by Claire Niven>
Writing is at the heart of what businesses do. You communicate with your audience to inspire, sell, support or tell your story. Every email, social media post or sales pitch you write reflects your company.
But writing is hard. Confusing, careless and grammatically incorrect writing frustrates readers and undermines your credibility.
So, how can copy editing help to connect with your audience and build trust in your business?
Let’s start with grammar. Grammar is a tool to make sense of language. We learn the rules of grammar at school, but don’t dust off your grammar books just yet. That's where copy editing comes in.
Copy editing corrects spelling, grammar and punctuation mistakes. These are the easiest writing issues to fix. The focus here is to spot typos, to check commas, semicolons and colons are used correctly, to identify style inconsistencies and to correct commonly confused words such as they’re and there.
Mistake-free writing shows you are professional, credible and trustworthy. And it also shows that you care about your reader.
But copy editing goes beyond grammar and spelling. High-quality writing is more than knowing how to punctuate correctly; you need to engage with your reader.
You rely on the quality of your content to inform, educate or build a relationship with your audience. You want your readers to keep on reading. Don’t put them off with wordy sentences or inconsistencies.
This is where clarity and structure come in.
To write clear copy you need to simplify complex sentences and remove unnecessary words, like really and very. These pad out your text and make your reader work too hard. Think about your vocabulary—choose sharp, descriptive words to add life to your sentences. And weed out overused words.
Next, consider the overall structure: is it logical and easy to follow? Did you deliver what you promised at the beginning of your writing? Copy editing improves the structure of your thoughts and the fluency of your message.
Style and tone are also critical to how you connect with readers.
Choosing the right style and tone for your writing are decisions all businesses should make. Are you an expert in a niche market, or do you want to amuse and entertain? The language you use depends on these decisions. Be consistent so you don’t alienate or confuse your audience.
But how do you choose the right words if English isn’t your first language?
Dutch companies writing in English face a bigger challenge because writing in a non-native language is harder to do—no matter how good your English is.
Native speakers understand the nuances and complexity of the English language. But there is no reason why your English writing shouldn’t be as compelling and readable as your Dutch writing. Native English copy editors can quickly correct common mistakes and are familiar with cultural quirks that make your text more effective and fluent.
Error-free, compelling and clear writing is what your business deserves.