Why Content Agencies Should Outsource Copy Editing and Proofreading

When your agency is working with clients who are investing in content, you know the reality is that more content = more keyword coverage = more organic growth. If their budget and your capacity allow, increasing content velocity can expedite results. Removing any blockers to content velocity should be a high priority.

One of the more frequent objections we hear from people we speak with about our editing services is, “We need more than just copy edits and typos. We need help on deep developmental editing that understands our subject matter.”

While we at EditorNinja greatly value deep developmental edits by subject matter experts and offer it to the right customers, it’s not a big part of our business.

What is a big part of our business is precisely what these people are saying they don’t “just” need — copy editing and proofreading. In fact, these two services are the vast majority of our business and what customers stick around for most often!

How can that be? How can it be true that I hear this objection repeatedly, yet this is also the service that our longest-term customers value the most?

If your company is investing in content and has bought into the reality that more content = more keyword coverage = more organic growth, then increasing content velocity should be a priority. Removing any blockers to content velocity should be a high priority.

It’s pretty simple, actually.

Our customers who value copy editing and proofreading the most also value their team’s time and expertise the most.

Having an in-house developmental editor with subject-matter experience who can work with writers directly as well as drive strategy and create briefs in the form of a “content manager” or content-focused “marketing manager” often makes a lot of sense. Content agencies need this role in the form of a content strategist or manager who ultimately owns the quality bar for clients. At EditorNinja, our Managing Editor owns this bar.

Great agencies and the clients they work with usually don’t try to outsource this function.

They also realize that their team’s time is worth much more than any time they could spend on copy editing and proofreading. Therefore, they outsource this function.

The math works out, too, for both agencies and in-house marketing teams.

The Math Behind Editing (And How Much Most Agencies and In-House Teams Overpay)

The average content marketer’s salary in the United States is $118,280 per year, according to Salary.com. At 1,920 hours worked per year (48 weeks at 40 hours per week), that’s $61 per hour. This means that the average in-house content marketer should only be working on tasks that are worth at least $61 per hour to the business, and the average agency content marketer needs to be billed out to clients for at least $183 per hour for the agency to be profitable when accounting for overhead. Otherwise, the business is overpaying them.

In order to be profitable for an agency, the average agency content manager needs to work on tasks that are worth at least $183 per hour. Therefore, working on $32-$40 per hour editing tasks makes them unprofitable to an agency, and therefore they should not spend time copy editing and proofreading.

The average editor’s salary in the United States is $76,107 per year, according to Salary.com. At 1,920 hours worked per year (48 weeks at 40 hours per week), that’s $39 per hour. This means that the average editor should only be working on tasks that are worth at least $117 per hour, as otherwise, the company is overpaying for them.

The problem is that proofreading is a $31-$40 per hour task (according to the EFA) and copy editing varies from $36-$50 per hour. Most professional editors can copy edit and proofread ~2,000 words per hour, which means their blended rate is ~$40 per hour for that work.

This means that editors within agencies should also not be copy editing and proofreading, as it’s unprofitable for the agency. That editor’s time should be applied towards higher-value activities.

When copy editing and proofreading are a subset of a content marketer or senior editor’s job, the time they spend on these tasks drags down their effective hourly rate (EHR) overall. Most companies are making these in-house roles unprofitable by asking them to do these tasks!

To take it even further, combine the above with the now-proven fact that context switching can cost employees up to 40% of their productivity. Most content agencies now have a huge unprofitability, not to mention capacity, problem.

This is why EditorNinja makes so much sense for any agency producing content for clients or companies investing in content marketing. We can save you on editing costs (often by 50% or more when accounting for hidden costs of salary and time) while freeing up your highly skilled team and giving you the confidence to scale quality content production.

Your capacity and profitability issues are now on their way to being solved!

EditorNinja for Agencies

Over half of our customers are content agencies, and most of our longest-term customers are content agencies who are producing content at scale and looking to solve capacity and profitability challenges by outsourcing their copy editing and proofreading.

Our services were built specifically for content agencies, actually. We edit primarily marketing content, especially blog posts, and our pricing is meant to scale up (and down!) with your capacity and needs.

For content agencies, we help them solve capacity issues by outsourcing editing in a cost-effective way.

EditorNinja for In-House Marketing

We’ve also worked extensively with in-house marketing teams to help them scale their content production by relieving their in-house editor (or content manager) of work that is below their pay grade. Even more than that, in-house editors often dislike copy editing and proofreading, which leads them to put it off, and therefore content velocity decreases. This negatively affects business results from content marketing.

From my conversations with in-house content people, a piece of content usually takes 3-5 business days from the time the freelancer makes their final changes until it is finished with editing. We, on average, do it in one day.

Ready to Outsource Your Copy Editing and Proofreading?

EditorNinja is a professional content editing service focused on copy editing and proofreading for content agencies and in-house teams via our proven E.D.I.T. process.

If you’re ready to scale your content production and improve results from content, let’s chat on an Intro Call.