The Copyediting Process Revealed!
Many people come to us with content already written and ask us to spiff it up a bit. We’re always more than happy to do that, and it brings our copywriter great joy to take something that’s “ok” to begin with and make it into something super. We’re glad that so many of our clients appreciate how important it is to have tight, concise and persuasive content. Today we thought we’d focus on some of the different things that go into a copyediting job.
It’s way more than just giving things a little tszuj!
There are five basic things we do for every editing request: fact checking, copyediting, SEO, substantive editing and proofreading. Let’s take a look at each one.
The first thing we do before any kind of editing, is make sure everything in the content that’s been provided is true. We do some research to be sure that any statistics mentioned are accurate and that all information (like addresses, email addresses, spelling of employee’s names, etc) are current. Sometimes we get copy that’s a few years old and things have changed. We take the time to make sure everything is updated.
Once we make sure everything is accurate, we go though and make sure it’s tight. This means that the style and tone are consistent throughout. It also means that complicated ideas are explained clearly and in a way that a general audience can understand. We also go through and make sure that the rules of grammar are being followed, and that there aren’t any extraneous words or sentences that don’t need to be there.
In house, we have a techie who’s our resident SEO expert. He combs through the content to make sure that it adheres to SEO best practices so that search engines can see the copy. It takes a lot of creativity and some strong writing skills to sprinkle content with keywords without it sounding forced and robotic. Occasionally, it’s a team effort between our techie and copywriter, but in the end, it sounds amazing while being optimized for SEO at the same time.
Editing for substance
Before we get to the last phase, we take another look at the copy for substance. We make sure that any claims made in the copy are supported and that all of the copy is cohesive and makes sense. Everything needs to flow in a logical pattern and most importantly, hit all of the most important points.
Once everything is written up, we go over the entire thing one last time. We check through for grammar, flow, tone, accuracy, SEO, substance—everything! Every project is different, so proofreading almost always covers many different aspects of the document. For example, if we’re editing to make sure copy is at a certain reading level, we proofread to make sure that it’s within the proper guidelines in addition to checking for all the things we just mentioned.
A great editing process is the only way to make sure that your content is solid and communicates exactly what you want in the most effective way possible. It’s an incredibly important step in the content creation process because having great copy is your chance to really convince your potential customer that you are the best choice!