Two people content editing on a computerSince joining WriterGirl, I’ve developed a deep appreciation for editors.

Writing has been central throughout my career – from my first “real” job as a radio news reporter to many years in healthcare communications. I used to dread seeing what changes came back from reviewers. It tended to be grammar police that squeezed out conversational tone using old style rules or clinicians who couldn’t resist adding their jargon. It could be frustrating and often diluted the strength of the final version.

At WriterGirl, we value editing. It’s baked into our process before we send anything to a client. We approach editing with respect for the writer and the thought, time and research they’ve put into creating the content. For example, a suggestion for a change comes with an explanation, and we track our edits so the writer can make sure the meaning hasn’t changed.

Our editors appreciate what’s good — and are kind about what could improve. It’s a team effort that shares the goal of enhancing the experience for the audience.

Have you ever noticed how book authors profusely thank their editors? The more skilled the writer, the more grateful they are for their editor. Let’s give editing the place of honor it deserves in healthcare content.

Editing is the secret ingredient to great content

Even seasoned healthcare writers still need an editor. Here are some top benefits:

  • Editors spot those extra, unnecessary, repetitive, superfluous words. See what I did there? Ask your editor: “Does my copy look fat in this document?” She can slim it down painlessly.
  • You get to test drive your content with an audience of one. An editor can make sure the message you want to convey made it from your head to your keyboard. We often take complex information from a specialist to create content a consumer can easily use to make healthcare decisions. A second look from someone new to the material is vital to see if you’ve reached your goal.
  • Your writing goes to the next level. A skilled editor offers tips and insights that make you a better communicator next time. Writing is an ability that can always grow.
    “Words…how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.” – Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Fresh eyes can still focus. You’ve sweated over your sentences. But no matter how carefully you review, you can be blind to typos and missing words that your mind thinks are there. Editing is more than proofreading, but catching those annoying errors is extremely helpful.

How to add editing to your content recipe

If you don’t have access to a dedicated editor, consider trading editing with colleagues. Peer editing is a great practice to help the whole team produce better content. WonderWriter Academy, a team training program derived from WriterGirl expertise, devotes a full session to implementing peer editing. Rather than feeling like you’re being graded by your English teacher, peer editing supports everyone’s success.

Many of our clients need content editing rather than brand new content. We’ve:

  • Combined content from two websites after a merger
  • Refreshed existing copy after a brand update
  • Reworked blog posts drafted by clinicians for a consumer audience
  • Edited brochure content into webpages or direct mail copy
  • Turned academic research articles into news releases
  • Served as the second set of eyes for marketers who don’t have time or staff to fine-tune their drafts.

What are your tips and tricks in your editing process? We’d love to hear from you! Share your ideas in the comments section below.