How much time do you spend on blog editing?
Reviewing my writing is a constant struggle for me. I want to keep my writing approachable and casual, like if we were talking but I want to be grammatically correct. Also, it needs to focus on solving your problems, and providing useful resources. Did I give enough value in each post to make sure you want to keep reading? This is where the good blog editing skills come in!
I’ve written a lot in my life.
Over a dozen books, hundreds of articles, likely millions of emails :). In graduate school, I thought I would never finish writing. I was so grateful to a demanding communication professor in my undergraduate that had taught us how to be more skilled writers (one day I hope to be a skilled writer 🙂 ).
Then I wrote my first book.
Wow! I thought I could write, until a team of 5 editors, each worth their area of focus got to take a red pen to my manuscripts. That was a humbling and frustrating experience. I didn’t want to keep repeating the same mistakes, so I began 2 tracking their feedback and created a checklist or system to review each writing before I submit it. The review process for each book project got progressively faster, and I’ve found myself giving this list to many colleagues and friends.
So since we’re all friends, I want to share it with you. To get more of my personal tips and tools, please subscribe to my updates.
What do you struggle with when proofreading your writing?
- I’ll tell you what I struggle with:
- I overuse certain words.
- I use passive voice too often.
- I write things and then needs to trim them down.
- I hate taking the time to proofread; I’d rather be creating.
- The best way I know how to think about editing is to break it down into passes and go through the test a few times, each time looking for something else.
Phases of Editing
- Flow, Structure, Formatting, and Layout
- Does the content flow smoothly?
- Did you organize the headers and ideas in a natural order?
- Did you break up the content with headers and line breaks?
- Did you cover all the points to make the content relevant?
- Could you have used lists to break up the content further?
- Are you using a consistent header style between articles or posts?
- Did you need to call out any important points to capture attention?
Wording and Grammar
- Is the content easy to read?
- Is the title keyword aware?
- Does the title represent the content?
- Does any of the sentences feel too long?
- Are there real transitions between content?
- Are there any places I’m trying to be too clever?
- Did you check the content through an application like Grammarly?
- Are there any references that most of my audience might not understand?
Images, Videos, and other Support
- Are there examples to support the discussion?
- Are there images to help understand your topic?
- Did I use data or quotations to back up the points?
- Am I allowed to use these images or other support?
SEO, Sharing, and Conversion
- Do I have an appropriate call to action?
- What they are clicking on in search engines?
- Are keywords incorporated in the right places?
- Do you have the proper meta descriptions to help people understand?
- Is it tagged with the right categories and tags?
- Is anything in the content accidentally offensive?
- Did I double check any assumptions or calculations?
- Are there places where I can make the content more social?
I hope this list helps you. Please subscribe to my updates below to get extra resources direct from me! Until then, see you out there! – Adam