Do you need writing, editing or proofing?

Copywriting, copy-editing and proofreading are all stages in the process of delivering high quality written content. So the short answer is you’re going to need all three. The question then becomes which ones should you outsource?

Let’s start by understanding the difference.


The clue is in the name. ‘Copy’ is raw material. It could be a blog entry, a menu, a page on a website or an academic thesis. Usually text, it may include other elements such as images, tables, hyperlinks, etc. So at its most basic, copywriting is capturing ideas, either on paper, or more likely in digital form.  Good copywriting raises the game; it makes compelling reading, it gets to the point,  and it explains clearly what you want the reader to know, in an appropriate style that reflects your brand.


Moving on from that, a copy-editor will take that content that the copywriter has created and check that it makes sense; that it flows easily and is appropriate for the audience. Reviewing for errors and inconsistencies, a copy-editor will usually check facts where possible, ensure that links are correct and as part of that process check spelling and grammar. They may rewrite short passages or suggest changes in tone in order to present a cohesive document ready for typesetting or publishing online. At that point you have a proof.


The proof is pretty much ready to go. No major changes should be needed at this point. Now, the content needs to be thoroughly checked for spelling and grammar, and consistent style and layout. Proofreading is the last quality check; however the proofreader is not responsible for overall accuracy.

You’ll probably find that different types of content require different levels of polish. A newspaper article, for example, should always be professional; however a little idiosyncrasy in a blog post can sometimes be a good thing.

In the next post I’ll delve a little deeper into each of these services. If you want to find out more, please do get in touch and let’s have a chat.

The difference between copywriting, copy-editing and proofreading