Written by Jasmin Romero
"If an applicant submits a resume to me with spelling mistakes, it will be thrown away. The competition is high and careless mistakes show me that they won't pay attention to detail on the job," says Christie Lyn Lugo Leigh, executive producer at KTLA.
Writing mistakes are costly. Whether you're working on a resume, website, article, or book -- writing errors translate as unprofessional and untrustworthy.
In addition to damaging credibility, consistent slip-ups can cost a lot of money for a business. And I'm not just talking about a few hundred dollars. According to BBC, spelling mistakes cost a UK clothing company millions of dollars in online sales. Proofreading is the last step in the writing process, but it is also the most important.
Here's how hiring a great proofreader can drastically improve your credibility and keep your business alive.
How Spelling Mistakes Wreck Your Credibility
Proofreading has always been my nightmare, even as an established writer and journalist. When I started writing professionally, it took me hours, if not days, to finish one article. I was so worried about the content, that I would leave proofreading for the last second or skip it altogether. I thought to myself, "how bad can a few typos really be?" Well, after I almost flunked a class for misspelling two important names on a final, I realized spelling mistakes carry a lot of weight.
My professor, a working journalist for a reputable media company, explained that a typo or misspelling could easily get me fired from a job. It would have not only made me look bad, but it would have made the entire publication look bad as well.
A media company dealing with an error might need to spend unnecessary time and money to retract the article because of a simple misspelling -- a mistake that can easily be avoided by rescanning your work before it's submitted.
I learned my lesson that day, and now, not only do I carefully proofread my work, but I look over every article at least three to four times to make sure I've caught any stray errors.
The more time I have spent writing, the easier proofreading has become. Granted, most of my work is less than a few pages long, unlike a novelist, who has a book worth of material to write and review. It can take 3-7 months to complete a book, and multiple days throughout that process are spent proofreading.
The best option for anyone who is thinking about releasing their written work is to have a professional proofreader look over their writing. Even if you are paying someone to write your content for you, I can guarantee they will not be as attentive to spelling and grammar mistakes as a freelance proofreader will be.
Time is money, and the longer you spend on a writing project, the less time you will have to work on something else.
Don't Let Typos Ruin Your Business
If you're still asking yourself why proofreading is important: think about business reputation. In 2017, Yahoo Finance accidentally tweeted a racial slur when reporting on political news. The tweet went viral, and Yahoo had to issue an apology and explanation for their mistake.
I can safely say that their social media manager was either fired or under intense heat for that one-letter slip-up.
National embarrassment is not even the worst thing that can happen. In 2009, a 124-year-old Welsh engineering firm went bankrupt after the government agency misspelled their company name. You don't think a spelling mistake will hurt your business until it does, and the loss can be detrimental.
Save Yourself Trouble by Hiring a Professional Proofreader
Although proofreading is the last 10% of the writing process, it is no less important than the bulk of the work. The details are where many faults reside and need to be addressed to ensure a meaningful project.
At Kingdom of Ink, we offer freelance services that focus on the proper use of formatting, punctuation, spelling, and grammar. We think about comma placement, so you don't have to.
With a professional second pair of eyes, you can be sure the work you are releasing has its intended impact. Save yourself a headache and hire a great proofreader.
Jasmin Romero is a writer and journalist based in Los Angeles. She has used investigative skills obtained at USC to profile Olympians, award-winning chefs, and hard-working community members. Jasmin has written for multiple online publications, lifestyle blogs, and short films. She believes honesty and compassion are key in capturing compelling stories.