Kick Your Blog Up a Notch with an Editor: But Consider These 4 Things First!

You know what your audience wants. You’ve got the expertise, the experience, and the pulse on what they expect to take away from your blog.

While all of that is absolutely critical for building a following and earning reader respect, there’s one other key component that businesses need in blogging…well-written posts!

A blog with poor writing style, regardless of the usefulness of the info within it, can destroy credibility and make you look unprofessional.

If your business resembles that remark, it doesn’t mean you or your employees aren’t extremely smart, savvy and skilled. It just means you aren’t writers. There’s nothing wrong with that – it’s just not your thing.

When you’re trying to convey your business’s strengths, features, benefits and value to readers, your blog needs to have the pizazz and polish of a professional writer. Although hiring a writer to create content for posts might not be financially feasible, hiring a writer/editor to spruce up your rough drafts could very well be within budget.

Thinking about kicking up your blog’s prowess up a notch? Here’s some food for thought as you consider using an editor:

  • Editors generally price their services according to a rate per word. And some bill by the hour or by the page. Through my research when setting my own editing price points, I found that editors’ rates vary widely depending on capabilities, experience, geographical location and other factors.
  • Editors might ask for a sample of your work before offering pricing. To provide a rate that’s fair to both you and to them, some editors will request to see a sample or two of your work so they can assess how much work will be involved. If your writing skills are relatively good, editors won’t need to spend as much time and effort on your posts as they would on drafts written by someone who has poor grammar, spelling and sentence structure. Often, editing rates will be specific to individual clients. Realize it really can’t be “one size fits all.”
  • If an editor offers different levels of editing, find out how they’re different. I suggest that you seek an editor who follows my M.O. I prefer to take a paragraph from a sample draft and, in turn, provide my prospective clients with samples of basic editing and more substantial editing so they can see the difference and make an informed decision about which level will satisfy their needs both functionally and financially.
  • Most editors treat proofreading as a separate service. Many writing professionals edit first at X cents per word, and do proofreading as a separate service at X cents per word. Although I also do them in that order, I don’t edit without proofreading. And I choose to combine them into an all-inclusive rate per word. I’m sure there are other editors who do the same. Be sure to ask if proofreading is – or is not – included.

Whether you’ve got an existing blog that could use some fine-tuning or haven’t yet started a business blog because you don’t believe you’ve got the writing chops to pull it off, an editor could be just what you need. As you search for one that’s the right fit for you, keep in mind that you’re looking for value, not just the cheapest rate. Always ask for work examples, inquire about turn-around time, and find out how they’ll provide the edits to you (Word doc with mark ups, Word doc with changes made live, etc.).

Got questions about my blog editing services or about what to look for in an editor? I welcome your emails to dawnmentz@gmail.com. Or feel free to call me at 717.435.3559

 

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Dawn
Full-time independent content writer and copywriter based in Lancaster County, PA. I am not Amish nor do I drive a horse and buggy, but they pass by my house every day. I'm a fitness enthusiast, lover of live theater, and I believe everyone should adopt a pet from a rescue (unless you're allergic). I specialize in blog content, website copy, newsletter articles, industry editorials, press releases, and social media profile content. Please note that when reading my blog, you interpret and use the content at your own discretion and risk. Tips and guidance that have worked for me, may not produce the same outcome in your situation.

Comments

  1. Informative post, Dawn! As a writer, editor, and erstwhile proofreader, I have to comment on the fourth point, though. Over the course of a long and varied career (working with everything from creative writing to education texts to advertising copy), I’ve come to the conclusion that proofreading always needs to be a final and separate step. I’m further inclined to suggest that it should be done by someone other than the person who wrote and/or revised the copy, unless a significant amount of time can be spent away from the piece between the final revision and proofreading. Our brains just fill in too much for themselves — especially while reading familiar copy for content, flow, sentence structure, usage, and so on — to allow us to catch minutia like a missing article or a confused homophone. Like you, I always fix errors along the way when I revise a client’s copy. But thorough proofreading is always ultimately needed. If you’ve found a successful way to flawlessly revise and proofread at the same time, hats off! But I think most people cannot, and clients might want to keep the reasons for this in mind and have the expectation that many editors will make this a separate step.

    • Hi Zuzana!

      Thank you. It’s great to get your input and insight! I completely agree that it can be challenging to gain the level of separation needed to objectively proofread after editing. For me, the complexity and length of the work makes a big difference in how easy or difficult it is to do that. So far, combining the two into a single rate, while performing the two functions separately, has worked particularly well for me with blog posts. I believe that has a lot to do with the relative brevity of the content.

      With that said, I reserve the right to at some point in time change my mind. The changing needs of clients, project specifics and other factors could lead me to alter my approach in the future. Never say never! 😉

      Thanks again for taking the time to share your observations and experience. I’m always happy and willing to hear and learn from writing and editing professionals who have “walked the walk!”

      Enjoy the rest of your weekend, Zuzana!

      Dawn

      • It’s my pleasure, Dawn!

        Aha, I can see how that’s a great way (combined rate, separate tasks) to handle brief text. I’m typically dealing with books — quite challenging to read over and over and over … Another reason I separate out proofreading is to help show the client, through the fee estimate, what it takes to do a thorough job on that particular task.

        Thanks for discussing with me! And I think that our conversation might help other editor/proofreader solopreneurs figure out their own fee structures.

        Keep up the great blogging!
        Z

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