Content Editing for Dummies

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Content isn’t just an SEO strategy. It establishes your brand’s voice and proves you’re an authority. If your content is well-written and engaging, your audience will keep coming back for more.

To be effectively engaging, your digital content needs to be well-written. Well-written content is ultimately well-edited content. It should be clear, concise, and to the point. Spellcheck simply can’t replace the human touch. If you’re going to make a good first impression, your work needs to be polished and professional — every time.

If your goal is compelling content, consider these four tips the next time you put pen to paper (or fingers to keys):

1. Remember Your Message
A lot of writers lose sight of their point midway through writing an article. They may slip into a lengthy digression, or somehow end up with content that’s completely off-topic. Ask yourself if every single sentence serves the main point of your article. If one doesn’t, change it or cut it out completely. If you’re looking at a particularly lengthy digression, consider writing a follow-up article down the road.  There’s no need to cram everything into one piece.

2. Read It Aloud
Your brain may forgive a lot of grammar errors but your mouth won’t. Reading out loud forces you to slow down, unearthing sneaky grammatical errors, as well as clumsy and repetitive wording.

3. “Kill Your Darlings”
Not literally (it’s a Faulkner quote). Editing involves a certain willingness to be brutal. Sometimes, that may mean telling an author that her work simply isn’t very good, or asking what she means by a particularly opaque turn of phrase. Don’t forget that as an editor, your job is to make the author shine, even when it hurts her pride.

4. Hire a Professional
A lot of people think that because they are avid readers, they can write well. It’s true that the digital information age has made writers out of all of us, but writing is a craft, honed over time. So is content editing. If you’re neither a professional writer nor professional editor, you probably haven’t honed that skill set. There’s no shame in that. Just as you’d hire a professional plumber or electrician, you should consider hiring a professional editor to make certain your written content is top-notch.


Going Pro: When to Hire a Professional Content Editor

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Almost everyone can benefit from the services of a content editor. Having a skilled editor read over, correct, and improve your writing is especially important whenever you need to project an image of professionalism and competence. Error-free writing will also help you gain the respect and trust of your readers and communicate your message in the most effective way. While there is no shame in not being able to write perfect prose, there’s also no excuse for letting your words reflect poorly upon you or your business. Professional copyediting and proofreading services can make a huge difference.

So, when should you hire a content editor?

When Business Is Booming
Whether you’re an entrepreneur whose website serves as the online “face” of a burgeoning brick-and-mortar or a blogger with a rapidly increasing number of followers, your writing can either help take your business to the next level, or hold it hostage. Concise and compelling writing can turn window shoppers into paying customers and casual browsers into regular readers. It should be no surprise that poor writing, riddled with spelling and grammatical errors, will have the opposite effect.

When You’re Making Career Moves
When you’re seeking a new job, you need to impress a hiring manager with your resume, cover letter, and general email correspondence. This is a prime example of a situation in which your writing must be faultless. Proofreading to check for spelling and grammatical errors is key. A hiring manager often selects just a handful of candidates for formal interviews and is likely to dismiss any applicants whose writing isn’t up to snuff. Furthermore, professional copy editors can tweak and rework your writing to best highlight your skills and experience, helping you catch the attention of your reader in as few words as possible.

Whenever Your Writing Matters
The importance of copyediting for professional progression isn’t limited to sales pitches, resumes, and blog posts. Well-edited writing makes for better emails, reports, and social media posts, as well as any other correspondence that may be seen by people who are important to your business or career. Impressing a higher-up with a well-worded email could be enough to land you that promotion. Sharing a top-notch write-up of a project on LinkedIn might get you noticed by a headhunter or hiring manager.

In short, whenever your writing really matters, you can’t afford to take any chances. While skilled content editors make professional writing attainable, editorr outdoes the masses by making the proofreading process more convenient and affordable than ever before!

Content Editing

The Case For Content Editing

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As all [good] content editors know, the concise prose you find when you read a published piece didn’t get that way on the first try. Writing is a process, and often, a first draft may convey great ideas and raw insight, but it’s very rare that a first draft is perfect. Almost every piece of writing needs an editor to take it from a rough draft to a final, polished article, ready for publication.

Here are a few ways you can ensure your writing is up to par:

Define the Narrative
Is there a clear story being told or does the writing tend to veer off in different directions? When examining a piece of writing, you want to be able to trace a clear narrative from beginning to end. If you are having trouble crafting an airtight narrative, it may be a good time to hire a content editor. A content editor will check to see whether there are any points that aren’t followed up later in the piece. An editor may also remove story elements that fail to contribute to your writing’s overall point or purpose.

Ensure Consistency
Much of the job of a content editor is making sure a piece of writing reads like it was written by the same author from start to end. This is why it can be very helpful to hire a content editor, regardless of the nature of your content. You don’t want a piece that starts off casually and then suddenly becomes stiff or formal in the final paragraph. Similarly, you don’t want a project to begin by using one set of terminology, and conclude with an entirely different set of terms. A skilled editor will select an appropriate tone and vocabulary and apply them consistently throughout your piece.

Boost Engagement
As you are reviewing a piece of writing, stop to ask yourself whether the writing actually engages the reader. Does the writing feel like a conversation?  Do you want to know more about the subject matter at hand? If the writing is not engaging you, it’s unlikely it will engage the average reader. A content editor can craft a piece to be more engaging and relatable. Sometimes, simply adding a question or two, can help engage your audience and encourage them to continue reading.

Regardless of your topic, an experienced content editor should be able to elevate your piece to its best, polished, and most readable state.


Bad Grammar and Typos Cost Real Estate Agents Money

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Any good real estate agent knows the importance of writing not only correct, but compelling listings. Written errors do not only cause confusion between agents and potential buyers, they give a bad impression overall. While browsing listings, homebuyers expect to be able to get all the information they need at just a glance and will soon skip over any that are difficult to decipher. Furthermore, grammatical errors and dubious word choices give buyers the message that you as an agent either do not know how, or do not care enough, to write correctly.

Top professionals in real estate (and certainly all industries) care enough to hire editors to proofread and perfect their writing before displaying it for potential customers to see. The most compelling reason to do so? Their bottom line. According to a Wall Street Journal article, real estate listings written in full, error-free sentences result in faster sales as well as higher-than-average selling prices. That’s something every real estate agent can appreciate.

Typos Can Be Costly Mistakes
We all make typos from time to time, but failing to notice and correct them before publishing a listing (such as posting to social media or sending correspondence) is careless and also costly. The silliest typos might add a nonexistent extra bedroom to a home or a couple of hefty zeroes to an asking price. These errors are an instant deal killer. Rather than call to double-check such mistakes in major details, most buyers will simply move on to the next listing. You might think blooper-style typos, such as writing “poo in the backyard” instead of “pool” or “large panty” instead of “pantry,” give readers a harmless chuckle, but that’s not a good thing. You want house hunters to be smiling with excitement over the potential of your listing, not laughing at your errors.

Readability Is Very Important
Abbreviations are common and accepted in real estate listings. They make skimming lots of listings quicker and easier for browsing homebuyers, and they save real estate agents money on pricey advertising space. Go too far with the convention, though, and you risk giving readers a headache as they try to decipher lines of all-caps code. Do not make the mistake of cutting every vowel from every word (“bdrm” is fine, “grt nghbrhd” is just annoying) or making up your own acronyms (no one knows that SSA stands for “stainless steel appliances”). An editor or another set of eyes can help you find the fine line between writing that’s summarized for the benefit of the reader and writing that’s crammed with so many abbreviations it becomes unintelligible.

Errors Undermine Your Professionalism
Most homebuyers who are reading listings can forgive minor typos and grammatical errors as long as they can understand the key points. They know that real estate is your expertise, not writing perfect prose. However, mistakes from the subtle to the glaring all undermine your professional appearance and cost you money in ways you can’t easily measure. If you are publishing listings or other materials with errors, is it because you are uneducated? Perhaps your agency cannot afford to pay someone to proofread. Or maybe you just don’t care. All of these possibilities mean buyers are doubting your professionalism, and such doubts inevitably have a negative effect on your profits. Smart, savvy real estate agents know that utilizing the services of an editor can undeniably boost your bottom line.

By: Heather R., Editor for editorr

Content Editing

How Content Editors Can Save You Time and Money

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In this social media driven world, communicating well with customers is key to the success of your business. However, not all business owners or employees have time to spend proofreading their digital communications to make sure everything is perfect. This is where editorr comes in. editorr is a service that provides content editing for all of your written communication needs.

Here are four ways editorr can save you time and money:
1. Polish a Newsletter
It’s important to keep your customers updated on your business and make sure they know what new products, promotions, and services you have available. Creating a flawless email newsletter can be a time-consuming task. Instead, you can write a rough draft of an email you’d like to send to your customers and ask a content editor to make it more polished and engaging.
2. Refresh Your Website Content
When you started your business, you probably created a website to promote your product or service to potential customers. Now you may be wondering whether your website could use a once-over. Rather than taking the time to do this yourself, hire an editor to review your content, make edits, and bring your web copy up to date.

However, not all business owners or employees have time to spend proofreading their digital communications to make sure everything is perfect. This is where editorr comes in.

3. Create More Engaging Blog Posts
You may have ideas for compelling blog posts, but you don’t have time to get those ideas from rough draft to publication. Instead, simply write a draft of the content and send it to an editor for polishing. This way, you are in charge of your blog’s personality and message, but you aren’t left with the taxing task of getting it ready to post.
4. Replace the Need for Full-Time Editorial Staff
Hiring a full-time editor can be expensive and you may not need an editor day-to-day. Perhaps you only require editorial oversight on a few particular projects. editorr is your solution! editorr offers on demand proofreading and content editing, without the overhead. With editorr, you have access to top-notch editors at a fraction of the cost of a full-time editorial team.