THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT GETTING A PROOFREADER IN YOUR TEAM
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Table of Contents
- What is a Proofreader?
- Why is a Proofreader Important?
- Important Skills and Traits of Proofreaders
- Where to Find Proofreaders
- Hiring Considerations
- C9 Digital Proofreaders
What is a Proofreader?
It’s a content provider’s worst nightmare. You just spent countless hours writing an ebook you’ll use as a lead magnet for your marketing campaign. You’re quite proud of your output. It was a labor of love. Plus, you’re really quite knowledgeable about the material so you know the finished product will provide plenty of value.
As your campaign began, you watched as more and more people visited your squeeze page and downloaded your ebook. You can just imagine all those downloads turning into paying customers. And then it happened.
It started as one comment. And then another followed. Then another. Before you know it, the comments section of your squeeze page is flooded by messages saying basically one thing – “The material is quite good if not for all the typos and errors in grammar, formatting, etc.”
If only you hired a proofreader.
A proofreader is a faultfinder – but in a good way. A proofreader goes over your final content draft and catches all the surface errors such as typographical errors, misspellings, formatting errors, grammatical errors, syntax and the like. He is the final quality control stage for your content creation process. Filipino proofreaders are quite good at this. When a proofreader okays your content, you can rest assured it is totally error free.
A proofreader is sometimes confused with an editor. Editing entails making proactive changes, suggestions and recommendations to the overall writing. Editing answers the question, “How can I make my writing more effective?” and “How can I better express what I’m trying to say?” Proofreading, on the other hand, answers the question, “Does my writing have any technical or clerical mistakes?”
Why is a Proofreader Important?
A proofreader makes sure your content is 100% error free. Regardless of how good your content is, if it’s full of formatting, typographical, grammatical, spelling and punctuation errors, your image as the content provider will suffer. And in the world of marketing, there’s no second, third or fourth place. It’s either you’re trusted or you’re not.
Proofreading makes a piece of content fit for publication. It also increases the chance of publication. There’s nothing more frustrating for a content creator than to have his entire work discredited on account of a few errors in spelling.
For academics, proofreading is an essential final step before their scholarly work can be published and used for reference purposes. Again, there’s nothing more disheartening than to have your professional reputation tarnished by some minor formatting issue of your written work.
In the corporate world, a proofreader plays an important role in the review of contracts, memos, agreements, forms and other legal documents. There’s a lot to be said about a multi-million dollar merger contract that has grammatical errors and typographical errors – and none of them are good.
Important Skills and Traits of Proofreaders
Perhaps the most important characteristic of an effective proofreader is an unparalleled attention to detail. The smallest punctuation error, capitalization mistake or formatting oversight should not slip past him.
An effective proofreader must also possess excellent communication and language skills. While typographical, formatting and spelling errors can normally be spotted optically, it takes exceptional language skills to pinpoint grammatical errors and correct them. This is why even with programs and applications that can automatically proofread digital documents, proofreaders are still preferred because no AI can truly detect grammar errors.
Formatting skills can also be an asset for a proofreader, although it’s not technically required. It will be a definite timesaver if the proofreader detects a formatting issue with a digital document and is able to correct it himself instead of simply pointing it out and returning it to the creator uncorrected.
Where to Find Proofreaders
Proofreaders usually become the invisible members of the team. If you have decent writing chops, you won’t really realize how important a proofreader is until someone points out your writing errors. And even then, egos can get in the way of correction. In this sense, a proofreader can act as a “sin-eater” – someone who takes care of a problem before it causes an even bigger problem.
When looking to hire a proofreader, the first thing you need to do is decide whether you want to hire a local or a remote one.
The advantages of hiring locally include:
- Ease of access and the ability to work with you personally – it’s always easier to work with someone face to face.
- Less cultural and social adjustment needed – you’re most probably living in the same city as your proofreader so you’re in the same time zone, speak the same language and share the same culture. This makes work so much smoother.
- Better team-building opportunities – being in the same place physically creates plenty of opportunity to train, collaborate, build rapport, and get feedback.
On the other hand, hiring local talent can have the following disadvantages:
- Specific skill sets can be harder to find – if you’re limited to a particular geographical area, finding a rockstar proofreader will be challenging.
- Overhead expenses – if you hire locally, you’ll be obligated to keep an office which means you have to pay rent, pay for supplies, pay for electricity and other utilities. If you already have an office, you’ll have to provide your new hire with a work space which translates to the same thing – increased overhead.
If you decide to hire a remote worker, you need to decide if you’re hiring a project-based proofreader or a full-time one. In any case, here are the advantages of hiring remote talent:
- Access to a global pool of talents – you’re not limited to who’s available in your city and what they know. Hiring remotely gives you access to talented proofreaders from different countries who may even charge relatively smaller fees than local recruits. This is true to both project-based freelancers and full-timers.
- Little to no overhead – most remote workers work from home so you don’t need to worry about providing them with work spaces. This is especially true for project-based freelancers. However, for full-time employees, you may be required to subsidize their internet connection, computer equipment etc. But these costs are still far less compared to local overhead expenses.
- Less contractual obligation – you can hire creative writers on a per-project basis. If you like their work, continue to give them projects to work on. If you don’t, just don’t give them any more tasks to perform and that’s that.
On the other hand, here are the disadvantages of hiring remote workers:
- Trial and error – you can’t really gauge the level of expertise, experience and even work ethic of the remote worker until you take a leap of faith and hire them. The good news is, if you don’t like their performance on the first project, you can just part ways right then and there.
- Time constraints – if you hire a remote creative writer, particularly a freelancer, you need to understand right off the bat that you’re probably sharing him with several other clients (some paying more than you). That means your project is at the mercy of the freelancer’s workload. This may not be the case, though, with a full-time remote proofreader.
That being said, here are a few places where you can find proofreaders online. Note that in some of these websites, you’ll have the option to hire either locally or remotely. It’s all up to you, your needs and your budget:
- Monster (local and remote) – although Monster now caters to remote worker needs, its strength still lies in sourcing local talents. All you need to do is search “proofreader”, narrow down your search by location and experience, and you’re off to the races.
- Upwork (local and remote) – geared more towards the US market. You can post a proofreader job, and available contractors can start lining up to apply. All you’d need to do is choose the best candidate. This is a good place to look for either part-timers or full-time proofreaders.
- People Per Hour (remote and local) – geared more towards the European market. Just like Upwork, you post a job and contractors will apply. You can choose the best candidate and go from there. This is also a good place to look for either part-timers or full-time proofreaders.
- C9 Digital (remote) – specializes in providing remote staffing services from the Philippines. It is considered a concierge service where you don’t simply hire Filipino proofreaders (or any other kind of remote worker for that matter), you hire a proofreader with an entire management service behind him to keep him accountable and always on his toes. This is ideal for people looking to hire the best and expecting to get the best while keeping costs relatively competitive.
When looking to hire a proofreader, whether it be local or remote, there are a few important considerations you have to keep in mind.
What kind of project are you working on? Are you looking for someone to proofread blog posts, articles, white papers, ebooks, flyers, press releases, video scripts or all of the above? Will the materials be digital or physical?
Next, are you looking to hire for a one-off project or are there multiple assignments in your pipeline? Would your proofreader be working under a certain timeframe? Will your proofreader be required to complete a specific number of documents at a given time?
Finally, how much do you have to spend? Are you able to spend for a full-time proofreader or is your budget pointing more towards a freelancer?
C9 Digital Proofreaders
Here at C9 Digital, we have Filipino proofreaders who can handle whatever your proofreading needs are.
We pride ourselves for having an eye for exceptional talent. Our proofreaders are able to work within culturally diverse environments. And since we’re based in the Philippines, communication is not a problem because we speak excellent English. In fact, most of our remote workers have English as their second language so you don’t have to worry about important matters getting lost in translation.
Hiring our remote proofreaders can help you save up to 70% in payroll costs without the corresponding loss in the quality of work. We train our people to “live inside the client’s business” in order to truly deliver what the client wants and needs.
So, are you finally ready to hire a proofreader? Let’s talk.
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