Because you need backup for when you f*ckup.
I said it two years ago, and I’ll say it forever: Editing is my favourite thing to do in the world. (As a profession…so if I was wealthy enough that I didn’t have to work, I’d still be doing this.)
Even though I do proofreading as part of the copyediting process, I am not a proofreader by trade. I respect those who are though, because spotting and correcting errors in capitalization, characters, spaces, and grammar is such a specialized niche. On my author page, I point out the difference between proofreading and editing.
What I do to eliminate errors that a proofreader would spot is use an app called ProWritingAid, which integrates into Google Docs and Microsoft Word. (You can upgrade and have it open on ANY webpage—so helpful for social copy!) There are similar apps like Grammarly out there, so I’d love to hear from you if you’ve tried any others you’ve found superior to ProWritingAid.
Client 1: Editing articles for a thought leader
In 2018 while I was still running my PR business, a long-time colleague, Shauna Magrath of Beauty Ink Gallery, asked me for help in writing and publishing articles to establish her as an expert in her industry. One of the original cosmetic tattoo artists in the city of Vancouver, she noticed there was a large uptick in microbladers and other permanent makeup artists offering services with no certification or proper training; they were simply taking fly-by-night weekend courses in hotels or even worse, learning on YouTube. (PS: Please check a professional’s credentials before you get these types of services!)
A couple of colleagues helped me figure out a secret backdoor way to pitching guest authors on HuffPost in Canada, so when Shauna knew the first article she wanted to publish, I sent her a list of questions which she answered and I used to form the draft of an article. From there, she added or changed some content before she was happy with it, and sent it off to HuffPost. Once they published her first article, she wrote four more, and HuffPost approved three for publication. Below is her author profile, which has the links to the published articles.
That year, I closed my PR company and attempted to start a new venture with editing services, but neither I nor the market were ready, so it took me another 1.5 years to figure out my path!
Client 2: Translated marketing materials
In 2018, while volunteering for the Sustainable Brands conference in Vancouver, I met the Project Manager of Gruppo Jobel, a creative non-profit company that uses art to promote sustainability. Gruppo Jobel’s headquartered in Italy, so English isn’t their primary language. I’ve had the privilege of helping them with a local research project, editing the English portions of their website and brochure, and editing translated correspondence and a news release. In fall 2020 they were involved in MOON, an interactive art installation in Montreal that integrates the performing and digital arts through a body, a sound, a dream, and a story. So cool!
Client 3: Editing website copy (and my attempt at talking while editing!)
In pandemic year, I wondered if there was a way I could charge more by live editing written content for clients on Zoom. I needed to test this out on a real company, and Career Contacts jumped in to offer their website homepage and About page. From this experiment, I discovered that this wasn’t something I was going to offer clients. It’s not an impossible task, but talking and trying to edit simultaneously requires twice the brain work, and I’d have to charge more for it, which doesn’t really seem fair to the client.
But here’s the edited video of me speaking and editing, so you can actually see why and how I execute the work! (You can also learn the 5-point sales copy technique I use for all the websites I write for. It also works in emails and social copy!) Career Contacts wasn’t obligated to use anything since this was for testing purposes, but I think they incorporated a few of my suggestions.
Client 4: Finessing an already strong voice
I alluded to some of my work with Dr. Sukhi Muker in my previous blog on ghostwriting. Some of the copy for his new website and subsequent social copy was already pre-written. The top reason I love editing so much is that when a client does a “first pass” at copy, all I need to do is finesse, eliminating errors, and tighten it up. Editing can also be a very collaborative process, because nothing is final after I edit. The client might go back and change a few points to make it sound more like them, which was the case here.
An example of one small area of the website is below.
Client 5: Editing a biography + online course copy
I worked with a past client again on editing a biography, About page, and copy for an online course that’s launching in March. The bio required little editing, but you can see how much the About page online needed some line spacing and paragraphs. Using the 5-point sales page formula, I re-ordered the content to be more impactful and flow better into a story. This client has multiple editors, so I can’t take full credit for the final product, but you can have a look at it here.
You can also have a look at The March to Health course content that I edited for this client, and register online if it’s up your alley!
Need a vegan editor to help you edit your marketing content, or a vegan copyeditor to help you edit a book you’re publishing? Contact me!
Missed my previous blog on my ghostwriting process? Click here.