4 tips to help you find the right copyeditor for your blog

 

The big picture

Your blog plays an important part in how you reach your audience. Design, SEO, social media strategy, and content creation are just a few of the things you have to consider to make your blog successful.

Together with newsletters, emails, and your social media presence, your blog is a business-driving tool that lets you tell the world your story.

Your readers are looking for reliable, trustworthy content. If your writing lacks attention to detail, doesn’t make sense, or is full of typos, your readers can take that as a sign of your credibility.

 

Avoiding the online grammar trolls

So what if the dry technicalities of grammar, punctuation, and word choice aren’t your strong suits? This is where a copyeditor comes in.

Working with a professional copyeditor who makes sure your writing is clear, makes sense, and is grammatically correct can make a huge difference in the quality of your content.

Does it really matter that you use apostrophe’s as liberally as high school girl’s used hairspray in the 80’s? Is it going to hurt your business when you tell your readers that they should follow you’re blog? Yes, absolutely. (If you’re not sure why those sentences are so cringe worthy, a copyeditor can be a big help.) Those are exactly the things that can make your readers leave your blog and move to someone else’s (or worse, make your brand the subject of the next not-so-friendly grammar meme). Seriously, don’t you have better things to think about?

 

Do your thing; your copyeditor will do the rest

Fortunately, you don’t have to be bothered by any of that technical stuff. You keep writing about your amazing trip to Fiji or that über handy camera gadget you discovered to help you get amazing Instagram shots. Your copyeditor will handle all the behind-the-scenes details.

You know exactly what you want to say to your readers, which is the very reason you shouldn’t edit your own content. Your thoughts are already clear in your head, so of course what you write will make sense to you.

You’re not writing for yourself though. You are writing for an audience that only knows what you put into words; and things get lost in translation. You should always (always) have someone review your work.

Having your content edited by a quality copyeditor has shown to increase readers’ engagement by as much as 30 percent[1]. Imagine what that could mean More traffic on your site? More readers? A bigger social media presence?

 

Not all copyeditors are the same                        

A good copyeditor knows the grammar basics. A great copyeditor, however, will not only make sure your sentences are technically correct, but she will also ensure that your thoughts flow smoothly, your writing is consistent and clear, and your content has direction and purpose. She will shape your words while letting your style shine and always maintaining your voice.

A strong copyeditor can visualize alternative, engaging ways to reach your readers and takes the initiative to research and understand your niche. She is the difference between you publishing okay copy and publishing attention-grabbing, business-driving content that makes your readers want to connect with you and keep coming back!

4 tips to help you find the right copyeditor for your blog

Use these tips to help you find the right copyediting partner:

1.    Ask for a sample.

You’d never buy a car without test driving it first. You also wouldn’t want to choose a copyeditor before you know that her work is helpful and right for your content. When you get a sample, you get the chance to see exactly how the copyeditor’s style works for your blog.

2.    Understand your copyeditor’s process.

Does she look at your content once, make changes, and call it a day? Or does she have a thorough, multistep editing process? However detailed a first-round edit can be, there is almost always additional opportunity in subsequent rounds. You want to make sure your copyeditor isn’t just checking your copy off a to-do list.

 3.    Tell your copyeditor what you want.

Do you want her to make an occasional recommendation or do you want in-depth edits, detailed questions, and thorough explanations of her changes? Let her know what you need. The extent of her work (and often the rate she charges) depends on this information. Be sure your copyeditor is open to feedback and is willing to adjust her edits to your needs. She should listen to you to understand what and how you are trying to communicate. Keep in mind that your partnership is fluid. As you learn more about each other’s style, your relationship will evolve, and you can make adjustments as needed.

4.    Remember the choice is yours.

Your copyeditor is a consultant. She will recommend and explain the best options for your content based on her professional experience, your blog goals, and your brand, but the decision to accept her input is ultimately yours. A great copyeditor will balance her expertise with flexibility—she will know the rules of writing, and she will know how far they can be bent to ensure that your brand’s voice always shines in your content.

 

[1] Mathewson, James. “A Fourth of July Lesson in the Value of Editors.” Writing For Digital. https://writingfordigital.com/2010/07/04
/a-fourth-of-july-lesson-in-the-value-of-editors
(accessed July 4, 2016)

 

 

Lets talk about how we can make your copy shine!