Guest Post – Five Reasons a Professional Proofreading Service is a Better Choice

4783366926 317236e57c 300x199 Guest Post   Five Reasons a Professional Proofreading Service is a Better Choiceby Randall Davidson

Misspellings and grammatical mistakes create a negative impression of an author that can persist long after someone has finished reading the author’s work. Reliable, accurate proofreading services can help those who create written work for public consumption — and I focus on small business owners specifically in this article — avoid these problems. Finding the right proofreading solution for a company’s specific needs is essential in order to protect a company’s reputation and image. While freelance proofreading may be appealing due to its lower initial cost, the reliability and faster turnaround times of larger proofreading companies is generally well worth the small additional cost. Here are five reasons to choose a proofreading company over an individual offering freelance proofreading services:

  1. Experience. Individuals who advertise their freelance proofreading services typically do not undergo formal ongoing training. While this lack of knowledge and experience may not be obvious during the interview process, it becomes evident in their results. Professional companies typically employ qualified proofreaders with years of experience and a well-developed vocabulary and proofreading strategy. This allows proofreading companies to assign work to those who are most qualified to perform it, producing the best possible results for their clients.
  2. Efficiency. Because professional firms hire staff members with complementary skill sets, they can usually handle a wider range of subjects and formatting preferences than individuals who offer freelance proofreading services. A client’s tight schedule might lead a freelance proofreader to take on a complex project without allowing the time for necessary background research.  Because professional proofreading companies generally employ many people, they can assign a complex project to someone who has the right experience to handle it, which means that time is not unnecessarily spent on training a proofreader for a specific complex project.
  3. Reputation. Professional proofreading companies depend on their reputations for accuracy in order to bring in new clients. Freelance proofreading, by contrast, typically is performed by only one person who may be less concerned with his or her reputation in the marketplace. Additionally, illness or other emergencies can also delay projects unexpectedly when working with freelance proofreaders.  This can cause serious scheduling problems for small business owners.
  4. Accuracy. Accuracy, the most important element of proofreading, depends on the skills of the proofreader.  Professional companies can choose among the best available proofreading professionals when hiring.  As a result, the quality of the work produced by professional companies is usually significantly better than the work produced by a freelance proofreader chosen at random.
  5. Flexibility. The ability to produce results quickly can be very beneficial to clients of professional proofreading firms. Freelance proofreaders cannot offer the same flexibility in scheduling because, as individuals, they are limited by their own speed of processing these projects. Companies with multiple proofreaders on staff enjoy a significant advantage in the speed and flexibility they can offer their clients when rushing a project for a client is necessary.

Randall Davidson is a co-founder of ProofreadingServices.Us, a professional proofreading service based out of San Francisco, CA.  Randall understands that the reputations of businesses and individuals alike can be seriously harmed by writing that is laden with errors and he works to provide others with the tools they need to ensure that their writing is flawless through the business proofreading services that his company provides. (photo: fensterbme)

Editor’s note: What do you think, freelancers? Is a professional proofreading company really a better choice for clients? As a freelance proofreader, I’m certain that my skills are up to par and my client testimonials reflect that. Please add your thoughts in the comments or, even better, submit a guest post giving your views on freelance proofreading.

Update: read my rebuttal in Freelance Proofreaders Rock, OK?

About Guest Writer

This post was written by a guest writer. We've had some great guest posts on writing on Get Paid to Write Online. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

Comments

  1. Christine-Marie Esteve says:

    This article is nonsense and whimsy. Most freelance proof readers develop a close one-to one relationship with each client and get to know the service they require over time – including long term familiarity with their style book. Good proof readers concentrate on building a close relationship with a small number of clients rather than adapt a sausage machine mentality of proofreading companies. Freelancers tend to be more selective in the work they take on while proof reading companies seem prepared to take on anything, regardless of its original content or standard of literacy. This is probably just a puff for the authors own proof readng company.

  2. What a ridiculous generalisation! All the freelance proofreaders in my professional organisation have undergone formal training in order to become members. And a freelancer who doesn’t care about their reputation will soon go out of business.
    Companies rarely choose a freelance at random – reputation and word of mouth usually play a part – and as for flexibility, who is it that will be willing to work through the night to meet a client’s impossible deadline? Yes, it’s the freelance proofreader!

    • Lyn Imeson says:

      I couldn’t agree more. And who do you think is doing the work for these Professional Proofreading companies? It’s freelancers of course. Except the companies pay peanuts so they only get monkeys.

      • I’m with Lyn. And, it’s pretty insulting to be honest. I’d be surprised at any client who hadn’t checked my references, qualifications, and experience before hiring. And, as far as knowledge of the subject is concerned, it’s well within the skill of any qualified and experience frelancer to adapt to new environments. Yes, some prefer to stick with Engineering for example, yet many do not. The skill is writing, and related skills, not a particular subject area. To suggest that a large organisation is always more professional seems to be ignoring the rather prominent trend toward shunning large, expensive agencies, in favour of smaller ones, who can also be flexible, professional and competent!
        Dawn Baird wants you to read Business-Speak at The Apprentice #1My Profile

  3. Richard says:

    And I don’t think using retired newspaper editors, as the company does, is quite the cast-iron guarantee of high quality work as they seem to believe it to be. Open any newspaper and you’ll find it’s riddled with faults.

  4. Jo Allen says:

    I agree with Christine-Marie, Pat, Lyn and Richard – I could add more detail but I don’t see the point in wasting my time. On a purely personal note, I do not like the clumsy construction of the second sentence.

  5. Add me to the chorus. I agree with Christine-Marie, Pat, Lyn, and Jo. I’m an editor rather than a proofreader, but editing companies make similar claims and require their staff members to cut corners so that they can undercut individual freelancers’ fees.

  6. This article makes some sweeping generalisations. I’m sure there are some very efficient proofreading companies out there – but equally, freelance proofreaders have a great deal to offer. Yes, you need to make sure you choose a freelance who has the appropriate skills, knowledge and capacity to meet your individual requirements, but that’s also the case if you decide to choose a company. And you can take a lot of the guesswork out of the process if you choose someone who is a member of a reputable professional organisation, such as the UK-based Society for Editors and Proofreaders (www.sfep.org.uk). The SfEP has an online searchable directory, so you can choose a freelance who has undergone relevant professional training and has the appropriate subject knowledge for your particular needs.

    As well as generalisations, there are statements in the article that are simply wrong. Perhaps the most obvious is the assertion that ‘Freelance proofreading … typically is performed by only one person who may be less concerned with his or her reputation in the marketplace’. Freelance proofreaders survive on their individual professional reputations, so it is perhaps more important that they provide an excellent service to each and every client.

    Many clients value the one-to-one relationship that can be forged with an individual freelance proofreader, someone who knows your work and knows how you like things done. Such a relationship gives you, the client, confidence that the work will be done to a consistently high standard.

  7. “Individuals who advertise their freelance proofreading services typically do not undergo formal ongoing training.”

    What? What? I have a BA in English and am in a Masters program in pro writing!! Not only that, but I’m convinced most of my colleagues are equally well-trained!
    Allena wants you to read You Can Contribute to About.com Freelance Writing!My Profile

  8. Agreed, Allena. Don’t forget to read the follow-up to this post, called Freelance Proofreaders Rock, OK?

  9. Timberly says:

    Looks like Randall could use the services of a professional freelance proofreader himself. Under the second bullet point he wrote:

    “Because professional proofreading companies generally employee many people, they can assign a complex project to someone who has the right experience to handle it, which means that time is not unnecessarily spent on training a proofreader for a specific complex project.”

    Do companies really “employee” many people? Or do they “employ” many people? Hmmm…..