5 unexpected ways hiring a copy editor can improve your writing
When most people think of hiring a copy editor, it’s for finding and fixing mistakes before the piece in question is published with them, costing more than a few dollars to fix and making everyone involved look less than amazing to their higher-ups.
Quality control is certainly one reason hiring a copyeditor can be a good idea. But it’s not the only reason.
A copy editor can be the objective set of eyes you need
No one is closer to a piece of writing than the person who wrote it. That intimacy with the material can create a bias in the writer that makes it challenging to see faults in the argument being presented.
A copy editor will see the faults. But more than that, hiring a copy editor will give you someone who understands what you’re trying to say or will ask the right questions to bring out what you’re trying to say and then help you say it well.
A copy editor can be the unifying voice you need
Ever been part of a group effort to write a document and wonder how eight different voices, styles or perspectives can live together in one document? That’s why you’d hire a copyeditor.
A good copyeditor can identify the traits shared among all the voices, then amalgamate them all into one unified, inclusive voice that all the contributors will recognize.
A copy editor can be the brand gatekeeper you need
When a big brand has many people writing for it, a dilution of the voice is almost inevitable unless you have someone checking everything against the brand book.
Hiring a a copy editor will make sure nothing gets out that could besmirch the brand name or contradict the brand promise. This is especially important for social post copy, which can go viral for all the wrong reasons if it’s not checked thoroughly before being put up.
A copy editor can be the writing coach you need
Like anything else you want to master, it helps to have a master in your corner, which is why you’d hire a copy editor.
Copy editors are masters of the written word, and the good ones can take your style from communicative to persuasive. In turn, this takes readers from getting informed to becoming allies and advocates — a particularly valuable feature of something like an email cadence.
A copy editor can be the creative brainstormer you need
A perk of being a copy editor is how much we learn about so many things. The knowledge we bring to a brainstorm has proven invaluable more than a few times.
Also invaluable is how much easier it is for a copy editor to read between the lines of what someone is “trying to say” in a brainstorm, because it’s a huge part of what we do every day.
And one way hiring a copy editor cannot improve your writing
A copy editor will never be able to improve your writing if you take their feedback personally. It’s never about you as a person. It’s always about what’s on the page and how to make it better.
A final thought about hiring a copy editor
Experience, education and pedigree matter when evaluating a copy editor, just like they do when evaluating any other professional service provider. But sharing your writing with someone who could rip it apart requires a level of trust and comfort with your copy editor. It’s the combination of their background, approach, personality and sensibilities.
We’d encourage you to shop around until you find a copy editor that you can be vulnerable with. With that kind of openness and honesty, your work will have no choice but to improve.