Hiring an editor isn’t the first thing that comes to mind for business owners when they’re creating engaging content for their website. A web designer, sure… A content writer, maybe… However, an editor might be exactly what you’re in need of to get your content onto the screens of your clients! Learn about the common services an editor can offer, and what your needs are. Once you have a vision of how an editor can help, it’ll be easy to get your project in motion.
The proofreading level of editing is the clean-up phase — Checking for spelling and grammatical errors, making sure there are no errors affecting readability. Proofreading doesn’t involve changing words, correcting statements or re-arranging the actual content. It’s a surface level tidying of something that’s already been written. Many people do this step on their own, but the danger with proofreading your own work is that you’re too familiar with it — After all, you did write it! When the words are so embedded in your brain, it’s really common to overlook errors or missing words. You subconsciously fill in errors with the words you were trying to communicate. That impulse can be so overpowering that you could go through your content word by word, and still miss obvious problems that you would notice in other’s writing immediately! Having an editor proofread your work before you submit it can mean the difference between your message really shining, or your reader wondering what you’re trying to say.
More of a deep-clean, copy editing can involve formatting sentences and paragraphs to improve readability, formatting making the writing look aesthetically appealing, ensuring there are no inconsistencies, improving flow and more. Most editors would charge varying amounts for copy editing — Sometimes it’s easy, other times it’s like organizing a bowl of spaghetti. The writer can help determine what level of copy editing is needed. If the existing structure is important to you, let your editor know! If the editor has free reign to do what they think is best, tell them! Copy editing is a great opportunity to really elevate your writing by enlisting the expertise of a professional editor.
This is the full renovation of editing. A great option to renew old content that is past its prime, or if you just have a basic framework and a few ideas. Typically, content editing is fairly labor intensive. The editor is essentially rewriting sections, doing research and fact checking, even writing completely new content to fill gaps in the piece. Copy editing and proofreading would also be rolled into this service. It’s a little like hiring a writer to create new content for you, but you already have the base and materials ready. You can expect that this would be more expensive than simple proofreading or copy editing, but it would likely be less expensive than hiring a writer to create content from scratch. Many content editors can also ensure that your content is SEO friendly. This could be a huge time saver for you!
If your website is looking old, your content is outdated, you’re not ranking on the first page of Google anymore — Clients won’t be coming to you. Let a freelance editor solve your content problems while you concentrate on your business!
Sarah Grant is a freelance writer and editor, based in Alberta, Canada. See more of her work at smgrant.com