Editing a client’s copy is the most challenging role for any copywriter.

The client has put a lot of thought and effort into their words so you need to be careful.  But it’s an important job because the copy has to be spot on, it has to engage the client’s customers, leave them with no doubt about them doing business with your client.

Here are five tips that I use:

1. Respect the client.

It’s always important to respect the writer’s voice. Before I edit, the writer and I must agree on the type of editing. How specific should I be, and how much feedback should I give? Their writing doesn’t have to be perfect. But I have to respect their voice and maintain it. I am only there improve the writer’s work and skills.

2. Ask the client what they need and want.

I always ask the client what kind of editorial feedback they want. I ask them to select from the following:  flow, grammar, spelling, format, presentation.

3. Use tracking for editing

I always track changes in Word. Word captures every change I make. That way the client sees exactly what I’ve done. The changes are suggestions that they can review. The client can give feedback

4. Who is the audience?

It’s important to know who will be reading this. That will determine how much editing I do. Who is the blog post, article, chapter, manuscript for? Who is the writer’s audience? I always make a point of asking this.

5. Give specific editing feedback

I always find out first what areas the client needs work on. If they want sentences that are punchy, we’ll work on that. If they help writing SEO-friendly blog posts, I focus on search engine optimization, etc.

Editing a client’s copy can be tough. But if it’s done effectively, it allows me to build a solid relationship with the client.