Hey everyone - thanks for the feedback, ideas and comments - it’s all tops!
There are so many different variations of clients - which does make it difficult to rationalize the additional expense. If you’re making a site for a local small business then, no, they’re probably not going to invest in an editor.
On the other hand, if you’re making a site for an organization that’s more serious about their Web presence - and prepared to invest in IA, user scenarios etc. then an editor can make a huge difference and frankly our clients would be fools not to invest in good copy (/editing). As many of you have pointed out, a good site ultimately does include good content. And yes I agree that the sooner an editor onto the task the better.
The 37signals thing is a dilemma - not only because there are no want ads for editors there, but also because editors probably aren’t looking there either (!)
There are lots of freelance editors (who are happy to do short projects). While it would be great if we could all go out and hire a full-time editor I realize this is not always an easy business decision. Still, there’s nothing to stop us from suggesting the idea to a client and - once approved - bringing in a good freelancer.
Once you have a strong business case a full-time editor (/strategist) could come on board. I agree that the best way would be to have an editor as a part of a team.
I hope it will be only a matter of time before that happens - the profession could make a significant difference to the quality of sites that we create.
All it takes is for all of us to make it happen!