Read Time: 4 Minutes Action Time: 15 Minutes
When I started out I just wished someone would have shown me how to edit blog posts properly, god when I look back at some of the first blog posts I wrote, they were terrible and the truth is I didn’t have a clue how to edit blog posts and it showed!
As most bloggers who have been around for a while will tell you, when it comes to publishing our blog posts to our new corner of the internet, nothing and I mean nothing will highlight your mistakes quicker than the “publish” button.
It’s simply a fact!
However, as time goes on we get better and learn how to edit blog posts properly. The whole idea with editing and proofreading is try to eradicate as many mistakes as possible before we publish. I say try because sometimes a little mistake will sneek past you and thats ok too.
So without worrying about being completely perfect let me share with you some of the tips and tricks I’ve picked up that allow me to edit blog posts with confidence.
How to Edit Blog Posts like a boss
Firstly, lets clear this up before we start to edit blog posts, there is a difference between editing and proofreading.
Editing your blog post consists of making sure the article flows logically, is coherent and consistent, is accurate in the information it provides and that it addresses the issues you have set out to address at the outset of the article.
Proofreading is making sure that there are no mistakes in the content and that there are no spelling or grammatical errors in the content.
So I suppose the real question is, what can we do to make sure that there are no glaringly obvious mistakes or problems with our content?
The first thing I feel obliged to point out is that editing and proofreading are not after thoughts and something to be thrown in at the end.
They should be scheduled and given time and consideration and certainly not rushed, if you are going to take the time to edit your blog post do it properly or not at all, the effect will still be the same.
Where possible you should leave the editing process for some time after you have written it. Even if it is only an hour, it will help.
Now without getting too bogged down with the nitty gritty, here are some simple editing hacks that will ensure your content has no glaringly obvious mistakes and reads well.
When it comes to the first edit of your blog posts we need to check the spelling.
Now we can rely on the spell check in WordPress or on our machines, but I can tell you from experience none of these has a patch on Grammarly.
Not only will it spot spelling mistakes, it will correct major grammatical errors (hence the name) For those of you using Google Chrome, there is a chrome extension that I highly recommend you install, it’s also free.
There is a paid version, which I recommend at least until you learn how to edit blog posts properly. You can also get that for free if you refer a friend, you can check out more about that here.
Read, Read and Read
Second up, once that’s done, read it again, out loud. This is why we recommend you edit somewhere you are comfortable being able to speak out loud.
Reading it out loud will allow you to spot the areas where it doesn’t quite flow. If you find yourself stumbling or having to read it twice, then an edit is required.
Remember, you wrote it, so of you can’t read it without second guessing it then what chance does your audience have.
Next up we read it again, only this time we are looking for paragraphs and breaks.
When reading it, we want to make sure that we have broken the piece down into edible paragraphs, your readers don’t want large chunks of text.
Then we also want to look at natural breaks. These are where you have moved from one point to another. Where there seems to be a natural break in the piece this is where we want our subheadings to go.
Is It Pretty?
Next, we want to make sure that it looks pleasing to the eye. Is there the same amount of line breaks between paragraphs?
We like double spacing between paragraphs and also before and after headings and subheads. It’s not mandatory to double space, but regardless of whether you go for single or double, chose one and stick with it.
Start, middle, end.
This is what we are looking for.
As much as we would like to think that everyone reads every word we write, they don’t.
People will skim our content, so we want to make sure that at a glance or a couple of scrolls of the mouse we can see where the start, middle and end of the content are.
It sounds obvious, the start is obviously the start and the end is obviously the end, so the bit in between has to be the middle, but that not what people are looking for.
They want to see the bit that tells them what they are going to learn.
The main piece of the learning, as in where that starts
And where the conclusion begins, that way the can read the bit at the start, the conclusion at the end and decided if the most time-consuming piece (the middle) is worth reading.
It’s not an indictment on your content, it’s just a fact of life and if you can make those two parts compelling, then people will read every word.
Does It Work?
The final piece of advice I would give you is to make sure everything works.
If you have placed links in your content, make sure the link works and goes to the correct link. The amount of times I have seen broken links or links going to the wrong place is not funny.
On a side note, I would also make sure that all links to external sites open the link in a new tab, after all, we want people to remain on our site and read all the content.
Take the time to go through your first piece of content using the checklist above. Then click the image below and download the checklist to keep close by for future reference.