For our last week of the Better Blogger Challenge, we’re wrapping up with editing. Editing is an important and all too often overlooked skill that should be a crucial part to every blogger’s writing routine. All too often writers skip this step for whatever reason, but make no mistake, your readers can tell an edited piece from one that isn’t. Read on for why you should always edit your work and for tips to help you along the way.
What is editing, anyway?
Editing is the process of going through your written (or any kind of) work with an inquisitive eye and looking for ways to improve. Most obviously, going through your piece and looking for and correcting glaring errors, modifying parts of speech and even condensing where possible.
So, how do you start?
It always helps to be prepared. Try to write your first draft a few days before you want to post it. This way after you write your first draft you can leave it be for a day, and come back to visit it with a fresh pair of eyes and a well-rested thinking cap. Reread your post from start to finish. Does it flow? Did you get your point(s) across clearly and accurately? If spelling isn’t your forte, spell check is your best friend, use it. Here’s a short checklist to help you review. Basic editing should cover the following:
- Spelling and grammar – use spellcheck to help you, as well as an additional pair of eyes. Have a fellow respected blogger review your writing for mistakes you may have missed.
- Introduction – make sure your introduction paragraph clearly states what is to come in the rest of the article. And make sure the rest of the article follows the introduction.
- Flow – your writing should flow peacefully from one topic to the next without your readers asking themselves, where did that come from?
- Titles & Subtitles – accurate titles and subtitles make it easy for your readers to navigate your writing and better understand your thought process.
As you can see, editing is more than just checking for spelling and grammar errors, though this certainly is a large part. A blog post full of glaring errors is not only difficult to read but also unpleasant – surely many readers will hesitate to follow your advice and may not come back for another visit. But make sure your idea is clear, your writing flows, and the outline of it all is smooth instead of choppy. Don’t jump from one topic to another without a clear connection. More editing tips will follow everyday on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for the next week as our last week of the Better Blogger Challenge continues. Leave your best editing tips for the community on all of our social media, we’d love to hear from you! And find all of our previous tips using the hashtag: #30DayBloggerChallenge