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

 

Content is King – But Only With Quality and Consistency

Content has been a hot topic as businesses of all sizes and varieties compete to get noticed and stay top of mind with customers and prospective customers. And the consideration of content’s impact on business success doesn’t show any signs of cooling off!

Content is king, but yours has got to have 2 characteristics to make it so:

Quality and Consistency

Unfortunately, when you’re struggling to pay attention to the other responsibilities of running a business, attaining either of those can be daunting.

Quality

Whether you’re sharing a blog post that someone else shared on Facebook or if you’re publishing an original article on your blog, quality matters. Never leave it to chance; read everything you intend to post on your blog, tweet on Twitter, or share on Facebook. Just because other people (even those you revere) passed it along, doesn’t necessarily mean it was done well.

And it’s critical that the content you create is memorable in a good way. Written content (blogs, newsletters, articles…) should be error-free, interesting, well-written, and easy for your readers to relate to (don’t overdo jargon!). On many occasions, I’ve refrained from sharing articles and blog posts with really terrific information because they had multiple spelling errors, incorrect word choice and poor sentence structure. I’m sure I’m not alone. You want your content to be share-worthy so make it worthy of sharing.

Keep in mind that your content can either make you look like a pro or a grammar-school dropout. Your reputation depends on it, so if you personally don’t have the writing chops to pull it off, either hire an employee or a freelancer (like me!) who can skillfully create content from scratch or who can adeptly edit and proofread the drafts that you produce.

Consistency

Regularly contributing helpful information to your audience can raise you to trusted advisor status and make you the “go to” guy or gal when people need – or know someone who needs – your services or products. The operative word is “regularly”! Establish consistency in how often you share tips and resources.

Don’t be a stranger to your own Facebook page, LinkedIn account or Twitter stream. You need to be there for your followers. You need to share quality content of your own and that of others. Daily, several times per day, or several times per week…not all social platforms or audiences are created equal when it comes to their tolerance for posting frequency.

Educate yourself on the nuances of the online networks you’re using, and plan to interact enough to effectively build relationships and stay top of mind without turning people off and inciting them to tune you out. And seek help (either from an employee or a freelancer) to enable you to do it if you can’t personally dedicate time to the cause.

What measures do you take to create and share quality content? What challenges do you face in posting consistently to keep your audience engaged and meet their expectations for help and guidance in  your field of expertise?