Proofreading vs Copyediting (There Is A Difference)

When interviewing potential clients I often get asked the question about the difference between proofreading, editing and copy editing. I’m sure there are some industry definitions, but since this is my blog, I am going to explain how I approach the topic.


Proofreading is the process of checking for errors and typos. It really is that simple. You read over the work and see if there are misspellings, grammar errors or typos. Proofreading is a basic task, but when you have a lot of content – such as a book or a website, it’s easy to let a few things slip though.

Another reason why someone may hire a proofreader is if their content requires a certain style, such as MLA citations, or AP editing style. A proofreader will check to confirm that the work is written with those guidelines in mind.


Editing is less about grammar and more about style. Editors answer questions such as: Did you clearly express what you were trying to say? Is your writing redundant or convoluted? Are you using a consistent voice? Editing is useful for most types of writing and can ensure that your writing reads well. Editing includes proofreading and is great for academic writing, novels and online content.


To understand the difference between copy-editing and editing, you have to first understand copy. Copy is basically persuasive writing. It is used in advertisement and marketing, but it has also become quite popular in the online world. That is because most web-content is copy. If it is not purely entertainment or educational, there is most likely some sort of commercial interest involved. (There’s also some places online where the lines between educational, entertainment and commercial are quite blurred.) Basically any writing that wants people to take some sort of action can be considered copy.

A copy editor is responsible for proofreading, editing and ensuring that the writing fulfills its purpose. They can take an educational blog and edit it into an affiliate site. They can take social networking sites and make them into monetized opportunities with just a few words. They are that cousin that can talk anyone into anything, but they do so with a pen.

If you are looking for a copy-editor for your online content do not hesitate to contact me. I can revise your current content into something that is compelling and engaging. I love creating copy that pulls at heart strings, pushes people to take action, and softly sells an idea or product. You write content for people to take action, hire a professional copywriter to ensure that it does.

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