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What Do Editor’s Want?

Date posted: January 27, 2009

On LinkedIn recently, Logan Kugler, a freelance writer, asked “What do editors want?”

There were many good answers, but one that I felt hit the mark best was left by Owen Linderholm, an editorial director. He said, “…doesn’t matter how good a writer you are if what you say is crap.” This was especially true, Owen said, for writers specializing in the trade end of the market, especially in technology and business.

He’s right. Accuracy, above all else, is critical. And it dovetails with the next most important aspect of pleasing an editor: the ability to break down and explain complex issues and topics. From my experience, these are the two factors that differentiate technology and business journalists from generalists who write on too wide a range of subject matter. In very complex areas, experience and expertise matter.