By James Hill Jr.
Whether you’re a virtual copywriter or you work in the office, your role is essential to the world of content marketing. Under the strictest of deadlines, you just completed what you believe is your best work yet. You forward your draft to the copyeditor. Breathing a sigh of relief, you take a quick break before moving on to your next assignment. When you see your work published, to your surprise, it doesn’t even resemble your draft!
Why is a Copyeditor Destroying My Work?!
As a copyeditor, my role is to edit and proofread a copywriter’s work, making sure it holds up to quality standards. We’re not control freaks. Not all of us. And me being a freelance copywriter and a freelance editor, I respect both positions; therefore, I wouldn’t want anyone taking my work and completely rewriting it. But it happens.
Editors are trained to “trim the fat.” We give a coherent flow to content. Think of us as tailors. A customer comes in for a suit fitting. A tailor will take the measurements and modify a suit so that it fits the person to a tee. Nothing overly baggy or too tight. A perfect fit. We want to make sure what you publish best represents the company.
This is by no means a comprehensive list. With that said…
- Avoid adding fluff/unnecessary words – Common additions I’ve seen are “in order to” and “which, in turn.” As a freelance copywriter, I understand that you’re trying to make your word count. Instead of fluff, elaborate on your supporting details.
- Use Conjunctions – It’s okay to write basic sentences, but if that’s what fills the entire page, it’ll look choppy and amateurish. Use FANBOYS (For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, So) to combine sentences. Conjunctive adverbs such as likewise and moreover work, too.
- Fact check – Perhaps the sources you consulted weren’t reliable. It happens. Be careful with sources where anyone can edit the content, like Wikipedia. If you’re going to use Wikipedia, utilize sections like the references and citation ones.
- Be considerate of your audience – Let’s say you’re writing marketing content for a product that removes rashes. You don’t want to mention how having rashes is gross, for example. It can come across as insensitive.
- Spend more time planning – When you’re planning and jotting down ideas, step away, get some water and stretch. Ideas can come to you when your mind isn’t so focused on writing.
Use Constructive Criticism
Don’t be discouraged when a copyeditor changes some parts of your work. We may seem picky—and some of us are—but we’re only looking to maintain correct grammar, flow, and facts. If a copyeditor shares constructive criticism, use it! Valuable feedback can only help you improve as a writer.
James Hill Jr. is a freelance copywriter and freelance editor serving not only the Orlando, Tampa, Daytona, and Miami areas but also helping clients internationally with their content needs. Use the form to get started today!