Introducing Free Proofreading Services: Get a Sample Today!

Free Proofreading Services. Photo Credit – Flickr: ElectraSteph

UPDATED APRIL 25, 2012 —

Free samples are no longer available. Please refer to my Proofreading Service Menu for standard prices.

I don’t offer free proofreading services.

Proofreading is not a hobby for me. It’s not a complimentary service that I help you with in my spare time.

Proofreading is what I do.

But a free proofreading sample?

That’s a different story.

It’s my business to help you with your business. [Read more…]

Should Your Blog Post Writing Style Stir Up Trouble?

Blog Post Writing. Photo Credit – Flickr: Martin CathraeLast week, I wrote a guest blog post for ProBlogger.

How to Write a Blog Post Like a Troublemaker with a Heart of Gold is the second article that I’ve written for the site.

Many thanks to Georgina and Darren for the opportunity!

If you haven’t read it yet, check out an excerpt below: [Read more…]

Your Ultimate Online Proofreading Guide for Better Writing

Online Proofreading Guide. Photo Credit – Flickr: tonx

The Second Edition of Your Ultimate Online Proofreading Guide for Better Writing is now available.

Click here to download the new 2013 version.

Writing, editing, and proofreading are interconnected activities in the web of transcribed communication.

You can overcome creative standstills if you look at editing and proofreading as a safety net.

Feel free to write absurd, nonsensical musings and tangents. Don’t worry—it can all be fixed later.

However, many writers feel overwhelmed when they have to resolve rough drafts.

It’s a pain to review text that already makes sense to you.

My new free ebook, Revision Fairy Tales: Your Ultimate Online Proofreading Guide for Better Writing, covers low-stress ways to revise and correct your work. Ensure concepts that you take for granted also make sense to your audience.

You improve your writing skills when you proofread strategically.

After reading the ebook, you won’t look at proofreading the same way again.

The 30-page PDF is Edition I of a new series. [Read more…]

Hate Proofreading? 5 Fun Ways to Revise Like a Professional Proofreader

Professional Proofreader. Photo Credit – Flickr: cellar_door_filmsWriting always begins with an idea, even if it’s significantly underdeveloped.

If you transcribe words that communicate your concept, and dedicate time to making that message clear and dynamic, you eventually produce your final draft.

Writing is a mystery that you solve along the way.

Proofreading is generally considered the opposite of that.

The belief that proofreading is a science isn’t terribly helpful for writers. Many writers become writers (not scientists) because they like to be artistic and creative rather than technical.

There are special skills that you need to be a professional proofreader, but every writer can approach proofreading as an engaging activity that completes the writing process. [Read more…]

What’s the Connection Between Document Proofreading and Online Marketing?

Document Proofreading. Photo Credit – Flickr: krossbowContrary to the seemingly mundane activity of document proofreading, online marketing is a glamorous buzzword for both online and offline businesses.

Once you transcend the notion of shady Internet scams and vicious trolls, the idea of marketing a legitimate business online sounds exciting.

There are no paper cuts, awkward telephone conversations, or heavy objects to lift on the Web.

Whether you’re a small business looking for Facebook fans and Twitter followers, or a blogger developing an online writing portfolio, the Internet is a desirable place to appeal to customers.

But can you really market your product or service to an audience online and actually get new clients and customers?

The answer is yes, but you have an extremely limited time to solidify your reputation.

While an offline business may get more than one chance to make an impression, a quick page view may be all that you get in the online world. [Read more…]

Professional Proofreading Help: 21 Writing Mistakes You’ll Never Make Again

21 Writing Mistakes You'll Never Make AgainOnce upon a time, I decided to write an ebook. It was almost a year since I began my adventures as a freelance proofreader, and I wanted to create a product that would help my clients.

I spent the summer writing Revision Fairy Tales: 21 Writing Mistakes You’ll Never Make Again, and I released it on September 15, 2009—two years ago today!

If you want to improve your writing skills and learn how to stop making the same writing mistakes over and over again, help me celebrate the book’s two-year anniversary by downloading a copy.

I call the content “anti-grammar” because I think standard language rules are boring, confusing, and difficult to remember. Revision Fairy Tales contains straightforward, practical tips that help you write correctly without memorizing any grammar rules. [Read more…]

9 Blog and Website Proofreading Tips to Retain Online Visitors with Simple Writing

Blog and Website Proofreading Tips. Photo Credit – Flickr: Joyce-RhiannonDo you proofread your blog and website content from the point of view of a reader?

Readers can quickly go elsewhere online for information, so you have to know exactly what your audience wants and cater to their interests.

Online visitors aren’t looking to read a book. They’re not even looking to read an entire Wikipedia entry.

They scan your writing for what they need. If your writing is too complicated or too vague, they leave your blog or website.

Simplify your online content while copy editing and proofreading to find the perfect balance that satisfies the reader.

Here are nine blog and website proofreading tips that help make online visitors realize that you have the information that they seek. [Read more…]

Power Proofreading: The #1 Writing Tip When You Don’t Have Time to Proofread

Power Proofreading. Photo Credit – Flickr: purplemattfishThe writing process is an artistic balance of raw text and meticulous proofreading, copy editing, and revising. Your initial thoughts need to be crafted into clear language that your target audience understands.

Since school starts back up this month, I decided to dedicate each Thursday in September to copy editing and proofreading tips for specific writing situations.

Here’s the first installment of my Proofreading 101 series.

People like instant gratification and the accelerated versions of activities: power napping, power workouts, power lunches, etc. It’s only natural that you’ll find yourself in a situation where you need a power proofreading.

Sometimes you know that your writing is not up to par, but the clock is ticking and you need a complete draft fast. For example, you need to dramatically improve your copy within the hour, and you don’t have time to hire a freelance proofreader. [Read more…]

Free Ebook to Help Your Small Business: ‘The Art of Blogging Debunked’ (from E-Junkie.info)

Small Business Ebook: The Art of Blogging Debunked. Photo Credit – Flickr: wicckedE-junkie is a popular tool for selling products online, but did you know that the company also has a blog about small business, self-publishing, and eCommerce?

E-junkie.info provides helpful resources and announcements for both online and offline entrepreneurs, and I wrote a guest post about writing online content for the blog in June.

Since I often discuss the importance of small business blogs, I was pleased to discover that the articles in E-junkie’s new free ebook, The Art of Blogging Debunked, support my belief that a blog isn’t necessarily a site for breaking news or a place to rant about what you ate for breakfast.

Consistently maintaining a small business blog adds a new dimension to your organization and can help you attract customers. [Read more…]

48 Hours Only: Reserve Your Free Proofreading Services Now

Online Proofreading Services

This promotion is now over. Please refer to my Proofreading Service Menu for standard prices.

Can you believe that it’s the middle of August already?

While the end of summer is a great chance to enjoy vacations from work, it’s also the ideal time to evaluate your goals for the rest of the year.

What do you hope to accomplish during the last few months of 2011?

To help you produce impressive, flawless writing, I’m offering a special deal for the next 48 hours only. If you’ve thought about becoming a Revision Fairy® Premium Member, now is the perfect time.

This limited-time offer gives you free proofreading services with your membership. [Read more…]

Create a Custom Editorial Calendar for Your Small Business Blog in 3 Steps

Editorial Calendar, Small Business Blog. Photo Credit – Flickr: danaberlithWhat value does your small business blog offer potential customers?

It’s easy to create a blog for your small business, but its mere existence is not enough.

Your blog needs to be a regularly updated resource that gives insight into your business. Demonstrate that you have a solution that will help readers solve their problems.

The best way to manage your small business blog is to create an editorial calendar. WordPress has an Editorial Calendar plugin that can help you, but writing effective blog posts requires a special technique.

In three steps, you can transform your small business blog from a string of unfocused posts into a platform that will grow your business. [Read more…]

20 Small Business Blog Ideas that Attract Customers

Small Business Blog Ideas. Photo Credit – Flickr: faith gobleIf you’ve started a blog for your small business but have trouble thinking of ideas to write about, it’s helpful to look at the blog like one of your favorite TV shows.

The show’s episodes could be scheduled daily, such as CONAN, or once a week, such as Glee. Either way, the series unfolds gradually. Between episodes, you chat with your friends about the show’s plot and/or content.

Keep readers engaged with your blog in the same way. Give them incentives to visit frequently, find out what’s new, and spread the word about you.

There are many topics to write about regarding your business, but many small business blog topics are too narrow. As a result, the blog is not regularly maintained and becomes outdated.

Don’t miss the opportunity to attract customers and show them what you have to offer.

To prevent “cancellation,” here are 20 small business blog ideas that reveal unique information about your business. Each idea can be used multiple times, in different ways, to make your blog a fresh and valuable resource in your industry. [Read more…]

The Easy Way to Hire a Freelance Copy Editor

Hire a Freelance Copy Editor or Proofreader. Photo Credit – Flickr: Thomas Hawk The variety of businesses looking to hire a freelance copy editor or freelance proofreader is a lot like the different types of people who enter hardware stores.

Some hardware store customers know exactly what they need and go to the retail outlet to purchase the proper tools, accessories, or materials.

Other shoppers have projects or problems, but they don’t know what they need to complete their tasks. They need help.

Let me rephrase that: they need a solution.

They don’t want to learn about every drill or wrench for sale. They want the single product that will get the job done. [Read more…]

Best Business Writing Tips on Revision Fairy: Summer 2011

Business Writing Tips. Photo Credit – Flickr: petter palanderFavorites.

They seem to be a staple on every social media site, Web browser, and smartphone.

Since it’s unwise to dive into any project without a healthy review of its early stages, I want to list my favorite business writing tips on Revision Fairy from the last few months.

I look forward to writing about more specific topics that answer your questions about how to produce the best business writing possible.

Summer is a time for reflection and relaxation (although I’ll likely also write a similar post in the fall), so take a look at these helpful business writing posts in case you missed them earlier in the year.

Happy Reading! [Read more…]

7 Rock (Star) Solid Tips to Write a Press Release Like Lady Gaga

Write a Press Release. Photo Credit – Flickr: jupiescoWhen you write a press release to promote your business, you want to attract attention from the media.

However, with the amount of press releases that flood newsrooms each day, your company’s information will be quickly overlooked if you don’t present your announcement in an enticing way.

What can you do if your last press release didn’t produce the results that you desired? Enter: Lady Gaga.

The self-described master of the art of fame constantly works to top her most recent move—whether she’s designing her wardrobe, writing a pop song, or planning a new world tour.

If you want your news release to make headlines, here are 7 tips that will help you write a fascinating press release, Lady Gaga-style. [Read more…]

Proofread Your Business Blog Posts and Get More Subscribers in 5 Steps

Many bloggers’ goal is to get more subscribers.Photo Credit – Flickr: Brero

You want to communicate your message to a large audience and attract readers to what you have to offer.

In order to gain readers’ trust so that they have a consistent interest in your writing, you need to make every blog post unforgettable.

Mediocre posts perpetuate the notion that blogs are still LiveJournal musings about the incredible English muffin that you had for breakfast, rather than a serious medium for self-publishing.

A thoughtful, complete blog post has certain characteristics regardless of its length (which will vary depending on your topic).

Even if you don’t have a lot of time to proofread your business blog posts, here are five questions to ask yourself before you publish. Satisfy each of these elements to bridge the gap between writing that makes an impact and text that gets ignored. [Read more…]

Why You Won’t Find My Online Proofreading Services on Facebook

Online Proofreading Services. Photo Credit – Flickr: richliuI have 0 friends.

On Facebook, that is—because I don’t have a personal profile or a Fan page for my online proofreading services.

This admission usually generates puzzled facial expressions and a flurry of condescending questions.

“Aren’t you an online proofreader?” “You can’t possibly be serious about your online business if it’s not on Facebook?!”

Look at it this way: I’m a freelance proofreader and editor. Writers don’t like me.

When was the last time you liked someone who pointed out your mistakes?

But I’m supposed to set up a Facebook Fan page for my business that corrects mistakes and expect you to “Like” it? Hmm … [Read more…]

What Your Small Business Can Learn from an Old Man, a Little Boy, and a Donkey

Small Business. Photo Credit – Flickr: magnusfranklin“How exhausting is it being you?” a friend recently asked me over coffee.

“Extremely,” I replied.

Interestingly enough, he wasn’t observing that I’m burned out from my Revision Fairy® Small Business Proofreading Services duties.

I know that I need to get a good amount of rest (even if it’s during unconventional sleeping hours), eat a proper diet (that sometimes includes Chicken McNuggets), and exercise regularly (by taking walks and dancing around my apartment).

His question stemmed from my tendency to over-think everything.

I fixate on ideas, stories, and situations. If you’re a small business writer or entrepreneur, you probably do the same thing. [Read more…]

Self-Publishing in the Age of Weinergate

Self-Publishing, Weingergate. Photo Credit – Flickr: Tony the MisfitLadies, I’ve got a scenario for you.

You’re leaving a cocktail party where you just spent the evening talking to two men.

One of them is a HarperCollins-published author, and the other has an online business where he writes a blog and self-publishes ebooks.

If you were asked which one of these men impressed you the most, what’s your natural inclination?

I’d say the man who writes for one of the top U.S. book publishers would probably be the winner.

Social status and finance aside, on a basic level, the traditionally published author grabs your attention because his work is validated—it got a gold seal of approval from a publishing company.

Simply put, self-publishing is still looked down upon because anyone can do it. [Read more…]

How Making Mistakes Gets Me Hired As a Freelance Proofreader

Freelance Proofreader. Photo Credit – Flickr: jasmeetIf you hire a freelance proofreader to catch your writing mistakes, why would you want one who makes them herself?

It seems counterintuitive.

When I began offering online proofreading services, I was afraid to write anything other than copy on my bare bones (but meticulously crafted) Web site. I thought that the only way to keep my freelance proofreader reputation spotless was to avoid producing content.

The idea that I might make a typo or some sort of grammar error for the public to see was too much to bear.

You’re probably already thinking what took me months to realize. [Read more…]

The Hall & Oates Guide to Small Business Writing

Small Business Writing. Photo Credit – Flickr: Old Lucky DuckWhen Hall & Oates play a concert in town, I’m there. No questions asked.

The transformation from college kids playing soul music in Philadelphia to one of America’s biggest pop duos is a lot like growing a small business.

You put in countless hours and effort in hope to one day become a profitable enterprise that pays it forward and provides opportunities for others.

There’s not enough room on my server for a rant about how much I enjoy Daryl Hall & John Oates, but if you’re building a small business, you’re probably looking for the same type of love from your clients and customers.

You want them to adore you because what you offer is so simply incredible.

Here are 10 small business writing tips from Hall & Oates songs to help you clearly communicate your unique selling proposition and turn your small business into a fan-crazed phenomenon. [Read more…]

7 Reasons Why Online Proofreading Services Should Be Illegal

Online Proofreading Services. Photo Credit: CarbonNYCUsing online proofreading services designed for your small business is like getting away with murder.

For a minimal fee, an online proofreader will polish your writing, but you get to take credit for the brilliant results.

Many blog posts and articles will explain why you need a freelance proofreader. You’ve heard all the reasons.

You can’t catch your own writing mistakes. If you have one typo in a document, all your clients will hate you forever. You’re not a grammar expert.

Boring, right? A minor typo or occasional syntax error doesn’t make any difference.

But what if your content is far from professional quality and you don’t realize it?

Online proofreading services are a small business’s ally.

Here are 7 sneaky advantages of hiring a freelance proofreader that will lighten your workload and strengthen your business. [Read more…]

Video: A Punctuation Lesson via Conan O’Brien

Punctuation Lesson. Photo Credit – Flickr: whittlzSince proper punctuation and Conan O’Brien both hold spots on my “favorite things” list, I was thrilled that I recently got to combine the two in an educational video.

Thanks to the DVR, you can enjoy late-night television any time of day. I record CONAN, and I’ll often put on the show during breaks throughout my work schedule.

In March, the show began its “Fan Corrections” segment. If a viewer finds an error during an episode, Conan invites the fan to make a video about the mistake and post it on YouTube as a response to the challenge.

Last week, I found a punctuation error during Conan’s May 4 show. As a freelance proofreader, it was only appropriate that I make a video about the incident and teach Conan about proper punctuation. [Read more…]

20 Fears that a Freelance Proofreader Kills to Help You Sleep at Night

Freelance Proofreader. Photo Credit: HikingArtist.com“I’m so glad you caught that!” is a familiar remark to a freelance proofreader.

After you and/or your team of writers create multiple drafts, you don’t always have the time to check that your documents make sense to someone who isn’t part of your company’s inner circle.

How will your target audience interpret your copy? Did you fail to communicate your point? Will your writing make you look unprofessional?

Even though many small businesses don’t employ full-time proofreaders, the luxury of having a professional catch your mistakes and improve the clarity of your writing is not reserved for the big guys.

Instead of losing sleep over potential business writing blunders, a reliable online proofreader is just a few clicks away.

Hire a freelance proofreader to correct your writing and remove the 20 fears that make up the Four M’s of Small Business Document Anxiety. [Read more…]

The Secret to a Business Plan that Works

“I can’t ___.”Photo Credit: HikingArtist.com

We all say it. Something sounds great. Ideal. Exciting. Life-changing. But I can’t do that. It’s something that other people do—people with X, Y, or Z, but not me.

The secret for executing any business goal has nothing to do with perfect grammar, stellar punctuation, or seamless transitions. While I’ll happily correct the technical aspects of a business plan, there’s an exercise that you must master before you attempt any writing. [Read more…]