I’m a good writer. I know that. I’m proud of that. I write relatively fast, relatively finished non-fiction business writing. I have degrees to prove it, but of course they don’t. And I have published works to prove it, and they do. Google me.

However — and this is the point — I am not good at copywriting. And I need editing.

Copywriting: Don’t let sales or marketing text leave the office without it.

It’s so important. You have to know what you don’t know. And being a good writer doesn’t mean you can write ad copy, or web copy, or any other common variety of commercial writing for doing landing pages, packaging, collaterals, websites, and so forth. 

I learned that lesson well, with some remedial reinforcement at times, when some specialized professional copy writing boosted my company’s sales. Our material started with what I wrote, and was then rewritten by a pro. And pop went the sales.

Editing: don’t publish anything without it. 

I actually write almost-always finished text and I rarely misspell a word. That doesn’t cut it. “Almost-always” and “rarely” are deadly when you write for publication. I have to thank Teri Epperly of Palo Alto Software in this context, because Teri has caught my mistakes and corrected them regularly for 15 years. Every writer should have an editor. Typos make us look bad.

Does this happen to you? I can’t read my own errors. My brain skims right by them. Typos and errors I’d catch in anybody else’s text go right by me. So I need editing.

Doesn’t everybody?

(Image: istockphoto.com)

Tim BerryTim Berry

Tim Berry is the founder and chairman of Palo Alto Software and Bplans.com. Follow him on Twitter @Timberry.