5 Simple Skills for a
New Income Stream

Editor sitting on a couch editing

Hands down, one of the best elements of life as a freelancer is the ability to constantly explore new ways to bring in money.

Whether that means writing for a new industry, adding a new skillset to your professional arsenal, or building an entirely new income stream, it’s all possible with a little bit of grit and focus.

One of the most enjoyable ways to do all three is by learning how to copyedit at a professional level. It’s something you can do for virtually any industry, it involves learning a new skillset that complements what you already do as a writer, and it has the potential to become an entirely separate income stream.

If this sounds appealing to you, it’s absolutely possible to learn copyediting from scratch. But you’ll go farther faster if you already have some built-in skills to help you hit the ground running. Below are five of them that will give you an instant leg up if you want to join the copyediting world.

Skill #1: You know you're worth your salt.

Think of the copyeditor as "the finisher" in any given project. Whereas the marketer has to come up with the right approach …

And the writer has to figure out a way to eloquently and effectively hammer home a message …

The copyeditor simply looks at everyone else's hours and days and sometimes months of hard work and then assesses.

So in a sense, you get to piggyback on everyone else's hours of toil!

But if you're able to come in and polish the content so that the message really hits home, then your efforts make sure the piece does what it's supposed to do.

Rebecca says the copyeditors she uses are "worth their weight in gold." And that's going to be true for any client, because it's the copyeditor who basically makes sure all the hard work that went into the writing accomplishes what it's supposed to.

This is also why copyediting pays much better than proofreading.

As a copyeditor, you are an integral part of the content creation process.

Skill #2: You've got style.

And by style, I mean you understand how to use and work with style guides, which are one of the most important aspects of copyediting.

Spelling and grammar aside, you need to be able to identify the audience and point of the message while making sure it's consistent with the voice of the publication and the formatting and style requirements of the company.

Skill #3: You're not mean.

In other words, you can communicate improvements in a professional, thoughtful way. Imagine working with someone who reviews your writing and tells you, "It stinks. You didn't do this or that or the other."

Not helpful, right?

A good copyeditor can point out errors in a way that teaches and doesn't insult the creators who put time and energy into it.

Skill #4: You feel words.

By that I mean you can feel the point the writer is trying to make.

In other words, you can pull out the writer's voice and message and generate edits that support those elements, rather than bulldozing the writing in a way that makes it sound like a robot could have written it.

There's a process to correcting inaccuracies while retaining unique flow in a piece of content. If you can do this, you'll be an ace copyeditor.

Skill #5: You know where to look (or what to open) for help.

Professional copyeditors are pretty tight with dictionaries, reference materials, and style guides.

That means they're not afraid to double-check anything, as opposed to assuming they know everything. So being open-minded in this profession is essential.

You also have to recognize that different clients and messages will require different resources. And that's a good thing — that's how messaging can be so specific to a company; they don't all use the same guides.

If you already have these skills, or you want to improve in them, then copyediting will be a great fit for you.

>> Go here to learn more about the opportunity (including how much you can expect to make!).

How to Use Copyediting for Career Advancement and Side Profit

How to Use Copyediting for Career Advancement and Side Profit: Simple Techniques to Elevate Your Writing Value and Your Income

Be the “secret weapon” behind great copywriters as a skilled copy editor. You can make a very good living editing other writers’ copy — and transforming “good” copy into GREAT copy. Learn More »

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Published: May 1, 2024

2 Responses to “5 Simple Skills for a New Income Stream”

  1. Editing is such an "art", and a good editor is worth their weight in gold. I am both a writer and an editor and as a writer, I am thrilled when another editor takes my text and elevates it. I feel so grateful then because editing your work is very difficult. Stubborn mistakes can persist. A good editor will turn your good article into a great article. Hats off to all the editors!

    Angie Weiss

  2. Thank you for your suggestion about using a style guide. I do not have one, yet, but I will look on the web for one.


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