Writer, copywriter, copy writer, content writer.
Like editors, there are a fair few names for them.
There are subtle distinctions, like a copywriter usually focuses on marketing and advertising and a content writer usually focuses on content, such as blogs, ebooks and the like.
But if you’re not one, you might not know which term to use, or which one you need.
Don’t worry, copywriters are a friendly bunch and are there you help you.
If you have advertising and emails you’ll know how difficult it can be to write and sequence everything.
You have to get the words right, the tone right, the voice right and the branding right. Everything has to show your business in the best light. It just has to be ‘you’.
But being you takes time. Writing takes a lot of time.
Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s easy. It’s not.
Getting it wrong is easy. Getting it right takes time, skill and sometimes a lot of research.
By hiring a copywriter, you’ll be getting a fresh pair of eyes. Someone who can help you get your message out there, without the hassle of you doing it yourself. You can free up your precious time and get on with what you’re good at.
A copywriter can help you with your advertising, writing persuasive copy that can increase your revenue stream.
If you have a blog, or need to create white papers, brochures, flyers, ebooks etc. then a content writer is a good choice.
Like with your advertising, you have to get the words right, the tone right, the voice right and the branding right. Everything has to show your business in the best light. Again it just has to be ‘you’.
But being you takes time. And content writing takes a lot of time.
Again, it’s not easy.
Getting it right takes time, skill and research.
By hiring a content writer, as with hiring a copywriter, you’ll be getting a fresh pair of eyes. Someone who can help you get your message out there, freeing up your precious time and letting you get on with what you’re good at.
A content writer can increase your revenue stream by informing and educating your customers and employees.
We’ve all been there. We have something that needs writing, so we’ll sit down with a pad and pen, or grab the laptop and start writing. You might ask other team members, or you might just get on with it.
Then, before you know it, half the day has gone and you have about 200 words, a lot of really fine doodles, eye strain and a headache.
And you don’t even know if the words are any good. You can’t ask Kevin in accounts because he really doesn’t have a clue, and Deirdre in reception just agrees with everything you say.
So you give it the once over, decide it’s fine and send it to the website, printer or pop it into the email account.
If you’re lucky no one comes back to tell you you’ve misspelled ‘your’, you’ve spelled your address wrong or you’ve repeated yourself a few times.
If you’re unlucky all hell breaks loose because you’ve got your facts wrong, the writing makes no sense or Alan comes through from the office to break your kneecaps because what you’ve written was a word-by-word retelling of the confidential story he was told by the chairman that needed to ‘go no further’.
You see. It really isn’t easy.
And there’s a middle ground. The one where nothing happens.
No one notices your writing.
The tumbleweed floats around the office and you’re getting no interest and no sales.
A writer can help you because they know what they’re doing.
So, if you need to get something written, what are you going to do? You can take a few days or so out of your schedule and knock something out. It might be good.
Or you could save yourself time, headaches and overwhelm and hire a professional writer.
Why does your business need it?
Do you ever really think about the words your business uses?
Are they chatty? Serious? Formal? Informal?
Does your business thrive on hard facts or on emotions?
It really doesn’t matter.
You see, until you realise the benefit, you’re never going to fork out a proportion of your business’s budget on an editor.
We’re shrouded in a fog of mystery and misunderstanding.
People often either don’t know or don’t understand what editors and proofreaders do. Don’t know how they can help. Think they’re only publisher types. Or think they’re too expensive.
Yes, we can be expensive (although it’s all relative), but the return on investment can be well worth your time and money.
Think of us as your creative consultant, word wizard, and content reviewer. Written words, meant to be seen by your customers or peers, should reflect your business in the most natural way possible.
We can help you make sense of it all. Simple.
So, let’s attack your pain points.
Wrong. Everybody cares about them.
They’re not the be all and end all. But people do notice them.
And you don’t want to attract the Grammar Police.
Spelling mistakes on your website put across the wrong message, put people off, can add to your website’s bounce rate and can cost you customers.
Don’t worry, we do.
This is what we do, it’s our speciality. Just as selling products, services or consulting is yours.
If you want your pamphlets and brochures to read well, your website to look good and work properly, or your advertising to zing, just ask. Editors are trained to spot problems, and give advice on what you need. You are professionals, and so are we.
It doesn’t have to be a big deal. Can you afford not to hire one? Promotional material, websites and publications can cost a lot more in lost revenue than hiring an editorial consultant.
Start small. You don’t have to jump in with a full business audit. Get an editor to look over that next brochure before you send it to the printers.
Perhaps you can. But why take up your own valuable time when it can spent doing things more productive for your business. People outsource all the time. And we are professionally trained to spot all those little things that you probably won’t spot.
Are you confident that you are presenting yourself to the world in the best possible light?
Rather than reinvent the wheel, I’ve put together some of my most popular articles to help you understand what editors can do for you.
Grab a cuppa and see what you can see.
Over the years I’ve had a fair number of potential clients preferring to hire an editor who lives locally. Don’t worry, it’s not just me, it happens. This week I’ll look at why this isn’t necessarily a good idea. And why in some cases it can be.
Many people don’t understand the editing process (after all why would they, they’re not trained editors). Because of this, they think they need to sit down with the editor and work through the edit with them, or have regular face-to-face meetings. Even if you’re determined to hire a local editor and believe you won’t meet up, the temptation to meet because you’re ‘just around the corner’ can be overwhelming.
There may be expectations for a local editor to work in a room with the author or business owner. Imagine trying to work with someone sitting next to you? Even being in the same room, it can be difficult to keep a sense of distance. There could be a tendency for the editor to feel ‘on show’. Some clients may feel that ‘they know best’, or conversely ‘know nothing’, and it could be difficult to let the editor get on with their work.
Editing is a very conscious occupation and needs high levels on concentration. Editors tend to have their own individual way of working, which heightens their productivity. Remove them from their usual surroundings and productivity can dip. Meaning it can take longer to perform the tasks needed.
Editors rely on a whole range of resources to do their job. This doesn’t just mean a good internet connection and space to plug in a laptop. Some editors use more than one screen. Some feel more comfortable using their PC, rather than a laptop. There are industry specific resources, such as reference books and software (we don’t all get everything we need from online sources). It can be extremely difficult to carry all our resources around, and you can guarantee as soon as you are away from the office you’ll forget one vital tome or piece of equipment.
You’re looking at out of hours travel both ways, expenses and possibly a premium to cover extended working hours and further loss of work. If the editor has to drive to your office they’ll be unable to carry out the other work they usually do (and could do on the train at a push). Because someone is local to you, doesn’t mean it will be cheaper.
For an effective working environment, there needs to be a distance between the client and the editor. This is for both our sakes. It’s good to have a rapport and to get on with each other, however, friendship is best left outside of the working relationship. A working relationship should be professional and mutually beneficial.
It’s human nature. We can’t help it. You see something you’re not used to and there’s an urge to ask questions. Every, single question interrupts the flow and concentration. If you are sitting in a room with your editor you’re going to end up asking questions, frustrating your editor and costing yourself money.
Just like the last point. It’s human nature. We arrive in the office, the kettle’s put on and the small talk starts. While it is nice to catch up and talk about what’s been happening, a quick catch up can roll on to half an hour of chat. And that extends the working hours for the project.
This last point is the important one. When you are ‘working together’ in the same space, it becomes very, very difficult to let the editor get on with their job. Everything that’s noted above compounds into one very simple fact – whether it is fiction, non-fiction or a business document, it’s very difficult to let go and let the professional do their job. Especially if you’re not sure of their process and already think that you’ve done a great job and things are just about perfect. You very likely will have done a good job, but it’s the editor’s job to make it even better. If you can’t give up control while the edit is being carried out it will take twice a long and be twice as hard for the edit to be done.
Having said all that, there are some instances where it makes sense to have a local editor.
Sometimes it can just make sense for the editor to be on site, or to at least make a visit. Working on complex material, and carrying out a complicated or technical edit, might benefit from the editor being close to the author or a company representative. If the company doesn’t have an in-house editorial team, then a conversation will have to take place about the best way to work around the technical issues.
Now, this doesn’t seem to happen very often. Most editors work on-screen these days, but occasionally physical papers need to be edited. If this is the case, it can make sense to visit the company offices, as long as the editor is allowed to get on with their work uninterrupted.
Similar to the first point, if the editor would benefit from being around the technicians or accessing their processes, then it can benefit both parties to be in the same place.
Yes, sometimes editors are hired to train company staff. Obviously, then it makes sense to have a local editor visit the offices.
This is the most likely reason for an editor to be in the same premises as their client. Although we often work on sensitive information and confidentiality is assured, sometimes we have to work on documents that cannot leave the business premises.
In this case it does make more sense to hire an editor who knows the local environment, although they don’t necessarily have to live in the area.
There really are very few reasons in these days of instant communication where you NEED to work with a local editor.
(Remember this is only this editor’s opinion based around genuine needs, I expect there are others I just haven’t thought of yet.)
There are thousands of editors out there. Properly trained editors. If you can think of a subject, you can find an editor who works on it.
While your local editors may be lovely, and trained, they may not be the best fit for your project.
You need to carefully consider what’s best for your work. If that’s a local editor, that’s good, but if there’s a better editor out there for you, you would be foolish not to consider it.