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Editing 101: Turn your Prose into Perfection

May 8, 2020 - fifteen

Well done! You’ve finished writing your magnum opus and are ready to upload it to your site. But wait! Writing is only part of the content process. If good writing is king, then good editing is the kingmaker. So before you click that publish button make sure you try these quick and easy editing tips.

Get Some Distance

Firstly, get some distance. If you work in a team swap work and have other people edit your piece. If you’re working solo, or time doesn’t allow for fresh eyes then take a break. You can’t edit efficiently right after writing. Give it some time, do another task and then come back to the piece after you’ve distanced from it.

Don’t Overuse Words

Writing content is a creative process. You plan your piece, get all the facts lined up, and then find your rhythm. However, while writing you may fall into rote behaviour, such as using keywords repeatedly or falling bake on common expressions.

When editing, read carefully and remove any words that feel like they’ve been repeated too often. This important step improves your writing and can potentially improve SEO scores as keyword stuffing leads to negative SEO scores.

Change up Your Sentence Length

Another important article facet is your sentence length. In novels, you’ll notice how writers use long sentences to set the scene and establish elaborate landscapes. But then. Short snappy sentences! Designed to build tension and action!

This practice should be the same as your blog piece. Vary up the length of your sentences. Use short sentences when giving instructions and longer sentences when supplying detail. Break up your paragraphs and try to find a balance between long and short sentences.

Beef Up Your Words

As a language English is versatile but many of us err on the side of caution. Instead of using a strong modifier or description, we tend to go with something basic and then add adverbs. This makes for bad reading, adding unnecessary fluff and reducing the impact of your statement. Go through your work and replace weak words with stronger options. For example; don’t say ‘really nice’ instead try ‘delicious’ or ‘luxurious’.

Change the Font for Final Edits

This tip is another way to give you fresh eyes on your work. When reading, your brain often ignores the majority of the letters. Instead, your brain picks up the first and last letters and guesses the word from there. To make sure you don’t miss spelling errors, change your font before editing. This gives you a fresh perspective and forces your brain to read all the words. No cribbing allowed.

Return to Live Pieces and Update

Once a blog or page is live, go back and edit. Information and times change so don’t be afraid to update pieces and keep them relevant. This process is also an easy win for SEO as it allows you to optimise for keywords without writing a whole new blog.

At Fifteen Design we love working with words. We have mastered the art of turbocharging copy to make it engaging and informative. If you would like a hand with content creation, editing or a full digital strategy contact us today.

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