The role of the editor in improving the quality of texts

The freelance editor of a single book publisher, reading the author's text, changed the location of the “Crosses” detention center everywhere - moved it from St. Petersburg to Moscow. Why did he do it? There are many answer options: our brain sometimes plays with us in strange games, false memory, lack of erudition ... But the right one is not the level of professionalism and in this regard, the first rule of the editor is violated: doubt it - check it out.

A good editor in the book industry and in the offline media has unquestioned authority. In essence, this is a person who pulls out any text more or less suitable for publication and accepts the fact that a well-done editorial work is not visible to anyone, and any shortcomings of the text are entirely the fault of the editor.

Paradox: the editor’s work can be assessed positively only if his work is invisible, and the author of the text receives a decent reward in the form of good reviews.

A good editor on the web is all the same, with one significant exception: it does not exist in practice. At least in the vastness of the Russian Internet there are few good editors, thoughtful, which is called “Soviet” (an analogue of this adjective, more accurately expressing the essence of editorial experience, sorry, I can’t find it) behind the school. Most of the projects on the web do so far without them, because many are confused by the question: why do we need such a regular unit in the company, is the cost of maintaining such an employee justified? We will talk about this today.

What tasks should be solved by a professional editor?

Professionals are expensive, respectively, the problem of the price of the issue - how much the editor’s content is justified and how its work pays off - much more painful than it seems at first glance. Hiring an incompetent specialist for a penny, an unwavering hand, for example, placing the St. Petersburg "Crosses" in Moscow, is the same as standing on a high hill, from which you can see the distant and alluring horizon of your business, and let money go.

If you do not plan to lose sight of the distant and alluring horizon, you should get a good editor who can solve the following global tasks, without which high conversion and promotion of your brand are impossible:

  • Formation of editorial portfolio
  • Scheduling output
  • Increase the amount of your web content
  • Improving the quality of this web content
  • Dense work with the authors

Formation of the editorial portfolio and planning the release of articles

One of the global tasks that you have to solve in your work on website promotion using content-marketing tools is constantly the formation of an editorial portfolio (a supply of topics for materials published on the site) and the creation of a publication schedule. The best approach to the development of a web project is an approach that is entirely borrowed from offline media: the topics for the articles need to be formulated in advance (if it works out - at least for the next quarter), you need to prepare in advance for the publication of this or that material (if an interview with any or a specialist, you need to contact him in advance, prepare questions, think over the purpose and the presentation of this material). After the selection and approval of topics, it is necessary for the articles to look at the SEO analyst and assemble the base of the landing keys for the material in order to give the copywriter the text with the landing keys.

Schedule of articles will allow you to publish materials on a regular basis, with a certain frequency, accustoming the audience to the fact that you work like a clock.

In short, systematizing the work on the content of the site is a very important task, and this is the task of the editor. Any systematization, even just her attempt, is beneficial: business cannot exist in chaos, it always exists in the system.

Increase the amount of content

Having created a system that works, you can set the following task before the editors: increase the number of materials appearing on the site. It is important to plan this step. If today you have five articles, and not one in the next month, it will not bring tangible benefits. When planning to increase the volume of content, it is necessary to competently approach the change in the frequency of publications, for example: we used to create one news every two days, now we type three news every day. Here planning and consistency are important.

Quality of materials

In fact, the problem of improving the quality of content is the main one, although it is the fourth in our list. The more interesting, more useful, and more valuable the content for the target audience, the higher the conversion. Why is it impossible to entrust the solution of this and the other tasks listed above to an incompetent specialist - just a writing person, without the experience of editorial work, and even more so a freelancer? This is probably a rhetorical question. But, nevertheless, in order to more clearly illustrate a thought, a bit of history.

Traditional, established in RuNet in the late 90s, the culture of writing content for the web is characterized by low quality requirements for texts. If you try to define the text as a phenomenon from the life of the runet of the late nineties - the beginning of the two thousandth, this definition will sound like this: the text is a common place in which the keys are tightly inscribed. Today everything is different: everyone is concerned about the problem of conversion and increasing brand awareness, neither one nor the other is unthinkable if the content you are broadcasting does not represent any value to the audience.

The culture of the approach to the creation of texts for the web is formed only today, since previously there simply was no need for it (the sites were promoted by the density of keywords and the purchase of a reference mass). Time to scatter stones and time to collect stones: everything has its own relevance, today is the time to do content marketing. And this is an integrated approach, to which inevitably leads us to the development of search technologies and the entire Internet as a whole. Everything is like in a school course of history: in order to move to a new stage of development, you need to create a manufactory, introduce the concept of specialization and the division of labor. This approach in relation to the development of site content means the team principle of work, when several narrow specialists are involved in the project.

This can be demonstrated by the example of the construction of work in our agency. Each project involves an account manager representing the interests of the client; seo specialist, responsible for website promotion strategy; Two or three copywriters, proofreader and editor. The latter assumes all responsibility for the content content of the resource (forms a portfolio of topics, monitors the timing of the release of materials and news) and the quality of the texts. And if you can entrust the organizational part of this work (the release of materials on time) to a manager or another specialist with the skills of an organizer, then the main component of the editor’s work - directly working on the text and interacting with the authors - you can not entrust to anyone but a professional. This is because specialization is at the heart of development. And investing in a good editor pays off with a high conversion, since only a good editor will not miss the text that does not represent value to the audience, returns it for revision, will require a more responsible approach to the topic and work it out deeper, help and tell the author how to do it. Any copywriter has the right to make mistakes. Even good. The editor does not have this right, because editor errors are expensive.

We need to work with the authors

"It must be remembered that the smile on the phone is not visible, but you can hear!"

"Our company's specialists pour concrete into the tank in strict accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation."

“Phone Sonim Land Rover S2 is tight enough to bind to yourself, so as not to lose. He will take care of the rest himself. ”

“If the price does not play a role, it is better to purchase the first options, since the foam mannequins eventually crack and start to crumble. You do not want a bald monster with a fallen nose to lure your customers shop. ”

All these phrases were written by copywriters, but the mass audience could not evaluate them, since all the blunders were noticed and corrected by the editors in time. Such a list of "copywriting madness" lead for themselves, many editors. At leisure, they open up to cheer themselves up and cheer themselves up with the thought that their work is not in vain.

Close interaction with the author is one of the important components of editorial work.

After reading frankly bad material, the first thing the editor will ask the copywriter is the question: what did you want to say with this text? As a rule, copywriters answer: I had the task to write a material about carpet cleaning. Then the editor repeats his question again: what did you want to say with this text, and not what you wrote? Finally, the author begins to understand that the theme (the subject about which you write) and the idea (the main thought of the text) - although they are closely interrelated, but they are not the same thing.

School is what distinguishes a good editor. He will lay out before the author all the wisdom of style, language and literary scholarship, explain on his fingers what the notion of speech error includes, and why the text is a consciously organized result of speech creation, and information is the most important characteristic of a journalistic work.

For every two full-time journalists in our agency, there is one editor. And this is more than justified in terms of the ratio of the result and the cost of maintaining these specialists. Why? Because the team working on the project should have a person who understands the work on the text not according to Begbeder, but according to Rosenthal. Strangely enough, but the accuracy of Soviet linguistics drives modern business forward.

Watch the video: Text-based Editing of Talking-head Video SIGGRAPH 2019 (February 2020).


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