Most bloggers, influencers, and entrepreneurs know the value of regularly updating their website, writing blog posts, and actively sharing content on social media. These communication tools can increase brand visibility and build expertise. However, if content includes spelling and grammatical errors, incorrect information, or terms and abbreviations that are unrecognizable to your target audiences, you may be jeopardizing your credibility. The key to avoiding these damaging mistakes is to work with an editor who can strategically assess and improve your content.
In my experience working at a public relations firm, we often help our clients develop and strengthen their content by writing and editing byline articles, website copy, company news announcements, and social media posts. Editing is so much more than just proofreading. Editors catch overlooked errors and strengthen your writing to help you grow your brand and enhance your presence as an industry leader or influencer.
Here are four ways an editor can improve the quality of content to increase brand awareness and gain visibility for your content and website:
Ensure your content resonates with your target audience
Editors help you talk to your audience in a way that resonates with them. They will be able to look through the lens of your audience and potential clients and make sure copy is tailored to their needs. Editors can recognize geographic and demographic characteristics of your target audience and make changes to your content based on who, and where, your readers are.
Readers’ experience levels are important factors that editors will consider. As an industry professional, it may be hard to know what specialized language is not familiar to your readers. Removing jargon and industry abbreviations will improve clarity. Or, if specialized language is necessary, an editor will include explanations so that the copy is as clear as possible.
Position yourself as a thought leader
Writing an article for an industry publication, blog, or website can help position you as an industry leader or influencer. However, even small grammatical errors or misused terms can chip away at your credibility. Good writers still make the mistake of using “further” when they should have used “farther” or writing “shoe-in” instead of “shoo-in.” Don’t simply rely on built-in spell checkers. Hiring an editor will save you from making avoidable mistakes.
If you are already known as an industry leader or influencer, using an editor can help protect your credibility. Showing attention to detail in written materials says a lot about professionalism, accuracy, and the attention to detail you’ll show your audience or clients.
Strengthen your messaging
Strong messages will help you communicate who you are and what you can do for your clients, partners, or audience. Editors help you maintain a consistent voice to ensure your brand is memorable. An editor, as opposed to just a proofreader, will help you strengthen your writing with new or additional ideas.
Editors identify redundancies, inconsistencies, and areas that need more explanation. They will improve readability and flow, so your writing is clear and compelling. For example, editors will replace unnecessary nouns and adjectives that make a sentence sound vague with succinct verbs. They’ll favor using an active voice to cut down on words and improve strength and clarity. Strong messages are memorable, concise, and include information that is relevant to your audience.
Editors help you respect your readers’ time. As an entrepreneur or blogger, your business or blog is likely one of your favorite topics—one you could talk on for a while. But if you’re communicating with a prospect, you need to keep it short and sweet. Editors can help you get to the point effectively and quickly to get your message across.
Drive traffic to your website
Well-written content can improve SEO, which increases the likelihood a consumer will find your company on the internet. An editor may be familiar with keywords to include in titles, headlines, and body that will be easily picked up by search engines increase traffic and improve growth. An eloquent blog post is also more likely to be shared and liked on social media.
Improved SEO can make you stand out to brands looking for sponsorships or affiliate marketing partnerships.
Finding the right fit
Interested in working with an editor? You have options. Ask fellow bloggers or entrepreneurs who they work with, and see if you can get a referral from someone in your network. You may also want to check out local PR or marketing firms and freelancers, and ask if they offer editing services. The key is to choose someone you can build an ongoing relationship with, who understands your goals and helps you take your writing to the next level.
It may be hard to let someone else review your writing out of fear that they may change the meaning or tone. However, editors work for you, not against you. Writing a compelling piece requires objectivity and distance that is hard to acquire on your own.
Working with a skilled editor will help you become a better writer and can help your business, blog, or website grow. Bloggers are expected to keep new content flowing, and an editor will help you speed up the process so you can work on your next project or post. Keep in mind that what you publish is a direct reflection of your brand, your values, and your capabilities—so make your content count.
Kara Weller is an account coordinator at Pierce Public Relations.