Copy EditorLet a copy editor virtual assistant ensure that your content is accurate and error-free!
What is Copy Editing?
Copy editing is the process of checking written material for errors in style, grammar, usage, spelling, and punctuation. The purpose of copy editing isn’t to make wholesale changes or rewrites (although that’s sometimes necessary) but to ensure that what appears on the printed page — in advertisements, magazines, newsletters, promotional pieces, and online — is clear, concise, readable, and accurate.
Although most copy editor jobs are typically housed in book publishing companies, newspapers, magazines, online publications, and content marketing and media agencies, more companies are starting to fold copy editor jobs into their staffing lineup. This is because content marketing, and just content in general, has become such an integral part of the daily operations of many companies.
Why Do You Need a Professional Copy Editor In Your Company?
Most companies survive without copy editors on their team, so why would you want to hire copy editors for yours? Some of the reasons you’ll want to bring a copy editor on board are:
You want your company’s content to be of the highest possible quality.
If you want to build a reputation for your company as an industry expert, you need to ensure that any text, audio, or video content you push out is free of spelling mistakes, factual errors, punctuation errors, and grammatical errors. This includes content published on your website, marketing collateral, social media platforms, and other offline and online media.
You want to impress potential clients with your proposals.
If you’re a B2B business, you probably send out several proposals daily or weekly. Since errors make you look sloppy and unprofessional, having copy editors who can review your proposals to ensure proper spelling, factual correctness, and proper formatting can give you an advantage.
You need someone to make your content scannable and easy to read.
Although an error-free article is your main goal, it’s sometimes more important that your text is easy and enjoyable to read — especially online — than free of mistakes. Having a professional copy editor on staff proves that your company values accuracy and quality and ensures that your content is consistent and error-free. This is great for building trust with potential clients and avoiding embarrassing mistakes.
What Does a Copy Editor Do?
A copy editor’s job varies depending on the needs of the team and the size of the organization. Obviously, copy editors for a newspaper have a very different job than those in a B2B or B2C company. Some of the duties a copy editor may perform for your business include:
- Proofreading and editing blog articles, internal communications, emails, proposals, and other forms of written content to eliminate errors and ensure clarity
- Clearing up inconsistencies in usage or language that create confusion
- Ensuring that information is accurate and up to date
- Making sure that content conforms to editorial style guidelines depending on the company’s preferred style guide (ex. Chicago Manual of Style, Associated Press Stylebook, etc.)
- Identifying gaps in information that need to be filled
What is a Copy Editing Virtual Assistant?
A copy editing virtual assistant or copy editor virtual assistant (VA) is a professional, experienced copy editor who provides their services remotely. Unlike most copy editors who work for a company full-time, a freelance editor or copy editor VA is a contractor who works outside your company.
Freelance writers and copy editors can work part-time or on a per-project basis, but they can also work full-time for you. The terms freelancer and VA are typically used interchangeably, but VAs usually have a more stable workload.
According to Payscale, the average copy editor salary in the United States is $19.66 per hour. This rate would be even higher if you’re looking for an experienced copy editor. Hiring VA copy editors instead of in-house copy editors give businesses the flexibility to bring in copy editing help without paying the average salary of most copy editors locally.
There are many copy editors from around the world who can provide you with the same quality service as a local copy editor. Many offshore copy editor virtual assistants have formal training, excellent copy editor skills, years of experience, and a very strong grasp of English grammar rules. The best part is that these copy editor VAs offer quality service at a fraction of the cost.
Copy editor VAs can provide proofreading and editing support for websites, books, eBooks, marketing collateral, social media posts, internal communications, and more.
What Tasks Can a Copy Editor Virtual Assistant Do?
Copy editing VAs can handle a variety of tasks. The exact tasks depend on the company they work for, but most copy editors can definitely correct errors and proofread text for most types of content. Here are some specific tasks that can be part of a copy editing job.
Correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors
The most basic task of a copy editor is proofreading content to get rid of the basic errors mentioned above. They can also clean up any inconsistencies in language and usage.
Improve readability of text
A copy editor can also help improve the clarity of text to avoid miscommunication issues. Copy edited content allows readers to have a better understanding of the text which also helps retain their attention.
Ensure factual correctness and adherence to preferred style guides
Fact-checking is another important part of a copyeditor’s job. To avoid problems, it’s important to ensure that any content you publish is accurate and properly attributed. That’s why copy editors work hard to check for factual correctness and compliance. Your copy editor must be able to check your offline or online copy to ensure that it adheres to your preferred style guide whether it’s the Chicago Manual, Associated Press Style Guide, or others.
Developmental editing is a bit trickier because it requires more knowledge of the industry and your business. To do this task well, your copy editor must have a good understanding of the topics discussed in the text. This may involve writing or rewriting some parts of a text to make them sound better or flow more smoothly together.
Many people ask, does a copy editor write content too? Of course! Aside from writing headlines or titles for already finished work, a copy editor can also double as a writer. Of course, not all copy editors are open to writing even if they have the skills to do so. Other editors prefer to stick to editing and proofreading.
What Skills Do Copy Editors Need to Have?
To hire a top-notch copy editing VA, you need to know what skills to look for. Here are some of the most important skills your copy editing VA needs to have.
Training and experience
A copy editor must have a college degree in a relevant field to do their job well. A bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications, marketing, English, or other related areas will come in handy for copy editing.
Because copy editors are expected to work with multiple people, from the writer to the managing editor and even people outside your company’s content or marketing team, they must have excellent interpersonal skills.
Mastery of the English language
Since editing requires a very firm grasp of grammar, punctuation, and other content writing rules, your copy editor’s English usage must be exceptional. Fortunately, there are many VAs worldwide who speak English as their second language.
A keen eye for detail
In addition, a copy editor should be detail-oriented and be able to work with little supervision. There may be set schedules for completing projects in an office environment, but virtual assistants typically keep their own hours. This means it’s important to find someone who can follow deadlines and respond promptly to requests or concerns from clients.
In addition, a good copy editor should be able to think outside the box and help you come up with other ways to improve your business beyond just editing content. For example, if they notice that there aren’t enough images while reviewing page layouts, they might suggest creating an infographic to improve the final product.
How Do I Hire a Copy Editor Virtual Assistant?
Hiring copy editors from another country might sound daunting at first, but there’s nothing to worry about. Many virtual assistants offer strong communication skills and excellent work ethic.
To make it easier for you to find qualified copy editors, it’s best to work with a virtual staffing agency like 20four7VA. At 20four7VA, you don’t have to worry about reviewing dozens upon dozens of resumes to find one that fits the bill. By simply telling us what you need, we can narrow down your options and match you with a couple of copy editor VAs who can get the job done.
Schedule a call with one of our Business Growth Specialists today to get a free, no-strings-attached quote!