Hiring an Editor? Think There’s Only One Kind? Read This First!

It’s possible that the last someone editing your writing besides your husband or your sister who’s an English teacher (lucky you!) was your Freshman English professor. We all remember her—fondly or not. Circling words and writing unhelpful criticism like “awk” or “uncl.” That process might have been disheartening, and even if it was helpful, it’s been a while for most of us.

The good news is that when you hire a professional editor, you can get the kind of editing you want. Here are some strategies for understanding what is included in different kinds of editing and choosing the kind that’s right for your project. Here are a few different kinds you might as for.


1. Basic Copyediting

Basic copyediting involves correcting mistakes in the grammar, as well as changing word order for clarity or to prevent misreading, etc. You can also expect misspellings to be corrected and punctuation errors to be fixed.

This is right for you if you feel good about the general direction of a piece of writing, but want to make sure that it’s professional and don’t have time to keep going over every phrase. At the same time, you know you’ve got errors and don’t want to send the email or post the blog without fixing the mistakes.

Depending on the editor, some will give you those re-write notes on wording change, and others will do it for you, so be sure that you are getting what you want before you sign anything. We do it for you.


2. Developmental Editing

This is what most of us need! You don’t just want to have the problems turned into non-problems, but rather you want the whole text re-written, if necessary, to help you meet your goals.

Developmental Editing makes sense if your heart is telling you that website’s landing page is lame, but you don’t know what to change. It’s also good if you have a general idea for what you want to say, but don’t have your headings branded or feel that you need a strong writer to breathe some life and clarity into your content so it will sell.

At this stage, we fix it for you and keep the communication channels open as to whether you like the direction we take your project and keep you updated on the progress. This is my favorite kind of job.


3. Content Writing

Content writing is not editing. It’s true! But if you want someone to take your idea and make it into a blog, or take your idea and make it into a blog or website page, then you don’t need a developmental editor. You need a content writer.

This is for you if writing for your business makes you break out into a sweat or inspires you to procrastinate to the point of refolding the towels. Put them down. They’re good. Set up a communication evaluation with me, and let’s get started on your ideas.

We take your ideas and intellectual property and package them with your voice, according to the very best sales strategies, then send them in the form you want, error-free.


4. Proofreading/Line Editing

Proofreading is the enviable job that’s only needed when your writing is almost perfect, but you want to make sure. Proofreading is essential for resumes and cover letters, major email marketing campaigns, and of course—books. At this stage, you straight up just need punctuation and grammar to be given one final careful screening.

We are all super-jealous of you, and we love you for it. If you just need a few commas and obscure punctuation rules adhered to, you just need a proofreader.

Have you worked with different kinds of editors? Which kind works best for the types of projects you have? Which kind of editing sounds the best for you?