"To Write is Human, to Edit is Divine" (Stephen King)
Previously, we looked at how to improve your blog writing as you plan and write your post. Today we will look at ways to improve your blog posts as you get your editing pen out.
It can feel quite personal if a colleague is critiquing your writing. But if you have to edit it yourself here is a handy checklist of eight dos and don’ts to really tighten up your blog copy.
Always edit your Blog Posts
Try to inject some action and emotion into your blog posts, so that it resonates with your audience. If you have spent some serious time building buyer personas you will understand what your audience care about and therefore what they might respond to.
Editing your post shows that you care enough about your reader to make your work succinct, clear and informative, maybe even entertaining.
But before you edit, take a break from the words.
I often write a blog post in the morning at home, then travel into work and take another look at it in the afternoon. It’s amazing what a fresh look at your writing will reveal.
Alternatively, get a colleague to do the editing for you.
- Don’t Use Big Words
See what I did there? Simplify your language – make your blog posts easy to read.
Don’t imagine that flowery language and long words will make your readers think that you are the voice of authority.
Clear communication of your thoughts and messages will mean that your readers will want to read more of your easily digestible posts.
You should eschew obfuscation (always wanted to write that).
- Don’t use the passive voice
Keep your language active. The passive voice has less impact and makes your writing seem less dynamic.
- Drop these words
Cut out words like “very, just, really, in order to” which are padding to your writing. I have been using Grammarly, which makes good suggestions like these as you write. It’s worth a look.
As Mark Twain once said:
“Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very’; your editor will delete it and your writing will be just as it should be.”
- Avoid jargon and acronyms
If you must use Acronyms, explain them the first time you use them, and just keep them to a minimum.
- Use contractions
Contractions will make your post sound more conversational and informal (you will = you’ll).
- Shorten your sentences
The shorter the sentences the easier it is to read. Space them out too, it will improve your blog posts readability.
Everybody loves whitespace – it’s so Zen.
- Use you and your
Imagine you are writing personally to a key contact. That will make your posts much more intimate and engaging.
- Spell check every time
This should go without saying. And remember to double check it, as most spell checkers can’t tell the difference between ‘to’ and ‘too’, ‘their’ and ‘there’ etc.
They’re all spelt correctly!
With some thoughtful editing, as you can see, you really can improve your blog posts. Combine that with the previous blog writing tips and you should be well on your way to some well-structured, engaging content.
But if this all sounds like too much work and your day is already full to the brim, there is another way. Find a friendly marketing agency that specialises in Inbound Marketing and ask them to help.
Then you can explain what you want and get them to deliver the content, all within an Inbound Marketing framework.
If you’d like to talk to us about this or any other aspect of your marketing, please get in touch. Or come along to our next event.
P.S. Please let me know if this shorter post format works for you in the comments section below.