Hello! This week I thought I’ll take it down a notch and write about something shorter than what I usually do. For the last few weeks, many of the content marketing and site copy topics I nailed were a more long-ranged and specific. I’ve had these tips in my mind for a few weeks now and I definitely want to share a few ways you can better edit your blog content so it doesn’t look amateur.
And I love these methods because they are at least one of the following:
- You can kill two birds with one stone
- You can let software do the work! (and sit back like a boss, legs crossed)
- You can get an expert’s opinion!
You probably already know that long-form blog post is trending and more valuable — and it will continue to trend. There is literally a “content shock” due to information overload this decade because everyone and their grandma have a blog now. But what’s good if your content was amazing and transformational on all levels and you’re on your way to becoming an expert influencer in your niche… then a reader spots grammar and punctuation errors in your writing. Eek!
If you prefer to listen, here’s the audio recording to this post:
And the first person who actually called me out on my spelling and punctuation mistakes was a best friend. I guess that’s what real friends are for.
#1 Read it out loud in your room.
This is a simple and doable tip that my journalism friend gave me when I was writing one of my former blogs. Now I’m not always good with details, but I do reread my content before I hit publish. But ever since she called me out on my some shameless grammar errors (which I went back and fixed, of course), I’ve been more mindful of editing my work.
And really, this tip is to read your writing out loud once you finish writing it. I did this once and forgot about it last year. But for the last three months, I’ve been actively doing this and it has immensely helped me in editing my work.
You’ll know your writing isn’t flowing if you get stuck reading it. It even feels frustrating to yourself. And that’s when you know you really need to fix it.
#2 Since you’re reading it out loud already, why not do an audio recording of it?
Bouncing off of my last point, when I started reading my blog posts out loud to see if my writing flowed like it did in a conversation, I had the idea of doing audio recordings. Now, in the beginning, I only planned on doing recordings occasionally, but after two recordings, I kinda got addicted to doing them. At one point, I even nurtured the idea of having a podcast. I realized I got to really hone in on my voice for this blog.
I came to the realization that if I can’t read my post out loud like it was a conversation, it wasn’t qualified to be sent to the publishing queue. Now you can definitely read it out loud, edit it, and then do the audio recording. Or if you’re confident enough that you only have a few errors, jump right into the audio recording and change up a few words while you are recording on the fly.
Then go back and edit the written version of your post. This method works even better if speaking is your best mode of communication. Not everyone is a good writer, but you can make it work by speaking it first before transcribing it. Now with this tip, you can either simply embed the recording in your blog post or use it as an email list opt-in incentive.
You can record an audio of you reading your blog post which will help you spot inconsistencies and edit your writing and use as a content upgrade. And this is what I mean by killing two birds with one stone.
#3 Use the Grammarly app to correct any critical fixes for you.
I’ve seen countless advertisements of Grammarly on YouTube before I finally installed this Chrome extension. It does what’s its name says: it double checks your grammar. Just imagine the spell check tool from Microsoft Word on the Chrome browser. It doesn’t matter if you’re typing on Evernote or WordPress, it will highlight incorrect words, sentences, phrases, and punctuation for you. You can either copy and paste your work to your WordPress blog post editor or open a new doc in Grammarly. The app will automatically tell you how many fixes you need and offer suggestions for you. And if you like their suggestion, it’s a one-click fix!
#4 Have an editor do the work for you — if you can afford it.
If you’re a growing and profitable business, you can always outsource and hire a contract editor to read your work. When you’re a small brand you probably don’t feel like people will pay attention to your writing or they don’t really bother to critique it. Once you’re well-known and growing, it can be embarrassing to put out content that appears less than perfect. And sometimes people will judge a book by its cover. You can add amazing value in your post, but if readers spot a spelling error, it can be annoying.
Of course, an editor can do more than just check the basics of spelling and punctuation. But if you really want your writing to flow and leave an impact, it’s best to have a second pair of eyeballs look it over. Someone who specializes in editing is bound to come to the table with some insights.
Tools, apps, and software are great for automating the little details, but we still need expert people who can look at the big picture to look at your article as a whole. Is the article’s purpose precise, coherent, and focused?
Is the article’s purpose precise, coherent, and focused?
How do you edit your blog post? Does it go through scrutiny before you hit publish?
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