In today’s world of content, it’s not the longest content that wins, it’s not the company who publishes the most content, and it’s not even the most timely content that wins. You know what wins? The best content.
Having the best content means that it’s well-written and well-edited. Don’t have both? It’s not the best. To have both, you have to be a seriously good self-editor or have a seriously good editor on hand.
Basically, what we’re saying is…if you suck at editing, your content will suffer. Good news, though. Today’s Read has 15 tips to help you become a self-editing pro. Your content will thank you for it and your audience will thank you for it. Here’s 8 tips to get you started:
- Read your writing out loud. This technique will help you notice clunky sounding sentences, unclear phrases, and spots where you stopped being authentic.
- Cut it down. Bad news: 15% of what you just wrote needs to be cut out. Go through your shiny new blog draft and try to identify sections that don’t further the narrative. The Carnage writers love the Hemingway Editor to help with this.
- Make paragraphs smaller and sentences shorter. This is especially true for web content.
- Vary sentence length and structure. Yeah, this kinda contradicts the point above, but if all of your sentences are short, your content flow will be clunky.
- Avoid adverbs. These are words like “very,” “totally,” “really,” “definitely,” etc. Hey, but sometimes you just reallllly need an adverb so use your own judgment here.
- Drop the jargon. Stop using fancy words like “utilizing” and “leveraging” when you can just use “use.”
- Take your time. Editing is time-consuming and that’s a good thing. Don’t view it as an afterthought.
- Throw weak verbs and adjectives out the window. Today’s Read has a massive list of stronger verbs you can use in place of those weak ones.
Still 7 more to go…
Oh, and as a bonus, CoSchedule threw together this handy self-editing checklist.