Let’s be honest…
Most of the writing you publish is a first draft. You’ve never taken the time to edit your post properly.
And if you do edit your content you put it in Grammarly and Hemingway app and call it a done deal.
You told yourself editing takes too long and stops you from what you really want…growing your audience.
I have been there, and I’ve done those exact things. I even wrote a blog post “This is Why My Writing Sucks,” where I talk about how I didn’t edit my post at the time.
Since then, I’ve developed an editing process that allows me to edit my posts in an hour. This editing process gives me what I want — more time to network with other creators and grow.
More importantly, I publish content I’m proud of now with my editing process.
If you don’t edit your content then my one-hour editing process might take your rough first draft to a shining finished product ready to publish.
A published piece of content you’re proud to publish.
The Editing Process
The editing process might be the most important part of the writing process. After you’ve written your first draft, you want to make it stronger by editing your content.
The editing process involves cutting words, and sentences, correcting all those grammar and spelling mistakes, and making sure your content structure is sound and your ideas and paragraphs transition well into the next.
3 Types of Content Editing
There are six different types of editing but for editing our blog post we’re only going to focus on three.
1. Line editing
Line editing focuses on checking your writing line by line. This type of editing targets sentence structure, word choice and verb tenses.
Think of line editing as tailoring your writing style, cutting and trimming your sentences to make them strong and lean.
2. Copy editing
Copy editing is more detailed than line editing. Look for details that affect your readability when you’re copy editing your content. Details that affect your readability are typos including capitalizations, punctuations, spelling, and grammar.
Copy editors will also suggest edits if they to see if your writing has any repetition, and make sure all the facts in your writing are correct.
Proofreading comes at the end of the editing process and involves looking over your content one last time before publishing. This process requires you to look at your content again and make sure there are no spelling, grammar, or punctuation mistakes in your writing.
You can also proofread the format of your blog post if you’re editing your content in the text editor of wordpress by previewing the design before you publish.
The editing process I’m going to walk you through combines line editing, copy editing, and proofreading.
First, we’ll look at lines of writing, then move on to the writing as a whole and end the editing process by proofreading our content before hitting publish.
One Hour Self-Editing Blog Post Process
Start by putting every sentence on its own line with a 1.5 or 2 space between lines.
Then you go through every sentence and ask yourself — is this a clear sentence?
A clear sentence will have a subject-verb and object.
You don’t need to read another writing book. You have the secret to good writing now.
Every sentence has a clear subject-verb and object.
Pick up your favorite book and think back to when you learned how to write sentences in elementary school, underline the subject, circle the verb, and put brackets around the object. Do it for one page of your favorite book and you’ll see every sentence has those three things.
When you are looking at your sentences ask yourself if you used too many words?
And what can I cut to make this sentence stronger?
Most words you can cut from your sentences will be filler words. Too many filler words can make your sentences weaker. The weaker your sentences are the weaker your blog post.
Your blog post is like a house for your reader and every sentence is a brick you’re laying. If you have weak sentences your readers won’t stay on your article long.
There are several words you can cut from your sentence.
You can cut these are six commonly used filler words from every sentence.
SmartBlogger has a list of 298 filler words taking up space in your writing.
After cutting filler words, you can start cutting repetitive sentences. Repetition can be great when used to emphasize a point otherwise it’s dragging your post down and boring your readers.
Make your writing Active
Want to bore your readers?
Write in a passive voice.
Going from passive voice is a straightforward process.
Passive voice means the object has come before the subject.
Passive voice example sentence:
- An audience was built over time for the writer.
An active voice follows our clear sentence structure mentioned at the top of the section. Remember every sentence needs a subject-verb and object.
Active voice example sentence:
- The writer built a highly engaged audience over time.
Pro writing Tip
To make sure you’re writing in active voice cut all verb forms of “to be” and “to have,” or use them sparingly.
- Forms of “to be” include am, are, is, were, been, being.
- Forms of “to have” include have, has, had.
Once you turn your sentences into active ones, it’s time to look at the flow of sentences. Making your sentences flow together is a painless process. A general rule I prefer to follow is picking up where the last sentence left off and if I’m transitioning to a new idea then I start a new paragraph.
Paragraphs should be three sentences max when you’re blogging to take advantage of white space. The white space makes it easy for readers to follow along with your post without becoming fatigued.
Do you want to know something else making your readers feel fatigued reading your content?
Content with lots of spelling and grammatical errors. This is an easy fix and talked about amongst writers, run your content through a grammar checker like Grammarly.
Finish off the editing process by using a text-to-speech reader like Natural Reader to hear your article read out loud. Copy and paste your content into Natural Reader, press play, then listen and correct moments when your writing doesn’t flow smoothly.
It’s Time to Edit Your Next Post
Self-editing your blog posts doesn’t need to be a complicated process, in fact, if you follow this process you might be able to edit your post in an hour.
Remember to start by putting each sentence on its own line and make sure it has a clear subject-verb and object.
Now go edit and publish your next blog post.
A blog post you’re proud to publish!
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