Why AI Is Driving Demand for This Specialty in the Digital World

Female freelance copyeditor working on computer at desk

If you’re curious how AI is going to affect the demand for certain types of freelancing, ask yourself this:

When you’re ready to checkout at the grocery store, do you prefer

  1. the self-service checkout, or …
  2. the cashier stationed at a conveyor-belt lane?

The first option can be fast, but it’s impersonal. It also gets tripped up by purchases that aren’t clearly barcoded or marked, bringing the whole process to a grinding halt.

The second option takes longer but offers a human experience. If a price tag is missing or there’s a question about a final sale, the cashier solves the problem right then.

As a writer who works from home 99% of the time, I prefer the human cashier.

Part of that is because it’s just nice to receive a smile and a “have a nice day!” when you spend most of your day alone.

I also appreciate the quick-solution benefit. No price tag or code on that group of stemmed beetroots? No problem! The cashier has the PLU code memorized or they know how to quickly find it.

Self-checkout kiosks can’t do this. You’re left waiting for someone to come solve your problem.

Yep, if something goes wrong with the machine, or the purchase isn’t straightforward, or the customer wants to use coupons or rewards cards or anything else that complicates the process …

They’re going to need a human cashier to save the day.

This is why there’s always at least one cashier or supervisor stationed around a cluster of self-service kiosks: Someone needs to be there to put out the fires in a way the machines just can’t.

Now let’s jump back to the idea of AI taking over freelance positions …

For sure, AI is going to — and has already — proven to be a worthy competitor in the world of content generation, especially when it comes to short copy or idea generation.

(Note: In the February issue of Barefoot Writer magazine, I interviewed Brian Whitaker, a hugely successful copywriter who’s been using AI for years to help with ideation and coming up with different angles on content. Read his story here.)

So for copywriters, AI is a supplemental tool more than anything else.

But there’s another freelance position that’s actually going to be more in demand than ever because of AI …

And that’s the position of copyediting.

Copyeditors are basically the “secret weapon” behind all the good copy and content out there.

I’m not talking about proofreading here, by the way, which is more about checking for grammar and structurally-sound sentences.

Copyeditors are elevated over proofreaders because while they’ll certainly correct any typos they see in a document, they’re also looking at the bigger picture of the message.

Among other things, a good copyeditor will make sure a piece of content:

  • has a consistent voice throughout,
  • follows the requirements laid out by a clients’ style guide,
  • targets the right customer profile,
  • and gets the job done.

In other words, a good copyeditor will comb through content with the end goal of the piece in mind.

So if a writer crafted email copy that’s supposed to move the reader to click a link, the copyeditor is going to consider whether the copy successfully drives that action.

Same goes for a sales letter trying to get a reader to buy something, or landing page content trying to get a reader to opt-in.

There’s a lot at stake here. Without that final review to ensure that a piece will work to achieve the goal it was meant to accomplish, a company risks publishing a dud that doesn’t attract necessary sales.

Think about it … lost revenue can add up fast. Businesses don’t want to take that risk, so the majority will always have copyeditors do the final pass on any materials.

Now, picture a world where a LOT of businesses turn to AI to write certain types of content.

That content will come out fast … and a lot of it will be reasonably decent …

But as far as crossing the finish line over whether or not the end goal of a piece comes to fruition …

They’re going to need a copyeditor for that.

So, much like the cashier who oversees all the self-service kiosks and holds all the keys and codes and tricks needed to make those kiosks run smoothly so the customer checking out leaves satisfied …

There are going to be thousands of copyeditors hired to oversee all this AI work.

It’s a no-brainer.

And even though these robot-cashiers replaced a lot of front-line human cashiers, now every store has their most informed and often elevated employee supervise those checkouts.

Because at the end of the day, machines simply can’t function without human oversight.

AI will never have that fully-human component that bends messaging just enough to prompt the highest response rate or largest number of sales from written copy.

If I were just starting my own freelancing career, I’d absolutely get trained in copyediting first. It’s quick and easy to get your skills up to speed, and it’s in high-demand right now — with demand only expected to rise.

You can be the “secret weapon” behind great copywriters as a skilled copyeditor when you have the proper training. Check out our self-paced training resource, How to Use Copyediting for Career Advancement and Side Profit today!

The AWAI Method™

The AWAI Method™ for Becoming a Skilled, In-Demand Copywriter

The AWAI Method™ combines the most up-to-date strategies, insights, and teaching methods with the tried-and-true copywriting fundamentals so you can take on ANY project — not just sales letters. Learn More »

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Published: March 22, 2023

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