Blogging · Copywriting

Does anyone have a good recommendation for blog proof-reading/editing resources?

Renee Teeley Looking for a co-founder with marketing expertise?

July 25th, 2016

I would like to start publishing blog posts on a regular basis to my own site as well as Medium and LInkedIn. Prior to publishing my posts, I would like to have someone proof read for grammatical and spelling errors. Does anyone have a recommendation on a cost effective resource for this and any estimate on cost?

Realistically I will probably need editing for 1 post per week between 300 - 800 words per post. Basically I need someone as an extra set of eyeballs so I'm not publishing posts with errors. 
 

Thanks in advance!

Oleh Novosad Senior Ruby On Rails Developer at PayWith

July 25th, 2016

I am using Grammarly www.*grammarly* .com/ . Really useful for me as I am not a native speaker.

Maggie Murphy Editorial Content Director, Texture

July 25th, 2016

try Grammarly. i think it does a fairly good job. and if you need a copy editor, i can hook you up.

Bob Snyder Editor-in-Chief, Channel Media Europe

July 26th, 2016

OK, the elephant in the room that no one is addressing is quality. Remember the question that drove crazy the main character in Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance? His search (as I recall) led him to conclude that you know it when you see it (or read it) but it may be elusive in definition. 

Many people talk as if a blog is a requirement. Who needs another blog that doesn't sing for its supper? 

Many respondees take you at your word that you just want a proofreader. I actually do agree with Michael's suggestion about Fiverr (although I might have gone fishing in a place with more trained professionals). And I certainly agree that certain computer programs can help clean up. We use them ourselves.

But I would like to caution all about this "anyone can blog" theory. Anyone probably can blog, but should they? Because most don't do it well. 

And, in my experience, most entrepreneurs are happy with their providers because they are cost-effective and show up on time. Judging by the hundreds of executives I have worked for, most are not trained to be able to distinguish so-so from good. They are just happy to have black text on white screens filling a space (and without anyone bitching about overt errors.) Most of us can easily tell real bad from real good. And most, untrained as they are, can't tell you anything about your blog except whether they "liked" it or not. 

You might think this is a rant. Yet if I was arguing the same on behalf of distinctions in software programmers or digital marketers or engineers, then many of you would stand up & salute.

Instead of recommending you to a proofreader (exactly what you asked), I am taking a step back to ask rhetorically what are you hoping to accomplish with this blog? 

You can get a proofreader, a PR copywriter, a sales copywriter, a journalist, an editor and storyteller (content marketing, in today's parlance)... in my world these are all different types of professionals with different skillsets...and each category has different levels of quality inside the category. 

If your blog is to be significant in your business you might need professional help: hiring someone to proofread is like hiring someone to wash your car when you don't realize you need a trained mechanic. 

Maybe you do just need your car washed but this discussion might be useful to others as a general call for action. Your web site today is more than your business card: it's your window to the world. 

The majority of businesses we have written for found working with us to be a process of self-discovery. The engine that drives their sales story is engine that should drive the language of their blog. From writing their humble blog, many of these entrepreneurs promptly went back and sharpened their own sales presentations, changed their sales material, borrowed our language and perceptions, and held meeting with salespeople to re-examine their target audience. Some even changed, at some expense, their company tagline. 

Good writing starts with good thinking, fueled by the experience the writer brings (not only writing experience but corporate and industry experience).

Even the word "blog" sounds blah. Try saying it out loud and in front of a mirror. Or in French, as in "Tu blagues..."

The man who coined this word first turned the noun "weblog" into a verb: "we blog." He must have used a proofreader on that day when he really needed an experienced writer.

Christi Foist Multi-Channel Communications Strategist

July 25th, 2016

A lot may depend on your ability to plan in advance and develop an editorial calendar with agreed-upon deadlines. Sites like Mediabistro, Editcetera and others provide freelancer listings, but an "on-call" editor would probably need a consistent schedule with pre-determined deadlines. Depending on the volume and consistency of posts, someone might be willing to do a retainer-type arrangement, where you pay a flat fee per month for editorial services. For the freelancer I use on a newsletter I manage, we pay him per word for original stories, but per hour for all other work (which includes editing and a lot of content input/formatting in our website management system).

Michael Brill Technology startup exec focused on AI-driven products

July 25th, 2016

If it's really simply proofreading and light editing, just take an example blog post, muck it up, hire 4 people on Fiverr to fix, find one you like and put them on $50/month retainer for 5-10 posts. Done.

Bob Scheier Veteran IT marketing copywriter, IT journalist, community manager

July 26th, 2016

Echoing the comment above about "quality" as you contact possible contractors, be clear with them about what level of editing and/or writing you need. Someone who will "just" proof-read for grammar, spelling, and other obvious mistakes will cost less than someone who will suggest structural or wording changes to make your message clearer, or even new topics or related subjects to lift your copy out of the "me-too" category. If you're clear on what you need, you'll do a better job finding the right people and agreeing on fee structures that work for you both without nasty surprises on either the quality or cost end. 

Steve James Partner at Stream Creative, Milwaukee Inbound Marketing | Hubspot Platinum Partner

July 25th, 2016

Renee, 
We've used services like Zerys and Writers Access in the past. They have editors and writers you can test out before paying. http://www.writeraccess.com/ http://www.zerys.com/ Hope that helps.

Steve

Jim Hodson Digital Marketing Strategist & SEO Evangelist

July 25th, 2016

You can pay a service.  But if you have a subscription to Microsoft Word, it does a GREAT job pointing out spelling and grammatical mistakes.  I'll always use it to proof posts as well is to get word counts, character counts, etc.

Adam Berlinsky-Schine

July 25th, 2016

Hi Renee, I can recommend my sister, who works does copywriting and editorial for Penguin and does freelancing on the side. Her LinkedIn is https://www.linkedin.com/in/laura-berlinsky-schine-34986420 and I'll PM you her email address.

Christi Foist Multi-Channel Communications Strategist

July 25th, 2016

We pay our freelancer $50/hour. Depending on the complexity of the piece, a 300-800 word piece might take 15-30 minutes to edit (it all depends how someone is reading it). I know Mediabistro and Editcetera more by reputation -- and think well of both -- but haven't hired strangers through either service. (With Editcetera, the freelancer we used was a previous employee of our company.)

The other thing I would say is to make sure the editor is used to working on the kind of material you want to write. For blog posts, someone versed in AP Style (the standard style used by journalists) would probably be good. An editor with more of a print/academic background could still be good, but might edit more with that format in mind.