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Review: Content Marketing Primer for Editors & Proofreaders by Louise Harnby

07 July 2017 12:40

Louise Harnby always strikes me as the ultimate in generosity when it comes to handing out tips, advice and support on all things copy editing and proofreading. And it’s not only writers who benefit from her broad knowledge and experience. It’s editorial colleagues too, as she continues to develop a feast of goodies for those wanting to up their editorial game.

Louise’s blog, The Proofreader’s Parlour, is a masterly curation of interesting and informative posts, and she writes business books too, all with the intention of helping colleagues to grow and improve along their career path, and all underpinned by her sound knowledge of publishing. If you want to know something, just look on Louise’s website – it’ll be there somewhere.

Something fantastic I’ve come across recently is her Content Marketing Primer for Editors & Proofreaders. With such a buzz around ‘content marketing’ these days, I find myself flailing about, unable to answer my own questions on whom specifically to target (let alone how), and suffering brain freeze when I try to choose a specific direction for my blog. (There’s also the time issue. When I’ve got deadlines coming out of my ears – come on, blogging? When am I supposed to fit that in too??)

But it’s almost as if Louise has heard me from afar, tearing my hair out at my own inaction, and hoping no one will realise that, largely, I depend on other people’s fabulous content to keep my Twitter topped up. You see, her Content Marketing Primer is a gorgeous A to Z of how to do the whole content thing, specifically targeted at proofreaders and copy editors. It’s actually made me excited about content creation.

Louise’s aim when sharing marketing strategies is to help editorial freelancers to improve their discoverability, ‘so that we have choice in the fees we accept or set, the clients we work for and the number of hours we dedicate to that work’. (Content Marketing Primer for Editors & Proofreaders, Louise Harnby, 2017, p5.) To that end, she takes us through what content marketing actually is, paring it down to a beautifully simple definition that is easy to call to mind if you think your posts are getting off track. She looks at editorial customer groups and the benefits of careful content targeting. She addresses six key principles essential for producing memorable, valuable, visible content (it can be the best piece of writing in the history of content production, but if no one finds it – what’s the point?).

In addition, a range of current content marketing examples are included, from Louise’s own blog, to a podcast, to a resource hub, to a self-editing course for fiction authors, and other samples too. It’s inspiring to see the inventive ways in which other editorial professionals are compiling their message and getting it out to the people who need to read it, raising their own polished business profiles in the process. I’m in awe – truly. And fortunately, I now have the Primer to properly kickstart my content ambitions. There is even a helpful list of questions Louise has been asked from time to time, each one, as she puts it ‘ripe for turning into superb useful content that you can use to promote your expertise to potential clients’ (p26).

With further sections on how to build excellent content, and comparisons between content marketing and other strategies, the Content Marketing Primer has to be the ultimate go-to guide for any proofreader or copy editor who’s flailing about a bit (like me) in the online content ocean – or who simply needs a creative marketing boost.

It’s so appealingly packaged too, with a branded cover of crisp, clean stripes that makes you feel right at home, eager to explore, and up for the challenge all at the same time.

The Primer is only available direct from Louise, so if your editorial appetite has been whetted, you can order your copy here:

And if you’re feeling a little, ‘Ooh, should I? Shouldn’t I…?’ then let me put you out of your misery. Yes. You definitely should.