Editing defines the number of views your blogs get. You could’ve done everything right – from writing to social media, but editing is crucial for success. Readers are often turned off by bad grammar and overly dramatic sentences. While the content may be good, editing ensures that your readers stay hooked and read the entire article.
Content marketing becomes a lot harder if you can’t back up what you’re saying. The last thing that you, as a writer or marketer, must do is publish content that has errors or incoherent sentences. Make editing simpler with these simple hacks:
- Give a break before editing – When you’ve just finished writing, everything makes sense so you don’t tend to read through as strictly. Once you’re done writing, take a break and come back and read the post when your mind is fresh. The length off your break depends on you, any amount of time that helps you forget about your first draft is fine. You could do chores, exercise or even sleep to take your mind off the blog post.
- Edit in stages – When you start editing, the first round can be to make sure that everything makes sense. Once that’s done, you can do a second round where you check for basic grammar and spelling. You can then do a third and final round where you read every sentence in detail and check for tone, clarity etc.
- Have editorial goals – This may sound silly but you will realize the importance of it, once you start doing it. Have certain goals in mind and editing accordingly. If your goal is to highlight a product, make sure that the product is present throughout the article, without being too pushy. This can be applied to all other fields. Don’t be that blogger that goes off on an irrelevant story in the middle of another topic. Keep your posts concise and to the point.
- Do not overthink – Have you ever seen a blog post that has extremely complicated words and looks more like a science journal than a blog post? This is the result of overthinking. Beginners tend to do this in an effort to prove themselves and showcase their knowledge. They tend to replace simple phrasing with complicated words and jargon that many readers have never heard about. Overthinking while editing will alienate readers.
- Get help – Many bloggers cannot edit their own posts. They tend to overthink or edit in a hurry which leads to bad posts. If you’re one of these bloggers, then you can get help. There are professional services that can help you edit pieces at a reasonable price. If not professionals, you can also get help from those around you. If you know someone that is a good writer, ask them to take a quick read and tell you what they think. See if they understood the point you were trying to convey. Your peers and friends can sometimes be the best critics, use this to your advantage.
- Use tools – There are numerous writing and editing tools online that you can use. Grammarly is one such tool, that edits everything you write in real-time. The tool checks for spelling, grammar, context and clarity. It also suggests changes you can make to your post for simpler phrasing and better understanding. Hemingway, Word Rake and ProWriting Aid are other tools that are helpful.
- Read aloud – To detect awkward sentences and phrasing, reading aloud helps. If something sounds awkward and doesn’t match the tone you were going for, change it. If you’re working around others then mouth the words or read in a soft voice. While reading, make sure to read the entire paragraph first before you start making changes. Editing paragraphs while you’re still reading will lead to cut up sentences.
- Provide breaks – The days when you could go on and on without bullet points or paragraphs are long gone. Ideally, every blog post you put out should be split into paragraphs and have at least 2-3 subheads. Bullet points are great for enhancing clarity and keeping the readers interest. Cluttered pages with lots of text will make the reader feel uneasy and make reading fee like a chore.
When editing, look out for weak words and unnecessary descriptions. These are 2 aspects that turn a simple 200 word piece into a 400 word marathon. Blogging is always about quality over quantity, poorly written material will get lost in all the noise. Remember that your content represents you and your brand, you have to put serious effort and be consistent.
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