What happens when you read a blog post and you find all kinds of errors? Chances are you do what most people do, and back out and find another resource as quick as you can.
While writing blog posts can be a difficult task in your marketing, editing those posts and making sure they are truly readable can be even more demanding. If you work for a large corporation that has many people on staff, you may have your own built in editing staff at hand. But if you’re a solopreneur, it’s one more task that falls into your lap.
It’s hard to edit your own work. It’s easy to miss the little things that creep up into the way you write because you are simply too close to your subject matter. Reading something again and again can definitely cause havoc in your review process, and nothing is more frustrating than realizing after the fact that you’ve created a major faux pas.
What can you do to improve your blog post writing and editing process?
1. Don’t edit while you write
Don’t fall into the trap of editing while you write. Each time you stop, you lose your train of thought, and have to get back into writing mode again and again.
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It’s fine to pause and restructure the first few words of your sentence, or to correct a simple typing mistake as you make it, but leave other grammatical and structure edits for after you finish your rough draft. It will also aid in helping you look at the big concepts, and not get muddled down in the nitty gritty of what you are writing.
2. Never write and send at the same time
Nothing gives you a fresher mindset than stepping away from your writing for awhile. If you finish writing your blog posts one day, set it aside and edit it the following. This will allow you to come up with fresh ideas and find holes in your writing that you could never find when you are focused in your original state of mind. You can find inconsistencies easier, and also fill in blanks to make your work more meaningful in your readers’ eyes.
3. View your work in a different format
I do all of my blog post writing in word. Then I transfer my posts to a text editor to clean up html issues and read it once again. This can help you see things that may have been hidden in word format.
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The final step is transferring my work from text into the WordPress platform. I always preview my posts so I can see it with its final layout in place. It becomes easier to read when graphics are in place, and I have titles bolded, bullets in place, and special emphasis on the things I want to highlight.
4. Use spell check
It’s easy to forget to use spell check when your word program automatically corrects or highlights incorrect spellings. A quick run through can often find things you might otherwise have missed. Also, don’t forget to run through it with your eyes and look for incorrect spellings as well. I often forget to add an “s” to the end of a word, or change an “or” to an “of”, or add an “es” instead of an “ed”. By looking specifically at the spelling you can often find incorrect spellings within your blog post that may change the meaning of your final message.
5. Read your post out loud
Once you’re happy with your blog post, read it out loud. Would you give this message to a potential customer? Would you be happy saying this out loud to someone you know? Sometimes when we read our own writing, we insert words we know should be there yet have omitted from our writing. By reading it out loud, it pulls out the small omissions and errors that might otherwise have gone undetected.
6. Let it go
A blog post will never be perfect. No matter how much you edit and reread it, you’ll always find something to change. At some point you have to let it go.
I have found that by doing the steps above, I can catch the majority of mistakes I make. Just remember that your message is ultimately more important than a minor mistake here or there. As long as you take steps to reduce blatant errors, the minor ones will often flow into the rest of your work, forgiven by the person that likes what you have to say.
Have you found other editing tips that help you with the writing process?