are naturally inclined to do, tasks you were made for, tasks which are boring but you can quickly tick them off your list, and then there are tasks which tease, poke and provoke you, until you’re knee deep in procrastination and frustration. It is these tasks which you should be outsourcing.

Why, with your tiny amount of time on this beautiful planet, would you spend hours in a quagmire of confusion when you can just pay someone, *know* it’ll be done right and tick it straight off your to do list?

Proofreading is an example of this job. If you have devoted precious hours to writing your website copy, or social media captions, or blog posts for your business, why would you not ensure they are accurate? It seems crazy to me! And, that’s not to say that if you need a proofreader you’re somehow bad at writing, oh no my friend. Before you start thinking “but I don’t need a proofreader, I’m good at English!” or “I’m terrible at English, I’m rubbish!” STOP.

Everyone, EVERYONE needs a proofreader. From famous novelists to sign writers, every bit of writing needs a fresh pair of eyes. It’s nothing to do with ability, and everything to do with taking pride in your words.

Here are the top three reasons you need a proofreader:

1- You’re not sure you have a strong grasp of spelling, punctuation and grammar. The English Language is a tricky thing. There are homophones, and subordinate clauses, and modal verbs and fronted adverbials, and quite honestly it can be confusing. I’m a self- confessed word nerd, so obviously, I love it all, but it’s absolutely ok if you’re not. Simply write whatever you want, and send it to me for a polish. You get the peace of mind that what you’ve written is going out to your customers, accurate and organised. So, if you don’t know your commas from your capital letters, I’m your woman.

2- You’re really good at spelling, punctuation and grammar, but you’re not sure if everything’s where it should be. Very normal. If you’ve spent hours and hours writing a document, after a while, everything stops making sense. That’s precisely when you, like the best writers, can make little mistakes which go unnoticed by you. The odd typo, a missed Oxford comma, an apostrophe in the wrong place, perhaps even the dreaded wrong ‘there’- gah! That’s when its time to get a fresh pair of eyes on the copy. Send it over to a trusted expert for corrections and you know everything’s where it should be.

3- You’re just not sure. Sending out something you’ve written can be a nerve wracking experience. You’ve put your thoughts, opinions, feelings and ideas on a page and strangers are going to read it. It’s only natural to be nervous. One way to boost your confidence, and to press send with a flourish of enthusiasm, not a sheepish click, is to get a second opinion before the rest of the world sees it. Knowing that each letter, space and mark is in the right place, and you’ve communicated what you want, exactly as you want, will give you the security you need before your customers see it. By working with a proofreader like me you’ll not only take a job off your to do list, but you’ll have a layer of confidence that your writing it accurate.

Your website is your CV, and your followers are your colleagues. Spelling mistakes, poor grammar and unclear punctuation just won't present the professionalism you want. Whatever your business is, you need to inspire confidence in your customers, and communications riddled with flaws is not going to do that.

Your potential customers should feel that you know exactly what you are doing. Because you do! The last thing you need is a stray ellipsis or the wrong “your/ you’re” undermining you. When you use an expert proofreader, like me, you’ll see we have an eye for detail and an extensive knowledge of spelling, punctuation and grammar. It is a very specific skill.

I will read your current copy- whether that’s for your website, blogs, emails, or social media captions, and I will check that it is accurate. I will correct any errors and make sure each word, mark, letter and space is in the right place.

Shall we chat? Email anytime.

Bonnie Harrington is a copy and content writer from Bristol, UK. She loves writing for creative small businesses, independent brands and agencies who pay their invoices in a timely manner. Meeting new clients and chatting about their passion is one of the best parts of her job. If she’s not reading, you’ll find her writing, or messing about on Instagram.

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