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22nd August 2020

How To Become A Freelance Editor

Ever considered a career in editing? Do you have a strong interest in literature? If you find yourself always identifying syntactic and typographical blunders when you read through articles online and in paper texts, then you might have what it takes to make a profession out of freelance editing.

But what is a Freelance Editor and what do they do?

The job of freelance editing means you receive written text for review before it gets published. A freelance editor reads through any given article to make corrections and suggestions on how to present text in the best way possible. They evaluate the structure, theme, grammar and any other detail in a write-up, based on what kind of editing they specialise in. The nature of freelance editing means different clients in the content writing service niche can contract out their editing jobs based on workload, and so a freelance editor moves from one available project to another.

Types of Freelance Editors

A freelance editor can choose to specialise in any aspect of the editing process. You can classify freelance editors into three types, based on what type of the editing they specialise in. These are:

• Developmental editing: A freelance editor who falls under this classification reviews article content to make sure it is structured well and the information in each paragraph flows into the next one seamlessly. This means he or she is focused on the broad view of how the write-up is arranged.

• Copy editing: Such editors are commonly known as copy or line editors. A copy editor works closely with a copywriting service provider and dives a little deeper than the developmental editor. Their focus is to examine sentence construction, the validity of the words and expressions in conveying the message, and the accuracy of grammar used. Their job goes as far as making sure the terminology and scenarios described in a text are accurate, especially if the text is non-fictional.

• Freelance proofreading: The job of a freelance proofreader is to correct any errors present in the text like typographical errors and so on, just before the text is published.

What is the general job description of a Freelance Editor?

The following are the daily responsibilities of a freelance editor.

1. Read through text: This is the first thing an experienced editor will do. Before examining the text in detail, it is good to read through as many times as necessary.

2. Edit copy: It is the responsibility of an editor to review any copy for readability, content layout and information, and report back to the writer.

3. Correct editorial mistakes: Correcting punctuation, spelling and syntax errors are among the responsibilities of an editor. They follow whatever set guidelines are specified by the content manager in making these corrections.

4. They adjust writing style: An editor uses their writing skills to set the most suitable tone and delivery of the writing. Editors do not often take the credit in the revamping and reconstruction of whatever they are editing.

5. Review word selection: Editors examine a writer’s work to remove anything that takes away from its simplicity. They will make sure the language used is easy for a diverse audience to understand.

Ten Steps to Build a Career as a Freelance Editor

It takes a lot of hard work to grow your client base and make it as a full-time freelance editor. The good news, however, is that you can live anywhere, run a flexible work schedule, and still develop a successful career as a freelance editor. If you are considering a career in freelance editing, the following tips show you how to do so.

• Take an editing course

Although there are no formally-structured courses for freelance editing in university, anyone interested can take a few courses in a college, or pursue a degree in Creative writing or English language. These will familiarise you with the basics of editing.

• Develop a good reading culture

A good editor reads widely and looks out for popular stories and articles to keep a handle on what readers find interesting. To stay fresh and up-to-date, you need to do the same.

• Begin your career with a publishing firm

Starting with a publishing firm means you can gain useful insight into the world of publishing and editing. You can grow your career profile over a few years, learning from accomplished editors and raking in experience along the way.

• Start your freelancing career

You can start your freelancing career with a few editing projects here and there to get your freelancing career off the ground. At this point, you can try your hand at anything from freelance writing to proofreading. You can find these jobs listed on freelance websites. If you take a wide variety of jobs you will become better as an editor.

• Decide what aspect of editing you want to specialise in

When you have worked on a variety of jobs for a while, you can decide the type of editor you want to be. You can work on broader aspects like developmental editing, however, choosing to specialise will improve your editing skills.

• Determine the kind of writing jobs you want to take

Even if you work on various kinds of editing jobs, there will always be a preferred aspect of editing for you. Your preference will determine the types of job you have to deal with. If your forte is academic writing, your responsibility is to look through a lot of journals, lifting references here and there, and making sure your references are valid and accurate, but if you specialise in book editing, you will most likely deal with projects with a word count of more than fifty thousand, in many cases.

• Build your freelance network

It helps to join a network of freelancers in your area. You can gain referrals from your network of freelance buddies and also build your reputation. You can also increase your chances of meeting writers who may want you to partner with them on a few projects.

• Develop a portfolio of past works to showcase your skills

As soon as you have racked up a few completed projects, you should develop a portfolio to show potential clients your abilities. You can create copywriting samples and insert client feedback to show how hard you work.

• Sell yourself as a professional editing service

You can sell your skills as an editing and copywriting professional by setting up your website and optimising your content and SEO for easy visibility. You may choose to blog about your editing and copywriting agency so you can build a following of writers and readers alike. To improve your chances of getting jobs, you can print business cards to share with prospects, and liaise with literary agents to connect you with writers who require your services.

• Build your network of clients

As you implement the tips above, you will build a network of clients who will contact you directly when they have a job to do. Chances are you might work on a project that becomes a bestseller, which you can add to your portfolio.

If you want to combine editing with copywriting, you should consider working with a professional copywriting agency. If you'd like to work with us, get in touch and we'll be glad to give you more insight into how the process works.

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