Copyediting vs. Proofreading: Why You Need a Copy Editor

Ed Pronley


July 14, 2022 (Updated: May 4, 2023)

fountain pen copyediting on a piece of paper

If your business is currently running a content marketing campaign, it’s important that you understand the difference between copyediting vs. proofreading. But it’s also important for you to learn why a copy editor is so much more important to your overall marketing campaign. Whether you’re rewriting your website copy, creating advertisements, or developing compelling content for your site, a copy editor creates a cohesive experience for your target audience. Let’s find out exactly why that is.

What Is Copyediting?

fountain pen writing on a piece of paper

Image via Unsplash by Aaron Burden

Copyediting is the act of checking a piece of content to ensure it’s free of errors and factually accurate. That includes checking sources the writer refers to, making sure any statistics or facts are true and from reputable, recent sources. However, a copy editor might do even more for a business or company. For instance, copy editors also check content for its style and voice.

During a content marketing campaign, businesses often develop style guides to ensure their blogs, articles, and eBooks have a consistent tone. Copy editors make sure that when a writer creates a piece of content they follow that style guide. If they find any tonal mistakes or errors, they either make adjustments or send the content back to the writer for revisions. This helps to create a more satisfying experience to the reader and makes sure the writing doesn’t poorly reflect the company or business in any way.

What Is Proofreading?

Proofreading is the act of reading a document to check for spelling and grammar mistakes. That’s really it. Generally, proofreading is the last step in the content creation’s process and the proofreader examines the article or blog to make sure there are no obvious mistakes before posting it to the company’s website. In a traditional publishing setting, like with a book publisher, a proofreader might do a bit more. That includes checking the page numbers, as well as the format of the text. But for content creation, they really only worry about minor writing mistakes.

Copyediting vs. Proofreading

The main difference between copyediting and proofreading is the amount of work each job has to perform. Though proofreading is very important, copy editors really do a lot more. In fact, part of a copy editor’s job is proofreading. But they’re also in charge of checking the content’s flow, tone, and accuracy. Proofreaders, specifically in the realm of content marketing, only have to worry about the content’s grammar and spelling.

That means copy editors have to go through the articles or blogs with a fine-tooth comb and have excruciating attention to detail. Proofreaders need attention to detail as well, but their work often stops after quickly reading through the piece and making small adjustments.

Why Your Business Needs a Copy Editor and Not a Proofreader

If it’s not already clear, copy editors are much more thorough and important to a content marketing campaign compared to proofreaders. Though proofreading is helpful, that’s a job that’s already done at least three times before the content is published. That’s especially true when you have a full content production team, including a writer, editor, and quality assurance specialist. Each one of these team members reads through the content at least once, fixing or correcting minor errors before posting it to the website.

Therefore, hiring a proofreader for your team isn’t just less helpful than hiring a copyeditor, in most cases, it’s redundant. Copy editors acts as brand voice editors, fact checkers, as well as proofreaders for your content marketing campaign. But what if you don’t have a full content team to help with your campaign? Does that mean you should have a proofreader as well? Actually, you should probably just consider getting a full team, or at the very least, outsourcing to an expert content marketing company, like CopyPress.

CopyPress has over 2,000 writers and editors to create content for your brand, no matter the industry. With our vetted team of creatives, we have the ability to scale our content production to meet your marketing goals and effectively build your brand awareness. That includes expert writers, as well as thorough copy editors and proofreaders that are sure to make your content accurate and error-free. Check out our content writing services page to see how we can start improving your content marketing efforts.

Author Image - Ed Pronley
Ed Pronley

CopyPress writer

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