Whether it’s an article by the client for their company or industry journal, whether it’s their blog or their
newsletter, it’s a process that will always need careful attention.

What is copy editing?
While a proof reader’s job is to get rid of any errors, my job as a copy editor is to improve my client’s copy. The copy editor must significantly enhance the document while maintaining the voice of my client.


1. Use track changes 

With any document in Word, I use track changes These are important because they keep a record of the changes, enhance collaboration with my client and it keeps me totally accountable.

2. Study the English language

It’s important to be right across the English language. To do this, I have the Collins Dictionary and Roget’s Thesaurus on my desk.  But copy editing is much more than choosing the right word. It’s also about identifying which words are vital and which words are just superfluous. Having a good working knowledge of grammar and syntax, and knowing subject-verb agreements are part of the mix.

3. Pay attention to details

I read through the copy carefully and pay attention to details. That means thinking through the grammar, spelling, wording, inconsistencies and misplaced apostrophes. It means being obsessive-compulsive but that keeps the client happy

4. Seek clarification

Sometime the client will write things that need to be clarified. Instead of making the changes myself, I will seek clarification and ask whether it can be rephrased.

5. Stay true to the author’s voice

I know that as a good editor, like a good copy writer, the content I produce does not have my name on it, because it’s about the client, not me. This is why I make sure that what I produce has my client’s voice.

6. Be a partner

When I am editing the copy, I have to remember that I am working together with my client as a partner. It means I have to ask questions and raise issues in the comments   Some examples: “The meaning of this sentence is not entirely clear. Can we revise it this way?”  “The last sentence does not add much. We need to think of a better way to end this. This might be a stronger way to end it than the previous version.” This is important because it ensures the client is my partner.

7. Keep it short and concise

Finally, I need to keep my client’s copy short and sweet. It means I trim the fat, check my adjectives and adverbs and stay on point.

If you need help editing copy call me on 0311 745 193 or email me at