Copy editing vs proofreading. These are both terms that are often used interchangeably, but they come with very different price tags. People often get confused but if you ask me for each of these services they can mean two very different things.

First, Copy Editing

Copy editing involves looking at the piece as a whole, the tone of voice and the way the message comes across. It’s a lot harder (in my opinion) as a writer to copy edit than to proofread because you have to consider a lot of different things:

  • The brand message
  • What the piece is saying to the reader
  • Other ways it could be perceived (and is this damaging or contradictory to the overall message)
  • The brand tone of voice

It may mean reordering, rewriting or adding in sections of content that could be missing that would make an impact to the article.

This is why copy editing costs more than proofreading, because of the overall time and skill level involved. Because it’s harder, and a skill not every writer has. You have to be very adaptable, particularly if you’re freelance or business owner to jump from your own business to someone else’s.

A copy editor must ensure that every element of your story, blog post or eBook is consistent, cohesive and complete for the reader. To make sure you’re getting the message across.

But What About Proofreading?

Proofreading is all about looking at the grammar and spelling, some missing words, typos, formatting inconsistencies rather than the meaning of the overall piece. It needs an eye for detail and this is the last step in a project! Don’t get me wrong, it’s incredibly important, but it’s not as difficult once you know your stuff! (the grammatic laws, although difficult, remain a constant, unlike people’s perception.)

Hiring A Copy Editor vs A Proofreader

Whilst many writers are also copy editors and proofreaders, it’s not often you find proofreaders who write.

When it comes to buying services you should always check if copy editing or proofreading is included in the price. You can have the best writer in the world but it still needs proofing and often some form of copy editing. Just to ensure it’s in line completely with your message, format and tone of voice.

If you need any help deciding if you need copy editing vs proofreading, let me know through my contact page. You can also check out me discussing the same thing in this incredibly professionally recorded video (on my phone at 11pm – I hope you appreciate my commitment).  I discuss the difference between the two.  Plus, which your brand may need more and why my own prices (and many others) will reflect a difference between these services.

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