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6 Steps to Becoming a Freelance Editor in 2021

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In this era where content is produced at unprecedented rates, editing has risen to the top of in-demand skills. According to HubSpot , at least 70% of marketers are actively participating and investing in content marketing, which is further proof that content has become integral to branding. Organizations are now working with large teams of independent copywriters to produce content in the form of blog posts, case studies, and more. Accordingly, there is currently a significant opportunity for freelance editors , especially in 2021’s digital information economy. However, you’ll need to fully understand what the role entails and its facets in the world of modern business. This guide will act as a step-by-step explanation of how you can begin and thrive as a freelance editor. Working as a freelance editor: Duties and opportunities An editor’s primary goal is to ensure that copy has improved language and vocabulary, correct syntax, and maximum impact. Hence, being an editor requires an in-depth knowledge of spelling, grammar, and punctuation—basically, a good editor should have quality writing skills. A bachelor’s degree is generally not required. However, most editors should have work experience in journalism, communications, public relations, marketing, literature, or related industries before setting up their freelance business. As a freelance editor, you’ll be working as a contractor on a per-assignment or per-project basis with your clients, which means you can choose the type of editing, projects, and where you work. However, freedom can be a double-edged sword because working with more than one client means you may need to know more than one type of copywriting. You’ll have to be flexible and adapt your approach to accommodate different platforms, as well. From editing marketing content to proofreading website copy and improving product instructions, freelance editors can help organizations in many facets of their work. Here are the different types of editing you can choose to offer: Proofreading: Proofreading is the final polish before the copy goes to publication. Proofreaders look for any remaining typos and errors in tense, grammar, spelling, or punctuation, and consistency across design elements, such as page numbering or line breaks. Copy editing: Copy editing checks for grammar, sentence structure, punctuation, and spelling errors and ensures consistency in style. It also includes checking for references to ensure the facts and statistics mentioned are accurate and valid. Stylistic or line editing: This type of editing is used for manuscripts—both fiction and nonfiction. Line editors aim to enhance the writer’s voice and tone, including clarifying what the writer wants to get across, polishing dialogues and descriptions, and checking that the material’s reading level matches the target audience. Developmental editing: A developmental editor works with authors to write a book from start to finish, including theme and character development, plot design, and dialogue. This is a very involved type of editing that you may offer if you have experience writing books and developing story arcs, structure, and flow. Structural editing: This type of editing involves guiding authors with their story structure and style. […]

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