Introduction: Copywriters, Copyeditors, and Proofreaders
Businesses and individuals who generate engaging and consistent content know the value of good copywriters, copyeditors, and proofreaders. However, while many online entrepreneurs know that they need them, not everyone is familiar with what exactly they do for you and your content. Knowing you need their services is all well and good, but you also need to know when to contact each type of professional to handle various aspects of designing and publishing marketing content for your website and social media channels. Here’s a brief rundown of the purpose and job descriptions for a copywriter, a copy editor, and a proofreader to help you make informed decisions about when it’s time to hire out some aspects of your content generation process.
These professionals are creative persons that you are typically involved with in the earliest phases of your content generation cycle. Their specific purpose is to help make your vision for your business and marketing content online a reality. Whether you are writing a novel or publishing an ebook, copywriters are your mentors into the world of making your original work into appealing and easily readable content. They are also experts at knowing what to keep and what to cut in order to keep your writing snappy and engaging. Copywriters are also experts in document design and visual layout for context, so they can be instrumental in your selection of visual elements for your content like color scheme, photo, and video content. Best of all, you can either collaborate with a copywriter to produce a beautiful piece of high-quality content, or you can give them general instructions and guidelines regarding your goals for a piece and let them handle the heavy lifting of the content generation.
Like a copywriter, a copyeditor is another potential partner in your content generation process. These individuals are the detail oriented technicians of the writing world who are usually called in after the content has been drafted before it is published. Copyeditors meticulously parse over your writing and digital content for surface errors in grammar, syntax, spelling, and punctuation in order to guarantee the highest possible quality for your final published product. They also review your work for technical inconsistencies, like if you use “email” on page 42 of your document, but then wrote “e-mail” instead on page 127, or in English verifying consistency in British versus American spelling variations like colour and color. Copyeditors are also responsible continuity of content (making sure everything is in order and organized coherently), fact checking your work for accuracy, ensuring there is no legal liability regarding libel against others, and generally making sure that your content meets a the highest standard of quality in terms of technical correctness and organization. When you are publishing a lengthy work such as a book, novel, or e-book, a skilled copyeditor is an absolutely vital resource to make sure that your work stands out in the crowd as a truly excellent piece of writing.
Differing from both copywriters and copyeditors, proofreaders are the ones who add an extra set of eyes on a finished work before it goes to mass publication or mass production in the case of printed content. They compare the printed or publication-ready edited copy and verify that there are no missing pages or omissions, and correct inconsistent or awkward page breaks. While proofreaders occasionally do some light editing work like word hyphenation or correcting spelling inconsistencies, their function and expertise is not the same as a copyeditor. If they discover too many errors in the edited copy, they may return it to the copyeditor for further refining and revision. Professional proofreading is essential to print publishers to maintain quality assurance in their content before running off bulk quantities of a book or magazine. Too many self-publishing authors these days hire a professional copyeditor to examine their work, but then neglect to have their final edited manuscript professionally proofread. Some authors try to do the proofreading themselves, but in order to ensure the highest quality, it is essential to have an experienced proofreader examine your work.
Ultimately, you will need to decide what your needs are for your content production, what level of quality you wish to maintain, and of course how much it is going to cut into your bottom line or marketing budget. Rest assured that highly skilled copywriters, copyeditors, and proofreaders are worth their weight in gold when it comes to producing the most engaging and highest quality content for your website, social media channels, or traditional print publication. When you are ready to step up your content to the big leagues and keep consistently excellent content posting regularly to your website or social media, look into finding a professional publication writing team that meets your needs and helps you achieve your content goals. The increase in engagement and revenue will be well worth the investment.