The Internet provides many resources for outsourcing your online business editing needs. Free services, low-cost sites, as well as professional editing and writing services will be explored. This blog will investigate popular sites that are recommended for several search engines. It will also provide valuable support options for developing professional products. There is an important caveat here. Do not download software or information unless you are sure the site is safe.
The first sites to visit are the company websites that support your word processing software. Two examples include Microsoft Office at Microsoft and Open Office at Sun. These sites provide templates for publishing newsletters, resumes, slide presentations, and marketing tools, and help for using the software.
If you are using specific writing styles in your project, visit the official sites to learn format requirements and research specific questions. These sites are:
1. APA – American Psychological Association, the official site is APA.
2. MLA – Modern Language Association, located at MLA.
3. Chicago Manual of Style – this style manual is located at
4. A Writing Style Help Site (Free): The Purdue University Online Writing Lab is one of the most helpful sites I use when I have specific questions about style use or need writing examples. english.purdue.edu
5. There are also exceptional free software sites and free websites that provide professional help for grammar, punctuation, spelling, and the use of writing styles (e.g., APA, MLA). There are also free online sites for finding editing assistance with spelling, grammar, and writing. Here are a few of my favorites:
Grammar Girl—includes a searchable site for finding grammar help: grammar.quickanddirtytips.com
The Blue Book of Grammar: http://www.grammarbook.com/english_rules.asp
Manuscript Writing — Chicago Style: chicagomanualofstyle
Business Proofreading and Editing
These are just examples. Use a search engine to find sites that are helpful to your writing and editing needs. Be sure to use search words (see examples below) and visit sites to practice finding free editing and proofreading resources, such as free technical editing, medical editing, proofreading novels, dialogue punctuation. Review these sites for ease of use and quality of their site search engines.
There are times when free services and sites cannot provide all of your needs. That’s when you need to find a professional editor, such as those at Firstediting.com. The best way to approach this is to use the search engine to identify professional editors/proofreaders for your specific needs, such as business writing, fiction and non-fiction books, technical writing, screen plays, and movie scripts.
Submit samples to professional editing services that provide a free editing sample. This way, you can evaluate the value of the editing regarding the cost. Then, spot-check the proofreading and editing against some of the free online resources before selecting a service. FirstEditing.com is an example of a professional editing service that provides free sample edits and a cost estimate. Also, identify services that specify expertise in your particular area of writing.
Lastly, free resources are abundant online through the Internet. There are many websites that can help you answer specific editing questions, such as: which or that, lie or lay, ore whether to use an em dash or ellipses or when to use commas or hyphenated words. Professional experts provide a valuable service and can improve your product. Editing and proofreading done well is worth the additional cost. It can make a difference by increasing the success of making a sale, completing a thesis, or publishing a book.
Originally posted 9/3/2010 and happily updated 10/28/2017. Thanks for reading!