From Good To Great: How A Skilled Editor Can Transform Your Content

By Whitney Ratcliff | Blog

Sep 03

When you finally finish writing a blog post, checking it for errors is the last thing you want to do — and that’s probably a good thing. No matter how many times you read your own writing, it’s not going to reach its full potential when you’re the only one critiquing. If you want to get the best results from the content you write, you need to find a talented editor.

Proofreading vs. Editing – What’s The Difference?

Before we talk about choosing an editor, let’s set a few things straight. Many people use the terms “proofreading” and “editing” interchangeably, but they’re unique skill sets.

A proofreader focuses on spelling errors, grammatical errors, punctuation, and typos. They also check for incorrect use of regional language and style consistency (copyediting).

While a good editor corrects any obvious errors, their main focus is the overall quality of your writing. An editor reviews and changes your text with the goal of improving structure and flow. They focus on removing ambiguity and have the freedom to rewrite entire sentences and paragraphs.

While a good editor corrects any obvious errors, their main focus is the overall quality of your writing.

An editor also makes sure your voice and intent is prominent in your writing. This is especially important for businesses hoping to build credibility and instill confidence through their content.

A Good Editor Is The Backbone Of Your Content

When it comes to producing great content, spelling, grammar, and structure matter. A blog post or newsletter full of typos reflects badly on you and your organization. Case in point:

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Image via Hubspot

Alternatively, clean content shows a high level of knowledge and an attention to detail – two things consumers look for. Most of us can’t create powerful content on our own, though. We need a good editor behind the scenes to bring out our strongest writing and help us look our best.

The best writing—like the best parts of life, perhaps—is collaborative. –Ann Handley

Ann Handley of MarketingProfs and best selling book, Everybody Writes, says, “A good editor teases the best out of so-called writers and non-writers alike. The best writing—like the best parts of life, perhaps—is collaborative.” If you want to put your best foot forward with your writing, you’re foolish to try to do it alone.

What Should You Look For In An Editor?

Again, your “editor” shouldn’t just glance over your work, correcting typos or misspellings. A true editor brings so much more to the table. These are some of the qualities we expect from editors for our clients’ work:

  • Make sure the content accomplishes your marketing goals.
  • Find opportunities for improvement with internal links, places for pictures, and statistics.
  • Make sure your content targets a specific audience.
  • Give suggestions, like title changes or moving a paragraph, to improve your content.
  • Optimize articles for SEO.
  • Catch grammatical errors, typos, and other mistakes.
  • Help you become a better communicator by enhancing what you said to what you meant to say. (This is something our clients love!)

A talented editor is essentially a mind reader, turning what you wrote into what you meant to convey. And when they do a good job, your clients are the ones receiving the most value because they’re able to see the real you.

What are your favorite qualities in an editor?

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(2) comments

[…] a blog with zero personality. The posts may have started out full of character, but after the editing process, any hope of life has been sucked out […]

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[…] The editing process not only catches mistakes, it improve the quality of your content by helping you sound more like you. Even when you’re not sure how to say something, a good editor can help you write what you mean, instead of what you say. […]

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