A guest post by my colleague, Robert Morris.
You write great social media posts and blogs, but still don’t get the best feedback from your readers?
No matter how creative and inspired you are, there are always a huge number of posts that cover similar points. How can you become the best one?
When your visitors don’t bother reading the entire post, you should consider the length, quality, format, and logical flow of the post.
The matter of attracting more readers usually comes down to editing.
Since all bloggers and writers are aware of the importance of editing, it’s strange how so many of them neglect that part and publish their content without making it flawless.
There is no other way to deal with inspirational chaos; you have to take the time to edit, proofread, and format to perfection!
The following tips will help you do that:
Don’t edit while writing
This is a terrible mistake. You write one sentence or paragraph and read it few times before you continue with the rest of the content.
This is a certain recipe for forgetting all cool ideas you had and falling into a writer’s block. Write when you write, and edit when you edit. That’s the first thing to remember!
Use the right editing tools
Have you ever wondered why professional writers never edit their own novels? Unfortunately, great authors are not always successful editors.
However, you can always increase the quality of your articles if you rely on online apps, websites, and guides. There are many tools that can help you deal with the editing process more effectively.
Some of them are automated, while others provide personalized assistance that replaces a real (and rather expensive) editor. When you want to make your content perfect, these are some of the best tools you can rely on:
Don’t edit right after writing
When the post is too fresh, everything seems perfectly normal to you. However, if you take a break after writing and go back to the piece after few hours (or a day if you have the time), you will pick up on the errors you missed.
Once you finish a post, you are allowed to indulge with as many distractions as you want. Watch TV, have a coffee, spend time on Twitter and do whatever you want. Then, you can come back to the article from a reader’s point of view.
Have an editorial strategy
Editing is much more than reading an article and correcting minor mistakes after you’ve finished writing it. Every change you make should contribute to the goal you want to achieve as a blogger or social media writer.
You need a posting schedule that will enable you to keep track of your goals and focus on the work. Create a strategy that enables you to be productive, but also gives you time to revise the posts and make them perfect.
Approach editing as a process.
If you simply read the article, you’ll be able to find and correct some minor spelling and grammar issues. That’s not editing!
This stage should be divided into three steps: content, structure, and grammar.
- The first thing you need to do is consider the content and make sure that everything makes sense. If there are unfinished paragraphs and arguments that need more background, then you should add more content. If you identify wordiness and unneeded sentences, get rid of them.
- Once you’re done with this part, you can think about the structure of the content and organize it in a way that will keep the reader’s attention.
- Finally, you can correct the grammatical errors.
Make your ideas powerful
You can easily get carried away when writing a post.
When you are editing the content, you should cut back on wordiness, complicated jargon, and big words. Adverbs and adjectives are distracting, so keep the sentences concise and short.
Your readers are smart, but that doesn’t mean they would like to spend too much time trying to make sense of your writing.
Excessive diligence is wrong
Some bloggers don’t edit at all while others go to another extreme – they overdo it!
If you catch yourself correcting a single article for hours or days, then you’ve had it enough.
If you are still not confident enough that it’s ready to be published, then give yourself few hours away from it before you read it once more. (Remember: published posts are always better than the ones you keep in your drafts folder).
Read random parts
This is a very effective technique: try to read random sentences and paragraphs of your article. Can you still sense the main idea of the whole piece?
You don’t have to look at the content from the beginning to its end; simply choose random parts and work on them until you have the entire post edited. That will help you notice mistakes that didn’t seem so obvious before.
Once you’re done editing, it’s time for proofreading
There is a big difference between editing and proofreading.
When you are sure that the logic is preserved throughout the entire article, it’s time to check each sentence and word in terms of grammar and spelling.
Don’t trust the spell-check function of your word processor too much. Although this feature is effective in identifying most misspellings, it doesn’t view the content as a logical whole.
Pay attention to the presentation
The way you present the content to your readers is part of the editing process. If you don’t like how the article looks when you publish it, then you cannot expect your readers to spend their time on it.
The appearance of your website is very important, so pay attention to the visual aspects and include photos, graphics, and videos to break up the text.
If your readers can benefit from a certain social media app or the latest widget, then you should make sure to feature it on your website.
Robert Morris is a content writer with 5 years of experience. He writes about social media, content marketing and education. Follow Robert on Google+