Creativity and attention-to-detail are among the best skills to have for a large number of industries – this blog explores their desirability and usefulness for many jobs and the best ways of acquiring these skills.
Have you ever wondered when looking at adverts or hearing voice-overs on TV adverts and programmes who wrote the words? Do you look at books, magazines or blog posts and spot errors and think ‘how could it have been missed?’.
Writers and proofreaders are people who are actively sought by companies, businesses, organisations, publishers, educational establishments to name but a few to create and check copy, texts and so on.
But why are writers and proofreaders so important? Why do companies outsource this work when they may have an in-house team of writers? Surely, spellcheckers pick up on every mistake?
Why do companies outsource copywriting?
Writing articles, blog posts, essays or even scripts for promotional videos and TV adverts, the art and skill of writing is still in hot demand. Some larger companies do have an in-house writer or copywriting team, but a lot of the time, organisations and businesses outsource this important task.
There are many reasons why this is the case;
- Professional polish – writers are creative people who can create amazing copy that fits the brief perfectly.
- Speed – a professional writer can create copy quickly too.
- Specialist – many writers also specialise which makes them even more popular with clients in certain industries or sectors, such as fashion blogging or academia.
- Search engine optimisation etc. – in some cases, it is important that the article or blog post is not only optimised for readers but for search engines too.
- Volume – to keep a website current and high up in a search engine ranking, content must be regularly and consistently posted. A writer can dedicate the time needed to create interesting and informative posts that have the professional polish that fits with the organisation’s brand.
- Qualified – as well as creative writing courses, many writers have qualifications in other subject areas, as well as an abundance of experiences that lend themselves to writing fantastic pieces, from video scripts to articles on specific topics.
Why do companies outsource proofreading?
When it comes to content and articles, it is important that it has the polish and professionalism that customers expect from a business or organisation. Proofreading detects the mistakes that lurk hidden in word choices, grammar and punctuation.
There is a difference between proofreading, the basics of checking articles, posts etc. for spelling and grammatical, and editing, the processes of re-wording or altering a piece of test to increase its appeal. As a proofreader, you may decide to qualify as editors too, a fantastic and worthwhile addition to your creative writing skills
Companies outsource proofreading for all kinds of reasons;
- Spot errors – the main reason for proofreading is to spot and correct errors in the text.
- Human vs. machine – relying on a PC to pick up errors is not a foolproof solution, and neither are some of the online apps and programs. A proofreader, an expert in grammar and spelling with not only spot errors but understand that sometimes, the subtle nuances that a spell checker will mark out as wrong are colloquial expressions. It is not just correct mistakes but understanding the appeal of the text overall.
- Polish and professionalism – frankly, a mistake in the middle of a piece of text sends out all the wrong messages. The implications of such a mistake can be costly, such as the placing commas in the wrong place…
- A fresh pair of eyes – when working on a piece of text, a writer can become ‘too close’ and thus, a fresh pair of eyes can offer the clarity needed to really give it the rounded, polished feel a business needs and wants.
Is it the career for you?
Being a writer or a proofreader is not a task that suits everyone. It may sound romantic being a writer but quite often, it involves many hours of sitting at a desk. Also, some of the topics you may write on will not be exciting.
Being a proofreader means having the ability to not only spot small errors in a text but being able to concentrate for long periods of time.
As well as specific proofreading courses, creative writing courses are ideal for placing a polish on your own writing, as well as an opportunity to explore different ways of using the written word.
Is it a career choice that attracts you?