Those looking for proofing and editing services are often in for a number of challenges - how to find or select a professional editor or writer in a field where qualifications do not matter so much?
I have come across messages on buyer’s request pages where the buyer had a bad time with an editor or proofreader. And this is quite understandable. Well, anyone can miss a typo or two, especially those who have experience as their only qualification. But there can be worse cases too.
Selecting a good writer/editor is made more difficult by the fact that the live portfolio doesn’t either exist or isn’t helpful enough. Not many editors/writers can thus show proof of their skills upfront.
No wonder many buyers now specify that they would hire only a native English speaker.
However, you can still hire a non-native content person, and get a very decent work done at a much lesser cost.
Here are 5 simple tips to follow that can save time and money:
Do not be in a hurry: The time spent shortlisting sellers will be worth hours and dollars. Except desperate college students, others can take their time!
Evaluate communication: See how the seller communicates - does it betray a lack of natural English usage? Bad potatoes can be picked out at this stage. Cross confirm with the quality of their gig description.
Check gig descriptions: A professional writer/editor will throw in many details that relate to writing and content. Even if you don’t know what these are, you will learn as you browse around.
Check the pricing: While anyone can do a great job for a fiver, good proofreaders and editors will throw in professional packages as well.
Start with a small, one-day gig: If you can, test the seller. I have even been asked to give a small writing test by some buyers!
If you have a lot of content work in the pipeline, it would be natural to try out several sellers and stick to the best of breed out here: fast, punctual, hard working and meticulous, with an eye for detail.
As a non-writer, you may get impressed by first impressions, but in time you will learn to identify the work that meets the common, good standards of content - these can be picked up from writing seen on the internet and other places.
All the best to your content work and experience here!