When you hire a content editor to improve your writing, you must look for something beyond impeccable use of the English language. While correcting errors in spelling, grammar, and punctuation is a vital part of copy editing, a professional editor performs a number of more specialized functions. It’s in these areas of expertise that content editors truly prove their worth.
If you’ve made the smart decision to hire a content editor, look for one who can accomplish each of the following:
Cut the Fluff
Using 100 words when you could make the same point in 30 weakens your writing, no matter its purpose. Professional content editors should be able to immediately identify the key point in any sentence or paragraph. They need to decipher what specific point you are making, or what you are asking for or trying to accomplish with your words. They will identify this key point and know which words serve to communicate it and which words do not—the latter is “fluff.” An editor should know how to keep the meaningful words and cut the rest.
A content editor will rarely write whole new sentences from scratch. You should always be able to recognize your original message in the edited version of your writing.
Respect the Author
An editor should not be creating new content for you. An editor’s role is to work with the content you have already written and respect your role as the original author, maintaining your voice, tone, and intended message. A content editor will rarely write whole new sentences from scratch. You should always be able to recognize your original message in the edited version of your writing.
Choose the Right Words
While editors should not be writing new content, their role can stretch to replacing poorly chosen words with better ones. This goes beyond correcting errors in usage (such as replacing “affect” with “effect”) to a more nuanced understanding of word choice. Editors know what you are trying to communicate and can draw upon their expertise to select the words that will best convey your message. Editors know when to use “myriad” and when to use “many.” They also know that flowery, poetic descriptions have their place, and it isn’t in your blog post about DIY plumbing repairs.
Improve the Final Product
Writing is an art, not a science, which is why human editors are always superior to software. In a matter of minutes, professional editors can transform your writing from boring to compelling, waffling to concise, chaotic to readable. A great content editor will use the right words—primarily your words—to help you come across as intelligent, professional, and trustworthy.