The most important element in choosing a professional writer, besides proven ability, is versatility. You want someone who can just as easily write in the casual tone of a blog, the concise style required for a business report, the who, why, where, what and when of pure journalism or a story that paints a picture with words. Simply put, writing a manual or technical report requires a different skill set than ghost writing a magazine article.
The skill and experience required to write in a variety of venues started in my early twenties writing, of all things, by-laws and letters on behalf of a municipality. In the years since I’ve written for local and industry specific publications, website content, manuals (a most challenging task) and much more. Add to this cross-industry business experience and you have a writer with the skills to take on just about any assignment.
Editing & Proofing
Cost: $30 per hour
Do you know the difference between editing and proof reading? Having done a considerable amount of both through the years I can tell you that each requires a very specific skill.
Editing requires the more advanced skills of having a solid grasp and understanding of grammar plus an innate sense of the writer’s style. The latter is absolutely necessary in order to make changes that are seamless in both context and voice.
Proofing is the challenging task of ‘seeing’ errors; to spot when letters have been transposed like ‘from’ being typed as ‘form’ or a conjunction such as ‘to’ or ‘of’ being dropped. What makes proofing a challenge is that when reading we tend to ‘fill in the blanks’ and can easily miss errors, even with spell checkers.