What’s the Difference Between a Copywriter and a Copy Editor?

Freelance Writer

Copywriters and copy editors are both incredibly important, but they play very different roles in the marketing process. Depending on your business and your specific needs, one might be more useful to you than the other. But what exactly do these roles entail? Let’s take a look at their differences.

Copywriting and Copy Editing Defined

Of course, copywriting and copy editing are related, but they differ in key ways. The focus of a copy editor is on technical accuracy and style (like spelling, grammar, and sentence construction). The focus of a copywriter is on persuading someone to take action through words alone (typically using marketing techniques). Both are valuable roles, depending on what kind of business you’re working for or running. For example, if you’re writing website content for an e-commerce company that sells swimming pools and water slides, it might make sense to hire a copyeditor who can make sure your sentences are grammatically correct. If you’re selling handmade greeting cards from your Etsy shop, however, hiring a professional writer (copywriter) who specializes in emotional appeal might be more important.

Responsibilities of Copywriters and Copy Editors

Freelance copywriters and copy editors are both tasked with the important role of communicating a company’s brand and message through written words. Both professionals may be called upon to do similar tasks, but each has unique responsibilities. Freelance copywriters are in charge of creating compelling ad copy that reflects the brand voice of the company and is likely responsible for writing blogs or product descriptions as well. Copy editors may also have to write some ad copy, but they spend most of their time proofreading and refining existing text.

The Freelance Life

Freelance copywriters work for a variety of companies, including marketing firms and in-house marketing departments for individual businesses. Freelancers often work with deadlines: Some might have a deal with their clients that the content has to be turned around within a certain amount of time, while others may contract to provide a certain number of pieces per month. The company may also assign them to specific projects from the get-go; freelancers who are self-employed can choose which projects they want to pursue as long as they have enough time before the deadline. So, what is the typical day like for a freelance writer? This is hard to say because there isn’t one particular typical day or schedule.  However, freelance writers typically do research on topics related to their assignments. They may conduct interviews; attend meetings or workshops where they can gather information about a topic, interview experts and more.

How to Become a Freelance Writer

Working freelance isn’t all glamour—there are a lot of time-consuming, repetitive tasks involved in getting work as a freelancer. One of those: building a portfolio to win clients. So, how do you build a freelance writer portfolio that will help you land clients? You might enlist with a freelance writer marketplace to start or continue building your portfolio or reach out to some prospective clients on social media and offer a trial project. Once you have your portfolio built up sufficiently, start reaching out to editors at local magazines and newspapers. Ask them if they accept submissions from freelance writers. If so, ask if you can send them your cover letter and samples of your best work for consideration. And then sit back and wait for them to contact you with feedback on your writing samples! Be sure to also follow up after a specific period of time if you have not heard back from them.

Tips for Freelance Writers Who Blog

Professional freelance writers who blog usually understand that their work is about much more than a paycheck alone, it’s about building an audience, establishing credibility and authority, and networking with other writers. But to be successful at all of that, you have to be able to get your content published in high-quality publications. This is not only an effective way to expand your network, but it also helps build confidence among your readers. If a reader regularly sees your content published on top blogs, they might feel confident following you or purchasing products from you. So what tips do freelance writers with blogs need to know before they begin their career? Two things to consider when starting: have a vision for your career then plan it out.  You might have to tweak and pivot your career when necessary; however, never be afraid to try something new to expand your horizons.

Do’s and Don’ts as a Freelance Writer

Do make sure you have a good grasp of your client’s market and intended audience. A writer who pitches a freelance essay about sustainability to an audience that’s not interested in eco-friendly tips is wasting his or her time—and their own. Don’t worry about being super original; come up with a solid idea, then try to make it better by adding more detail or backing it up with examples or research. If you don’t have anything unique or interesting to add, why should your readers? If you do have something unique or interesting to add, go for it! Always make sure your writing remains consistent in tone and style – especially if you plan on marketing yourself as an expert in any given field.

Remember, copywriting is related to copy editing, however remember that a copy editor usually has just one focus: making sure that everything in your writing is 100% accurate with technical accuracy and style as a major focus point. They’ll also look at grammar, spelling, punctuation, capitalization—basically anything you might have missed. If you’re only looking for someone to spell-check your work or check for simple grammar mistakes, then you need an editor, not a copyeditor. A copyeditor focuses on ensuring that every word choice and sentence in your writing adheres to standards of industry-accepted style for that type of writing. Simply put, the main difference between a copywriter and a copy editor lies in their different areas of expertise. Copy editors typically work with material written by others; they make stylistic changes, ensure consistency within text, correct grammar and spelling errors, verify facts and ensure readability whereas, copywriters create compelling content meant for the reader to take a specific action or make a choice.