wk #2: Be recognized as a professional.

A website may not be easy—but it’s worth it.

As I continued to add to my skills, my next step was a website. Some may say you don’t need one. If you think you want to be a proofreader—maybe an editor—I feel it represents you in the most professional way possible. I’m writing this blog to tell my story about starting my career as a proofreader. If your path is taking you in this direction, tune in as I offer advice, tips, a few laughs at my mistakes, and some of the craziness along the way.

I worked through my course training, but I wanted more information. I joined FB groups. I became a member of professional editing societies like The Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (UK) and ACES: The Society for Editing (US). They contain a wealth of information, guides, expert connections, and certified training. But I was determined to get started on that website.

Office workspace with laptop, books, flowers in a vase, office supplies on a light background

Giving birth to a website is not for the faint of heart. Information I gleaned from the internet said, “Building your own website isn’t hard. Just a few easy steps.” We can all search the internet, find a you-tube video to learn many things, and I felt confident I could do it. No problem. Oh, boy. What a sucker I was. I went for it… hook, line, and sinker.

Here’s what happened.

The Proofread Anywhere course offered step-by-step instructions for a DIY website through WordPress. I followed them, word for word. Months passed as I worked through the course, studied, researched, gathered color ideas, artwork, and layout ideas, wrote content, designed, re-designed, and tweaked everything for that website. I agonized over every detail until I was happy and ready to hit that “publish” button to let my beautiful website out into the world. YES! This wasn’t so hard after all!

But I needed a name for my business, learn how SEO (search engine optimization) works, web hosting, location management, reserve a domain name, links, back-links, and keywords. OYE! The list went on and on. It was like a foreign language! All of my hard work, and I was now petrified. My website wasn’t ready, and I had no idea how to make it WORK properly.

I obsessed over that website and worried I would never see it finished. And if it didn’t work right, what was the point? My head swam with so many self-defeating thoughts—all my training for nothing. I was too confident, and now the imposter syndrome convinced me I couldn’t build a website. Paying someone wasn’t an option, and I was determined to do it myself.

I put my big girl panties on and dug in. I would get it working, even if it killed me.

Well, it almost did. Weeks and months at the computer, coffee by the gallon, the beginning of an ulcer, and the messy, bleary-eyed tears and sobbing of a near nervous breakdown when I accidentally deleted the ENTIRE website. YUP! Can you believe it? (Even now, I feel a bit weepy as I think about it.) Little did I know, as I was prostrate on the floor contemplating the stupidest idea to date… I made a sobbing phone call to my son. He says, “I think you can restore back to before you deleted.” Hmm…

Did I mention I am technologically challenged?

He explained how to fix it. Eureka! The website was back. As I pulled Kleenex after Kleenex from the box, I decided that either me or the website was not gonna make it out alive. I surrendered. I turned it over to the professionals. I even got to click the “publish” button when it was time to send that baby out into the world.

Your website shows you are professional, and it’s an excellent way to reach potential clients. But… if you’re tech challenged, like me, have the pros help you! Your sanity, and your family, will thank you.

Week #3: Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.





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