GrammarPhile Blog

3 Myths About Proofreading Services

Posted by Terri Porter   Feb 25, 2016 7:00:00 AM

Many customers are former do-it-yourselfers, commonly citing at least one of the following reasons for not outsourcing their proofreading:

  • We save money by doing it in-house. Outsourcing is way too expensive.
  • We can turn documents around much more quickly in-house without wasting time waiting to get proofread documents back from an agency.
  • Our style/subject matter/process is complicated. We need to keep our documents in-house for quality control, because no outside editor/proofreader could conform to our standards.

magnifying glassSound familiar? If so, you might be surprised to learn that outsourcing your proofreading can actually cut costs, take less time and result in high-quality, error-free documents.

Myth #1: Outsourcing Costs More

The argument that outsourcing costs more is probably the most common one for keeping proofreading in-house. And it’s true — if you look only at the cost of paying someone else to proofread your documents. But the actual cost of getting the work done in-house can be much higher because of expenses associated with the following:

  • Advertising, interviewing, testing and following up with in-house proofreading candidates and then training and regularly evaluating whomever you hire.
  • Providing office space, equipment, compensation and benefits for in-house personnel.
  • Reprinting a piece with a major error in it, which may have additional reputational and emotional consequences … and even invoke liability in some instances.

Myth #2: Outsourcing Takes Longer

The idea that outsourcing takes longer and gives you less control over turning jobs around quickly is common among deadline-driven companies, particularly advertising and PR agencies and law firms. But in reality, having an outside proofreading service you can turn to as a trusted partner at any hour of the day or night can give you more control. Here’s how:

  • provides 24/7/365 service and turnaround times as fast as 30 minutes. Few businesses have that capability in-house.
  • You can submit a job before lunch or at the end of the day and return to work to find the proofed document in your email inbox.
  • Having not just one but two sets of fresh eyes review your work substantially reduces the risk of errors slipping through.

Myth #3: Outsourcing Compromises Quality

The notion that outsourcing compromises quality stems from the belief that quality depends on the enforcement of consistent standards, immediate and ongoing feedback, and a series of checks and balances throughout the production process — and that such a dynamic isn’t possible with outsourcing.

In fact, it is.

The success of such a relationship hinges on the expectations a company has regarding the role an outside proofreading agency should play — and, importantly, on how well the company communicates those expectations.

We have many different kinds of working relationships with a range of clients, from solopreneurs to multinational corporations. Some send us everything they produce, with few to no specific instructions. Others rely on us to handle their most important pieces and any overflow during particularly busy times.

Bigger clients, many with their own marketing departments, often will submit a detailed style guide and request their own team of editors. In these situations, we essentially serve as an extension of the client company, which facilitates consistency and helps ensure high quality.


Outsourcing isn’t for everyone. But if you’ve been reluctant to explore that option based on one of the myths discussed above, maybe now is a good time to reconsider. For a more in-depth discussion of the myths about outsourcing and advice on finding the right outsourcing partner for you, check out our ebook, Don’t Outsource Your Proofreading.



Topics: proofreading

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