Editing & Imagery
“I'm writing a first draft and reminding myself that I'm simply shovelling sand into a box so that later I can build castles.”
― Shannon Hale
Editing may seem like a fairly easy task - give it a read, correct the spelling errors and boom we're done!
A good writer knows there is much more to it than that, much more!
In this section:
- Tools to help you catch all those pesky mistakes
- Tips on "Editing" your work
- How to format your content
- What final checks you should do before publishing
How to Edit Blog Posts like a Boss
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.
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.
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.