“I have to write it right the first time. When do I have time to edit my blog post?” Were the comments of a small business owner I met recently. My response — editing is an essential part of the creative process. It places your work in the best possible light.
Can you afford not to edit? This blog had previously discussed the impression errors give, especially for on-line business. Blogs are a key part of that process.
Why Edit my Blog Post?
There are many misconceptions shared by bloggers, one of them is to question the value of editing. They fail to recognise that it is a part of the quality control. It is about presenting ideas in the best possible light. Why should I edit my blog post?My writing is perfect — I hear this all the time, yet it only takes a little reading their blog to show the value editing brings. A little editing goes a long way.
Create it on your Computer
Do not create your first electronic draft in WordPress, or your blogging software. Create it within a text editor on your computer. This way you have a backup copy of the first draft if anything goes wrong while you are creating the post. I create all my work using Evernote, and perform the majority of my editing there. Other writers use other tools, like Microsoft Word, to create their first electronic draft.
I have a number of tools that I can use on my computer, which I may employ when creating a draft, including the Hemingway Editor and the Grammarly App. Each has their own strengths and weaknesses. They are not for everyone, but as I have an editing business I do take advantage of these tools when editing work.
Tips for better posts through editing, start here (no Swiss Army Knife required):
What point are you making? Each post should focus on a central point. Start with that in mind and ensure you build the post around that, end with it. Think about it while editing.
Plan your structure. Not complicated — a list of bullet points or sub-headings will do before you write.
Avoid the “Publish” button. The whole point of blogging is to publish, yet too many bloggers hit the button too early. Once you have written the piece, sit back, sip a coffee, think about what you have written. You will need to edit it. Don’t rush the process.
Read it again. I have often finished a draft late in the afternoon and not felt like editing. Saving the draft I take another look in the morning. That is when it is easier to find glaring errors in the logic of the argument. Fix these before anything else.
Remove the extraneous. Writers love to embellish.
Spelling and grammar.
Activate your sentences. Passive voice is one of the greatest challenges faced in editing. Not all instances of passive voice are bad, explanation needs some. The task — remove most.
Check the conclusion. Writers too often solve the problem then let the post tail to nothing. Re-emphasise the central point at the end.
Preview the post and ensure the formatting looks good.
Read it out loud. I have been known to have the computer read either sections or the whole article. By speaking a sentence aloud it is possible to identify logic or structural errors.
What have you missed? With all plans something can be forgotten. Part of the editing process is to seek that out and correct it.
Writing and Editing is a Process
Why edit my blog post? Editing is part of the creative process.
People think of processes as a part of something a business will do, a production line for example. If you blog, you should develop a process, which includes planning articles, writing them, editing, and publishing. Each stage involves different thought processes. You must learn to change your mindset across the process. You have to put yourself in the right mindset to do it right.
When you are ready to edit, you will work through each of the steps listed before you can count your contribution as complete. When you create a process it may seem time-consuming but as you get used to the process you will find it is an easy, but logical step to take. The editing process needs to be thorough, but need not take too much time.
Editing is about Improving
Ask yourself — what do I get when I edit my blog post? The secret of editing is that you take a piece that has the potential for publication and turn it into a publishable article. Editing is not about tearing your work to shreds, but largely applying polish and putting it into shape for publication.
To improve and refine. Is there a better word for that? Can I make the phraseology better? We should think of improvements at this stage.
It can be a creative process as well. Editing a customer’s post I came across a paragraph which did not make sense. I read it several times and could not understand their intent. I could have cut it out, but had a feeling they had something in mind. I called and asked what they had intended to say. Turned out they lost track of where the piece was going. The intent, to branch out to another topic. I smoothed over the introduction and added extra paragraphs. All was well.
Please, don’t make it a chore, it is still part of the creative process. Improving excellent ideas.
Plan your Posts
There is a view that bloggers should share posts daily in order to build readership. I hold the view that it would be better to wait a month for a great piece than post a poorly edited piece every day.
That said if you create yourself and plan and schedule it will drive you to write and edit the piece then make it available in a timely manner. There is nothing like a deadline to drive you forward. If you have a schedule then you are more likely live by it. Whether you are publishing monthly, weekly, or even daily the schedule causes you to complete the piece.
Get the SEO Right
SEO should make us famous while we sleep. If only it were that simple. Great things require great effort. SEO is no different in this regard.
The plan for your blog should determine the post you write. Part of that plan includes getting the SEO right. Your title needs to be crafted once your article is complete. It should include the most powerful keywords, as should the permalink*. When researching your SEO you may identify changes needed on your post, some words are better than others for SEO purposes.
Corporations spend a great deal of money is improving SEO. Bloggers should at least understand the basics.
*The permalink is the words used as part of the page URL, separated by dashes. Generally, it should include the main words in your title, but exclude 2 or 3 letter words. It is best when it is a memorable or amusing phrase
Edit my blog post? You should view editing as an essential part of blogging, it is as valuable to the process as adding pictures and images. The steps highlighted may at first seem a chore, but can easily become part of the routine of publishing. The best bloggers perform these steps, you should too.
If you like this post we ask you to make a donation to the upkeep of GobbledeGoox . What are your thoughts on editing your blog? Something to contribute? Please leave a comment. The images here were sourced from a public domain location, such as Pixabay, Unsplash or other sites.