Commonly Misused Words

English is a language with many confusing words that are commonly misused. Even native speakers will probably recognize some of the commonly misused words on this list. Are you using them correctly in your writing?

Use of an incorrect word, such as illicit in place of elicit, can obscure the meaning of your writing. Whether it’s a blog post, a story, a personal narrative, or something technical like a court transcript – don’t embarrass yourself! Commonly misused words are one of the most prevalent errors that proofreaders look find and correct.

If you’re a writer and want to avoid these written blunders, or if you’re a professional proofreader who needs to spot errors with precision, here’s a short list of ten words to be on the lookout for. For each word, I explain the actual meaning of the word, the difference between the misused version, and give examples of sentences where the word is used correctly.

I hope this is helpful to you!

If you’re ever in doubt about the actual meaning of a word, check definitions in a dictionary like Merriam-Webster (or whatever your style guide recommends).

Ten Commonly Misused Words

 1. a while / awhile

Similarly, both of these words describe vague amounts of time. Beyond that, they have completely different meanings and are used differently in sentences.

A while is a phrase that refers to a period in time.

  • The meeting lasted for a while.
  • I won’t know the outcome for a while.

In contrast, awhile is an adverb that means “for a short time.” We use adverbs to modify or describe other words such as adjectives, nouns, verbs, or other adverbs. Notice what awhile is modifying in each of these examples.

  • He stayed around awhile. 
  • She’s been there awhile.

A personal tip -I find that I use a while (two words) much more often in my writing.

2. a part / apart

A part is two words. The first word, a, is an article – it refers specifically to the part. You can have a part in something, take a part of something, even record a part of something.

  • I have a part in the production of this year’s play.
  • I recorded a part of last night’s concert.

The single word apart is very different. This adverb describes things that are separated. In each of the example sentences below, notice which word or phrase apart describes.

  • Those two cities are more than fifty miles apart.
  • The relationship fell apart.
  • I took apart the model airplane last night.
  • The books have been ripped apart!

Still confused? Writing Explained has a quiz you can take on your knowledge of the distinction between these two words.

3. capital / capitol

I see this error a lot when I’m editing and proofreading travel writing! Travel bloggers often write about visiting capital cities complete with photos of the capital buildings. Wait – full stop! It is the capital city, but it is also the capitol building.

Capital is an adjective as well as a noun. The noun capital can refer to money, while the adjective capital can describe a city or a letter.

  • The women put a lot of capital into starting up that business.
  • In Spanish, you do not use a capital letter at the beginning of the name of a language.
  • The capital city of Malaysia is Kuala Lampur.

The word capitol has only one specific meaning: the building that a government body meets in. 

  • The capitol building in Jefferson City has a mural painted inside the dome.
  • I took the ten o’clock tour of the capitol.
  • Congress was not in session when we toured the capitol.

4. bare / bear

According to Merriam-Webster, bare is an adjective that refers to lacking clothing, lacking tools or weapons, or generally being exposed. Read these example sentences and notice what bare is describing.

  • His arms were bare up to the elbows.
  • Vultures had picked at the bones until they were bare.
  • He felt the need to bare it all during the session.

A bear, of course, is an animal. A big, cute, furry, possibly cuddly but actually scary mammal. This is a photo I took of a bear I saw in Olympic National Park in 2016!

5. complement / compliment

Complement is an adjective used in a similar way as complete. In these examples, the word loosely refers to making something (a noun) complete.

  • The new bassist really complements the rhythm section.
  • The curtains complement the room very well.

A compliment, on the other hand, is a noun, a thing – an expression that conveys praise or respect.

  • I gave the author many compliments on the story.
  • I am sometimes uncomfortable when people give me compliments.

Compliment can also be used as a verb, the action being to make an expression that conveys praise or respect.

  • I complimented the chef on the outstanding meal.
  • She couldn’t help but compliment her brother’s painting. 

6. conscience / conscious

I commonly see these two words used interchangeably. It’s understandable, considering they both loosely refer to morals or states of right or wrong. There is a difference, though, namely that one is a noun and one is an adjective.

One’s conscience (noun) is their personal, inner morals. 

  • His conscience wouldn’t let him do that, though.
  • My conscience wasn’t going to rest until I made it right with her.

Being conscious (adjective) means being aware of yourself and the world. 

  • They try to be conscious of their carbon footprint.
  • She wasn’t conscious enough of her employees’ needs.

Oftentimes, our conscience exists in our conscious mind – but it also sometimes exists in our unconscious mind. 🙂

7. work out / workout

When written as two words, work out is used as a verb. To work out is the action of working out, either an exercise workout (see what I did there?) or some other it that needs working with. 

  • Are you two going to work out that issue?
  • I am going to the gym to work out today.
  • I had to spend a long time working out that last math problem.

A workout, on the other hand, is a noun referring to exercise or some other form of physical activity. In this case, a workout is a thing.

  • My workout today consisted of weightlifting and cardio.
  • That hike isn’t much of a workout, it’s more like a gentle stroll.

8. hear / here

Hear is a verb that refers to the perception of sound.

  • I could hear the subtle differences in the birds’ songs.
  • I can’t hear anything over this music! 

Here functions in three ways: as an adjective, as an adverb, and as a noun.

As an adjective, here is used for emphasis.

  • My favorite book is this one right here.
  • This map here should show us the way.

As an adverb, here most commonly refers to a place or the current time (now).

  • Turn here to get there quicker.
  • The appointment is here already.

The noun here refers to a location or a place.

  • Everyone is here.
  • I am going to be here every day.

Bonus: Here, here! Or hear, hear? Check out this post on the Grammar Party blog for some grammar nerdy tidbits!

9. in to / into

As two words, in to generally works the same as the phrase in order to.

  • The painters came in to take advantage of the sale. (The painters came in order to take advantage of the sale.)
  • They brought her in to interpret the symbols. (They brought her in order to interpret the symbols).

Into as one word refers is a preposition. Remember that prepositions link words together. In the case of into, it will link a noun with a place.

  • Where did I put my keys? Ah, into my pocket.
  • She jumped straight into the deep end.

10. past / passed

It’s easy to confuse these two words because they both involve time.

Past can be used as an adjective, noun, adverb, or preposition.

As an adjective or a noun, the past refers to a time period that has already happened.

  • My mistakes are in my past.
  • In past years, she was the CEO of that company.

As an adverb, Merriam-Webster defines past as “so as to reach and go beyond a point.”

  • An airplane flew past.
  • He ran past.

Feel like those example sentences are clunky? I agree. In that case, we use past as a preposition, linking an event or an object to a time in the past. This is a subtle difference than using past as an 

  • An airplane flew past us in the sky.
  • He ran past the finish line.

Passed is a verb in its past participle form (it’s in past tense). Use this word to describe the act of passing (or not passing) in the past.

  • I passed the test last week.
  • She passed a lot of slow cars on the highway this morning.

I think that’s enough for today! This is a small list of ten commonly misused words that I compiled from errors I have seen in client work as well as errors I’ve made on my own. I like reading lists like this because it keeps these easy-to-miss errors fresh in my mind. I’ll be sure to post more lists like this in the future, so if you find things like this helpful as well, subscribe to Writer’s Bloom to get updates!

  • Did you recognize any words on this list that you’ve personally misused?
  • What words do you find difficult to use and remember correctly?

Leave suggestions of words you find confusing or ones that you commonly see misused in the comments below – I’d love to know what you think so I can include them in a future post!

Want more grammar nerding fun? See my list of Ten Places to Get Online Proofreading Training, including worksheets, games, and tests.

Share this post with a grammar lover!

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Why is SEO Content Important for Small Businesses?

One of the best tools for online marketing is SEO content. Read this post to learn more about SEO content and how it can bring in traffic to your website, increase engagement with your customer base, and lead to sales!

Potential customers for your small business are looking for content online every day. They’re asking questions in search engines, reading tutorials on how to do things, and researching topics they care about. If your business puts this content out there (and it’s optimized to appear in search engine results pages), you have a better chance of reaching people. When you reach people, you make more sales!

Quality content gets out the word about your products and services to the people who are most likely to buy.

What is SEO content? 

SEO stands for search engine optimization

Web content that is search engine optimized is more likely to appear at the top of the search engine results page.

Have you ever thought about what determines which websites pop up on the search engine results page? It’s actually a little tricky. Basically, the search engine uses algorithms to examine web pages for a number of criteria as related to the query. The web pages or blog posts that meet the most criteria are assumed to answer the query, so they show up at the top.

Content that is SEO (search engine optimized) meets certain criteria for quality, as well as adheres to some technical specifications. We’ll explain all of that in this post! First, let’s go into what we mean by quality content

SEO Content is Quality Content

One of the main criteria for SEO is the use of keywords. These are the words and phrases your potential customers are using when they open up and type or speak into a search engine; the queries that produce the search engine results pages.

If your content contains a lot of these keywords, you’re more likely to appear when people search for them. It’s not enough to simply use these keywords, though. You really have to use them well. The content must be meaningful and relevant to the user.

Back in the earlier days of SEO, search engines displayed results based on keyword density alone. You could simply pack your desired keyword into a short article or blog post and instantly appear on search engine results pages. This lead to a rise to lots of nonsensical and, quite frankly, terrible content that sounded something like this:

  • Wedding planners are in every city. Personal wedding planners are helpful. Are you looking for wedding planners? Hire wedding planners in your city. Use a wedding planner for your wedding. Hire local wedding planners now. 

Today, search engines are a lot smarter, and ranking at the top of search engine results is more difficult and competitive thanks constantly-changing algorithms that rank pages based on the perceived quality of the content.

Rather than packing the keyword wedding planner as many times as possible, quality SEO content about a wedding planning business will include multiple useful, relevant, and information-packed articles. Topics might include:

  • Ideas for floor plans in various-sized venues
  • A list of the pros and cons of hiring a band versus a DJ
  • Reviews of catering services
  • Testimonials from clients who were on the fence about hiring a wedding planner

Basically, quality SEO content provides information people are looking for.

Quality content answers people’s questions and gives them information.

When real people ask questions and type queries into Google, they want the results to be meaningful and relevant. They’re aren’t just looking for websites that contain the words they searched for – they want information that gives them the scoop, tells them the story, or shows them how.

While there are many technical strategies for optimization, these strategies are nothing without solid, meaningful, and relevant content as the foundation.

Giving people information they want to know and the content they want to read is a solid marketing strategy because it builds trust in your brand. Additionally, quality content is more likely to be shared, opening the doors to word-of-mouth advertising. 

Quality SEO content gets shared on social media.

People use social media to stay connected, share personal and professional ideas, get inspiration, and express opinions. In 2018, there were 244 million people using social media in the United States alone.

If you have a personal Facebook account, think about this: how many times have friends or family members tagged you in random posts about goods or services you’re interested in?

If you’ve got quality content, people will want to share it. This sort of organic marketing is valuable!

How does SEO optimization affect how your website appears in search engine results pages?

Remember those keywords and keyword phrases I mentioned above? These are the things that help your small business appear in the search engine results pages, thus matching you up with people who are searching for products and services to buy.

SEO content targets the people who are most likely to buy your product.

Some of the keywords you’ll use in your SEO content are obvious. For example, if you’re a wedding planner, wedding planner is an obvious choice. But what other terms or phrases are people in the market for wedding planners searching for? Could they be looking for an outdoor wedding planner? What about a traditional wedding planner?

Success with keywords requires that you figure out what your potential customers are searching for. In the content writing business, we call this keyword research.

If you’d like to do the work of conducting keyword research for your own small business, check out this list of resources, both free and paid.

You can also hire a professional content writer to make the process much easier and more streamlined for you. I’ll outline how to do that at the bottom of this post.

People click on content with quality titles and meta descriptions.

You learned this way back in school: the title of a piece of writing is important for grabbing people’s attention. That is the same for internet content! You want that same attention-grabbing effect from the content’s meta description as well.

Meta descriptions are short (155 character) phrases that a search engine shows with the title of the web page. They’re added to a piece of content using HTML tags (so they’re not necessarily visible on the blog post or web page itself). While meta descriptions don’t figure into search engine algorithms the way that keywords do, they are hugely important when it comes to someone deciding whether or not to click on your link.

To demonstrate the importance of meta descriptions, let’s look at these examples below. The keyword phrase used here was Kansas City yoga classes. Each of these meta descriptions contains that phrase – but are they all created equal?

If you were a person who wanted to take yoga classes in your city and you saw these results, which one of these descriptions is the most appealing? Which one are you most likely to click on and why? What about LEAST likely to click on and why?

Quality content with relevant and engaging meta descriptions will help your small business rank higher in search engine results pages as well as increase the number of people who click on your link.

People will actually read content that is clear, concise, and engaging.

I love reading, but let’s face it, not everyone shares that love. But even people who don’t necessarily enjoy reading for fun will read online content that is directly useful and/or relevant and is written in a way that is easy to understand and engaging

SEO content conveys information directly and in the best terms for the target audience. By using clear narratives, good storytelling methods, persuasive-but-not-pushy copywriting, readers are engaged to learn information, trust your brand, and buy your product or services.

Quality SEO content gets shared on social media.

People use social media to stay connected, share personal and professional ideas, get inspiration, and express opinions. In 2018, there were 244 million people using social media in the United States alone.

If you have a personal Facebook account, think about this: how many times have friends or family members tagged you in random posts about goods or services you’re interested in?

If you’ve got quality content, people will want to share it. This sort of organic marketing is valuable!

How can I write quality SEO content for my small business?

I wish I could say that ranking in search engine results pages was simply a matter of writing useful content with relevant keywords and having a perfect meta description. That is a huge part of it! However, there’s also a lot of behind-the-scenes work that goes into getting picked up by search engine algorithms. 

Search engine algorithms consider all of the following (and then some):

  • Titles
  • URLs
  • Headers, sub-headers, and body paragraphs
  • Keywords and keyword phrases
  • Links, backlinks, interlinks, and anchor text
  • Readers’ promotions and interactions, comments, likes, shares, etc.
  • Shareability: easily share, tweet, pin, or promote
  • Multiple avenues of information delivery: text, images, infographics, videos, and other sharable content

You can get the technical details about what these things are and how they factor into small business marketing on my beginner tutorial for SEO content.

When you follow the technical rules for SEO optimization, provide quality content, you will rank higher on search engine results pages.

Hire SEO Content Writers

One of the best ways to increase traffic to your website and convert that traffic to sales is by producing relevant and useful content.

Content that increases traffic is unique, widely understood by your intended audience, and full of information that people are already searching for. When people trust the business that provides the content, they’re more likely to buy.

Quality SEO content that leads to sales must be engaging, error-free, and fully optimized to appear on search engine results pages. 

Ready to start using SEO content to advertise your small business, but don’t want to put forth the effort it takes to write it? Hire a professional SEO content writer. My name is Rosemary and I work for Writing Rose, a professional writing, editing, and proofreading business. We regularly produce quality content that puts small businesses on the front of search engine result pages. Want to know more? See more about what the hiring process looks like here.

Have any questions or want to generate some ideas about how your small business could use SEO content? Drop me a line through email, or for a quicker response, reply to this post below.

SEO Content for Small Businesses
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Proofreading Can Make or Break Your Writing: Why You Need to Hire a Professional

What are the benefits of proofreading?

Oftentimes, our first impression is through our writing. Writing helps us tell stories, achieve goals, and get the word out about products and services. Proofreading can make sure your writing is clear, concise, and error-free.

My name is Rosemary and I’m a proofreader for Writing Rose. I help my clients express themselves with writing that is polished and professional. In this post, I’ll use my expertise to build a case for how writers of novels, blogs, articles, and other published works can improve their writing by hiring professional proofreaders.

First, I’ll go over what English proofreading services are. Then, I’ll explain the benefits of proofreading and describe what kinds of documents need proofreading and editing. Finally, I’ll name some professional proofreading companies and show you how to hire a professional English proofreader.

What are proofreading services?

Proofreading services are the very last step before a document or piece of writing is published or distributed.

A proofreader’s job description includes finding and correcting the tiniest errors in spelling, punctuation, word usage, and formatting. They also adhere to style guides such as the Chicago Manual of Style, AP Stylebook, APA, MLA, and/or a house style guide.

Proofreaders do not make suggestions or edits to your words or sentences. They don’t make changes to the text except where a language rule is broken or the sentence does not make sense. So what do proofreading services fix in writing?

Grammar mistakes

She done wrote what she written and it gone and publishing all the livelong day.

That sentence evokes no squiggly-red line of error from my word processing software so it’s good to go, right?

Wrong. There are multiple errors in the above sentence involving the grammar and verb tenses. Here is how a proofreader might revise this sentence:

She done wrote what she had written, and it was gone and published all the livelong day.

What do you think about this? Does it still need tweaking or is it just fine the way it is?

If you think this sentence still needs some help, that would be the job of an editor. However, since it is now grammatically correct – all of the verb tenses line up and there are punctuation marks are in the correct place – the proofreader’s job is done.

Without going into too much grammar-nerd-level detail here about the changes, I’ll just point towards some references that professional proofreaders use when they work with their clients’ writing:

Commonly misused words and phrases

In this professional proofreader’s opinion, these are the most subtle and thus the hardest errors to catch because these words are spelled correctly, just used in the wrong context. Since context helps you know what the author means to say, it is easy to get the bigger picture of the writing while missing these errors. Not everyone misses these errors, though! A proofreader ensures that the meaning of the writing is crystal clear.

Look at these examples. If you’re not convinced catching these are worthy of hiring a professional proofreader, do some research to figure out why they’re wrong using the sources listed above.

  • Using the word illicit in place of elicit
  • For all intensive purposes – are the purposes really that intensive?
  • Did you visit the capital building when you went to the capitol city?
  • Did you do what you were suppose to or what you were supposed to?
  • Are their views deep-seeded in the ground?

This guide from Indiana University East’s Writing Center has more commonly misused words and phrases.

Non-native speakers of English

Being able to write, speak, and think in multiple languages is a great skill. The nuanced and detailed rules of written language can be confusing to native speakers, much less to people who are trying to juggle multiple rule systems in their heads! It’s totally understandable that multilingual people make errors in writing.

For an experienced proofreader, mistakes made by non-native speakers of English are easy to spot and correct. A knowledgeable, experienced English proofreader will edit your writing to a native-level accuracy.

English is considered by many to be a difficult language to learn. This post published by the Oxford Royale Academy outlines many of the reasons why.

Citations, formatting, adherence to style guides

What are style guide and how do you use them? That subject is pretty technical and it’s not necessary for writers to learn all the rules of style guides. If you just want to focus on writing, that’s what you should do! A proofreader can make sure your manuscript follows the guidelines set forth by CMOS, AP, MLA, and/or the house you are publishing with.

What other documents need proofreading services?

Newspapers, magazines, children’s books, website content, presentations, university course materials such as syllabi and slideshows, court reports, brochures and pamphlets, product catalogs, company documents such as training manuals and employee handbooks, and more! Any piece of writing that is meant to be read by any number of people deserves to be clear, concise, and free of errors.

What is editing? Do I need to proofread and edit my documents?

Similar to proofreading, editing looks at writing to ensure it is free of errors and its message is conveyed most clearly. In contrast to proofreading, editing is a more intensive process that sometimes involves rearranging ideas, rewriting sentences, and switching words.

As long as the meaning of the text makes sense and is error-free, proofreading does not make any edits or suggestions. In contrast, editing may make suggestions to use active voice instead of passive voice or may list adjectives more in line with the mood of the story.

I always say that any document meant to be read by any number of people should be proofread. The choice of whether or not to edit your writing is up to you.

If you are interested in learning more, you can read this post that compares and contrasts editing versus proofreading. It’s even got examples of documents so you can see the difference between each level of service.

I have a friend that can proofread for me. Why would I need a professional proofreader?

You should let trusted friends or family members go over your writing with proofreading in mind. They might have ideas or perspectives you didn’t think of before.

Even if you have someone you know look over your document, you still need a professional proofreader. Writing can be high-stakes and long-lasting. That’s why it needs to be the best version of itself.

Perfecting writing is part of a proofreader’s job description. They have a set of meticulously detailed-oriented, objective eyes that will ensure the meaning of your document is conveyed in the best way. They also have special training in the nuanced rules of the English language, training that goes beyond what even English majors learn in college. 

Ensuring your writing is clear, concise, and free of errors can save you from embarrassment, misunderstanding, and missed opportunities. The best way to make this happen is to have a professional proofreader look at your writing.

What kinds of documents need to be proofread?

Resumes, cover letters, application essays, press kits, and professional biographies

Even though documents like these aren’t always published, pe se, they are read by any number of important people. Your artist statement, professional bio, or press kit is also often your first – and could be your only – impression.

Imagine you misspell the name of the person you are greeting. In one line of your contract, you write the name of the venue as “The Grey Couch” instead of “The Gray Couch.” You commit a faux paux by using abbreviations instead of spelling out the full name of each university you’ve attended. These simple errors could be very off-putting to the people reading your document.

Or, in this real example from a client of Writing Rose, a tiny suggestion from a proofreader clears up any potential strangeness.

Documents with high stakes such as these need to be polished until they’re shiny and error-free. Proofreaders can do that for you. No job is too short for proofreading!

Novels and short stories

I am an avid reader. Once, I was reading a very somber book, and at the end of a paragraph I found an error in punctuation. When I found it, I laughed! Finding this tiny error brought me back to reality. It took me away from the story, broke my suspension of disbelief, and clouded the picture the words were painting in my head. If you love reading a good story or novel, you know what I’m talking about here.

It’s true that most people won’t find these kinds of errors. After all, I’m a professional who is trained to find them. If you’re an author, though, you should do as much as you can to ensure the complete enjoyment of your work by all readers – even those who are going to notice tiny errors.

You don’t have to be a professional to notice errors in punctuation, spelling, or formatting in text – plenty of lay people notice these as well. When I was a middle school teacher, my students frequently pointed out tiny errors in books, articles, and my own course materials! I was too busy to carefully proofread my own stuff, and besides, they were thirteen. But this goes to show you that people (even teenagers) do see and notice errors in writing.

If you’re an indie novelist, there are freelance proofreaders out there who would love a chance to help you make your novel the best version of itself it can be. I’ll outline some details on how to find a professional proofreader at the end of this post.

Website content and blog posts

Websites are complex collections of written content. A website can contain a biography or history, detailed descriptions, outlines of philosophies, written statement, tutorials, stories and photos, affiliate disclosures, contact information, and more. Similarly, blogs can serve a variety of purposes, especially for small businesses.

Your website or blog content deserves to be proofread by a professional for similar reasons to resumes and CVs: because that post or that page is sometimes your first (or only) impression. 

And similarly to novels and stories, blog posts can use narrative to describe all manner of topics. To ensure you paint the correct picture in your readers’ minds, make sure your writing is free of errors.

Check out these completely real examples of errors that I have found on blogs and websites. Some of these were even professional proofreading blogs! (Oh dear, now I’m concerned with my own blog!) 

This error was from a professional bio on an ecourse page. The error is in the only complete sentence in the screenshot. Can you see it?

This example is from a professional proofreading blog. I know that grammar rules for titles can be lax but, in my opinion, this phrase is just not correct!

Benefits of proofreading documents for small businesses

I see these common language errors from small businesses all the time:

  • Misspelling a common food item: sandwhiches, tomatoe, potatoe, expresso
  • Accidental misspellings of and/or incorrect use of capital letters with names, places, historical figures, and the like – is it the University of Kansas English department or the University of Kansas Department of English?
  • Inappropriate use of apostrophe’s (see what I did there?)
  • Are profits bigger than this quarter, or are they bigger then this quarter? 
  • Inappropriate “use” of quotation marks

There are plenty of reasons why people make these common errors, and they are nothing to be ashamed of. As I explained above, even a professional can make simple errors in their writing! Also, if you don’t care about knowing detailed grammar rules, that’s okay! There’s no need for everyone to be an expert at language. That’s why there are professional proofreaders.

Since written language has a set of rules that allow for its meaning to be understood most clearly, ensuring your message gets across is synonymous with having error-free writing. As you can see in these examples, errors can be anything from funny all the way to embarassing.

How can I find proofreaders near me?

You can actually hire an English proofreader completely online!

Do you remember the days in school when you proofread sentences and paragraphs using red pen and all those funny proofreaders’ marks?

Proofreaders’ Marks from the Chicago Manual of Style
Proofreaders’ Marks from the Chicago Manual of Style

Those days are long gone. It’s 2019 (as of this writing) and proofreading is completely digital nowadays. To hire a professional English proofreader all you do if find one that you like and contact them.

Proofreading Company Names

Has this post convinced you of the need to hire a professional to help with your writing? Full-service writing companies like Writing Rose, as well as individual freelancers on websites like Upwork and Fiverr, offer proofreading services. 

Alternately, do you think proofreading sounds fun? Are you perhaps interested in becoming a professional proofreader yourself? I’ve used my experience starting my own proofreading business to write this post about how to become a professional proofreader online.

Do you still have questions about proofreading? Feel free to email me, Rosemary, and ask. I’m passionate about my work and am happy to help connect people with resources! I’ll respond to your email soon. Or, you can also leave a comment on this post below for a quicker response.

Why you need a proofreader
Why you need a proofreader
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Writing Rose Services: Perfecting the Art of the Written Word

Why hire professional writing services?

Words tell our stories, define our intentions, and bring messages to our intended audience. Expressing yourself through writing that is eloquent, professional, and clearly understood will help you achieve your goals.

For businesses, writing is often the first impression potential customers get of products and services. Unique, informative, and engaging writing builds trust in your brand and encourages potential customers to turn into sales.

If your writing is online, search engine optimization techniques can be applied to ensure that your message reaches the right people.

Writing Rose is a professional writing, editing, and proofreading service – perfecting the art of the written word in all its forms. For our professional writers, editors, and proofreaders, perfecting the written word is an art, a science, and a joy.

My name is Rosemary and I’m the owner of Writing Rose. Read more in this post to learn about how we can help you get your ideas across to the right people. At the end, I’ll explain what it’s like to hire Writing Rose and outline price ranges for various services.

Writing Rose Services

Writing Rose offers two main branches of services. Writing services are for anyone who has ideas, but lacks the time or desire to put them into the most eloquent words. Proofreading and editing services help writers of perfect documents of all types.

Professional Writing Services

From the ground up – we write the words, you publish and post them! We can write about any topic and can tailor the style and language towards most audiences. Writing services include a reasonable amount of research on your topic so you can convey the best ideas to your readers and/or customers.

Examples of professional writing services include:

  • Blog posts, guest posts on blogs, and SEO blog content
  • Website content writing and SEO content
  • Articles
  • Professional writing such as biographies, artist statements, and statements of purpose
  • Cover letters and application essays
  • Company documents, mission statements, and company histories
  • Internal company documents such as training manuals and employee handbooks
  • Online store or catalog product descriptions
  • Ghostwriting for books, ebooks, articles, blog posts

Here are some examples of clients that have used Writing Rose’s professional writing services. See their testimonials here.

How much do writing services cost? That depends on some factors such as the intended use of the writing, the general audience, and the subject or technical nature of the writing. General rates for are outlined towards the bottom of this post.

Professional Editing Services

If you’ve already written something but you’re not completely sure the message is clear and concise, you may benefit from the services of an editor. An editor takes the document you’ve written and helps you make it better by offering suggestions, clearing up confusing passages, and asking questions. If you’d like to learn more about editing (and how it’s different from proofreading), you can check out this post I made here.

Examples of documents perfect for Writing Rose professional English editing services:

  • Blog posts, articles, social media posts, listicles, and the like
  • Existing or blog website content
  • Articles for periodicals or professional journals
  • Professional writing such as biographies, artist statements, and statements of purpose
  • Cover letters, application essays, press releases, grant applications
  • Company documents, mission statements, and company histories
  • Internal company documents such as training manuals and employee handbooks

Here are some examples of clients that have used Writing Rose’s professional editing services.

  • City Play Corps (nonprofit community organization) – press release, grant application
  • Jason D’Vaude (professional entertainer) – professional bio, website content
  • Martika (international variety entertainer) – professional bio, website content, electronic press kit (EPK), professional contracts
  • Vodvill Entertainment (entertainment company) – website content, professional bio, professional contracts
  • Various private clients

How much do editing services cost? Prices vary slightly depending on how technical the document is, but I outline general rates towards the bottom of this post.

Professional Proofreading Services

Proofreading is essential for documents that are going to be published or read by any number of important people. Even documents that have been thoroughly edited need to be proofread in order to find and correct the smallest of errors with grammar, punctuation, formatting, citations, and incorrect word usage. These errors, while they are small, can really detract from the meaning of the text. A proofreader is a detail-oriented word expert that gives the document the final polish before it’s ready to read.

If you’d like to learn more about proofreading (and how it’s different from editing), you can check out this post I made here.

Examples of documents perfect for Writing Rose professional proofreading services:

  • Blog posts, articles, social media posts, listicles, and the like
  • Any business documents including mission statements, company histories, training manuals, employee handbooks, agreements and contracts
  • Academic papers, essays, theses, and dissertations
  • Online store or catalog product descriptions
  • Websites and website content
  • Scientific and technical writing for articles and journals
  • Research proposals
  • Cookbooks, recipes, and cooking blog posts
  • Novels, novellas, and short stories

…and more! Honestly, we can proofread any document. Contact us for a custom quote!

Here are some examples of clients that have used Writing Rose’s professional proofreading services:

  • Martika Daniels (children’s book author)

How much do proofreading services cost? This is the simplest and most straight-forward of Writing Rose’s services, and that also means it costs the least. Rates are outlined at the bottom of this post.

How to Hire a Writer

To hire a writer, all you need is an idea. That’s it! The professionals at Writing Rose can help you convey that idea into words. We can turn your idea into a biography, blog post, series of engaging social media posts, an article, or even a book or an ebook.

Of course, we can also work with you if you have more than ideas. Our writers regularly produce content according to guidelines set forth by the client, and we are happy to tailor the style of the writing towards your target audience. Just share important information on the form when you contact us and we’ll make sure you get the documents you need. 

How to Hire a Proofreader or Editor

Before you hire a proofreader or editor, you need to have a document already written. Once that’s done, Writing Rose makes it really easy to hire a proofreader or editor. All quotes are custom-made, and discounts are available for big or recurring orders! Because the choice of an editor is important, large documents (2,500 or more words) will include a sample edit so you can make sure that this is the correct service for you. 

To start hiring a proofreader or editor, contact Writing Rose with this form. You will get a response (usually within 24 hours) that includes a proposal, projected deadlines, and a personalized quote.

Writing, editing, and proofreading rates

How much does a writer cost? How much does it cost to edit or proofread my document? Rates vary depending on the topic, number of words, where the work will be published, deadlines, and other factors. The table below is a range of rates for Writing Rose’s professional writing, editing, and proofreading services. These rates are comparable to other native English speakers in the industry and similar to those suggested by the Editorial Freelancers Association

ServiceRates (US dollars)Notes
Proofreading2 cents per word– Discounts for orders over 2,000 words
Editing5 cents per word– Discounts for orders over 2,000 words
– Special rates available for writing about certain topics (read below)
Writing50 cents per word
– Discounts for orders over 2,000 words
– Special rates available for niche topics (read below)
SEO content writing50 cents per word– Unlimited keywords and keyword phrases- Discounts for weekly or monthly recurring content
– Add-on service: keyword research, $20 per document or post
SEO content revamp6 cents per word– Includes editing service
– Uses keywords provided by client
– Add-on service: keyword research, $20 per document or post

How can I get a discount on writing, editing, and proofreading services?

Here are the best ways to get the most out of your money when hiring these services.

  • Place large orders – when we say “discounts for orders over 2,000 words,” that doesn’t mean a single document. You can submit a bunch of your company’s planned hundred-word tweets and as long as the total word count is over 2,000, you’ll enjoy a discount.
  • Find a writer, editor, or proofreader in your niche – Writing Rose is a diverse company and has experience and expertise in a number of areas. Special rates are available for writing about the following list of topics. We’ll automatically apply the special rate to any quote we send you after you’ve contacted us!
    • Performance artists, including flow artists, fire performers, and circus performers
    • Visual artists
    • Content about social justice issues such as racism, sexism, disability advocacy, and the like
    • Mental health and mental health advocacy
    • Neurodiversity and autism
    • Education, public education, and education professionals; social work, volunteering

Professional Writing and English Editing and Proofreading Services

If you have any more questions about how or why you should hire Writing Rose for your professional writing, editing, and proofreading needs, please send me an email! I’ll make sure to get back to you quickly.

(email link)

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Writing Rose Proofreading and Editing Service Testimonials

Are proofreading and editing services important? The answer to that question is undoubtedly YES. There are a multitude of reasons why you should hire a professional proofreader. Your writing may also benefit from editing – I talk about proofreading versus editing (and why you might not need both) on another post in this blog.

If you’re still on the fence, take a look at these testimonials from actual customers of Writing Rose, my professional proofreading, editing, and writing company. Writing Rose has all of our testimonials displayed on our website – this collection is feedback from clients who specifically booked proofreading or editing services.

We think you’ll agree with the clients here – Writing Rose will make your documents clean and professional, ready to be published and put before your readers.

What are editing and proofreading services?

Proofreaders are detail-oriented writing experts who ensure that your message gets across to readers in the way that you intend: clear, well-formatted, and free of errors.

Editors are writing critics who are on your side – they exist to help you express your ideas and write your words, but better. Want more detailed information about this? Take a look at this post over here.

Why should you hire a proofreader or an editor? In this digital age where the attention of the masses is constantly changing, writing and the printed word is still an important and lasting medium of expression. It’s also a great way to market your products or services. If you want to express yourself clearly, build trust in your brand, and/or make sales, make sure your writing doesn’t suffer from unintentional errors – no matter how small they seem to be.

Any piece of writing that will be read by any number of important people will benefit from editing and/or proofreading services. 

  • Novels, short stories, and narratives
  • Articles for periodicals and journals
  • Business documents, internal documents, and reference materials
  • Advertisements
  • Catalogs
  • Websites and website content
  • Blog posts
  • Online stores and product descriptions
  • Social media posts
  • Cookbooks and recipes
  • Ebooks
  • Dissertations, theses, essays, and papers
  • Course materials, presentations, course syllabi

When you’re ready to hire affordable online English proofreading and editing services, make sure you get the best – contact the professionals at Writing Rose.

Writing Rose Editing and Proofreading Service Testimonials

[Writing Rose] helped me with not just proofreading and editing the manuscript of my first book. She also did my resume. Both have turned out much better. Easier to read, understand, and decreased my stress! I highly recommend that new writers, performance artists, and anyone from any background hire [Writing Rose]. Hiring a professional like her will help decrease your work load and give your work that professional finishing touch you need. 

Martika Daniels

[Writing Rose] was wonderful to work with. She provided a very thorough edit and review of my personal narrative. Her remarks were very constructive and helpful as well. She completed the order sooner than I expected, which gave me more time to go through her changes. I am very thankful to her for providing such great feedback!

Audrey Barba

[Writing Rose] was excellent. She was responsive to specific needs I had and quickly turned around revisions.

S. Silvester

Great experience, thank you so much! Tried another editor and it didn’t go well. These edits added value and really captured the story I was striving to tell. Would definitely use again. Thank you!

Soraya Morris

It was such a pleasure working with [Writing Rose]. She did a great job, going the extra mile with super fast delivery. I can highly recommend her and will soon book her again.😍👍

Gabi Rupp, LeanJumpStart

[Writing Rose] did a wonderful job on my personal statement. She has a way with words that will help me stand out in my grant application! The turnaround time was very fast too. 10/10 would pay for her assistance again, and recommend her for your proofreading needs.

Britta Nova

Hire Professional Proofreading and Editing Services

It’s easy to get your documents edited and proofread. Writing Rose will hook you up with a word expert who is perfect for your project. If you’ve got questions about how the process works, check out this page. Once you’re ready to inquire, contact us with this form.

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Major Benefits of Blogging for Small Businesses

Blogging is hands-down one of the best small business marketing strategies. A blog that regularly posts high-quality, useful, relevant, and enjoyable content draws in readers, builds community, earns trust in the eyes of customers, and leads to sales.

When small business owners picture a business blog, they often think of a series of advertisements. Perhaps you know of a business that has a “blog” that’s really just a list of sales or event dates. In reality – and with a good content writer – blogging for small businesses can be way more engaging and exciting.

I’m Rosemary, a professional content writer, and this post will outline all of the benefits that blogging has for marketing your small business. First, I’ll go over what purpose a blog has for a small business. Then I’ll show you how a good blog marketing strategy will increase traffic to your website, encourage engagement with your customers, and increase your sales.

What is the purpose of blogging for small businesses?

Frank’s Discount Furniture has a blog that features information about the Friday sales alongside pictures of Frank sitting on sofas. The last time it was updated was three months ago, and the post before that was from ten weeks prior.

It’s great that Frank is keeping his customers up-to-date about sales – that is one of the purposes of blogging! But Frank’s small business blog could be doing so much more.

A blog that draws readers in and converts them to sales features content that is interesting, readable, relevant to people’s lives, and related to your business in some way. Talk about information your readers are interested in, share skills they’ll find useful, provide tutorials for things they want to learn. Spotlight people who are important to the success of your company.

Why publish all this information? What’s the point? Perhaps you understand people coming to a blog to learn about how to use products and hire services, but why would they care about, for example, the various mistakes someone made when starting a business?

Sharing content builds trust in your brand – I’ll we’ll get into more detail about that later in the post. But for now, we’ll just say: because people are looking for this information, and they enjoy reading it.

Frank’s Discount Furniture’s blog could have many purposes beyond advertising. It can share information about interior decorating and home remodeling, including tutorials and tips. Since people shopping at a discount furniture store are probably into bargains, the content could be geared towards DIY methods and upcycling.

Even though not all of the content directly relates to Frank’s sofas, it draws in the type of people who might want to purchase a nicely-priced piece of furniture once in a while. When that time comes, they’re more likely to purchase from Frank, who taught them how to paint one wall in a room with a vibrant accent color, rather than another store they just found on a Google search.

Blogging Helps You Find Potential Customers

For your small business to succeed, you need to reach people who are likely to buy your product or service. You can do that by appearing in search engine results pages.

People are constantly looking for information using search engines like Google. Just think about how many times in the past week have you’ve fired up Google and asked it a question, either for business purposes, to satisfy a curiosity or both. The answers people are looking for appear in the search engine results pages.

When people are searching for information related to your business, you want to appear on the search engine results pages. Furthermore, you want to be listed as close to the top as possible – just think, when was the last time you scrolled and clicked on a website at the bottom or on the second page of the results page?

Any website has the potential to show up on search engine results pages, but the ones that show up at the top do so because they’ve been optimized. What does that mean? SEO optimization – as it’s called in the content writing business – is complicated, but basically, it means that your content answers the questions people are asking and provides the information people want, and it does so in a way that it’s easy for a search engine’s algorithms to pick up on that.

You can SEO optimize a website, but even the most fully optimized website can’t hold a candle to the power of a blog when it comes to appearing at the top of search engine results pages.

A blog that regularly produces meaningful, quality content increases the chances that your business will answer the questions and queries of people who are looking for information.

The reason why blogs are the best way to find potential customers is because half of all search queries are four words or longer. People are looking for information like how to decorate a small bedroom and how to use a French press. When your blog provides this information, people will find it in the search engine results pages. Then they’ll read it, like it, and share it.

The way that people search for information is changing. People aren’t just typing into the search box on google.com; they’re asking search engines questions using their voice. In fact, industry leaders like comScore estimate that by the year 2020, 50% of online searches will be voice searches.

A blog’s friendly, conversational tone mimics the casual language people use when conducting voice searches, opening avenues for your content to reach people via voice search. When someone says “hey Google,” you want your content to be what answers their question.

Blogging Engages and Builds Trust With Potential Customers

Statistics from 2019 show that marketers who prioritize blogging are thirteen times more likely to convert traffic and page views into sales. Thirteen times more likely?! That’s a huge return on investment!

By engaging your customers, you build their trust in your business. When it comes time for them to make important decisions about where to spend their money, they’re more likely to choose a business they trust.

Let’s say a young couple receives a French press as a wedding gift. They love coffee, so they’re excited to learn how to brew using this method. They ask a search engine how to use the French press.

A local coffee shop has a blog and they’ve employed a content writer to ensure that their posts are not only engaging and informative but also optimized. So when this young couple types how to use a French press into Google, this shop’s blog displays as one of the first results. The post includes clear, step-by-step instructions on how to use a French press, along with some pictures and a short video.

At the end of the informative blog post, there is a quick description of a couple of the roasts the coffee shop offers and a link to a different post that goes into more detail about the origins of the coffee beans and their roasting methods. There’s also a link to the rest of the shop’s website.

After reading the blog post, the couple brews some delicious coffee. After a week of enjoying their new French press, they run out of coffee and need to purchase more. They remember the place where they learned how to use the French press also sells coffee.

The couple finds the coffee shop’s website again, and this time they go to the post that describes the different roasts. The one described as aromatic and chocolatey catches their eye. They see that the shop is only a fifteen-minute drive away. They decide to make the trip to the shop and come home the happy owners of a pound of coffee beans.

Giving out free information through blogging is a great way to build trust, which is one of the biggest benefits of blogging for a small business. By giving people information they want to know for free, they’ll be familiar with who they trust to buy things from when the time comes.

Not sure what your business could write about? See this list of 40 blog post ideas to inspire you. There’s also some small business blog examples at the bottom of this post.

Blogging Builds a Community Around Your Business

The comments section of a blog acts as an open dialogue between your business and the customers who keep it alive. By listening to what they say in response to your posts and your products, you can get a feel for what they like, what they want, and what they’re willing to pay more money for. This kind of customer research is super valuable and is another one of the biggest benefits of blogging for business.

When customers thank you, express gratitude. When someone asks a question, answer it. This makes your customers see your business as what it really is: the collective effort of the people involved.

Dedicating time to this type of dialogue with the individual customers shows them they’re valued. After all, you couldn’t operate without your customers – you really should be listening to their feedback.

Feedback from customers also helps you see what questions they frequently ask, which in turn guides how you can improve the way your business operates and how you deliver information.

Your small business community can also be informed of changes to your hours or availability, upcoming sales, events, and promotions, and new products and services. Occasionally including sales posts sprinkled throughout plenty of other useful and relevant free content converts traffic into sales.

An engaged community around your blog is so important that I recommend specifically delegating the task to someone. Virtual assistants and social media managers can do this for you. However, chances are one of your current staff members would love to represent the business and be paid to engage with the comments section on your blog – especially if they’re a millennial and already used to social media interactions!

Presenting your business not just as a product or service, but also as a community, enhances the customer experience. Blogging provides so many ways for you to build and maintain this community.

Your Blog Helps Establish Your Image as a Brand

If I have a coffee shop, I want to be known as the best in my neighborhood. But what else do I want people to associate with my shop? Do I want to be known as a place where artists display their work? Do I support my local art scene by hosting open mics once a month? Am I focused on the most ethical sourcing? How do I encourage my staff to buy in to their employment besides just clocking in and clocking out?

All of these things can factor into a coffee shop’s, and they’re all ideas that can be illustrated through blogging.

A blog shares your voice and personality. It shows what your business cares about, stands for, and how it operates. Your image builds trust with the people who are most likely to purchase the products or services you offer.

Active blogging also establishes your business as maintained and relevant. The customer knows they’ll get a response from you.

By sharing your expertise, your small business blog shows your relationship to the product and your passion for it, and that you aren’t simply driven by profit. This will pique your readers’ interest in the product as well. 

You’re passionate about your business – that’s why you started it, right? Passion can be infectious. Share it with meaningful, engaging content on your blog.

Blogging Showcases Your Expertise and Builds Your Industry Reputation

Industry leaders are such for a reason: people are willing to pay their prices because they have established their brand as trusted experts. They’re also looked to by their colleagues as sources of information and guidance.

Baristas at other coffee shops might share your Ten Creative Latte Art Designs post. Your story called What Happens When You Provide Your Office Staff With Free Coffee on Mondays could lead to a call from an HR representative at a downtown office requesting a quote for a weekly catering order. Your series and photo diary covering the shop’s partnership with Guatemalan farmers lands you a keynote address at a conference focused on agriculture.

The sky’s the limit when you think about the ways that your small business could share expertise through blogging.

Blogging is Powerful Marketing for Your Business

Word of mouth is a powerful marketing strategy for any business. I know one small business owner, a physical therapist, who owns a private practice based completely on word of mouth advertising.

When your blog contains quality content, your readers will share it with others. When you provide easy ways to share your content through email and social media, you will reach even more potential customers.

Lots of shares can also be personally validating because it shows the stock that people place in your information. People will share information they trust with their friends, families, and professional networks.

It’s super easy to make your blog posts shareable on social media outlets such as Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, as well as any email lists you operate. Share your own content on your social media outlets and engage your followers when they’re online. Encourage readers to re-share your content so that your audience can widen.

How do I go about writing a blog for my business?

Writing a blog isn’t a small task, but the benefits make it obvious that it’s a task you should delegate. You can either write your blog yourself or you can hire professional content writers to do it for you.

If you want to write your blog yourself, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel – successful business models are out there. You can learn the ins and outs of writing a blog for your business from a number of courses taught by successful bloggers.

If you’ve already got a blog set up but you’re looking to learn how to produce better content, you might benefit from a course on SEO writing. I took this course from Inkwell Editorial and I highly recommend it! If you have any questions about my experiences with the course, please email me! I show you how at the bottom of this post.

Write my blog for me 

If writing isn’t your thing, hiring a good content writer is a great investment in your blog marketing strategy. My company, Writing Rose, can produce high-quality, unique, engaging, and informative content about almost any topic. As an added bonus, all writing can be SEO optimized with unlimited keywords. Learn more about hiring a content writer here.

What are some examples of blogs for small businesses?

You are also reading a small business blog right now! Writing Rose is an independently-owned writing, editing, and proofreading business.

This blog is my way of finding potential customers, engaging and building trust with them, teaching them how to be better writers, editors, and proofreaders themselves, and keeping them informed of what’s going on with the services we offer.

Another example of a small business blog comes from one of my favorite breakfast and lunch restaurants, Kate’s Kitchen. Take a look at their articles about everything having to do with food.

Benefits of Blogging for Small Businesses

If you’ve been on the fence about whether or not your business should have a blog, I’ll leave you with some final statistics from Lyfe Marketing

  • Publishing regular content on your blog can bring in 8 times more traffic
  • Blogging can reduce your overall marketing budget by 60% or more
  • Blogging bring in 3 times more leads

If you’re not sure what your thoughts are on starting a blog for your small business, just send me an email. My name is Rosemary and I run this blog as well as lead operations over at Writing Rose. I’m always happy to share my story about my success marketing my own small business with blogging. You can reach me at email.

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How to Write a Striking Artist Statement or Artist Bio

A professional biography is oftentimes your first impression. An artist biography or artist statement introduces your work to viewers, outlines your professional qualifications, and clarifies your vision and inspiration. A professional bio or artist statement that is clear, concise, and engaging can open doors for you by attracting more people to view your work.

As an added bonus, selling yourself in words can lead to selling your art. Whether you’re looking for performance gigs, commissions, gallery showings, or clients to buy your paintings, writing about yourself and your art can help you reach more potential customers around the world.

In this post Rosemary, one of Writing Rose’s professional biography writers, teaches you how to write an artist bio or an artist statement that will make you stand out. Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • How to use descriptive language to write about art and artists
  • What you write in a professional bio versus an artist statement (including the difference between the two)
  • Good bio examples and examples of artist statements written for clients of Writing Rose

By the end of this article, you’ll have an idea about how to write a professional bio and statement for yourself. 

At the end of the post, if you decide that this task doesn’t seem pleasant, that’s okay – writing really isn’t someone everyone enjoys. Writing Rose has professional biography writers that specialize in writing about art of all kinds, and we’ll show you how to hire someone to write your bio for you.

How to Write About Art and Artists

Writing about art and artists is a specialty niche. While it’s easy to enjoy art, writing about it can be difficult. Art and the artists who make it can be complex and it can be challenging to find the right words to describe them. A central part of art appreciation classes at universities is teaching people how to analyze, discuss, and write about art.

Here are some general tips about how to use language effectively when writing about art and artists. (Looking for more specific instructions on how to write an artist bio or artist statement? That’s coming up next!)

Use vivid language, descriptive adjectives, and rich phrases

Bring the art and artist to life by using powerful language. Are the pieces absorbing, ethereal, figurative, evocative? Is the artist impassioned, imaginative, fluid, refreshing? Is the display distinguished, eclectic, intense? Is the meaning intuitive, subdued? Does the artist push boundaries, do they experiment, are they a virtuoso?

If you’re looking for more ideas for words to describe art, check out this huge list.

Check definitions to make sure you’re using the right word

Sometimes, we have a slightly skewed or incomplete idea of what a word means. This is especially true for someone who has picked up a lot of vocabulary while reading and thus has deciphered the meaning of words through context clues.

The importance of knowing the full and correct meaning of each word you use came to life for me once when I working on a piece of writing for a client.

In this document, I used the word poignant. In this context, I meant to use an adjective that means meaningful. When I was self-editing, I decided to look up the word poignant. Although I had seen and used it many times before, I wanted to make sure that I was using it completely correctly.

The word poignant does refer to something being meaningful, so I was correct in that sense. However, as I read the dictionary definition, I realized the word also has a connotation with pain. Many readers who see the word poignant will associate it with the full definition and thus with pain. Pain was not in line with the rest of the meaning of the text and neither myself nor my client would want this connotation in the document.

I am grateful that I decided to look up the true meaning of this word so that I could use a more fitting adjective! Be sure to do the same with descriptors that you use in your artist bio or artist statement. My favorite dictionary to use when looking up words is Merriam-Webster – it’s also the professional standard in the writing industry.

Show, don’t tell

Don’t tell us you attended a university, show us that you experimented with mixed media as a student at a university. Don’t tell us you began watercolor painting ten years ago, show us that you have painted your way through art galleries around the region for ten years. An artist bio or artist statement that’s a narrative will capture the reader’s imagination and stand out more than a drab recitation of facts.

What is the difference between an artist statement and an artist bio? Do I need both?

Artists need both a statement and a bio because each document conveys different information and is used in different contexts. These documents should be revisited at least once a year, or sooner if the artist grows or evolves in a major way. 

How to write an artist statement

An artist statement is about the art itself. What does the art say? What feelings does it evoke? How does the art take form, and how is it evolving?

You can write a statement about an artist in general. You can also write a statement about a specific piece of work, a collection of work, and the like. 

Artist statements are usually written in the first person, meaning they are written from your perspective as the artist. To write in the first person, use pronouns such as I, me, my, mine, myself, we, us, and our.

Here is some information to include in your artist statement:

  • An introduction to the artist
  • The ideas the artist is conveying
  • How the ideas are displayed or presented
  • If the statement is long (multiple paragraphs), you may reiterate the main idea as a conclusion at the end

When writing your artist statement, consider who the audience will be. You might use different language or a different tone if you are attracting clients, courting gallery owners, or applying for a grant or scholarship. 

To help you get started writing, ask yourself these questions. Form the paragraphs of your artist statement from their answers.

  • What is my overall vision for my art?
  • How do I want the audience to react to my art?
  • How is my overall vision displayed in my work and in its history? How will I take that into the future?
  • Does my work fit in with a larger body of work? How?
  • How does my use of technique contribute to my message?

How long should my artist statement be?

Generally, artist statements are two to three paragraphs, with each paragraph containing multiple sentences. Sometimes an artist statement can be as long as a page. As a general rule, your statement should be as long as the guidelines for wherever it will be submitted state. If your existing statement is too long or too short, you will need to edit it to fit the guidelines.

How to write an artist bio

An artist bio is about you, the artist. The bio shows who you are, what inspires you, why you create, and what you’ve accomplished. I approach a professional bio like a resume but using sentences instead of bullet points.

Professional biographies are usually written in the third person. When writing your bio, pretend that you are someone else and you are describing yourself from their perspective. This can be difficult for some people! Many find it much easier to write in the first person. If this is the case, you can try writing in the first person and then editing to the third person (if you do this, be sure to hire a professional editor or proofreader to ensure that you made all the necessary edits and none of the first person perspective is left in your final piece).

Here is some information to include in your artist bio:

  • Your name, of course (very important!)
  • Techniques and media used in your art
  • Your artistic philosophy and your inspirations
  • A statement about future aspirations
  • Interesting and relevant information about you
  • Your qualifications – education, training, and experience
  • Accomplishments and achievements such as showings, exhibitions, instillations, awards, residencies

How can I make my bio stand out?

To make your bio something that stands out and grabs the attention of whoever reads it, don’t just recite the information. Illustrate a story about what makes you an artist. Remember the section above where I said show, don’t tell? Don’t tell us you were inspired by your grandmother. Show us that she taught you how to set up an easel. Don’t tell us your first favorite artist was Kandinsky. Show us that your modern works began in middle school with a project you did with Yellow-Red-Blue.

Psst… do you need more help with first person and third person perspectives? I mean, we were taught that in school, right…but who remembers everything they were taught?! Check out this post from Grammarly to brush up your memory and get tips on how to write each way.

How should I list my galleries, exhibitions, and showings on my artist bio?

Technical or numbered information such as dates, locations, and provenance are often not meaningful to lay audiences, and sometimes monotonous to other artists. In the opinion of this professional biography writer, this sort of information is best represented in bulleted list form at the end of a biography or in its own supplemental section. You can see an example of this from one of my clients below.

It is a good idea to keep a supplemental list of achievements, awards, galleries, exhibitions, and the like to provide to interested parties. It can be a PDF document attached to your resume or CV.

How long should my artist bio be?

Generally, an artist bio should be short – less than 300 words. However, you will want to have different versions of your biography at various lengths so you can be ready for the guidelines of anyplace that may display your bio. For example, you can have a short, two-sentence tagline on a card at a gallery, a one-paragraph biography to print in a program, and a longer, more extensive biography and life history on your website. You’ll see what I mean by different lengths of biographies in the examples below!

Proofreading your professional bio or artist statement

Double-check the spelling, capitalization, and punctuation conventions of every proper noun – each specific person, place, thing, and name. You do not want an error like this to be printed and published!

Have other people read your statement and bio for you. Their fresh eyes will help you find parts that could use editing. As my example above with the word poignant shows, simple errors can obscure meaning. Ask a trusted friend or family member that’s good with writing as well as other artists to look over your documents.

You can also hire a professional editor or proofreader to look at your already-written bio or statement. See the examples of bios below for an idea of what an editor’s comments might look like. 

Examples of artist bios and artist statements

Here are examples of bios and statements written for clients of Writing Rose’s professional biography writers. Each example includes the bio at various lengths. Since submissions will vary in word count, it’s good to be prepared with a bio that is descriptive and unique.

Example #1

Writing Rose edited and rewrote parts of variety entertainer Martika Daniels’s press kit, including her professional bio and CV. The editor also streamlined the formatting, making her extensive experience more concise and readable. Martika’s testimonial says that the new these documents “have turned out much better. Easier to read, understand, and decreased my stress!”

Don’t you want to hire Martika after reading this awesome description of her circus stunt show?

Example #2

Performance artist Jason D’Vaude hired Writing Rose to heavily edit and rewrite an existing bio to include a tagline, promotional bio, and a longer history that is included on his website. You can also see a comment by the editor that helps the artist decide which words are best to describe themselves.

Example #3

Jeff Zelnio is a Chicago-based mosaic artist. His biography includes versions with two different lengths. Each one will be appropriate to submit to different places.

Each of these artists hired Writing Rose for these services. Click here to read their testimonials to see what they had to say about this professional service!

Write my biography for me

Now that you’ve read all about how to write a professional bio and artist statement, are you ready to take a look at yours? If that doesn’t seem pleasant, you can certainly hire a professional to write your bio for you. Writing Rose has writers that specialize in writing about all kinds of art, so you know you’ll get the service you’re looking for.

Already have a statement or bio that needs updating? Perhaps you want it to be looked over to ensure it’s free of errors? Do you need something that’s longer or shorter than what you’ve already got? Writing Rose can also edit or proofread your existing biography.

Check out this page to learn more about how to hire a writer, or contact Writing Rose directly by using this form.

P.S. Want some fun and laughs? You could fill out a form and generate an instant artist statement using the artybullocks generator 🙂 We’re encouraging people to share their instantly-generated statement over on our Facebook page. Check it out and let us see yours, if you’re so inclined!

Did you find this post helpful? Share it with an artist friend who is writing their professional bio.

How to Write a Striking Artist Bio or Artist Statement
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Editing versus Proofreading – What’s The Difference?

Companies like Writing Rose offer separate services for professional editing and proofreading. But how does a writer like you know if they need editing services, proofreading services, or both? Is there a difference between editing and proofreading?

Whether you’ve been writing and publishing for years or are simply a hobbyist looking to get your ideas out to the world, you want your writing to be completely free of errors in the eyes of your readers.

It can be difficult for a writer to edit and proofread their own writing. As the author of the ideas, you know what you are trying to say, so you are not always able to see small errors that may confuse people who aren’t inside your head. This is where professional editing and proofreading services come in.

So what is the difference between editing services and proofreading services? For most people outside of the professional writing industry, what they think of as proofreading actually refers to the process of editing. Confused? Don’t worry! By reading this post, you will know the similarities and differences between editing and proofreading services. Then, you can examine your needs as a writer to know which services are appropriate for your document. At the end, I’ll show you how you can hire a professional proofreader or editor.

Bloggers, novelists, journalists, cookbook authors, copywriters, administrative assistants, company executives, doctoral students – to name a few – all use professional editing and proofreading services to different degrees. This article will help you decide which services are right for you.

What does editing look like?

An editor makes your writing shine. They help you write your own words, but better. Your editor is a proactive supporter of your voice, offering suggestions and alternatives that help you improve the overall readability and quality of your writing.

Here are some things a good editor might do for you:

  • Explain possibly confusing ideas and passages, offering alternative interpretations so that the author can clarify their ideas
  • Point out where background knowledge might be missing and more explanations could be necessary
  • Ask questions when the meaning of the text is unclear
  • Correct inconsistencies, such as in the spelling of names and places or in the descriptions of physical objects
  • Eliminate redundancies, such as when something has been described more than once or an idea has been brought up over and over
  • Correct for the appropriate use of passive voice and active voice
  • Comment on the use of language and tone as appropriate for the intended audience (for example, use of slang may not be appropriate on a blog post intended to be read by retired persons, but could add relevancy to one aimed at people in their early 20s)
  • Ensure use of appropriate language and the use of slang and dialects
  • Include conscious and inclusive language

Editing Example

To give you an idea of what editing could look like in a document, check out this example. In this blog post for a travel website, the author is telling a story about a hike. The author’s intention is to paint a picture in the reader’s mind that will inspire them to go on the same hike. Knowing this, the editor is looking for good storytelling elements such as strong imagery and a believable timeline. In one paragraph, the author rushes through part of the timeline, which could possibly confuse the reader.

In this case, the editor has inserted a simple comment to the author noting the break in the timeline. From there, the author can decide how to proceed.

What does proofreading look like?

Proofreading is the final search for errors, the last step before a document is published. It’s a fine-toothed comb: seeking out the smallest and slightest spelling errors, punctuation mistakes, commonly misused words, and incorrect formatting.

A proofreader goes through the document and corrects these errors, however, they do not make any suggestions or changes to the text except where a language rule is broken or the sentence does not make sense. 

Overall, proofreading is a faster and less intensive service, and this means it is also less expensive! However, just because it’s less intensive than editing doesn’t mean it isn’t important. Writing that is going to be published in any format should be completely free of errors so that the author’s message is conveyed the way they intend, clearly and completely. 

Here are some things a proofreader will do for you:

  • Fix spelling and grammar mistake
  • Correct typos
  • Query obviously confusing or repetitive passages (but not offer suggestions for how to correct them – that’s an editor’s job!)
  • Ensure consistency in spelling of proper nouns such as character or place names and the numbering of figures or images
  • Cross-reference the table of contents, index, appendices, footnotes, and endnotes
  • Adhere to style guides such as the Chicago Manual of Style, AP Stylebook, MLA, and/or a house style guide

Proofreading Example

Let’s look at another blog post to see an example of proofreading. Here is a summary of the corrections made:

  • Use of commas, colons, semicolons, and dashes – the rules for this are nuanced, so it’s good to have a professional look at them
  • Incorrect use of a homonym: using band instead of banned. The word processor’s spell check won’t pick up on this error!
  • Eliminated some extra spaces between words
  • Corrected abbreviations (U.S. to US, U.S.A. to USA)

What’s the difference between editing and proofreading?

To really see the difference between editing services and proofreading services, let’s examine one sentence through the lens of each. This sentence is completely grammatically correct and does make sense as far as the rules of the English language. However, you can see that the order of events is a little confusing.

  • Walking through the door in a tizzy, the woman got mad at the clerk when she wasn’t able to help, bumping her toe on the edge of the table.

Because there is nothing grammatically wrong with this sentence, a proofreader wouldn’t change anything about it, nor make any comments. They’d just keep on proofreading and this sentence would be published.

To contrast, an editor would comment to the author about the order of events presented in this sentence, as well as remark about the overall delivery of the message. Here’s an example of what that might sound like:

  • The woman is acting out a number of simultaneous actions – while she is walking through the door, she is also getting mad at the clerk, as well as bumping her toe. Are all these actions happening at the same time? What happened first? Did she bump her toe on the table in reaction to something, such as her anger at the clerk?

This comment is also an example of how an editor preserves the author’s voice. Instead of rewriting the passage, the editor asks clarifying questions. This leaves creative control in the hands of the author of the work.

Who should use a proofreader?

You might be thinking to yourself, who cares about these tiny little errors that escape the eye of most people? Yes, the majority of the error in the example above would never be noticed by the average person. As I said before, the difference in the proper use of commas, colons, and semicolons is nuanced – so why should I care?

Even if it’s only by some readers, small errors are noticed. Mistakes can have an effect on the message of the writing.

Some readers might chuckle if they notice the use of a comma instead of a period as the ending punctuation mark of a sentence (a common error that proofreaders catch). If your message is serious, you might not want your message to be interrupted by someone chuckling at an easily correctable error.

As a writer, you might find it unimportant and frustrating to use the correct version of affect or effect. If you use the wrong one, most people are going to know what you mean. However, using the wrong one would make your writing lose credibility in the eyes of some readers.

While some errors are relatively harmless, others can completely change the meaning of the text. Check out these examples to see what I mean. By the way, these are all errors that spelling and grammar checks may not see, (but a human proofreader will).

Errors that obscure meaning

  • Let’s eat grandma! versus Let’s eat, grandma!

Oh my – is the author talking about cannibalism or are they telling grandma it’s time for a meal?

  • I like cooking my family and my pets versus I like cooking, my family, and my pets.

Another slightly morbid example, but the point is illustrated completely: the proper use of commas is important.

  • Let’s meat at the office after lunch versus Let’s meet at the office after lunch. 
  • I thought it was a waist of time versus I thought it was a waste of time.

Simple errors like the last two examples are incredibly common when a writer is working quickly, and since they don’t necessarily obscure the idea being conveyed, can easily be missed by the author.

A writer’s success depends on the widespread enjoyment of their work by many people. If errors in spelling, punctuation, and word usage put off some people, a writer loses credibility to potential readers. While oral language is brightened and colored by accents, dialects, and other forms of slang and inflection, published written words conform to a set of standards. Because writing is a one-way discourse, it is important that the meaning is clear the first time.

It is not important for everyone to learn the minute details of the rules of written English. That’s what proofreaders and editors are for! These writing professionals help you write your ideas, but better. A one-time investment in a service like this can have lasting impacts on how your writing is read and received. 

Any document that is intended to be read by a large number of people should be proofread by a professional. This includes novels and stories, articles, blog posts, company documents, dissertations and theses, biographies and histories, website content, press releases, catalog descriptions, recipes – and more!

If you don’t use a proofreader, you’re bound to one day get an email from a reader who points out a mistake or few you’ve missed. Professional proofreading services like Writing Rose offer package deals for clients to submit multiple documents for proofreading at a discount.

Who should use an editor? Should I hire a separate editor and proofreader?

Whether or not you should hire a separate editor and proofreader depends on what kind of document you have.

Fiction stories and novels

If you are writing fiction, you can consider going through rounds of developmental editing first. Developmental editors help you shape your story into something that people will enjoy reading by assisting in the development of the build-up, climax, and conclusion of the story.

After the book is finished, a line editor or copyeditor (such as one of the professionals at Writing Rose) will take the sentences line-by-line, making queries such as those in the examples above and making extensive suggestions to improve readability.

Once you’ve got all that situated, the proofreader ensures that no mistakes were able to make it through all those rounds of editing.

Are you looking for a developmental editor for your novel or fiction piece? A good place to start might be the member directory of the Editorial Freelancers Association, one of the largest professional associations of editors. Check the box for “Developmental/Substantive editing” to find people who specialize in that kind.

Nonfiction, articles, website content, etc.

If your document is anything other than fiction – an article, a paper, a blog post, company documents, website content, or a piece of informative or persuasive writing, to name a few examples – it is your choice whether you will first seek out editing and then proofreading, or simply go for proofreading. To make this choice, consider a few things:

  • How complex are my ideas? Do I assume a level of background knowledge in my readers? Is there anywhere that background knowledge needs to be explained?
  • Are there any cause-effect relationships that could potentially confuse the reader?
  • Do I present a timeline or an order of events that is important for understanding the overall message?

But wait – if I hire an editor and they’re good at their job, why would I also need a proofreader? Wouldn’t a good editor find all the mistakes? What’s the point of hiring a proofreader as well?

When an editor is reading a text to ensure that ideas are presented truthfully and in the correct order it becomes easy to miss small mistakes. Since the proofreader is only reading for grammatical rules, they are able to spot the tiniest of mistakes before publication. While a good editor will catch a lot of these small errors, anything that is meant to be published or widely read should still use a proofreader to ensure that it is completely error-free.

How can I hire an editor or proofreader?

All of the examples of editing and proofreading in this post come from actual client documents from Writing Rose, my professional writing, editing, and proofreading service. 

Read more about Writing Rose services here, and contact us for a custom quote for your document!

My name is Rosemary, and thank you for reading. Do you have any more questions about editing and proofreading that I didn’t answer? Something confusing or not clear? Feel free to send me an email: email and I’ll get back to you. A faster way to get a response is to leave a comment below.

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