The Expense Of Editing: A Missing Component For Too Many Content Marketing Plans

by Randy Murray on July 3, 2013

I’ve been arguing these past few weeks (and far longer), about the need for writers to work with editors. What some may not realize is this: businesses that want to take advantage of content marketing to increase their sales also need editors.

But how much will editing cost?

The cost of editing falls across three basic areas: Time, Money, and Quality.

Time: Adding editing into the publishing process slows things down. Yes, it’s very fast to toss off a quick first draft and hit publish, but that’s a recipe for disaster, especially for businesses. Businesses should use a publishing workflow that goes beyond merely typing and hitting the Publish button. They need to plan content weeks or months in advance. When publishing is approached in this manner there’s always something ready to publish TODAY and there’s no rush or pressure. Plan for editing and the added time simply becomes part of the time it takes to develop quality content. When rapid response is required for breaking news, then a shorter workflow is needed, but one that still uses editing.

Money: A professional editor in a business setting is an employee cost. If your organization has limited publishing needs, it can use freelance editors or find a strong editor already on the payroll. But if your organization has aggressive publishing goals a full-time editor will be required. Fortunately, a single editor can handle the work of many writers. For the individual writer who is serious about improving what they publish on their own, finding a friend who is both willing and able to edit their work can often be worked out in a barter relationship (no money exchanged).

Quality: There is a cost to businesses that comes from the lack of quality. This should be considered when creating a strategic content marketing plan. If the quality of the published material is poor, then it will be ineffective, or at least less effective than really on target, clear, error free content can be. In fact, poor quality content repels potential customers. It would be better to not publish at all than to publish poor quality work. The expense of poor quality can be eliminated by adding strong editing to your  publishing workflow. If you are paying writers and not editing their work you are wasting your money.

Trying to do content marketing “on the cheap” is a way of saying, “we want to look like we’re doing something, but we don’t really care about the results.” If you want results, you need to pay the price. Good quality content, published frequently, is a ticket to success. I don’t care how frequently you publish poor quality content. Poor quality content costs you customers.



The The Expense Of Editing: A Missing Component For Too Many Content Marketing Plans by Randy Murray, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Michael July 3, 2013 at 11:33 am

I agree and disagree. As a start-up, we don’t have the money to hire an editor. This means I’m playing writer and editor. Which really means I write on one day and edit the following day. Works well for us and we’re still pushing out a good amount of content every week.


Randy Murray July 3, 2013 at 2:28 pm

It’s great that you’re letting material you write sit before you edit it yourself. It would be even better if someone other than you (when you’re the writer) did the editing. As I pointed out in the article, using someone on staff is good, especially when budgets are tight AND you have someone skilled enough to do a good job. The important thing is this: someone is editing work before it’s published! Good for you.


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