Communicating your message, your brand and your values accurately and effectively are vital to your business.
Whether you write a business blog, a report, marketing material, emails, social media posts or an e-book, you want to communicate clearly and accurately.
If you write any content for your business, and want to look professional and engage with your readers, working with an experienced editor can be beneficial to your business.
And in a world of outsourcing and working from home, it’s easy to work with a qualified, experienced editor without having to hire someone full-time, whether it’s for a one-off project or as a long-term relationship.
So, how can working with an editor help your business?
1. You have an experienced second pair of eyes
It’s very difficult to edit your own work, especially if you’ve just written it. You just can’t see the typo or the odd-sounding sentence – your brain sees what you think you wrote, not what you actually wrote. When you’ve been looking at your writing for too long and you no longer see what’s there, editors provide a fresh, experienced perspective.
While there is software that can help check spelling and grammar, AI will never replace an editor’s human touch. An editor will use their experience and intuition to help you choose between words with slightly different nuances, and they’ll know when and how to use a specific New Zealand English or te reo Māori word that may not be in the software, or when to break that grammar rule so that it suits your voice.
2. Your content will be stronger
Many people are good at grammar and spelling, but there is more to editing than that (though we do that too).
Editors know what to look for, what to change and, just as importantly, what to leave.
An editor will work closely with you to make sure that your readers – those are your clients and potential clients – get the message that you intended.
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2. You’ll appear more credible and trustworthy to your readers
The occasional typo is OK (everyone does it) but if you consistently publish content with typos and grammar mistakes, this will not give people confidence in your business.
A client won’t choose your business if they think you don’t care about the details. Show you care about your products and services, and about the reader, by making sure your content is clear and accurate.
And mistakes don’t just include typos and grammar mistakes. Broken links, unclear or incorrect information, and not backing up your claims can also damage your credibility – and these are all things that editors look out for.
Working with an editor will make sure you’re putting your best foot forward.
3. You’ll be less likely to cause offence, or get into legal problems
The right words can show that you are an expert, but the wrong ones can offend and give a negative impression of your business.
Language changes happen quickly, especially today with social media, but editors love words and consciously strive keep up with the changes.
An editor will be on your side to make sure your words don’t (inadvertently) harm your business or reputation.
Editors also know how to deal with copyright and trademarks, such as attributing quotes, asking permission to use material, and crediting images. And while editors aren’t legal experts, they will flag instances with the potential for defamation.
4. You’ll make more money
Yes, really. Sometimes you have to spend some money to make money.
Most businesses think nothing of hiring a marketing expert or website developer to make sure their marketing works and their website SEO is up to scratch to attract more clients.
In the same way, an editor can help your business attract more clients.
People choose a particular product or service over one from another business because they trust the business, they feel like they can relate to the business, and they feel respected by the business.
Trust is built when a client knows exactly what a business does and how, and when the business' values are aligned to theirs.
An editor will know your brand and values and adjust your content to speak directly to the client in language that they understand. The client will feel comfortable with your business and be more likely to engage your services or buy your product.
And you’ll also save money.
Content that is clear and easily understood improves efficiency and reduces mistakes and misunderstandings, saving time and frustration to fix and clarify information.
Editors are efficient in their work, saving your own employees time and allowing them to concentrate on other tasks.
How can you afford not to work with an editor?
How do you work with an editor?
Most people feel a little worried about handing over their writing to someone else, especially someone outside their business.
You might wonder: “What will they think of my writing?” or “How will they know how I wanted to say it?”
An editor is experienced in working with your ‘voice’. The goal of editing is to enhance a communication, not detract from it. They will discuss the brief with you in detail, and make sure they understand the values and message of your business.
And you don’t have to worry about what an editor thinks of your writing. Editors love their job but know that writing is not for everyone. Just as they won’t be doing your accounts!
Every editor and business will discuss the best process for them, but in general the steps are:
Most editors prefer using Track Changes in Word, but will use Google Docs if that’s the best option. Using these functions means that you have the choice whether you accept the editor’s recommendations, but it’s important to keep an open mind – we don’t make changes lightly. An editor will often explain why they have made a change and make suggestions on how to fix it.
Get a free quote for my business editing services
If you are write content for your business or organisation and this all sounds too overwhelming, I can help.
I am an editor and plain language consultant based in New Zealand. My business, Clearlingo Editing and Proofreading, caters to all writers of business material, non-fiction books and cookbooks. I can discuss with you what you need and how I can help.
For more information on how I can help you make your writing shine, please contact me.
I would love to hear from you.
Marja Stack is an editor and plain language consultant based in New Zealand. She is the owner of Clearlingo Editing and Proofreading, which caters to all writers of non-fiction books, business publications and cookbooks. For more information or enquiries on how she can help you make your writing shine, please see her website.
- What is plain English?
- Why you should use plain English
- How to write in plain English
New Zealand English Series
- NZE: How to use a semicolon
- NZE: The 'singular they'
- NZE: How to use italics
- NZE: How to write numbers
- NZE: How to write abbreviations
- NZE: How to punctuate dialogue
- NZE: hyphens, en dashes and em dashes
- NZE: How to write times and dates
- NZE: Possessives
- NZE: Is our spelling different?
- NZE: Burned vs Burnt
- NZE: Using Māori words in English text
- NZE: -ise vs -ize endings
- NZE: Single or double quote marks
- NZE: Punctuation inside or outside quotation marks?
The Editing Process
- How to write a non-fiction book that sells
- How to write a book to promote your business
- Copyright and Permissions
- How much does editing cost?
- How to self-publish your book in New Zealand
- When is my book ready for publishing?
- Types of editing
- 5 things to tell your editor
- The revision and editing process
- What are beta readers?
- What to expect when you get your manuscript back
- How to order the pages of a book
- Fact checking fiction writing
- Formatting your manuscript for submission
- How long does it take to edit a book?
- Why I belong to editing associations
- How to write recipes for cookbooks and blogs
- The basics of writing a cookbook
- How to use Tracked Changes in Word
- How to use basic Word Styles
- How to fix common formatting errors in Word