July 13, 2022 (Updated: May 4, 2023)
Whether you’re trying to edit your own work or you’re looking to add to your content team, it’s helpful to understand what copyediting is and how it can benefit your marketing efforts. Copy editors can not only save your company time and resources, but they can also improve your overall content marketing campaign. But it’s important to know exactly what they do and how you can add them to your content workflow. In this article, we discuss:
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Copyediting is the process of checking a piece of copy to make sure it’s free of grammatical mistakes, as well as factually accurate. This includes things like dates, names, proper nouns, and other hard facts. Ensuring the document is factually accurate is important because it helps increase the satisfaction and trust of the reader. It also protects the content’s publisher from any potential legal liability. Copy editors also check the content with a specific style guide to make sure that it consistently follows the same writing tone and matches a brand’s voice.
Deciding when you need a copy editor depends on your marketing goals and your current content resources. If you have a group of content writers or even if you’re just creating the content yourself, it’s helpful to have a copy editor on the team. A copy editor can make sure your content meets a consistent brand voice and that everything is accurate and helpful to your target audience. If you don’t have someone checking your writers’ work, they might submit wildly different articles or blogs that don’t have a consistent tone or style.
If this happens, it can turn away your target audience and lower their perception of your brand’s industry authority. The only time you wouldn’t need a copy editor is when you’re outsourcing your content creation. Sure, you can still have one to check the work the agency or company is producing, but if they have a dedicated team of writers, editors, and quality assurance specialists like we do at CopyPress, you don’t have to worry about the content quality.
Whether we’re creating blogs, international articles, or eBooks, we have dedicated copy editors who review your content to ensure each piece is high quality and engaging to your target audience. You can take a look at our content writing services and see how our team of creatives and copy editors can benefit your business and its content marketing campaign.
Here is the general copyediting process that marketers use for their content campaigns:
A style guide is a tool to help businesses create their content with one, cohesive voice. This guide often informs the writers and copy editors about the tone of the piece, as well as any verbiage they want to include or avoid. Some style guides might even be more technical, talking through the format of the content and how to structure the headings and information. Not every company has a style guide, but if they do, it’s important for copy editors to familiarize themselves with it first.
Having a thorough understanding of the style guide can help copy editors know what tonal errors they need to look for in their writing. It also helps them review writers’ work to ensure it aligns with your brand’s voice and content format. Style guides are one of the most effective tools that businesses can use for their content marketing campaign. That’s especially true when a business outsources its content creation to another company.
At CopyPress, we work with our clients to develop a style guide that fits their brand’s tone and web content strategy. By capturing your brand’s essence in this style guide, we create cohesive, compelling content that attracts your target audience. Want to learn more about style guides and how they can help your marketing? Download our free eBook on style guides and all the benefits they offer.
Read more: What Is a Style Guide?
Before editing the details of an article or blog, the copy editors read through the entire document. This helps them get a feel for the flow of the piece and understand the information the writer conveys. Even if there are grammatical errors or typos, the main purpose of the read-through is to ensure the article, as a whole, successfully delivers the topic’s idea and targets the right audience.
For example, let’s say a business writes an educational article to help farms sell used tractors. The writer might create a section in the article titled “What Is a Tractor Used For?” This heading might be ideal for the article’s SEO efforts, but chances are, if a farmer is selling their tractor, they don’t need to know how to use it. In cases like this, a copy editor would likely remove this section or replace it with more relevant and relatable information. So copyediting during the first read-through focuses on this clarity and relevancy.
Some articles and blogs might give readers data or hard facts. During the editing process, it’s important for the copy editor to make sure that this information is accurate. If the business or marketing team accidentally gives their readers false information, they could lose some important trust from their audience. Depending on the subject, it’s also possible that false information might be harmful to the reader.
If there’s a link to a source, the copy editor makes sure the link is authoritative and trustworthy. If the writer lists any hard facts in their content, like how to calculate finances or laws in different states, the copy editor also makes sure to do thorough fact-checking before publishing.
Once the piece of content meets its requirements and fits the style guide, the copy editor corrects any grammatical errors they find during their read-through. This is where copyediting starts to focus on proofreading. With readable content that’s free of errors, SEO improves and audiences stay on your site longer. Plus, the consistency in high-quality, authoritative content wins with Google and ultimately drives up your rankings.
Before finishing their work, a copy editor reads through the piece one last time. This allows them to make sure that they didn’t miss any typos or mistakes. It also helps them see if any of their changes and edits changed the flow or readability of the blog or article.
If they find that any of their changes affected the flow or tone of the piece, they might make a few more adjustments. Once they feel the piece is ready for review, they either send it to the publisher or to the quality assurance specialist, depending on the workflow of the company or marketing department.
Yes, you can absolutely edit any content or copy yourself without a copy editor. But it’s usually better to work with one. Think about it this way: let’s say you hire a writer or two to create content for you. Maybe you want to save time or resources and increase your brand’s content production. If you copy-edit the work your writers deliver, you’re wasting effort on the process when you could be focusing your energy elsewhere.
Now, let’s say hire a copy editor. They’ll have the experience you need when scaling production to quickly edit, proof, and QA writers’ work. And the quicker you can deliver and publish high-quality, engaging content, the better.
You can find copy editors and copyediting services in many different places. From freelancers to content agencies, you can find copyediting services from people and places like:
There are many places to find freelance copy editors on the internet. For starters, you can use different freelance job boards to find potential copy editors for your business, like:
These websites allow businesses to post jobs and have freelancers apply to them. However, you can also search through freelancer profiles to see what services they offer. Some platforms even let you browse freelancers’ portfolios so you can check out their work. With features like these, you can get an idea of how their writing style can fit what your brand needs. It can also help you see if they have experience writing for your industry. The only downside to freelancers is their availability. Some may have longer turnaround times, which could slow down production.
Content mills are businesses that offer content creation services, but at high volumes quickly and as cheaply as possible. Some content mills also provide copyediting services for content you already have. You can hire these copy editors for quick review and turnarounds, but many don’t prioritize quality, so your results can vary.
This quantity-over-quality approach most content mills use can actually have adverse effects because there’s no guarantee that these services can align content to brand goals. You might have a different copy editor from one article to the next, creating inconsistencies in brand voice and content quality. The bottom line is, content mills are great if you need the work done quickly but aren’t always the best option.
Content marketing agencies like CopyPress have copy editors on their teams who ensure each piece of content they deliver meets your standards. Working with a content agency is an advantage if you’re looking to scale content production, as well, since they often have the capacity to build custom teams that work directly with your brand vision and goals.
At CopyPress, we work with you to align our production process to your goals. We create style guides from your unique specifications and objectives and use these as templates to deliver high-quality content. Our team of writers, copy editors, and quality assurance specialists make sure content meets your standards and captures your business’s style and tone every time. With CopyPress, you’ll maximize your content strategy and attract your target audience. Schedule a free strategy call and we’ll help you analyze your current strategy and devise a game plan that’ll get you the results you want.
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