6 essential editing tips

Sep 9, 2016 by
6 essential editing tips

After creating a well crafted, value-rich blog post, you’ll be keen to publish it as soon as possible. However, to ensure that you maintain a readership for the long-term, polishing each blog post to make it as good as possible is essential before publishing.

Editing is one of the most underrated skills when it comes to content marketing, but it’s certainly not something you should neglect. Here are six essential tips to get your editing as tight as possible.

1 – Be aware of your personal errors

Writers have their own personal mistakes which tend to crop up time and time again. This could be a tendency for writing tediously lengthy sentences or an inappropriate use of capital letters. Having written for both British and American audiences extensively, one of my personal problems is switching between English and American spellings for certain words – so this is something I always look out for during the editing process.

2 – Replace boring words

If you take the time to analyse your word choice (particularly your adjectives), it’s likely that you can replace some of the common ones with words that are far more potent. For instance, instead of saying that something is “very bad” you could call it “disastrous”. Incorporating stronger vocabulary into your blog posts can help to create a visceral impact for your audience, which makes your content infinitely more memorable.

3 – Don’t rely on your spellcheckerClose up of the word dictionary

Make no mistake, spellcheckers are excellent tools, but you should never implement the automated amendments without also doing a thorough proofread. Automated amendments can result in a lack of punctuation (particularly at the end of sentences) and sometimes ugly sentence structure.

4 – Preview the post

When publishing using WordPress, one of the system’s most useful features is the preview button. This allows you to view your post as your audience will see it, including all the formatting and pictures. Oftentimes in the preview tab, you can immediately notice errors (often with the formatting) to which you were previously oblivious.

5 – Read it aloud

Henneke Duistermaat advocates writing blog content with a conversational tone. She states:

Conversational content makes your reader feel you’re talking WITH him — NOT talking AT him. You’re engaging him in your conversation. He’s hearing your voice.

In order to create an authentic conversational tone, it helps to read your post aloud and then edit any sentences which come across like an academic essay. It can be difficult to write in a conversational tone, particularly if your content is very technically dense, so changing the tone during the editing process is often the way to go. For more information about choosing the tone of voice for your blog, check out this previous post.

6 – Don’t be too much of a perfectionist

Being committed to making your blog posts as polished as possible is ideal, but spending an excessive amount of time worrying about minor details is not. Remember, you are blogging for your audience, and they are mainly concerned about what value they will receive from reading your post. The occasional typo or grammatical mistake is forgivable if you are committed to delivering value – bad content on the other hand is not excusable. There comes a point during every editing process when it’s best to just hit publish and let the chips fall where they may; but before that time comes, do everything within your power to make your post as awesome as possible!