Here’s the thing. Professional writers and editors really, really want to create compelling copy for you. To do that, we need your honest, and detailed, feedback.
Does your feedback answer these 3 questions?
1. Does It Call Out a Specific Section of Text?
This is the simplest thing you can do to help improve your content. Don’t let your writer/editor guess to which section of text your comment applies. The more they need to do that, the less likely you are to see the changes and results you want.
Helpful: “In the first sentence, I don’t like the unfriendly tone.”
Unhelpful: “I don’t like the unfriendly tone.”
2. Does It Explain What’s Wrong and Why?
This one may be difficult at first, especially if you have a gut reaction like “I hate it” or “This isn’t what I wanted” but can’t put your finger on why.
It’s OK if you can’t perfectly identify why a section of text is problematic, but the more you can describe what you’re feeling, and which section of text makes you feel that way, the more your writer/editor will be able to help find a solution.
Here are some tips for thinking through your gut reactions:
Helpful: “I don’t like this section because it seems condescending. Our readers are senior professionals who already know this information.”
Unhelpful: “I don’t like this section.”
3. Does It Offer a Solution?
You might be thinking: “What do you mean I have to offer a solution? I don’t know what the solution is; that’s why I hired a writer.” That’s common. It’s totally OK if you don’t know exactly how the text should change.
The point here is that no one knows your overall vision for the project more than you.
So, by offering details about what you want to see the next time you review the file, even if it’s something as simple as “I’d like this section to sound friendlier,” you give the writer/editor a target to work toward.
And trust us, any good writer or editor will tell you if they have concerns about your request or if they have a better solution.
Helpful: “The second paragraph is inaccurate. I think it should be something like ‘When our techs arrive, they’ll walk you through every step of the process.’”
Unhelpful: “The second paragraph is inaccurate.”
The Bottom Line Is...
The more information you can provide, the better the results. Remember to ensure that your feedback explains: