You know that a good writer is crucial for any print newsletter, but what about a good editor?
Before you guess, the answer is yes — they’re crucial. But it’s not just because they fix grammatical errors. They can fix much, much more.
Why Do We Hire Editors? We Asked an Expert
Rebecca Driver, the lead editor at Newsletter Pro, has spent over 20 years editing content — even before she received a paycheck for it. She has a bright passion for editing that continues to strengthen our editing team and leads to incredibly polished, high-quality content.
But what does an editor actually do? It all starts with examining reading accessibility.
“A crucial role of editing is creating content that speaks to people,” Rebecca says. It’s extremely noticeable when written content is riddled with typos, grammatical errors, awkward word choices, and industry jargon that isn’t well explained.
A great editor can make these reader disruptions disappear — without making the “soul” of an article disappear, too.
In fact, according to Rebecca, a great editor doesn’t always make a ton of edits. It’s all about making the right edits. The more you edit an article, “the less it becomes the writer’s work,” she says.
Sometimes, editors tackle content that isn’t written by a professional writer. Clients can often submit content for print that includes from ads, announcements, industry topics, or personal stories. The most emotional stories are the best to read, but can be “pretty tough” for editors. Certain vague details or sentence structure may appear like an easy fix for an editor, but can lead to some incorrect context or story framing.
That’s why, even if content isn’t perfect, an editor’s job isn’t to rewrite content and risk misinformation. It’s their job to make the language as clear and true to the writer’s intentions as possible. Making content accessible for readers is a “big part” of what editors do.
NLP Editors Do More Than Grammar Corrections
Many Newsletter Pro clients are attorneys or dentists. While a huge part of an editor’s job is fixing grammar and syntax errors, at Newsletter Pro, our editors do even more than that. Contextualizing and clarifying industry jargon is key. Even if our team sees certain industry-related words all the time, editors have to constantly remind themselves that readers could be seeing it for the first time.
Fact-checking is also a big part of an editor’s job! For every article, writers often provide links to sources, and it’s the editor’s job to verify the facts and ensure all the information is communicated correctly.
Between fact-checking and clarifying jargon, however, editors try to never forget to make content seem fun and interesting to read — even if it is educational content. Rebecca explains, “If you lead with the boring stuff, nobody is getting past the first sentence. [We try to] get a reader naturally drawn into what you want to say.”
A Happy, ‘Steamy Turkey’ Ending
As a lead editor, Rebecca has had a lot of experience with editing mishaps, even mishaps that weren’t total mistakes. For example, every editor knows that a simple word choice can change the impression of an entire phrase. That was, perhaps, the case for “steamy turkey.”
Our team creates specialized, targeted content that is used across our newsletters, including recipes. A few years ago, during Thanksgiving season, an editor had the final look at a recipe on turkey. A traditional way of explaining the temperature of a freshly baked turkey is probably a “hot turkey.” However, the editor replaced the word “hot” with “steamy.”
Since the editor was the final person to review the article, the recipe went straight to hundreds of client newsletters. The odd word choice wasn’t obvious at first. It wasn’t until a team member noticed the mistake that it became a hysterical example for unusual and “steamy” word choices for years to come!
Still, these incidents drive more love for the field. On copy editing as a career, Rebecca says, “The reward is in the task itself.” One of the best compliments an editor can receive is when clients respond to content with no changes, and that it was perfectly executed. Although writers often receive the bulk of client praise for writing content, editors are often underappreciated simply because it’s their job to disappear and help the writer’s content shine.
All in all, Rebecca is a natural helper — she loves the act of helping writers. We’re incredibly lucky to have her and our whole team of highly skilled, intelligent editors! So, next time you receive written content that you adore from our team, don’t be shy to shout out your editor with a little love too.