What is Copyediting and Why Do You Need It?

You may be a business owner sending out newsletters and emails on a regular basis, or you might be an info-preneur creating course materials and workbooks. Maybe you just want to ensure your web copy is cohesive and error-free. Every web page, email, worksheet, course, and newsletter is a representation of you and your product. Magpie Editorial offers everything from content editing to proofreading to help you ensure your clients know your product is worth the investment.

What is copyediting?

Copyediting is about far more than grammar and punctuation; it also ensures your content is cohesive, clear, and true to you and your brand.   

Why do you need it?

Your content is a representation of you and your brand. Copyediting is a necessary process when publishing any written material, especially when that written material is what convinces your clients to invest in your product. If your emails, website, or print material are inconsistent or filled with errors, potential clients will assume your product is, too, and you'll lose sales.

Investing in a copyeditor will ensure your content draws clients in instead of pushing them away.

Engaging, error-free, branded, and cohesive copy can:

– Boost traffic
– Increase sales
– Generate leads
– Encourage customer loyalty
– Assure your clients that you are worth the investment


How can I help? 

Maybe you're a start-up prepping to launch your new site. Or you might be an info-preneur, creating courses and workbooks for clients and readers. You might even be an established business owner who sends out monthly newsletters and writes weekly blog posts. Whatever the case, you're producing content, and that content needs to be consistent, cohesive, branded, and error-free.

In all likelihood, you're realizing this is not as easy as it looks! There are many problems business owners and entrepreneurs face when creating good content. Are you familiar with any of these

– You haven't developed an authentic voice.
– You never got a good handle on grammar.
– You don't have time to research how to use commas every time you write a blog post.
– Your emails, newsletters, content, or blog posts don't feel consistent.
– You often find yourself just throwing words onto the page.
– You just hate editing!


That's where I come in! As your copyeditor, I will learn about you, your company, and your audience. You will send me your copy–newsletters, emails, social media posts, print material, web pages–and I'll do the busy work! I'll ensure your content is engaging, optimized, actionable, and most importantly true to you and your brand.

How does it work?

Exploration

It's time to get to know you and your voice! I'll send you a questionnaire and a worksheet that will help us explore and develop a voice that is true to you and your brand. I'll develop a custom Brand Voice Guide based on the completed worksheet and questionnaire.

Implementation

Once finished, you’ll provide your copy for me to begin editing. Depending on your package, I'll do everything from copyediting to content editing. I'll send you the edited drafts for you to read through, and you'll be able to request any changes.

Publication

Once all edits are complete, I will hand over the final edits to you for you to publish under your name and byline!

If this sounds like what you need, click the button below!

What is Copywriting and Why Do You Need It?

You have a story. Your business has a story. Telling that story is essential to turning potential clients into investing clients. You may be a small business owner looking for an intriguing About page and seamless Services page, or you may be a solo-preneur in need of compelling, traffic-boosting blog posts. Whatever the case, Magpie Editorial can help you tell your story through beautifully crafted content and copy.  

What is copywriting?

What you're reading right now is copy! Web copy includes everything from your FAQ and Home pages, to the emails you send, to your tweets and Instagram posts.

Why do you need it?

Good design and beautiful photography make a very important first impression on potential clients, but copy is what convinces them to invest.

– A clear Home page makes a good first impression.
– Well-crafted product and service descriptions prove to your clients that you're worth the investment.
– A unique About page allows readers to get to know you and your story.
– Intentional and branded social media posts grow your audience and keep your clients engaged.
– Value-driven emails and newsletters encourage your readers to take action and invest in your product.

The gist? Quality copy generates leads, increases traffic, encourages customer loyalty, and boosts sales.

How can I help?

Maybe you're prepping to launch your business. Or maybe you're an established business owner in the middle of a revamp. Either way, you know you need good copywriting, but you're struggling to get it written.

There are many problems business owners like you face when trying to produce good copy. Maybe you're familiar with a few of them:

– You haven't developed an authentic voice.
– You never got a good handle on grammar.
– You struggle to remain consistent across all your marketing platforms.
– You don't have the time.
– You just hate writing!

That's where I come in! As your copywriter, I will learn about you, your company, and your audience. From there, I will develop copy for your website, newsletters, and emails that is engaging, optimized, actionable, and most importantly true to you and your brand.

How does it work?

Exploration

It's time to get to know you and your voice! I'll send you a questionnaire and a worksheet that will help us explore and develop a voice that is true to you and your brand.

 

 

Organization

I'll develop a custom Brand Voice Guide based on the completed worksheet and questionnaire. We'll then determine how best to organize your copy throughout your website.

Creation

Once finished, I'll begin crafting your content. I'll send you the drafts for you to read through, and you'll be able to request any changes.

Publication

Once all edits are complete, I will hand over the final copy to you for you to publish under your name and byline!

If this sounds like what you need, click the button below!

Still not convinced copywriting is for you? Read this post to learn more.

Editing + Revising: what to do after you finish your first draft

You’ve finally finished your first draft. You’ve spent weeks or months or years to get to this point, and now it’s time to revise, revise, revise. Good writers know that one story goes through multiple rounds of revisions before it’s sent off to a publisher or literary magazine, but that first round of revisions seems to be a big stumbling block for many. Luckily, there are many ways to enter into this process that will make it go more smoothly.

Take a breather

Moments of inspiration are few and far between. In the midst of one of these moments, you may find yourself struggling to stop and take a breather. Why stop when you could start editing?

Stopping, however, is one of the best things you can do before jumping into revisions. When you’ve been staring at a page for so long, your brain starts to miss not only the little details but the big ones as well.

Some writers put their stories aside for months before returning to make revisions. Why? Because they know that fresh eyes are necessary when editing. 

Set that manuscript aside for at least a week. Take a break, brainstorm other stories, catch up on sleep. After completing the first draft of a story, you deserve as much.

Then you can return to your story with refreshed eyes and a clear mind so you can make the best revisions possible.

Think big-picture 

Once you’ve taken a step back from the manuscript, it’s time to reread. Rather than jumping into line edits and grammatical errors, read through the manuscript as though you were reading for fun. 

There’s a very high chance you won’t like what you read, and that’s okay. First drafts are always lousy.

Once you’ve reread, go through the manuscript again and make notes about any plot holes, wild inconsistencies, pacing, and shallow characters. You’ll need to start making big-picture edits first because so much rewriting is done during this phase. You don’t want to edit a sentence only to delete it later.

Cut, cut, cut

One of the most important parts of big-picture editing is elimination. Changing a sentence is one thing. Eliminating an entire scene because it doesn’t further the plot is a lot harder. 

Learn to let go of the scenes and characters that don’t help your story progress. No matter how beautiful the scene or how much time you spent writing it, if it doesn’t advance the plot or add to the story in some significant way, it’s worthless. If deleting the scene hurts too much, copy and paste the scene into a different document if you have to. Who knows? It might end up being inspiration for a new story.

Cutting scenes is essential before you delve into the details. You don’t want to waste time editing scenes that won’t even make it to the manuscript.

Take another break

Just do it. A refreshed mind is always more productive.

Once you’ve taken a break, filled in the plot holes, further developed your characters, eliminated unnecessary scenes, and taken another break, it’s time to delve into the revision process. Accomplishing the above tasks will allow you to place your focus on fine-tuning what’s left after the big-picture revisions.

Still struggling with the editing process? Contact me! I'd be happy to help you no matter what stage of the writing or editing process you're at.

Maggie Elizabeth
4 Reasons You Should Invest in Copywriting

So you’re a business owner. Congratulations! You’ve taken on a daunting but oh-so-rewarding task. You’ve got your awesome product, a beautiful website, an online or physical store … you’re set, right? 

Not quite. You may think you don’t need a copywriter, but then you find yourself preparing for your launch day. Suddenly, you realize you haven’t even thought about advertising. You can’t rely solely on "stumbling" across your website or foot traffic to make a profit. What else do you need?

Promotional Material

You need to get the word out about your business, and there are a million ways to do that: flyers, gift certificates, pamphlets, coupon books, mailers, in-store guides, banners, and that’s just a few!

Web Content

Even if you don’t sell online, you still need an online presence, and your website should include far more than just your About page. You might also need a Home page, a Services page (or two, or three), product descriptions, bios, and a Contact page.

Social Media

Social media has opened a whole new world for business owners. Instead of relying on paid advertisements and word-of-mouth, you can create a free profile to advertise your product! But a lot more goes into social media than pretty images for your Instagram feed. You’ll need Instagram captions, profile bios, a list of hashtags for promoting posts, tweets, Facebook posts, message templates to use when sliding into the DMs of a potential client, etc., etc., etc.

A Blog

Let’s say you sell ethical clothing. What do you need a blog for? Well, a blog is one of the main drivers of web traffic because it can provide valuable, long-form content. If you sell clothes, you should have a blog about ethical fashion, why it’s important, where you get your clothes from, and a few posts about how to wear the specific pieces you sell. A blog is the easiest way to tell your story in detail and convince customers or clients why they should invest in your product. 

“But I can do all that on my own!”

Sure, you could. But do you know where to put all your commas? Is it “accommodate,” “acommodate,” or “accomodate”? And that question mark at the end of the previous sentence–are you sure it goes on the outside of the quotation marks? What words really grab the attention of passersby, be it online or in person? Are lists or paragraphs better in a blog post? And how on earth do you use a semicolon? 

If you’re not a fan of writing, doing all this on your own will be even harder. I’ve heard too many stories of people who tried to start a business and ended up quitting because producing this much content was beyond their abilities. They should’ve invested in a copywriter! And you should, too. Here’s why:

No. 1- You know you need content, but you don’t have the time to create it

You could teach yourself all of these things, look up each rule in the 1000-page style manual, but do you really have time for that? You have to stock shelves, manage employees, vacuum the store, place orders, buy supplies, upload products to the online store–overwhelmed yet? Don’t spend time writing a so-so blog post when you could save yourself time by hiring a copywriter to write an awesome blog post. It’s worth the investment.

No. 2. - You know your product will help people, but you aren’t sure how to reach your target audience

Good writing is just the beginning–you also need to make sure that your good writing is effective, too. Your content is what convinces potential clients to turn into paying clients. If your copy isn’t exciting, professional, and engaging, your potential clients will end up investing elsewhere. 

No. 3. - You’re really cool, but you’re not sure how to show potential clients that coolness

A good copywriter gets to know you, your brand, and your story. From there, a copywriter can help you determine what your vibe will be. Will you be familiar or professional? Fun or formal? Will you use "OMG" or “goodness gracious”? "LOL" or “isn’t that hilarious?” You may not think these little details matter, but every detail matters when forming your brand. People are attracted to the person behind the brand. Every bit of text on your website or promotional material helps them understand you.

No. 4. - You need to increase sales, and copywriting can pay for itself

Emails and blog posts and social media posts can very easily sound salesy and obnoxious. How many times have you unsubscribed from an email list because someone was trying hard to sell you something without showing you its value? But you need to make sales, and–surprise!–you have to be somewhat salesy to do so! The trick is to really show your customers how valuable your product is. If they know the value, they’re more likely to read those emails and blog posts, which means they’re more likely to invest! A good copywriter creates content that compels readers to buy your product. This is called “actionable copy.” Every bit of writing on your site and social media profiles should be causing your readers to take action. A copywriter can help you do just that. It’s an investment that can pay for itself in the long run.

If any of this sounds like you, it's time to invest in a copywriter! Contact me via the button below. I can put a custom copywriting package together that meets all your copywriting needs.

6 Reasons Why "Writing a Blog Post in 30 Minutes or Less" is a Bad Idea

Our culture values speed. It also values quality. Unfortunately, these two things don’t often go together when it comes to content. I recently saw a blog post titled “How to Write Blog Posts in 30 Minutes or Less.” I laughed, thinking it was a joke, but it wasn’t. 

There were some good points in the article. It prompted readers to ask good questions in order to create the best content. It focused on creating take-away value. It talked about using bullet points and lists. All good things. 

And yet. 

The problem with producing content so quickly is that, while you may hit all the important points in thirty minutes or less, there will likely be a lot of problems, and problems drive away potential clients. Here are some of the dangers writers and bloggers won’t tell you when it comes to writing quickly. 

No. 1 - Factual Errors

I used to factcheck for a magazine. It was amazing how many errors there were in the articles written by paid, professional writers. This isn’t surprising, though. It’s all too easy to come across conflicting or incorrect information on the internet. Writing quickly, however, only increases the likelihood that you will have factual errors in your blog post. 

Because your content is a reflection of you and your brand, factual errors suggest to readers that there will be errors in your work, too. 

No. 2 - Grammar Errors 

I edit my blogs posts at least three times. When I edit manuscripts, I edit at least twice and suggest that my clients invest in a third round of edits as well. Even though I always have my Chicago Manual of Style next to me while editing, I find different grammar and punctuation errors every time I edit. 

Finding errors doesn’t mean you’re a bad writer. Every writer makes mistakes. There are also some grammar and punctuation rules that are subjective. Commas, for example, have specific rules, but they often are placed in a way that makes the text more readable. The first time I edit, I may place a comma somewhere, and the second time I edit, I might change it because I realize the sentence flows better without it. These are the kinds of things you’ll miss if you try to write and publish a blog post quickly.

No. 3 - Lack of Quality Research

About half the time I spend writing a blog post goes to research. Research is what takes a surface-level blog post and makes it into something really valuable. 

Readers don’t want to do more research than necessary. The more research, statistics, and evidence you put in your blog post, the better. If your blog post is short, much of what you’ll provide may be information your reader already knows.

Go deep. Look up statistics and case studies. You may not think there is any relevant information on your topic, but I guarantee there is. Make sure to hyperlink to your research. 

No. 4 - You’ll Sacrifice Length for Speed

You might think, in our technological world, that short blog posts are better. People don’t like to spend time reading, do they? Surprisingly, the opposite is true. The longer and more in-depth the blog post, the better. In fact, the top results in Google searches often have more than two thousand words.

Of course, you don’t want to ramble. If you ramble, you’ll lose your readers within seconds. Even readers who don’t know what makes good writing can subconsciously tell when a blog post isn’t well-written.

No. 5 - Your Readers will Search Elsewhere

If your blog post doesn’t contain enough information, your readers will search elsewhere. Say you’re writing a tutorial for Adobe Illustrator. If you say “make a clipping mask” without telling your readers how to do so, they will search elsewhere. Likely, they will find a blog post that not only teaches them how to do the same thing you were teaching them but one that also breaks down the sub-steps, like making a clipping mask. 

The last thing you want to do is force your readers to go to another website. If they find more value at the other website, that’s where they will invest their money. 

No. 6 - You Don’t Have Time to Step Away

If you try to write and publish your blog post within thirty minutes, you don’t have time to step away. Taking a break from your writing is important for any genre of writing, be it fiction, a blog post, or an essay. 

When we edit right after we write, we often glaze over the little errors and poor syntax. To avoid this, it’s good to take at least a few hours when writing a blog post to step away and be productive on something else. When you return, you’ll have fresh eyes, and you’ll likely catch quite a few errors and poorly-worded sentences. 

***

While you likely have a million things to get done, it’s important that your content is not something you speed through. If anything, your content is something you should be spending quite a bit of time on. I’m not saying you need to spend hours and hours on writing your blog posts. (I usually spend about three hours.) What I am saying is that you need to ensure you are writing quality blog posts. It’s better to write fewer blog posts of a better quality than to write four or five blog posts a week that are short, poorly researched, and riddled with errors. Take your time. Take a break. Edit, edit, edit. Your business will thank you.

If you don't feel like you can write quality blog posts on a regular basis, or if you're always pressed for time, check out my blog writing services!