Why You Need a Copy Editor for Your Business Today
Companies that don’t specialize in marketing may not understand all of the benefits of a copy editor. This position is important for both online and offline content efforts. While you may be familiar with the tem copy editor in relation to newspapers and magazines, you also need to have this type of person to oversee content before it is published. Here are six reasons why you need to find a qualified copy editor for your business today.
What is a Copy Editor?
A copy editor is a person who checks text for format, accuracy, and style. They review content before it is proofread and typeset for final publication. They check to make sure the content is concise, comprehensible, and correct. They also look for consistency to make sure that the text is in line with other content already published on a specific site. This includes company websites and blogs, as well as press release sites, article directory, and social media sites. A copy editor will often have experience in writing, editing, and marketing. Often you will be able to find one that has experience in your niche and is familiar with your company’s jargon and semantics.
Understanding Style Guides
Consistency is an important aspect of marketing. All online content should adhere to guidelines, whether they are ones created by the company or more common guides, such as the Associated Press or the Chicago Manual. A copy editor’s responsibility is to make sure all content conforms to the guidelines you set.
The guidelines will make your website and blog more professional and will help the personality of the organization shine through. While people who are unfamiliar with publishing may believe that style guides restrict the creative process, they actually enhance it while giving the writer parameters for content structure.
Check for Grammar
Not everyone is a grammar expert. You may understand writing basics and the services or products you sell, but you may not know if a sentence is incomplete or if there is a dangling modifier.
A copy editor will have knowledge regarding correct grammar and usage. While some forms of online content are more relaxed than others are, they all adhere to basic rules of grammar. If your audience notices these mistakes, it will question your company’s professionalism and expertise. If you don’t know the difference between “then” and “than”, what else is it that you don’t know?
Short and Sweet
While it is preferable to have long blog posts and articles, it is still important to be concise in your writing. A copy editor will check for brevity as well as misplaced commas. They will make sure that the writer doesn’t repeat himself in his writing and that the answer he gives is thorough without dragging on too long.
At the same time, it is important to make sure that the information offered isn’t too short. People use the Internet for research. They are looking for answers, and they want companies that claim they are experts to provide those answers for them. Brevity shouldn’t be confused with being terse. Be generous with your company knowledge and a copy editor will make sure that your writers wield this knowledge carefully.
It is important to make sure that the reader will be able to understand the meaning behind what is written. The meaning may be clear to the writer or an expert in the field, but will a layperson understand what the writer is trying to convey?
A copy editor will read the content from the point of view of the audience to make sure that a person that isn’t a professional in the field will understand all of the information in the content. Are all definitions explained accurately? Did the writer avoid technical jargon? Does the content convey the right information to the right audience?
Just as the information needs to be clear and concise, it also needs to be accurate. Even worse than using complicated terms is using those terms incorrectly. The audience may not spite the mistake but it is unprofessional to not take the necessary step to make sure that information relayed in any content published by the company is accurate.
This includes common terms used in the company’s field and statistics or analysis that the writer may use when creating the content. Fact checking is an important part of editing a document and reaffirming the belief that a company is a thought leader.
Is the purpose of the content clear? Does the text follow through on the promises that you make in the headlines and summary? Is there a call to action that is easy to understand? Does it encourage the reader to act upon it?
These are just some of the questions that a copy editor will answer as they go through the text. Any part of the text that isn’t clear will be questioned and revised so that the reader will be able to understand it. After all, it isn’t the reader’s job to ascertain the purpose of the content; the writer should make that obvious from the start.
No matter what type of business a company specializes in, it needs to create a comprehensible and coordinated marketing campaign. A copy editor will help your company to be more successful in this endeavor. He or she will help make sure that your content is grammatically and factually accurate, concise, and comprehensible.
Copy editors will make sure that the meaning behind the content is clear and its purpose is easy to understand. They will look to see if the call to action is compelling and understandable and will encourage readers to follow through. Just as it is important to hire marketing and content specialists for your Internet efforts, it is also vital that you have an experienced copy editor as part of your staff. Whether you hire one full time or on a subcontracting basis, a copy editor that is able to review your content will make your marketing efforts more efficient and effective.
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