No matter the profession, most of us write text messages, emails, and documents every day. I’ve learned in my years as an author and writer that being an excellent writer also includes proofreading or double-checking your text before sending or publishing.
Here are 17 reasons why proofreading is important. This list will convince you to start polishing your work or perhaps start a proofreading business.
Why is Good Proofreading So Important to Writing?
Whether you’re writing a novel, an article, or a regular blog post, proofreading is an essential step before you hit the submit button.
Helps Sell Your Work
As a full-time writer and Bestselling author, I know at my core how important good proofreading is. Publishing books readers love is one thing; producing quality content is another. If a reader finds a handful of typos in a book, they may not come back for more.
Can Literally Save Lives
A few years ago, my daughter was diagnosed with anemia. Not a super big deal, but the doctor had accidentally written an adult dosage for iron on her prescription. I didn’t know the difference but the pharmacist immediately caught it. This is a key example of how proofreading can actually save lives.
Keeps the Reader Engaged
Trust me, once a reader pauses at your punctuation mistake, it can be challenging for them to get back into the moment.
One wrong punctuation or a misspelling can ruin everything for your audience. If you write books, it might take hours, days, or weeks before they get back into the groove of reading.
In fact, your writing mistakes are worse than other reading distractions, such as loud neighbors and poor lighting. That’s because the distraction is in the book itself.
By checking your manuscript for errors, your writing will be easy to digest and free from misinterpretations. It will also enhance the flow of your paper, making people’s reading experience smoother.
Avoid Massive Financial Mistakes
Let’s say you work in real estate, and part of your job is drawing up contracts between buyers and sellers. A simple mix-up of a digit or a date can result in a buyer paying way more or a seller losing out on time.
Not only can simple proofreading help you steer clear of mistakes like this, it also helps you look and sound more professional.
Become King of the Web
Proofreading is important to your brand because you want readers coming back to you or your content because you’re the real deal. Whether you’re a self-published author or an employee of a huge company, this process will protect your reputation.
Whoever reads your content or receives your emails will rethink your authority once they post poor grammar.
Proofreading also ensures you have the right tone. Imagine what a huge company stakeholder would think if your business document were tone-deaf and informal. They might also be put off by your unconfident or offensive language.
Build Your Brand Bigger and Better
Many businesses write different kinds of documents every day. It can be as simple as an Instagram caption or a business proposal for another company. Other types of writing businesses may produce include:
- Brochures and pamphlets.
- Business letters.
- Proposals and pitches.
- Descriptions for eCommerce.
- Daily reports.
- Guides and manuals.
- Ad copy and website content.
- Social media.
I know we don’t often give these things a second thought, but they’re areas and items we use regularly. Make sure every word you put out into the world is polished and presented with care.
Makes Your Job Easier in the Long Run
Good proofreading can make any job easier nowadays because we’re all emailing, blogging, scheduling, etc.
Having an eye for detail could mean catching a major issue in dates on a schedule if you manage a team.
If you work from home and do a lot of email correspondence with your boss, good proofreading can help you stand out among your co-workers. It can also help you avoid embarrassing mistakes.
Puts Your Best Foot Forward
It’s not enough that your writing is error-free. It also has to be beautifully written to make a good impression. While the excellence of a paper is subjective, writers need to cater to what their target readers find “excellent.”
Your written document will leave a lasting impression on your audience. It will make them want to read your other works or completely avoid you.
Avoid Wasting Money
Let me paint you a colorful picture. You work in publishing. You ignore or skim on proofreading and send thousands of copies of a book to print. But there’s a blatant typo right on the cover. That’s a huge loss of profits because you’ll likely have to reprint.
But it also affects you financially on a smaller scale.
Not proofreading your online content can also waste a lot of money before it even reaches your pocket. For instance, you might lose commissions if you forget to add affiliate links to your blog post.
Perhaps you’re planning to make a deal with another company, but your email address isn’t included in your business card. You’ll no longer have contact then suffer the loss of that fantastic business partnership.
Getting a Job is Way Easier
It doesn’t matter what job you’re applying for; if they see your resume and it’s riddled with typos, you’re not getting the job.
Proofread your resume, perfect your CV, read it out loud to yourself and see what else you can catch before emailing it to potential employers.
In my younger years before college, I was job hunting and couldn’t figure out why no one was calling me for interviews. A second look at my resume showed me the reason. I mixed up two digits in my phone number, a simple mistake that prevented me from getting the job I really needed.
Don’t Forget About SEO and Algorithms
Google clarified that our spelling, grammar, and logical flow are not direct indicators of rankings of search engine optimization. But your spelling and grammar have an essential role to play in your SEO because of user experience.
Higher quality content is more reputable because of the polished language. It also improves the trust of various audiences, increasing the average time spent on your content. You might have less traffic if you have a low retention rate because of your slip-ups.
Proofreading also includes organizing your content into sections. Knowing how to add headers and use keywords naturally will keep you on top of results pages.
Better Grades for Students
It’s not enough to just get the answers right. Practice proper spelling and grammar with all your schoolwork, and you’ll stand out among your peers. When teachers notice your hard work and attention to detail, they’re more likely to dole out better grades because you deserve them.
Getting into College and University is Easier
I learned the hard way that getting into college is no easy task. It’s not a matter of filling out a form and paying tuition to secure your spot. You have to earn that spot with essays and published work, and sometimes even presentations.
Having good proofreading skills can help you craft the perfect college essay and move you up the list of contenders.
Proofreading: Anywhere, Anytime, Anyone
Proofreading should be a basic skill like reading and writing because you can apply it to different activities, industries, and contexts. For instance, proofreading is common in:
- Creative arts.
Many industries do not hire proofreaders for each department. Instead, everyone who writes emails, letters, reports, and posts should be responsible for editing their works. For instance, proofreading should be a qualification for hiring social media managers.
It Beats the Work of AI Proofreaders
We all know that no online grammar and spell checker can replace human judgment. Bad grammar and poor spelling will always need careful proofreading by a qualified proofreader in combination with a grammar checker tool. Microsoft Word’s built-in editor won’t spot contextual spelling mistakes or homophones like “hey” and “hay” or “I’ll” and “aisle.”
Ginger, ProWritingAid, and other online grammar tools won’t spot more advanced errors of grammar and poor transitions or offensive language. The problem is that these applications rely on artificial intelligence, which isn’t always perfect. Grammarly spots most of it, but still not all.
Professional proofreaders can catch more inconsistencies, poor vocabulary, and grammar mistakes than any application. They also take the time to judge each writing based on context and the writer’s voice.
Self-Proofing Opens Your Eyes
The act of proofreading your own work gives you the freedom to adjust your work based on your preference. And it gives a sense of ownership since you don’t lose your voice in the middle of editing.
If you choose to pursue it as a job, you can work in almost any industry. Or chill at home to do freelancing. Proofreading is a flexible job anyone can enjoy.
Proofreading is Even a Good Side Hustle
Proofreading makes a great side hustle because every company needs one. From careless mistakes with emails to mistakes in grammar, it’s a widely needed skill. If you decide to do freelancing and offer proofreading services, you can work anytime and anywhere with only a laptop and an internet connection.
Many proofreading training courses also exist for free. Enroll in these online classes to acquire more knowledge and skills in the profession.
Learn Effective Proofreading Now
Proofreading offers tons of benefits to students, professional writers, and everyday writers. It shows you care about your audience, writing, and your company. Removing spelling errors and grammatical mistakes from your life can only make it better.
Start honing your skills in proofreading to get better grades or start a side hustle. How has proofreading helped improve your life?