Many would think editing content is a cup of tea for all. But this is a big illusion that needs to be broken. Any business owner would recognise the fact that the content editor is the last person within an organisation to view a write up. After that it is sent over to the client for approval. It is a responsibility of the editor to make the write up inch perfect so that there are no complaints from the clients. At most cases the editor would receive a raw copy and have to make it into content that suits the needs, purposes and aesthetic senses of the client. Thus you can well understand the important of content editing in this regard.
One of the prime tasks of the content editor is to have a thorough look through the project details provided by the client. The editor should understand in wholeness various factors such as purpose of writing, target audiences and the language or style to be followed in the write ups. Language of the write up would depend on the country where the client belongs to, as in most cases the clients would want to promote their company in the local circles first. You have to also take a look at the keywords.
There are two schools of thought in regards to content editing and I would name them as Eliminators and Rectifiers. So what are the characteristics of these schools of thought?
Eliminators: These are the group of editors who want to leave their signature on the content. They would settle for nothing less than exactly words and phrases they like. As a result they would have to rewrite large parts within a write up. They would be chopping of lines within a write up to replace them with their language. I do not adhere to this school of thought due to three reasons.
- First of all rewriting such a bulk portion of the write up would take a fair amount of editing time. Editing should be quick and steady to earn value to the organisation. But writing fresh lines would take near about the same time as developing a fresh content.
- Secondly, as content editors you have understand that no two people write or express their feelings in the same way. Even simple sentences may vary from one person to the other. This is known as the unique writing style of the writer and is his/her signature. No content editor has the right to delete the signature from a write up.
- Thirdly, any write up is the hard work of a person and you do not have the right to simply delete some lines or phrases just because you do not like the language or words. Let the write ups show the style of the writer.
At times the lesser or inexperienced content editors follow this process as it is simple to execute. When you are deleting the lines all together you do not have to care about the grammar patterns in the lines.
Rectifiers: This is the second school of thought. Generally this type of editing is followed by the seasoned editors. Here the originality of the write ups is kept intact. Only minute changes within the lines are made. This may mean replacing one or a few words within an existing line. This is the process I would recommend for every content editor for the following reasons:
- Firstly, you are saving time. It does not require much time to make small changes within a sentence if have a sharp sense of grammar. So you can finish bulk of editing in a day which is the need for busy content editors in the IT sector.
- Secondly, it keeps the signature or style of the writer intact. Writer’s hard work is kept intact with just a little bit of garnishing. The changes are made from the point of view of need rather than from psychological point of view.
- Editing many write ups in a day can be boring at times when it becomes everyday duty. So this process provides you with a scope to test your grammar skills. When you have deleted some words from the middle of the sentence, you not only have to replace them with more meaningful words but also care about the grammar and syntax of the sentence. This can be challenging and fun!
Content editing is a vast area of work. So, one post isn’t enough to elaborate upon it. Next time we will have a look at the easy process to edit a copy flawlessly.