Copy editor -don't let errors derail your content

Don’t let errors derail your content

Copy editor for error-free copy

Your website is the face of your business. If your web content contains errors it makes your business look careless. Using a copy editor is essential to make sure all your web content is error-free and truly reflects the quality of your brand. You might think that a few minor spelling or grammar mistakes here and there don’t matter. But the reality is that a single misplaced comma can completely alter the meaning of your text and it can potentially cost you big money. Here’s a BBC article about how a missed comma in a contract cost some $5 million for a US dairy company this year.

Creating lots of valuable, engaging content is an important aspect of modern content marketing. But when you’re writing under pressure it’s easy for the errors to creep in. And sometimes it’s just a matter of getting a pair of fresh eyes to look over your copy before you publish it.

What does a copy editor do?

The term copy editing has been around for a long time. But the definition has become a little blurred with modern usage in much the same way that people often use copywriting to describe all content writing. So, what can you expect when you ask me to copy edit your content?

A gifted copy editor checks to see that your writing makes sense and that your arguments follow a logical structure. Correct spelling and grammar errors will also be on the radar–it’s damn difficult not to notice them when you have your editing mindset switched on.

A good  copy editor also focuses on editing for meaning. The unfortunate reality is that a lot of web content is poorly written even when it is accurate and error-free. Editing for meaning looks at your word choice and asks could you make that phrase more powerful? Does that wording capture your audience’s attention? Could you say it in fewer words?

A skillful copy editor will also examine your headlines and explore ways to make them more attractive for your target audience. Exceptional headlines build a connection with your audience on an intellectual, emotional and even spiritual level. Research shows that headlines with a high score on all these levels are more likely to lead to conversions.

I can also look at the page layout, the amount of white space, your choice and placement of images and CTAs etc.

Editing and proofreading makes all the difference

Does your content pass the test?

Editing versus proofreading

Editing and proofreading are not the same thing. But both accurate editing and precision proofreading are essential for the success of all your written content. Both skills focus on making sure your website can attract and inform visitors, turn them into thrilled customers, and encourage them to become your best advertisements.

In broad terms, editing is the heavy-duty brother of proofreading. Editing and substantive editing often involve a lot of rewriting and this can be a very complex process in academic or technical content.

Proofreading, on the other hand, delivers the final spit and polish to your content. It’s the precision proofreading that picks up the typos, missing or misplaced commas or letters. Most professionals consider the skills of editing and proofreading to be different things. This is because you need a different mindset for editing than the one you use for proofreading.

Sometimes, content creators have an ounce of delusion about their work. This requires the editor to gently but firmly point out the errors in the creatives’ perceptions as well as their writing. From time to time clients describe their content as only needing a proofread when judicious pruning and editing is needed first. Explaining this to the client calls for subtlety and detachment.

 

Am I the copy editor of your dreams?

No! I don’t edit dreams. However, my editing and proofreading skills will prevent you having nightmares about your content before it goes live. I offer editing (including substantive) and proofreading for all written content including:

  • Web pages
  • eBooks
  • Blogs
  • Academic papers
  • Books
  • Technical articles

 

Of course, when you hire me to create brilliant  content for you the editing and proofreading is just part of the package.