Copyediting vs. copywriting are really two sides of the same coin when you are trying to create engaging copy for your target audience.
Copyediting and copywriting are both similar actions, but they are not quite the same. In the world of copy, especially online copy, understanding the difference between copyediting vs. copywriting is important. Whether you are applying for a job or hiring a pro to help with your work, you need to know which term applies.
The difference can be tricky because both copyediting and copywriting have to occur to create good copy. Here’s a closer look at what these are and how they are similar and different.
What Is Copywriting?
Copywriting is the process of creating original written pieces, otherwise known as copy or content. In the online world, copywriting also includes formatting for the web and including good SEO practices.
Copywriters must learn to follow documents called style guides. These guides outline the style guidelines for the brand’s copy, and they help ensure consistent copy throughout the body of work the brand publishes. This guide might also include specific vocabulary and tone
A good copywriter is someone who can take a client’s information and weave it into valuable copy. This process is crucial to content marketing because it is the heart of the marketing process.
Types of Copywriting
Copywriting services cover a wide range of writing types. A freelance copywriter who can master many of these will find there are plenty of jobs out there for their services.
- Blog posts: Blog posts are typically opinion pieces or less formal pieces of written content a brand can place on its website’s blog to draw traffic from its target audience.
- Social media posts: Social media posts are shorter pieces of writing that go on various social media platforms, like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, to engage with the brand’s audience.
- White papers: These are longer pieces of writing copy that brands may offer to subscribers or others interested in learning more about their business.
- Website content: Website content sits on a brand’s website and uses keywords and page structure to draw traffic through SEO and increase the brand’s online conversions.
- Press releases: Press releases draw attention to an important, newsworthy event in a brand’s history.
What Is Copyediting?
Copyediting is the second step after the work is written. It involves the editing process to ensure the published piece of content is exactly what the brand wants.
Sometimes the freelance writer will do their own copyediting and proofreading, and sometimes the brand will hire this service to get another set of eyes on the work.
Common Copyediting Tasks
While most people think of spellcheck and grammar check services as part of copyediting, this is just one part of a bigger picture. Some of the tasks included in an editor’s job are:
- Grammar and syntax: Making sure there are no capitalization, punctuation or other grammatical errors or problems with syntax that make the work confusing to the reader is vital.
- Sentence structure: Sentences can be grammatically correct but structured poorly, and checking the structure helps ensure that everything flows well.
- Formatting: Copyeditors will check the formatting of the piece to ensure it fits the publication guidelines for their client.
- Style guide compliance: Like copywriters, copyeditors must be able to read and apply a style guide, checking the writer’s work to ensure it is in compliance.
- Typos: Typos need removal from all written pieces published by a client.
- Fact-checking: Copyeditors often have to check the facts on a piece to ensure their client is only publishing factual content.
- Readability: Readability means that the content is easy to read for the target audience, and skilled editors will know how to check this.
- Line editing: Line editing is a special type of editing that focuses on the language use and style in the piece to ensure it is consistent, flows well and works for the brand’s goals.
Copyediting and Copywriting Work Together to Create Great Copy
Though copyediting and copywriting are different skill sets, they are both necessary to make high-quality content. A great copywriter is the starting point, but even the best writers make mistakes. Copyediting catches those mistakes and further tweaks the writing to fit the needs of the end client.
Only when both professionals, the writer, and the editor, are at the top of their games will great content happen. Thus, in the content world, the copyeditor and the copywriter are both important professionals.
The Final Word: Copyediting Vs. Copywriting
Copywriting involves creating content, while copyediting involves perfecting and proofing it. Both are vital to the content marketing world. Whether you are looking to become a content writer or have an eye for detail and are considering working as an editor, knowing the differences between copyediting vs. copywriting, and how these roles work together, is key.