As an editor, your job is to make sure that our writing doesn’t leave the ‘door’ until it’s perfected.
Your Tasks As An Editor:
- Proofread and correct any spelling and grammar mistakes
- Check that the writing flows well and makes sense
- Ensure that the post has been written to our standards, and using our best practices
- Add value to an already well-written piece
- Make sure that the article meets the project/client’s SOP and brief
- Double-check the facts in a post
- Check the formatting and links
- Ensure there’s an SEO-optimised title
Things To Remember When Editing:
- You’re partly responsible for how the post will look to a client – pay attention to detail and make sure you’re focused when editing.
- Be nice – if someone has phrased something really well, or you learnt something new from reading their work, comment and tell them! Try and leave at least one positive comment in each piece you edit.
- If the post is not ready to be edited – if there are mistakes in every sentence or it looks sloppy – it’s best to send it back to the writer and suggest they take another look over it before you edit.
Before Editing A Post There Are A Few Things You Need To Know:
- Where the post is going i.e. the client/internal site that it will be published
- The client’s specific needs (found on the client sheet SOP and in the brief)
- How long the post should be
- If there are keywords and/or images needed
- What the main topic/keyword is
If you’re unsure of any of these things, you need to find the answers before you edit.
Steps to Editing a Post
Follow these steps when editing any post.
1) Check That The Writer Has Sent You An Asana Task Link
This should have the Google folder link as a comment in Asana. Like this: https://app.asana.com/0/1109219378129218/1127125773296772/f
If you receive the post in any other format (only the doc, or the folder link without the asana task) enquire with the writer and ask for an Asana task link.
In this Asana task, you’ll also find subtasks for you to follow as an editor. BE SURE TO TICK THESE OFF AS YOU GO, or right after, to make sure you haven’t missed anything.
2) Check The Project Of The Post:
The project should be the name of the website/client and not in the “content templates” folder.
DO NOT EDIT IF YOU CAN’T SEE THE CORRECT PROJECT/CLIENT!
3) See If There Are Any Specific SOP/ Client Requests – NB
This is vital, to make sure that the writer has written in the correct voice, added the correct affiliates, and any other specific requests have been met.
You can find this brief in the comment column on the writing sheet. The client’s SOP is in their client folder. It is important to revisit this SOP every time you edit, regardless of how familiar you are with the client.
4) Check That The Post Is In A Google Folder
The post should be saved as a Google Doc inside a Google Folder, along with the keyword sheet and any required images. Like this:
5) Check The Images
Make sure the images are correctly named. They should have keywords in them, based on the post, and should be descriptive of what they are. Also, NEVER USE SPACES. Rather use a dash or underscore in between words.
They must also be less than 200kb in file size. To check size, right-click on the image and select ‘view details’.
Check out the image SOP for more info on images such as stipulated pixel width, number of images, etc.
6) Check The Keyword Sheet
Is it properly formatted?
Are the keywords marked correctly? It should show which keywords have been used and their placement – H1, H2, H3, etc. and a simple ‘p’ for ‘paragraph’.
Do the keywords fit the post and topic?
Correct keyword sheet:
See the keyword research guide to check how the sheet should look and what it should contain.
7) Edit & Proofread The Copy
When editing, make sure you’re using the ‘suggesting’ function.
This will allow the writer to see your changes, and accept or reject them.
A useful tool to have is Grammarly – don’t rely too heavily on this, it can be wrong at times, but it can be a good start to checking for typos. You’ll be able to set the spelling to US/UK/AUS/etc. So you can pick up whether the correct English is being used.
Be sure to actually read the post. Some words such as form/from won’t be picked up as incorrect. This is also where you will note incomplete or irrelevant sentences.
With this comes actual editing – if a word is too complicated, suggest a new one. If a sentence is too long, shorten it. If any paragraphs need to be broken up – add spaces. Check our writing guide if you’re not sure.
Also, look out for homonyms, grammar tools often won’t pick these up but “threw” and “through” or “scene” and “seen” have very different meanings, even though they sound the same.
8) Check Headings, Links, And Any Other Formatting
Make sure the post has the correct headings. Look at our writing guide for heading structure guidelines. Check the client requests/SOP to see whether the headings should be Title Case, Sentence case, etc.
Make sure the post has at least 2 (if not more) internal links – this is why you need to know where the post is going.
If the post has any affiliate links, make sure the affiliate tags/IDs are added and that they are not broken links.
All links should have appropriate anchor text and should take the reader to a valuable target post/page relevant to the post they are coming from.
Other formatting issues include:
- Alignment of text, images & headings
- Client requests/template guides
9) Fact Check
One of the more important elements of writing for the web is making sure that the information we put out is accurate.
While checking every fact while editing would take up a LOT of time, we need to make sure that we aren’t using incorrect information. So, when reading through the post, take note of:
- Numbers, dates and statistics – these can usually be checked with a quick Google search.
- Names of people, again this should be easily found with a Google search. If it’s not, then feel free to check with the writer about where they found the info.
- Anything that doesn’t quite make sense – if something sounds odd, or unbelievable, trust your gut and fact-check it 🙂
10) Make Sure The Keywords Align In The Sheet And Doc
Once you’re sure that the copy is up to standard – it’s time to check that the post’s keywords have been used sufficiently.
We are, after all, an SEO company, so this part is very important…
Check the sheet against the post and make sure that the marked keywords have been used, and that they have been used in the correct places. To find keywords in the post, select your ctrl+F buttons to ‘find’. Then type your keyword into the box.
Be mindful of grammar – the writer may have added the keyword “things to do in cape town south africa” as “things to do in Cape Town, South Africa” so without that comma it won’t show up in the ‘finding’. These should be added into a column labelled ‘Adjustments’ in the keyword sheet. If they’re not, make a note for the writer.
Check that there are no keywords that have potential but have been missed and that there aren’t any useless keywords in the post.
Again, check the keyword guide if you aren’t sure.
11) Check That Any SOP & Client Request Has Been Followed
While this should have been done as you were editing, now is the perfect time to go back to the SOP/template/guide/client requests/etc.
Make sure they’ve been followed, that the post reflects any guide or template, and that nothing vital is missing from the post.
12) Comment In Asana And Mention Any Feedback
Tag the writer so that they know you’re done editing, but also tick off the subtask and mention them in the Slack editing channel.
In your comment, add any feedback you have for the post. Anything you haven’t suggested/commented about in the Doc. Also, add what you liked about the post – it’s always good to hear.
For instance, their images may be too big, or the keywords haven’t been used. Or simply that it’s a really good post.
Make sure that your name is alongside the article under the edited column in the writing sheet.
At the end of the day, you have a responsibility to the work you help produce, so make sure the piece of content that represents a quality that you are comfortable putting out.
Over To You
Now you have the knowledge and power to go off and add your own editing magic to someone’s post. Editing can be a lot of fun, but it’s not for everyone.
When you feel you’re ready to try it out, chat to your mentor so they can help you get started.
Click ‘Complete’ and continue to the next lesson.