Everyone needs an editor, right? Right. But gone are the days when an editor simply cleaned up copy. Oh, they still do that — and a whole lot more, too.
Editors are not optional. Period. – Ann Handley
Why do you need an editor?
Good question. The editor plays a vital role in the content creation and distribution processes — and they do a whole lot more than fix your typos and make sure your subject-verb tenses agree. Let’s take a look at the value they bring.
Proper grammar, spelling and punctuation are brand ambassadors. They send the reader a message about the authority of the brand behind the content. Conversely, poorly written content harms your credibility and makes you look careless. Neither is good for your bottom line. For more on this, read my post: Yes, Good Grammar Is (Still) Important, and Here’s Why.
An editor ensures…
People want to read your content. On many content teams, the editor is the one who researches and conceptualizes article ideas based on:
- The questions your audience is asking
- What’s currently trending
Your copy converts. They shape the direction of the content, insert CTAs, employ lead magnets and optimize content for conversions and social sharing.
It can be found in search. They also optimize it for SEO, making sure it’s easy to find in organic search.
It aligns with your purpose. Ultimately, the editor is responsible for making sure all your content aligns with your brand’s vision and mission. They keep you from going off the rails.
An editor is a super-duper-highly-skilled-very-good project manager
- Finds, vets and hires freelance writers
- Manages those relationships, reviews pitches, and sends out assignments
- Reviews those assignments and requests revisions as necessary
- Gets everything in the pipeline, plans and manages the editorial calendar
- Works with graphic designers to find and create compelling images
- Pushes everything to WordPress and presses “publish”
- Oh yeah, we edit, too
So wait. You’re saying editors DON’T just fix commas and apostrophes all day?
That’s precisely what I’m saying. There are editor types who are only concerned with grammar and punctuation: Those types are known as copy editors. But more and more we’re seeing the type described above, a hybrid content strategist/copy editor/project manager with a bit of SEO pro thrown in. And they’re invaluable to making sure you’re creating content that’s not only clear and compelling, but that also solves your audience’s problems and can be found by search engines.