I love (most of) the editing process. I love to take people’s words and make them gleam — to make slightly technical things fun and easy to read — to reduce redundancies and increase clarity. But if someone wants to edit MY work? Yikes. Those are my precious word babies! It’s scary to hand over your writing to someone else. But the more you learn about the editing process, the less scary it’ll be. Promise. Summary: Learning about how website copy editing works will make it a more comfortable and productive experience. It could even be fun.
How to Love the Editing ProcessReady to get more results from your website copy? Grab that red pen by the cap and tell it who’s boss. When you’re hiring an editor or consultant, you’re still in control: of your words, your message, and the process. The goal is not to fight for your version. The goal is to make your business more money. You can do this. And it doesn’t have to be painful.
Take comfort in working with a professionalNo, you wouldn’t ask any stranger to look in your mouth to check on your plaque buildup. You ask a dental hygienist. And even that might be nerve-wracking and weird, especially when you’re seeing someone new. But if they’re nice, the next time isn’t so bad. It might even get to be pleasant. Like other professionals, editors and website copy consultants won’t judge you as long as you listen to us, are reasonably nice, and pay on time. Seriously. We don’t even care if you’ve been stress-eating a lot of candy. Not sure what kind of pro to hire? Get your rundown.
Just because you can edit doesn’t mean you have to. Or should.A lot of people feel like editing is something they should be able to do themselves. You took English in high school after all. Well, I took economics in high school, but I’m not doing my own taxes. We all have our talents and choose our training accordingly. I hire a proofreader to go over my own website copy work before I hand it over to a client. And I’ve done professional copyediting, too! If your work has a lot of typos, it might mean that your brain is trying to make your life easier. Good work, brain.
Realize the editing process might be hard the first timeLook: sending your work off to get “messed with” by someone else can be a bit of an ego-crusher. Not to turn this into a therapy session, but just think through the feelings you might have, and prepare for them. I might feel: defensive, hurt, annoyed. What about you? When I name these feelings, I can recognize them better when they pop up. “Oh, snap, I’m feeling pretty defensive about this suggestion. I wonder why?” is going to serve your business goals a lot better than, “What the hell does this chick know about it???!”
Choose your experienceEditors and consultants have tools at their disposal. You can make the final call on every deleted comma, or just let them loose. Sometimes you just want a job done and not spend one more brain cell on it. No problem! Sometimes, you want to be more involved. Great! (To a point! I mean, you hired this person for a reason!)
Work with someone who lifts you upCan I tell you a secret? I’ve written for plenty of publications, online in and print. Some of the editors just took my work and mangled it without asking. Some just barely communicated at all — the work equivalent of a grunting teenager. One made me cry regularly. A few went out of their way to thank me for good work, and to ask politely and clearly when they needed changes. Some are just downright enthusiastic. Guess which ones I worked with the longest, and still support today?
Life is short. Hire someone who is a joy to work with. Good editors will improve your business prospects. They might even improve your future writing, and make you feel better along the way.That’s the goal. Together.
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