Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Content Writing Revision: Making Fixes Versus Starting Over

If you've ever tried to cook an elaborate dish only to have it emerge from the oven looking less than appetizing, your mind probably raced with corrective options. If it probably tastes okay, can you get away with simply disguising the exterior? Is it simply missing some finishing touch or other to make it perfect? Or do you need to scrape it into the trash bin and go back to Step One of the recipe? These kinds of decisions extend beyond the kitchen to a variety of other efforts, including marketing content creation. What do you do when a piece of content just doesn't live up to expectations -- make a few edits here and there, or start a new draft from scratch? Let's look at the available options, and when you might choose one over the other.

Proofread or Edit?

When many people think of editing in terms of written content revision, they tend to focus on fixing obvious errors in grammar, spelling, vocabulary, and other mechanical flaws. However, these fixes fall more properly under the category of proofreading. Proofreading represents that final step in making sure an otherwise-perfect piece of content is free of these surface errors. A trained copywriter will always proofread a draft carefully before submitting it. Even if the draft requires other revisions, at least the copy will appear clean and competent.

Editing digs deeper into the revision process. If your contants feels rushed, draggy, or disorganized, it may need an editor to cut, expand, or relocate large chinks of it. If the tone sounds wrong for your message or seems unlikely to appeal to your target audience, a copywriter with editing experience can find different words to alter that tone. At this point, the content is still salvageable as-is, even if it needs an extensive facelift.

Back to the Drawing (or Writing) Board

A top-to-bottom rewrite becomes necessary when the options noted above can't save the content without a ridiculous amount of effort. In many cases, it's easier, faster, and more cost effective for a professional writer to start over, using the previous draft simply for reference. Time and time again, I've found myself spending more time trying to resuscitate a flawed draft that I would've spent drafting something completely new. It's just easier to get it right the first time. A mostly-perfect draft from a seasoned pro will almost always require little to no revision -- a happier outcome for everyone involved.

Whatever degree of revision your website, blog, or other marketing content may require, a skilled professional copywriter can help you make it shine. Contact me today to turn that lump of coal into a diamond!