What is copywriting and why do I need a copywriter?
Words are the most important part of customer communication, in print and on the web. Copywriting can be defined as presenting words to best communicate a marketing concept, such as on a website, in a brochure or in a press release. Copy in this context refers to written material on a website or email or in any other form of publishing, such as magazines, advertising, books, reports, etc. Copy is a term simply used to differentiate the words from photographs, or other elements of layout and design.
Producing effective written communications is a real skill – you may know what you want to say but possibly not the best way of saying it. A copywriter can help you clarify what you want to say and find the right words to help you convey your message.
What is copy editing and why do I need a copy editor?
A copy editor makes sure that an author’s raw text, or copy, is correct in terms of spelling and grammar and is easy to read so that readers can grasp his or her ideas. A copy editor also tries to prevent embarrassing errors of fact, alerts the publisher to any possible legal problems and ensures that the typesetter or printer can do a good job.
A typical list of copy editing tasks might include:
- improving the language and the structure to make the text concise, readable, unambiguous and suitable for its audience;
- checking that web links work and that they are appropriate;
- checking basic facts;
- raising queries about things I’m not able to resolve;
- flagging up possible legal issues, such as copyright infringement, libel, etc.
What is proofreading and why do I need a proofreader?
The importance of having a professional proofreader look over your work before you publish cannot be over-estimated. A fresh pair of eyes will spot all sorts of errors and inconsistencies that the writer may not have seen and save you from potentially embarrassing mistakes.
A typical list of proofreading tasks might include:
- reading through the text, either against the original document or ‘blind’;
- making sure that all pages are present, page headings are correct and consistent and page numbers are consecutive;
- ensuring that errors already marked on the edited document have been corrected;
- correcting any remaining spelling, grammar or punctuation errors;
- following or create a style guide to ensure consistency;
- cross-checking the table of contents against all headings;
- checking that page, word and column breaks are not confusing and that the page layout is satisfactory.