We write to convey something.
You, the blogger, want to communicate with your audience. Maybe you’re telling a story to connect with your readers. Maybe you’re selling a product or delivering a free offer. Maybe you’re knee-deep in a content offering, a funnel, or a course.
Whatever you’re writing, no matter how brilliant your work, you could miss the mark with editing missteps.
Readers need to connect with you and your words, but typos and errors lose their attention. Even worse, you could lose their trust.
It doesn’t have to be that way!
Rather than simply write and then publish, take a few extra minutes to walk through these five steps. (And, btw, if you want even more self-editing detail, download the free checklist at the end of this post.)
How to edit a blog post in 5 steps:
- Run spell check. It sounds obvious, right? It should be, anyway! Always check your spelling before you click Publish. But, remember, that’s not an entire solution: Spell check won’t catch errors like too/to/two confusion, for instance.
- Read in preview mode. When editing, avoid the composition pane or the HTML editor. Those views make it tough to see errors. Open the preview pane of your post to review it as your readers will see it. Read the copy. Look at the images. Click the links.
- Delete extra words. Readers’ attention spans are shorter than those of goldfish. Anywhere you can cut words, do. Or, as Mark Twain suggested, “Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very’; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.”
- Change passive to active. Action keeps readers engaged. For instance: “There are many cats who suffer from obesity. Reword: “Many cats suffer from obesity.” Active voice brings your reader into the action and propels them forward. BONUS: If you can swap out the word “many” in that example with an actual number from a study, even better!
- Read your post aloud. Once you complete steps one through four, read your entire post out loud. Your ear catches mistakes your eyes miss.
These steps don’t add much time to your writing process but will keep your readers excited and engaged!
For a more in-depth editing experience, download this free self-editing checklist. It’s full of useful reminders and quick tips to polish your prose!