As exciting as clicking “publish” on a freshly constructed blog post is, many happy bloggers find their smiles turning upside-down as people start poking fun at typos, misunderstanding jokes, and taking sarcasm seriously.
All these issues are death strokes for bloggers. And all of them can easily be avoided by a little self-editing. Check out these simple editing tips and never kill your own words again!
Target Your Weaknesses
One of the most important pre-requisites to editing your own posts is knowing what your writing weaknesses are. Do you tend to write run on sentences? As your fingers speed along, do you often type “you” instead of “your” or “an” instead of “and”? Do you use the same transition words every time to change paragraphs? Do you use too many vague pronouns? Do you change tenses or tone every other sentence?
Once you’ve isolated your writing issues, you’ll know what to keep an eye out for as you run through your post again.
For your first run-through, play a little “story time” and read your post out loud. This will help you catch big comprehension and flow problems. When you stumble, get lost, feel awkward, or you are simply forced to change tones– you know there’s a problem. So, highlight any trouble areas to return to later. Once you’ve read through the whole post, go back and fix all the problems you caught.
For your second read-through, focus only on spelling and grammar. Read through carefully and slowly. Don’t let the beauty or wit of your ideas distract you from individual words and grammar. Again, keep a special eye out for problems you know you have, but be sure to not overlook any other one-time errors you may have made.
Sleep On It
When you are caught up in the creative moment, your words will always make sense to you. This is because your mind automatically fills in gaps and builds bridges between disjointed ideas, making your writing seem perfect.
But if you let your post sit overnight, the next day you’ll often find that your beautiful post somehow degraded into something sub-par. But what actually happened is your mind stopped automatically editing for you. You’ll clearly see issues that were disguised by your brain the day before.
Now that you’ve done your content and grammar edits, let your post sit overnight, and fixed those freshly-revealed proble
ms, you are ready for your final run-through. This is to ensure that you did, in fact, catch all your errors, and that none of your edits created new problems.
So read through your post one last time, preferably out loud, and fix up any mistakes that slipped through the cracks. Once you are satisfied, you can feel confident publishing!
(But don’t forget – for an extra layer of protection, ask a friend to read through your post as well. They can add a fresh perspective and suggest changes that they think will improve your post. )
Done with your edits? Then it’s time to publish! Proudly display your fabulous writing on your blog, share it via social media, and watch your words spread throughout the virtual world!
photo credit: Christian
photo credit: Bernard